The many Gifts of the Pomegranate

Pomegranates are one of the oldest natural remedies. Before there was medicine, there was food, and pomegranates top the list of ancient healing benefits.

As a native plant of Northern Africa, pomegranate was written about in 1552 B.C. in the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus – the oldest and most important medical document that we have. It contains more than 700 remedies for treating disease, and pomegranate was one of the most popular ingredients in the formulas. Physicians in Greece prescribed pomegranate juice as a treatment for arthritis, circulation disorders, viruses and digestive problems.

Fast-forward to the present day, and pomegranate is widely utilized as a key ingredient in juice drinks, bath products, and skin and sun care products. More importantly, this exotic fruit has captured the attention of the scientific community, due to the high content of potent antioxidants called polyphenols.

Nature’s Oldest Ultraviolet Protection

Due to the powerful benefits of pomegranate extract, it plays a significant role in protecting the skin from all types of environmental damage – specifically, ultraviolet rays. To prove this theory, an independent pilot study was done to determine the effect of pomegranate extract in improving the sun protection factor (SPF) of sunscreens.

The independent laboratory tested the effect of pomegranate extract on the SPF of volunteers. Eight subjects, including five women and three men between the ages of 18 – 60 with fair to medium skin, used pomegranate extract orally and topically.

First, researchers tested each subject’s minimal erythema dose (MED). This is the measurement that tests SPF. Next, the subjects applied four formulas of standard SPF 4 and SPF 8 lotions with and without pomegranate extract, and the MED was assessed. Afterward, the subjects were tested again for MED. Based on this small study, adding pomegranate extract boosted the SPF of the sunscreen formula by 20%. In addition, taking a tablet of standardized pomegranate extract provided an additional 25% improvement in the SPF.

HANDMADE SUNSCREEN:
10 drops lavender essential oil
1 Tbsp pomegranate oil
3/4 cup coconut oil
2 tbsp zinc oxide
2 tbsp shea butter
Glass jar

DIRECTIONS:
Combine all ingredients except for the zinc oxide in a jar.
Place a saucepan with 2 inches of water on the stovetop over medium/low heat.
Place jar in a saucepan and stir contents until ingredients start to melt.
Once all ingredients are combined, add in zinc oxide and stir well. Store in a cool place.

This recipe has not been studied in a lab so there is no specific spf rating. It should be applied every 90 minutes. Individual sun sensitivity should be taken into consideration.

How to Safely Protect our Skin from the Sun

–Enjoy the sun early or late in the day. The gentle rays of sun at these times are beneficial for your body, skin and soul.

–Wear a wide brimmed hat.

–Make your own sunscreen. See the recipe above.

–Consume antioxidants to neutralize damaging free radicals, such as pomegranate extract, green tea, vitamin C, grape seed extract and bioflavonoids.