There are many carrier oils that can be used in aromatherapy, particularly for skincare products. One carrier oil that I’ve discovered recently is pomegranate seed oil. Pomegranates also grow in my garden here in Arizona, so I was interested to learn more about what this fruit could offer in terms of therapeutic benefits! Here’s a brief look at pomegranate seed oil.
Botanical Profile of Pomegranate
Pomegranate (Punica granatum) belongs to the Lythraceae plant family (formerly in the Punicaceae family). It is a small deciduous shrub or tree that bears red-colored fruit which varies in size from a lemon to a grapefruit. It produces the fruit between September and February (Northern Hemisphere). Pomegranate grows in a dry climate with a Mediterranean-type rainfall in summer or winter. The plant is drought tolerant and can withstand frost to about 10F, which explains why it does so well in my northern Arizona garden!
The tree or bush reputedly grows up to a height of 32 feet but the pomegranate tree in my yard is probably no more than 10 feet in height. It has glossy, narrow, green leaves and produces bright red flowers in season. The fruit contains hundreds of individual seeds. There are various cultivars available which may produce different colored fruit and subtle botanical differences.
Extraction of Pomegranate Seed Oil
Pomegranate seed oil is usually cold pressed from from the seeds of the fruit. However, in the course of research for this article, I came across a company which uses carbon dioxide extraction (CO2) to extract pomegranate seed oil from the crushed seeds (Selco).
Therapeutic Properties and Uses of Pomegranate Seed Oil
Numerous studies have been conducted on pomegranate seed oil to establish the therapeutic properties it may contain. Common chemical components that seem to have been established between analyses include phytosterols, tocopherols, and punicic acid (SciMedCentral). These chemical components are noted for therapeutic properties such as anti-oxidant properties, anti-tumor, immunomodalatory, and serum lipid-lowering properties (SciMedCentral).
Some of the reported health benefits of pomegranate seed oil include anti-inflammatory (acne, dry skin, eczema, psoriasis) and anti-oxidant (skin aging, wrinkles, sunburn) actions, stimulation of epidermal tissue regeneration (promote healthier looking skin and increase skin elasticity), and relief from muscle aches and pains.
Many women also use pomegranate seed oil for menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and insomnia. Clinical studies vary in results.
Pomegranate Seed Oil in Skincare Applications
One of the main uses for pomegranate seed oil for aromatherapy applications is in skincare products. A little goes a long way, and you only need to combine a small amount of pomegranate seed oil with other carrier oils/ingredients in order to see benefits. Add pomegranate seed oil to creams, lotions, serums, massage oils, facial care products, and scrubs. Pomegranate seed oil is golden yellow in color with little to no aroma.
Learn More About Carrier Oils with Sedona Aromatherapie
Carrier oils are studied in more detail in both the Sedona Aromatherapie Foundation Course in Aromatherapy and the Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy Course. To learn more, visit the courses home page.
HerbClipTM, Pomegranate Seed Oil Studied for Reducing Hot Flashes and Other Menopausal Symptoms, Risa Schulman, accessed October 13, 2014
SciMedCentral Research Article, Journal of Nutrition and Food Science, Pomegranate Seed Oil (Punica Granatum L.): A Source of Punicic Acid, Illana Louise Pereira de Melo, Eliane Bonifácio Teixeira de Carvalho, Jorge Mancini-Fiho, accessed October 13, 2013
Selco, Pomegranate Seed Oil (CO2), accessed October 13, 2014