Pomegranate: The Fruit of Immortality
The Fruit of Immortality or the Fruit of Life, as it was named by ancient civilizations, understood the sacredness, holy mystery, medicinal attributes, and beauty secrets found in the pomegranate. Inspired, I dove into research on this calyx shaped bejeweled crown of a fruit.
Goddesses like Persephone, Hera, and Egyptian Queens, wear Pomegranates crowns to symbolize their power of fertility, prosperity, and longevity.
King Solomon is known to wear a crown made out of the shape of pomegranates, and artistic depictions see this shape as the original design in the making of crowns worldwide.
Hera, the wife of Zeus, a symbol of the fertile wife, walked mount Olympus dropping pomegranate seeds from her crown bestowing beauty.
Mother Mary holds Jesus in one hand and a pomegranate in another, the ideas are many here, one is that he is future king to be crowned. The other, a sign of progeny of Christianity that she birthed. Others believe that it was a gift given to Christ as a blessing for long life, prosperity, and good health.
During my research in Ayurveda beauty secrets, I discovered several recipes both in Indo- Persian, Hindu, and Pakistani medical texts and culinary arts as mentioning the pomegranate for having several medicinal benefits that bring longevity, and restoration of skin and youth.
Mentioned in sacred texts, the pomegranate was an ingredient found in the Elixir of Immortality and other Ojas (Vitality) boosting formulas. Bringing youth and glow to the skin, hair, and full body.
Knowing this, I took pomegranate seed oil, other aphrodisiac flowers, and herbs, as part of my formula blends.
After years of testing the benefits of pomegranate seed oil mixed and infused into other botanical aromatics, I came to see the benefits. I believed the ancient formulas had mystical meanings behind the use of pomegranates and not only medicinal properties.
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My love of Egyptian mythology, as well as scriptures, revealed these secrets of longevity. I became mesmerized with the stories and secret formulas. This fascination was the inspiration behind my botanical products and Rituals of Scent perfumes.
Much evidence appeared that continued to prove the mystery behind the pomegranate. Some Egyptian tombstones had pomegranate seeds and dried fruits around the mummies as well as in and out of their ornaments. This was to symbolize prosperity blessings for the next life. It also was an essential ingredient used in skin preservation rituals prior to the full embalming methods.
Ancient Egyptians and the Persian and Arab Empires used pomegranate seed oil to anoint their body and protect it from the harsh sun rays.
It was also one of the main ingredients found in the embalming rituals due to this powerful fruit’s abundant polyphenols called anthocyanins as well as ellagic acid, which has preserving ingredients that assist in removing free radicals in the skin. The anthocyanins and acids also repair and protect the skin from decay.
Blocking free radical damage is the primary function of the ellagic acid and tannins, as well as the anthocyanins and other plant polyphenols found in pomegranates.
This makes pomegranate a potent ANTIOXIDANT that helps in CELL REGENERATION and repairs the inner and outer layer of the skin.
Pomegranates were known to preserve and repair skin tissue and prevent decay and assist in wound healing, all the critical factors behind the secrets of embalming recipes.
These secrets came into the kitchens of ancient cultures that still today use the pomegranate in their culinary arts.
Therefore they were not only anointing their hair, skin, and body with them but were grinding the seeds into their foods and turning them into wines, pastes, spice powders, and garnishes. They found tremendous medicinal internal and external benefits that it became part of their daily eating habits. Still found in many modern parts of these countries, the pomegranate is a staple.
The consumption of pomegranates by Goddesses and Queens was found in mythological texts stating that the many seeds eaten symbolized the power of fertility and fruitfulness that they had.
Persephone used the pomegranate seeds to calculate the number of days she would spend in the underworld every year by eating them and increasing her power of fertility. Then coming out of the underworld to fertilize the grounds, she would bring abundance and prosperity to her kingdom.
Bhumi Devi, the Hindu Earth Goddess, is shown in many paintings entering a garden of pomegranates and eating them as a symbol of the abundance of the earth’s prosperity and fertility. Still in India today, her temples and deity are adorned with garlands of pomegranates and roses.
