Pomegranate: A Translation from The Garden of Blossoms

General Information

A tree of the region of North Africa, known to come in female and male varieties, (the male variety can be found in this book under the name ‘al-Julnar’) and the female comes in many varieties, amongst which there is a sweet variety, acidic and bitter, watery and juicy, and it has many names amongst the people of Fes, depending on its many varieties, amongst them: the ‘sultan’, which is the highest quality of them, then the ‘safri’, then ‘kalkhi’ and ‘maimuna’, whose fruit is the best, then the ‘aDhmi’ which is the rarest and most sought after. 

The Pomegranate Tree in the Chelsea Physic Garden (Photo: Miriam Hicklin)

The pomegranates in Marrakesh are very good, none of them are bad, and they are all of one type, the safri, well-loved like the maimuna variety in Fes. 

Its Nature

The sweet variety is cold and damp in the first degree, and the acidic variety is cold and dry in the second degree.

Uses and Characteristics

The sweet variety heats the stomach, helpful against angry tempers, makes righteous characters, helpful for the chest, and is generally cleansing. 

And the acidic variety 

Alternative

For the sweet variety: hyssop infusion 

For the acidic variety: common grape 

For the skin: a third of its weight in holly-oak

From Hadiqat al-Azhar (The Garden of Blossoms) by al-Wazeer al-Ghassani, a 16th Century pharmacopoeia. Translated by Miriam Hicklin.

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