There are quite a few important benefits of pomegranate seed oil, such as its ability to prevent premature aging, soothe skin inflammation, protect the heart, boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, eliminate inflammation, strengthen the hair, stop dandruff and stimulate circulation, among others. There are very few side effects associated with pomegranate seed oil, although it can cause topical skin inflammation and stomach upset, and possible complications with various medications or medical conditions. Before using this or any concentrated natural oil, it is best to speak with your doctor about any individual risk factors.
What is Pomegranate Seed Oil?
Pomegranate seed oil is a powerful and fragrant natural oil that is cold pressed from the seeds of the pomegranate fruit. Bearing the scientific name Punica granatum, pomegranate seeds and fruit are widely considered some of the healthiest fruit-based substances, due to their high concentrations of nutrients and antioxidants. The seeds of a pomegranate, also known as arils, are what people eat in this fruit and the cold-pressing of these seeds is done to acquire the potent oil. You will find pomegranate seed oil in many different cosmetic products, such as shampoos, soaps, moisturizers, and skin salves, but this oil is also used in aromatherapy and diffusers. This oil is extremely concentrated, so only a very small amount is required for the effects to be felt. The oil is not only on the expensive side, but can also cause allergic reactions, so culinary use is not common. However, internal consumption is considered safe in very cautious moderation. The many benefits of the oil come from its high levels of punicic acid, vitamin C, flavonoids, linoleic acid, and oleic acid, among various other active components.
Benefits & Uses of Pomegranate Seed Oil
Using pomegranate seed oil is popular for people suffering from premature aging, wrinkles, skin inflammation, acne, psoriasis, dandruff, hair loss, high cholesterol levels, a weak immune system, high blood pressure, chronic inflammation, poor circulation, and arthritis, to name a few.
Some people have reported that using this oil topically on the face can help to clear up signs of pimples and acne. The antibacterial and antioxidant effects of pomegranate seed oil can help eliminate the bacteria that causes acne and also rebalance oil levels on the skin.
Boosts Immune System
There is a significant level of vitamin C in this oil, so if you do take it internally, it can provide a necessary boost to your body’s defenses. However, it is also effective for protecting the immune activity on the skin, preventing many of the airborne pathogens from taking hold on the body’s largest organ.
Improves Heart Health
The combination of phytochemicals, monounsaturated fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids found in pomegranate seed oil have a serious impact on overall heart health. This can help to lower “bad” cholesterol levels in the body and increase HDL cholesterol, while also boosting circulation and reducing blood pressure. This all helps to reduce your chances of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiac conditions.
One of the most common ailments that affect the body is inflammation, whether it is in the tissues, blood vessels, organs or joints. Fortunately, there are quite a few anti-inflammatory properties in pomegranate seed oil that can help to reduce swelling and eliminate pain associated with conditions like arthritis, joint disorders, headaches, hemorrhoids, and edema, among others.
Research has shown that pomegranate seed oil can have a notable effect on insulin resistance, which is very good news for someone who is living with diabetes or at high risk of developing the condition. This research is in the early stages, but the results thus far are very encouraging.
One of the most popular uses of pomegranate seed oil is for the skin, considering that it can improve the appearance and health of your most visible organ. The antioxidant phytochemicals and vitamins found in this seed oil can help reduce signs of premature aging, improve collagen formation, and neutralize free radicals that cause oxidative stress in the skin.
Massaging small amounts of pomegranate seed oil into the scalp is an excellent way to moisturize and stimulate blood flow. This can effectively boost the health of your hair, counter premature hair loss, eliminate dandruff, and even stimulate the growth of hair from healthy follicles.
Increasing circulation in the body is an excellent way to prevent chronic disease, improve the efficiency of the immune system, and speed healing. This seed oil does have stimulant properties, which can also aid in weight loss efforts by optimizing your metabolism, lowering fat deposition levels and generally increasing energy, which makes people more active and fit!
According to a 2017 study published in the Molecules journal, punicic acid, the primary active ingredient in pomegranate seed oil, as well as conjugated linoleic acid has anti-proliferative effects on breast cancer.
A 2004 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food showed that pomegranate-derived products including its oil has antitumor potential against prostate cancer. Another review article published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine stated that pomegranate and its products have anticarcinogenic effects against prostate cancer.
However, it also stated that future research is required to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of these products against cancer.
Pomegranate Seed Oil Side Effects
There are some potential side effects to using pomegranate seed oil, such as hypotension, stomach upset, skin inflammation and complications with pregnancy. Typically, when used responsibly, there is very little risk of using this oil. However, you should always know the source of the pomegranate seeds and speak to your doctor about any potential risks in your specific case, due to the potency of this natural remedy.
- Blood Pressure – Some of the fatty acids found in pomegranate seed oil can help to lower blood pressure, which is good news for people who are struggling with hypertension, but in combination with blood pressure-lowering medication, this can be dangerous.
- Skin – Some people report irritation on the skin when using this seed oil, but that is often from people with sensitive skin or those who have used too much of the undiluted oil.
- Stomach – When using pomegranate seed oil internally, only a small amount is necessary, but it can cause stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues in some cases.
- Pregnancy – Although research is limited on this point, the powerful effects of pomegranate seed oil may cause complications, particularly in early-term pregnancies. Speak with your doctor before using this oil when pregnant.