more on Pomegranate
Scientific name: Punica granatum
Form: CO2 extracted oil & cold-pressed oil
The pomegranate is a fruit bearing deciduous shrub native to the geographical region from Iran to the Himalayas. It is drought tolerant, so can be grown in dry areas and has been cultivated and naturalized over the whole of the Mediterranean region and the Caucasus Mountains since ancient times. Its name is derived from the Latin and means “seeded apple”. In medieval times it was known as the “apple of love” and has been a symbol of fertility for many ancient cultures. It has extensive ethnomedicinal applications, for instance, its peel is well regarded for its astringent properties, the seeds for conferring invulnerability and stimulating fertility as well as improving beauty. Modern medicine is finding many uses for the pomegranate due to the discovery of its high concentrations of unique polyphenolic compounds. Other diverse applications of the pomegranate are: dyes, inks, tannins for leather, and juice. The seeds and surrounding pulp, called arils, are edible, and the fruit is actually a berry.
Over 200 pounds of fresh pomegranates are used to produce just one pound of precious pomegranate seed oil, and careful cold-pressing and CO2 extraction ensure retention of the highest levels of phytoactive compounds. This oil is extremely rich and nutritious and may be used internally or externally for its cosmetic and medicinal properties. Only a small amount is needed to achieve beneficial results. Pomegranate seed oil is a very powerful antioxidant—six times more potent than grape seed extract. Its polyphenol content is quite unique, featuring punicic acid at 79.2% (a conjugated linolenic acid named for the Pomegranate), linoleic acid at 7.1%, oleic acid at 5.9%. Pomegranate seed oil is one of only about 6 plant sources known that contain conjugated fatty acids, which are significant natural anti-inflammatory agents and being used as anti-aging cosmeceutical ingredients. It also has a nice complement of phytosterols which support collagen production and the restoring and repairing of tissues. High in lipids, including squalane, it makes a wonderfully emollient moisturizer that absorbs quickly. It also has a rare form of tocopherol—gamma tocopherol, which is excellent for healing. Several recent studies have shown that pomegranate seed oil stimulates keratinocyte proliferation, promoting regeneration and strengthening of the epidermis.
The extract of pomegranate is rich in polyphenols, tocopherols, and sterols, and has a small amount of squalane. It is one of the highest concentrations of natural ellagic acid, a highly beneficial polyphenol antioxidant found in fruits and berries. The ORAC value (antioxidant capacity) of Pomegranate juice is 2341 and is greater in the concentrated extract form. Pomegranate extract purportedly has the unique ability to naturally boost the sun protection factor of topical sunscreens whether it is applied topically or taken internally. Best efficacy in skincare formulations is found when the extract and seed oil are combined. Studies show that this combination is highly effective in reducing and preventing fine wrinkles, firming the epidermis, and preventing and repairing oxidative damage to the skin.