The Mascot stood in front of the open fridge and called out, “Hey, Mom. What’s with all of this pomegranate stuff?” “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said as I sipped my pomegranate-flavoured green tea and watched the flame dance from my hand-poured pomegranate-scented soy candle. The kid has a point, though; we really do have a lot of pomegranate products in the fridge and around the house. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least a dozen examples. From the pantry to the powder room, there is hardly a room in the house that the funny little fruit doesn’t make an appearance, in one form or another. Without me realizing it, pomegranate has become the new pumpkin.
So, what is it about pomegranates that makes them so irresistible; and for how long have people fallen under their spell? Some believe that in the story of The Garden of Eden, it was actually a tempting pomegranate, and not an apple, that led to Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the garden. And, in Greek mythology, it was pomegranate seeds that forever tied Persephone to Hades, lord of the underworld. The Pomegranate Rose perfume oil (pictured above) by Flourish Bath and Body combines the captivating essence of pomegranates with rose, red berries, and lemon zest. That sounds impossible to resist!
Bursting with its 613 juicy seeds, or arils, pomegranates are (for obvious reasons) an unabashedly sexy fruit. For centuries, cultures around the world have embraced them as symbols of marriage, love and fertility. Following the principals of Fung Shui, newly married couples in China display the fruit for good luck and to encourage success in producing offspring. Israel-based designer Yael Falk, aka Yoola, uses fine metal wire to crochet these delicate and striking pomegranate sculptures (above); perfect for gifting to newlyweds (or keeping for yourself). If you are feeling especially brave and would like to try your hand at making your own, she also offers the pattern as a downloadable PDF tutorial.
Introduced to California by Spanish settlers in the late 1700s, pomegranates originate in the Mediterranean, where they have been cultivated since ancient times. According to legend, the goddess Aphrodite brought the pomegranate to Cypress and there are mentions of these mysterious fruits in the Bible, the Koran, Homer’s Odyssey and even in the inscriptions found in the kings’ tombs of Egypt. As beautiful as the fruit that inspires them, these silver and garnet earrings (above) by Dganit Herzog have a royal connection as well; Dganit’s maternal grandfather was a royal goldsmith in Iran.
Thanks to the health-promoting properties of its juice, the pomegranate is known as a Superfruit; a term coined to describe fruits of “exceptional nutrition.” In fact, just one cup of pomegranate juice contains 40% of an adult’s vitamin C requirements, plus potassium, vitamin b5 and an abundance of antioxidants. Those virtues aside, it’s hard to deny that the appeal for most of us is the sweet-tart flavour and irresistible scent. Amber Dawn, of Caravan Herbal Beauty, captures that tanginess perfectly in her organic Pomegranate Peach lip balm (pictured above). Pucker up!
In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, pomegranate juice is used to treat everything from sagging breasts to cataracts. Applied topically, pomegranate has a laundry-list of benefits including its ability to soothe, moisturize and regenerate the skin. In this serum (pictured above) by Rainwater Botanicals, pure pomegranate seed oil is combined with phytochemical-rich sea-buckthorn to provide an intensive treat for problematic and aging skin.