Persian miniature art or negargari Irani as well as Persian carpets, ornaments, and wall paintings contain images of beautiful women feeding their lovers pomegranates and staining their lips red to symbolize deep love and passion.
During the Han Dynasty, many paintings were found and are still found today hung in homes as a sign to bestow fertility and to bless the house of newlyweds with great progeny.
Paintings with red seeds lavishly bursting out of the picture are an emblem to fertility found in Middle Eastern art.
In Azerbaijan, Pomegranates are the national emblem, and there is a yearly festival to symbolize fertility and prosperity blessings for the land. It is such a loved symbol that it is sown on athletic clothing as a flag.
When used in skincare pomegranate seed oil brings vitality to the skin as it improves circulation and is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial. It is very moisturizing and healing, giving the skin youth and glow.
Pomegranate oil regenerates and repairs skin. It is one of the best anti-aging ingredients in my botanical blend and prevents wrinkles and dehydration due to its antioxidants.
There are several species of pomegranates throughout the world. I love the taste, color, and scent of pomegranates from Iran.
Over the years, I’ve discovered so many amazing delicious Persian recipes. Some containing pomegranate paste, or spice blends containing the grind from the seeds. Syrups of all shades of pink and red that decorate and entice the senses. Tasty soups and stews, garnished and cooked with these little gem droplets. These recipes excited me, and propelled my search for regions they grow best. One day I will go directly to Azerbaijan, a city of pomegranates!
The Goychay yearly Pomegranate festival in Azerbaijan shows a variety of different types of Pomegranates, and they are known to grow the Black Pomegranates. Local artisans showcase their lovely paintings of women decorated with pomegranates, cooking with them, grinding the seeds into powder as well as macerating the seeds into pomegranate seed oil.
Pomegranate jam, syrup, cosmetics, powders, seed oil, liquors, sweets, and fresh-pressed juices paint the streets scarlet red, offering a beautiful vision of culture and a glimpse of the ancient Persian Empire.
In the 12th Century, a Persian King Bahram’s life adventures with his seven princesses are written in The Haft Paikar.
Here a story told by one of the princesses shares images of a sacred, celestial garden, known as the garden of Eram.
Pomegranates decorate the garden floors, walls, and tables that feature goblets of ruby red wine and fruit trays decorated with celestial flowers that scent the air with intoxicating aromas. Pomegranates look like gemstones, with pistachio nuts piled up into pyramids adorned with quinces beside them.
Apples and roses dipped in the scent of musk and saffron. Juicy peaches, pears, wild figs, and dishes of several aromatic stews, including a pomegranate stew. The steaming smell of saffron, honey, rose water, aloe, scented with musk, served over bejeweled saffron-colored rice with red currents pistachios and caramelized onions. Displayed ready for the feast of love that was about to occur.
Rejuvenation happens when we are aroused by love, excited by the flow of love in our body, hearts and mind.
The Arabs and Egyptians perfected the use of aphrodisiacs in perfumes and skincare with their secret attars. Modern French perfumers then modified them and modernized them into the perfume industry that we know today.
Aphrodisiac means relating to Aphrodite, the Goddess of love, and beauty.
Aphrodisiac, or vitality-generating herbs, increase the life-force in the body. (generate equals procreate, bring forth and vital equals life).
This life force is responsible for growth and maintenance in nature. When a person nurtures her/himself with herbs, flowers, fruits, it creates youthfulness and life within them.
My goal for the Ayurveda Rituals Botanical skincare line was to invite people to put the products on at night, and while they sleep to re-generate themselves in body, mind, and soul.– Andrea Olivera
Anything that is aphrodisiac is anabolic to the body—anabolic means building. Thus, in Ayurveda, everything from ice cream to almonds is considered an ‘Aphrodisiac’ or anabolic.
In Sanskrit, it is ‘Rasayana.’ Rasa means nectar, the nectar of life & immortality.
