Pomegranate (generic name)

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WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Abortion, aging, anthelmintic (expels worms), astringent, bronchitis, colic, colitis (inflamed colon), diarrhea, dysentery (severe diarrhea), earache, headache, hemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel disorders, leprosy, leukorrhea (vaginal discharge), menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding), mumps, nasal discomfort, paralysis, prolapse (dropping of the uterus), rectocele (dropping of the rectum), sore throat, tooth retention, ulcers of mouth and genitals.


Adults (18 years and older)

No dosing consensus exists. Doses range from 50 to 1,000 milliliters of pomegranate juice taken by mouth daily for 2-5 weeks. Pomegranate extracts with 100 to 200 milligrams of ellagic acid have also been taken. Pomegranate extracts in the form of gels and mouthwashes have also been used to treat dental conditions short-term.

Children (younger than 18 years)

There is no proven safe or effective dose of pomegranate in children, and use is not recommended.


DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.


Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to pomegranate. There have been reports of cross-reactivity among pomegranate, hazelnut, and peanut.

Side Effects and Warnings

Pomegranate root/stem bark should be used only under the direct supervision of an expert qualified in its appropriate use. In traditional Chinese medicine, pomegranate fruit husk is not recommended to be taken concurrently with oils or fats when used to treat parasites.

Hypersensitivity reactions including pruritus (severe itching), angioedema (swelling), and bronchospasm have occurred with the ingestion of pomegranate fruit. Pomegranate is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to pomegranate and in patients with diarrhea. People with plant allergies seem to be at greater risk of allergic reactions to pomegranate. Use cautiously in patients with asthma.

Dried pomegranate peel may contain aflatoxin, which is a potent hepatocarcinogen (may cause liver cancer) and toxin. Pomegranate root and stem contain pellertierine, and overdoses by mouth can cause strychnine-like effects in the form of reflex arousal that can escalate to paralysis. At high amounts, people may experience vomiting including bloody emesis (vomit) followed by dizziness, chills, vision disorders, collapse, and possibly death due to respiratory failure. Avoid in patients with hypertension (high blood pressure) or hypotension (low blood pressure).

Pomegranate has been reported to cause nausea, vomiting, transient total blindness, hypersensitivity characterized by urticaria ("hives"), rhinorrhea (nasal discharge), red itchy eyes, and dyspnea (difficulty breathing).

In theory, the high tannin content may also cause liver toxicity or carcinogenicity. Use cautiously in patients with liver dysfunction and in patients on hepatotoxic drugs.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Pomegranate is unsafe during pregnancy when taken by mouth. The bark, root, and fruit rind can stimulate menstruation or uterine contractions. There is insufficient reliable information available about the safety of applying pomegranate on the skin during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

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