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Pomegranate seed oil is a fruity, aromatic essential oil made from the pomegranate seed. Soft amber in color, it is used as an additive in cosmetics. High in flavonoids and rich in antioxidants, pomegranate seed oil is also a popular dietary supplement.
Its medicinal properties and nutritious content make pomegranate seed oil highly sought after in drinks, supplements, and other forms. The antioxidant qualities of the oil, which come from the presence of fatty acids not found in any other plant source, are its most popular attribute. These antioxidants may fight aging as well as free radicals that can cause cellular damage.
Studies indicate that these antioxidants may be responsible for warding off obesity and heart disease, fighting diabetes and various cancers, and supporting the immune system. The oil may also help the regeneration and strengthening of skin cells. An anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial compound, the oil can also ease swelling, soothe muscular aches, and balance the pH level of the skin.
The phytoestrogens found within the oil may also help ease menopausal symptoms. Used topically or orally, it may help remedy night sweats, mood swings, hot flashes, low libido, and vaginal dryness. It can also be used as a massage oil or personal lubricant to alleviate these and other symptoms.
Unlike many essential oils, pomegranate seed oil, also known as punica granatum, can be taken both internally as well as externally. A source of ellagic and punicic acids, it can moisturize, heal, and protect most forms of skin damage. These can include eczema, cracked or dry skin, acne, psoriasis, sun burn, and other problems. Pomegranate seed oil can also restore the elasticity of mature skin.
Because of its numerous these numerous skin healing properties, pomegranate oil is often used in making various cosmetics. These may include massage oils, lotions, soaps, facial care products, personal lubricants, and body care products. It can also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, perk up dull skin, and soothe minor skin irritations.
If stored in a cool, dry place, pomegranate seed oil may last up to a year. If perfectly preserved, it can have a shelf life of 14 to 16 months. The oil is considered costly, largely due to the amount of fruit required to produce it. Over 200 pounds (91 kilograms) are needed to create one pound of oil. Though considered generally safe, a health care professional should be consulted prior to using the oil.
Originating from Egypt, China, India, Turkey, and other parts of the Middle East, the pomegranate tree grows between 16 to 26 feet (five to eight meters) in height. Each pomegranate produces hundreds of red arils, or seed casings. These are used to make the oil.