Who knew!? The Humble Pomegranate…

A few days ago Micky gathered the last three pomegranates from our garden.
I keep looking at them, now that they are placed in our fruit bowl on the  dining table.
They are so beautiful, that breaking them open almost seems to be a sacrilege, instead I shall tell you a bit more about this wonderful fruit.
The pomegranate is a unique and mysterious fruit. Its lifelike ability to bleed, its association with abundance and life, and its ties to female seduction have made it a favourite symbol in many civilizations. Some hold that it was the pomegranate which was the fruit of temptation leading to the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden.
With its abundance of seeds, the fruit has long been a symbol of fertility, bounty, and eternal life. In the Jewish faith each pomegranate was believed to contain exactly 613 seeds, a number that corresponds with the number of commandments in the Torah. This belief was once so strong that the Old Testament directs the pomegranate’s image to be woven into priestly robes.

In Christianity many paintings of the Madonna Virgin and Child prominently display a pomegranate. Ancient Egyptians were buried with pomegranates in hope of rebirth and the Hittite god of agriculture is said to have blessed followers with grapes, wheat, and pomegranates. The seeds were sugared and served to guests at Chinese weddings. When it was time to consummate the marriage, pomegranates were thrown on the floor of the bedchamber to encourage a happy and fruitful union. Berber women used pomegranates to predict the amount of their offspring by drawing a circle on the ground and dropping a ripe pomegranate in the center. The amount of seeds expelled outside the ring allegedly prophesied the number of her future children.

Mohammed believed pomegranates purged the spirits of envy and hatred from the body and urged all his followers to eat goodly amounts. In ancient Greek mythology Persephone was held captive in the Underworld Hades, causing her mother Demeter, goddess of plenty and harvest, to bring about permanent winter. Persephone swore she would not partake of food until her release. However, she could not resist the tempting pomegranate, consuming nearly the entire fruit before halting herself and leaving only six seeds uneaten.

This story explains our yearly cycle of six months of growth and harvest followed by six months of winter.
Regardless of the mythology, the pomegranate continues to reign as one of the most superior fruits on the market. With its bold flavours and rich colours, the pomegranate represents the greatest of all of Earth’s bounties.
The well known benefits of the pomegranate are in its healing and health giving properties. It contains antioxidants in the form of polyphenols and flavonoids and it is claimed it helps fight cancer and strengthen the heart and blood circulation. Whether this is proven or not, it is a still delicious way to hedge your bets. It has long been held to have special properties and without question it is a healthy fruit containing potassium, iron, B and C vitamins.

So, here we are in our humble garden full of pomegranate trees and using the name of this wonderful health giving fruit as a symbol of our yoga venue.

The Pomegranate Yoga Retreat

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