Did you know that you could use the leaves of your pomegranate tree, not just the fruit?
- Use young leaves as a salad green.
- Use young leaves in a green smoothie or juice.
- Use young leaves as a spinach alternative - curries, pasta sauces, soups ...
- Make a leaf tea - fresh or dried.
- Make a paste from the leaf and put it on eczema directly.
Amongst other things, pomegranate leaf tea is good to:
- drink just before bed for a good sleep
- drink to soothe stomach and ease digestion issues.
- drink (with tulsi) for coughs
While the leaves, the flowers, rinds, seeds and roots (see caution below) are all edible, typically pomegranate is grown for it's fruit - the sweet-tart fruit that is full of large dark edible seeds. It is prized for it's health-giving anti-oxidant properties.
It can however take 5-6 years before the tree fruits well. So don't just wait. Respectfully harvest young soft leaves from the shrub. This actually helps to keep the shrub in good form.
Consider perhaps growing a hedge of pomegranate. Your regular trimmings to keep it in shape become your food - and actually can easily be planted straight into the ground to make new plants. It makes a great living fence and also a potted plant.
Pomegranate is not fussy about soil. It's actually quite a hardy plant but very ornamental. I have one growing just off my verandah. The leaves are glossy and attractive, the flowers are beautiful and the fruit too is quite amazing - in looks, taste and healthiness.
Pomegrante (Punica granatum) was originally from Persia and Greece. It grows well in the Mediterranean. It likes hot and dry summers and sets more fruit if it gets a cooler winter. I can successfully grow it here in the subtropics, although I doubt I get as much fruit as in other areas - which is why I am looking at it's lovely leaves.
Plants are so amazing. I love learning about all the different ways we can use the diversity of trees in our edible gardens. They have so many benefits for us, and the garden system.
Caution: The root or bark of pomegranate are considered medicinal and because they contain alkaloids and need to be carefully consumed. The key is to not eat lots of this part - stick with the fruits and leaves. Here's a detailed overview of the medicinal uses: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4007340/.
Happy gardening. Feel free to share this post.
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