Pomegranate seed oil is an extremely rich and nutritious oil, which may be used for internally or externally for its cosmetic and medicinal properties. Pomegranate seed extract and juice have been popular lately for their anti-oxidant properties, and pomegranate seed oil is providing to be even more beneficial. Not only does pomegranate seed oil contain high levels of anti-oxidants that fight free radicals and skin aging, but the oil is also a potent source of punicic and ellagic acids. Because of these properties, pomegranate seed oil is used to heal, protect, and moisturize dry, cracked, mature, and irritated skin, bring elasticity back to the skin, and for eczema and other skin problems. If pomegranate seed oil seems expensive, consider that over 200 pounds of fresh pomegranates are used to produce just one pound of pomegranate seed oil!
Pomegranate seed oil is commonly used in cosmetic products to revitalize dull or mature skin, assist with wrinkles, and to sooth minor skin irritations. Without moisture, wrinkles become more abundant and pronounced, the skin looks tight and lacks luster. Pomegranate seed oil adds moisture, has natural estrogenic properties, anti-oxidants, is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, improves skin elasticity, and protects the skin. It provides relief from minor skin irritations and inflammation, including dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, and sunburned skin. The conjugated fatty acids give it strong anti-inflammatory properties, which help to reduce swelling and ease muscular aches and pains. Several recent studies, including one conducted by the University of Michigan Medical School (published in the February 2006 Journal of Ethnopharmacology), have shown that pomegranate seed oil stimulates keratinocyte proliferation, promoting regeneration and strengthening of the epidermis. This study compliments other recent studies, which have also shown the beneficial results of using pomegranate seed oil.
Pomegranate seed oil is one of the only plant sources of conjugated fatty acids and it contains an abundant amount of punicic acid, a compound closely related to conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). The punicic acid found pomegranate seed oil has been called a “super CLA” whose effect is even more potent than ordinary CLA. Scientific studies have indicated that it may support the immune system, and help the body fight against human cancers, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Pomegranate seed oil also contains phytoestrogens, similar to the estrogens naturally produced by the human body. To relieve the symptoms of menopause, pomegranate seed oil can be used topically as a skin moisturizer, orally as a dietary supplement, as massage oil, or as a personal lubricant.