In Ayurveda, Aloe Vera is called ‘Kumari,’ which means virgin. This is so because when used internally, it is said to restore a woman’s sexual organs to their original state of virginity. When applied externally, as anyone who has used it knows, it restores (heals) the skin to its original state of suppleness and elasticity. This is one of the ingredients within the line that is both healing and restorative
Another herb is Shatavari, which literally means 100 husbands.
Presumably, the woman who takes the herb has the juice and staying power to frolic with 100 husbands while remaining vital and independent.
Ashwagandha is said to make a man like a horse, a stallion. And these significations go on and on.
My Ayurveda herbal powder mix called Vata Ubtan, a Dual Performance product that acts like an exfoliant as well as a facial masque when mixed with avocado for moisture, contains a blend of Shatavari and Ashwagandha. Inviting these aphrodisiac ingredients into your skincare routines helps restore and revitalize your skin.
In several other cultures, the mention of gardens of pomegranates in their scriptures and books of myths described the journey of humankind into the realm of fertility and the need to plant the seed of future offspring.
Therefore part of the quest for immortality is a quest to connect to our internal reservoir of Ojas (vitality) and to preserve that energy force to keep us looking and feeling young and resilient.
Pomegranates have several meanings that all relate to increasing longevity and feeling an abundance of life force.
In the Bible, pomegranates are mentioned several times. Ancient Israel and Judaism pomegranates were brought to Moses as symbols of the promised land, and later certain coins were created with the holy fruit to symbolize the prosperity promised.
In several temples of the Hebrews, Indo-Persians, Turkish, and Greeks pomegranates were engraved on pillars to represent abundant blessings of good luck, longevity, and prosperity.
Today in modern Greece, it is a common tradition to decorate new homes with pomegranates and also to bring them as gifts when visiting people’s homes.
There are several dishes also found in Greek cuisine using the pomegranate. In Greek Orthodox churches, a dish called kollyva is made as an offering during funerals or memorials, symbolizing “everlasting life”. The dish consists of boiled wheat, mixed with sugar, and decorated with pomegranates.
During Rosh Hashana, it is a tradition to eat juicy pomegranates to bring fruitful blessings to the family. As the pomegranate has many seeds within it, many cultures see these seeds as symbols of many offspring.
Pomegranates are mentioned in the Kabbalah and are considered omens when they appear in meditations or visions. In Jewish mystical traditions like the Kabbalah, a doorway to the garden of pomegranates indicates many esoteric meanings behind God’s relationship to his creation.
Embroidered on many garments, including the hems of robes worn by Hebrew high priests, represent the seeds of knowledge to become fertile within their consciousness. To be able to understand the great mystery of creation and the creator.
May this research inspire you to discover recipes using pomegranates that invoke vitality and optimum health. Perhaps placing a painting near your skincare rituals or in your kitchen can help remind you of your own fountain of youth within, allowing to feel blessed by the wisdom of the ancients.
Follow this simple skincare preserving ritual at night when you feel tired, and your skin needs nurturing.
Ayurveda Rituals Botanical Products are a collection of ancient recipes for modern lifestyles inspired and supported by six important factors: Ayurveda Wisdom, up to date esthetic expertise: Scientific botanical research, extensive aromatherapy knowledge, modern technology and deep rooted healing traditions. Present in each drop of Ayurveda Rituals Botanical Products is the bliss of pure wild-crated aromatics including a selection of fragrant essences using a diverse species of flowers, herbs, spices, tree resins and Attars from around the world that are infused into the oil of the Fruit of Immortality the Pomegranate. Visit our store.
Andrea is a pioneering figure in the field of Ayurveda beauty, and has dedicated her life to the study of Ayurveda, Jyotish, Yoga and the Vedic Sciences. Over 30 years ago, Andrea began her career as a make-up artist and aesthetician, and was one of the first Canadians in her field to incorporate Ayurveda, Yoga, Vedic Astrology and Eastern wellness practices into her spa treatments and services. Today, she is one of Canada’s leading Ayurveda beauty and wellness specialists and educators.