A sip of pomegranate on a hot day slices through muggy heat like jumping into a cool mountain stream. A bright combination of sweet, sour and astringent, pomegranate juice bursts with flavor. Its light yet rich sweetness simmers down the most heated temper, while a layer of astringency leaves you feeling refreshed, new, bright, and clean. Pomegranate's stimulates the salivary glands relieving thirst on a hot summer's night. This sophisticated fruit juice makes a perfect addition to cocktails at parties, as it's liver nourishing qualities reduce hangovers and neutralizes alcohol's toxicity. Make pomegranate a nice addition to your barbeque, picnic, or even happy hours.
Cleanse the Stickiness out of Summer
Humidity can leave you feeling sticky, sweaty, and just plain down-and-out. Pomegranate's astringency can help dispel this stickiness and restore your elegance and equanimity. It's sour taste increases the flow of bile which removes sticky oils from the blood, making you feel refreshingly light. After a glass of this sour spritzer, you'll find immediate relief and begin to feel restored, clean, energetic, and bright.
Soothe Burning & Irritation
When heartburn, gas, & bloating leave irritation and burning in its wake, pomegranate juice is a tried-and-true remedy. The sour taste in both pomegranate reduces production of irritating stomach acids, while astringency cools down inflammation.
Pomegranate is excellent for all heat conditions of the digestive tract, including nausea. If you get nausea on an empty stomach or even morning sickness, it may be due to hyperacidity in the stomach.
Blood Tonic Beverage
If you are anemic or just feeling a little run-down and depleted, you may have a mild case of blood deficiency. Pull down your bottom eyelid and look in the mirror. If you see that the capillary bed looks pale, this is a great drink for you. The red color of pomegranate is an indicator that it has blood tonifying properties. Pomegranate helps in the production of red blood cells as it rebuilds fluids. It's sweetness, anti-oxidants and sour taste nourish the liver and restore blood chemistry. Together, these qualities make Pomegranate a great blood tonic. It builds the blood without building heat, which is why Pomegranate is an ideal fix for problems of the blood.
There is a lot of talk about alkaline foods. In Ayurveda, we translate that to mean foods that cool the blood. The next time you feel overheated, sip some pomegranate and check in to how your body feels about ten minutes later. Chances are, you feel relaxation around the eyes where you once felt tension. Your mind softens and your emotions cool down. You have just been "alkalized!!"
Glowing Skin Tonic
Skin disorders start in the liver. When the liver is taxed and overheated in summer, the skin comes to rescue by helping the liver detoxify the blood. The result is ruddy, acne ridden complexion as blood toxins come to the surface and irritate your skin. When this happens your skin will look inflamed, hot, and puffy. The liver cleansing & nourishing qualities of pomegranate restores strength to the liver and thus beauty to the skin. You'll feel your skin relax after drinking Pomegranate.
Pomegranate is strongly sour, thus encouraging secretions in the digestive tract and salivary glands. These secretions improve taste, digestion, and regular elimination (functioning as a mild laxative and reducing gas). Their watery nature alleviates dryness, hydrating both the skin and internal membranes such as the colon.
Although many sours are irritating topically, pomegranate is a rare gem because it is a soothing exception to the rule. This makes pomegranate a very useful digestive aid to those suffering from high Pitta in the digestive tract. If a pomegranate mocktail is too cold for you, and suppresses your natural appetite, add pinch of ginger powder to warm it up a touch and pacify frazzled Vata. To counteract dryness in Vata pushing Pitta type digestive tract, add lime and a pinch of salt. Pomegranate is also used as a rejuvenator. Our friend and Ayurvedic practitioner, Aubrey Bamdad, suggests adding the bitterness of aloe vera to this recipe. We agree and love this delicious, cooling variation!
Pomegranate was used in ancient times for heart and muscle strenth, perhaps due to pomegranates sourness which dilates blood vessels and improves circulation. In modern times, pomegranate is used to improve muscle strength and reduce soreness after exercising.
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Pomegranates cooling, pitta pacifying qualities, ability to improve blood vessel function, and its ability to calm pitta in the mind make it useful for high blood pressure.
Pomegranate comes from the latin words for apple (pomum) and seed (granatum), altogether meaning 'seeded-apple'. The seeds of the pomegranate are embedded in a white membrane that is also used for its medicinal qualities in Ayurveda. The french word for pomegranate, grenade, gave rise to the military term grenade. The city of Grenada in Spain was also named after the pomegranate.
