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10/06/2009

Pomegranate seed oil

Pomegranate Seed Oil

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/pomegranate-seed-oil.html


Pomegranate seed oil, derived from the seeds of pomegranates, is believed to have a nourishing effect on skin. It is also thought to be effective in preventing many diseases. Know more about pomegranate seed oil...

Pomegranate seed oil is derived from the seeds of pomegranates, the fruit of punica granatum plant species, which is supposed to be a native of Southeast Asia. The term 'pomegranate' is derived from the Latin words 'pomum', meaning apple and 'granatum', meaning seeded. Since ancient times this deciduous shrub or small tree has been cultivated in many parts of Medittarranean and Caucasian (Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan) regions. The reddish fruit produced by this plant is covered by a thick skin and usually contains around 600 seeds. The seed along with the edible part that covers it, is known as aril.

Nowadays, the oil that is extracted from the seeds of pomegranate is used in a wide range of applications. Pomegranate seed oil is mainly known for its moisturizing, nourishing as well as protective properties, for which it is being increasingly used in many lip balms, face creams, lotions and facial serums. It has been found to be very effective in softening dry, irritated and aging skin. It activates the growth of keratinocyte (major constituent of epidermis of the skin) and thereby contributes towards the regeneration of epidermis (outer layer of skin). It is also believed to play an important role in the synthesis of collagen, the main fibrous protein of connective tissues. It is also said to retain and improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Pomegranate seed oil is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties, due to which it can be used in treating minor and major skin irritants, like dry, scaly skin, eczema, psoriasis and other skin disorders. The anti-inflammatory property of this oil, which can be attributed to its high content of conjugated fatty acid, mainly punicic acid, is also thought to be capable of reducing swelling and relieving muscle pain.

Pomegranate seed oil is touted as an anti bacterial agent. According to some recent studies, it is effective in preventing skin cancer as it is found to reduce lesions and tumors. Some experiments performed on mice, have shown its efficacy in reducing the risk of skin cancer. Some laboratory experiments have also indicated its possible effectiveness in preventing the proliferation of breast cancer.

It is claimed that pomegranate seed oil can facilitate the functioning of cardiovascular system and normalize lipid metabolism in obesity and hyperlipidemic conditions, where the level of lipids and lipoproteins is abnormaly high. Pomegranate seed oil has also become popular for its antioxidant property, due to which it can protect the body from damage by free radicals. Besides punicic acid, it also contain tocopherols, both of which are said to contribute to the healing property of pomegranate seed oil.

Pomegranate seed oil contains phytoestrogens, which can induce estrogenic and/ or antiestrogenic effects. Due to this it has been found to have efficacy in alleviating the symptoms of menopause. Many women have reported the use of this oil in reducing the symptoms of menopause. In addition to all this, many claim that this oil also assists the immune system in fighting many diseases including obesity, heart diseases, diabetes and cancer.

Till date, no potentially dangerous side effects of pomegranate seed oil have been discovered by scientists. This oil is suitable for both topical as well as internal use, though it is advisable to consult an experienced physician or a professional in this area, before using it internally.
By Chandramita Bora
Published: 5/26/2009

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