BUYING & PREPARATION
Select pomegranates that are heavy for their size, as these are the juiciest. A deeper darker pomegranate will have a sweeter less tart aste. They are best stores in the refrigerator, where they will last 3-4 weeks. To easily harvest the seeds from the peel and membrane, cut in half and score the skin of each half 4-6 times. Tap the back with a spoon. Any additional separation should be done in a bowl full of water as the seeds sink and the pulp floats. Pomegranates red color stains anything it touches, so be careful when opening.
Pomegranates are a great snack on their own, or as a garnish for salads or desserts. Throughout the Middle East pomegranates were popularly used in sauces, especially over poultry and fish. Pomegranates can be made into jams, syrups and wines.
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WHY EAT AN AYURVEDIC DIET?
Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. An Ayurvedic diet is
tailored to your individual body type and the specific imbalances you are working with
at any given time. Ayurveda shows you your specific body type’s needs and what
should be favored in your Ayurvedic menu. Watch as you eat less but feel more satisfied because what you
are eating truly nourishes you. Since Ayurveda believes all disease begins in the digestive
tract, food is your first medicine. By eating a healthy diet that’s ideal for your body, you
experience optimal health.
Functional Ayurveda helps you assess imbalances through 20 main biocharacteristics
Aggravating these characteristics weakens your body and causes imbalance.
By knowing which characteristics are habitually imbalanced in your body, you will be able to identify and correct imbalances before you get sick.
Every characteristic has an opposite which balances it (i.e. hot balances cold).
You restore balance by favoring diet and lifestyle choices that increase the opposite characteristic.
Taste is used to sense the most basic properties and effects of food.
Each taste has a specific medicinal effect on your body.
Cravings for food with certain tastes indicate your body is craving specific medicinal results from food.
Taste is experienced on the tongue and represents your body's reaction to foods.
Sweet taste causes physical satisfaction and attraction whereas bitter taste causes discomfort and aversion.
Kapha should use less sweet taste while Vata and Pitta would benefit from using more sweet taste.
One of the first signs of illness is that your taste and appetite for food changes.
The six tastes are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent.
Do you crave foods with any of the tastes below?
According to the biocharacteristic theory of medicine,
people tend to get sick, over and over again, due to habitual causes and imbalances that are unique to the person.
Your body type summarizes this tendency, showing you the 'type' of conditions and imbalances that frequently challenge your health & wellness.
Using body type, you can also identify remedies likely to improve your strength and resiliency.
Your body type identifies physical and mental characteristics as well as your personal strengths and weaknesses.
The calculation of your body type is based on your medical history.
The 3 functional body types
are Catabolic (Vata), Metabolic (Pitta), and Anabolic (Kapha).
Catabolic individuals tend to break down body mass into energy.
Metabolic individuals tend to burn or use energy.
Anabolic individuals tend to store energy as body mass.
Catabolic people tend to be easily stimulated, hyperactive, underweight and dry.
Metabolic people tend to be rosy-cheeked, easily irritated, focused, driven, and easily inflamed.
Anabolic people are heavy, stable and grounded, but if they store too much energy, they could gain weight easily and have congestion.
Ojas is the essence of healthy tissue, immunity, stable energy and happiness. Substances that improve ojas are recommended after long-term illness, debility, emotional and physical trauma, and even sadness.
Sattvic foods promote awareness and a refreshed mind by nourishing the body without taxing digestion. Sattvic foods do not stimulate desire or nervous energy. They create clarity instead of drowsiness or heaviness.
Experiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary.
The list of herbal-actions below has not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Literally, an herb that restores the proper function of the body. In practice, alteratives are usually blood cleansers and blood chemistry balancers. They were traditionally used to revitalize and detoxify after a long winter.
An herb that strengthens the liver. It is helpful for people with a history of substance abuse, chronic liver issues from hepatitis and hemolytic anemias. Generally, liver tonics are oily, cool, sweet, mildly sour, or has beta-carotene.
Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. Food digests with ease when
right for your body type (dosha). Healthy digestion is seen as the cornerstone of well-being in
Ayurveda. Healthy digestion generally prevents illness. If you do get sick, a strong digestive fire
reduces the severity of illness and increases your resilience. It also improves your mood. Once
you begin eating Ayurvedically, you will feel refreshed, vital and strong.
I'm not familiar with juicing the peel of pomegranate.
- Kimberly Kubicke, Asbury park, NJ, 03-03-17 (Reply)
TRADITIONALLY INDICATED FOR THESE SYMPTOMS
Pomegranate may be beneficial for these symptoms. The suitability of any food for a condition is highly dependent on the individual.
Please see your doctor before using this food to treat a medical condition.
John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a
healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda.
His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful.
John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda
, which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition.
John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia.
John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion.
John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing.
In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots,
and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church.
Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick.
That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.