The pomegranate shrub — or Punica granatum — produces the popular pomegranate fruit, which is widely considered to be a powerhouse of healthy vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds. Pomegranates are technically berries, and can be anywhere from two to five inches in diameter.
The seeds and the sweet covering surrounding them — called arils — are the edible parts of the pomegranate fruit. Pomegranate tea is made with crushed pomegranate seeds, dried pomegranate flowers, or by adding pomegranate juice concentrate to tea.
You can buy or grow pomegranates and make this tea yourself or purchase it at most grocery stores in the tea section. If you buy it pre-made, you’ll often find it mixed with mint, black tea, or green tea.
One cup of brewed pomegranate tea contains:
- Calories: 6
- Protein: 0 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbohydrates: 1 gram
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
Pomegranate juice and tea are rich in nutrients. Two compounds present in pomegranate seeds — punicalagins and punicic acid — are highly potent antioxidants. One study found punicalagins to have three times the antioxidant content of red wine and green tea.
Potential Health Benefits of Pomegranate Tea
By itself, the juice from pomegranates or tea made from its ingredients contains numerous beneficial compounds.
Be aware that store-bought versions are often sweetened, and even home recipes for pomegranate tea call for the addition of sugar. Opt for tea you can steep, or cut the sugar for a healthier cup if you’re making this tea at home.
That said, research has found a number of potential health benefits to drinking pomegranate tea:
Chronic inflammation is thought to be the cause of many serious diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. The punicalagins in pomegranate have been shown to possess impressive anti-inflammatory properties.
In studies using test tubes, the punicalagins in pomegranate were shown to reduce inflammatory activity in the digestive tract, as well as in breast cancer and colon cancer cells.
May Help Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a leading cause of heart attack and stroke. The anti-inflammatory components of pomegranate juice and seeds have been shown to reduce hypertension.
In one study, people with hypertension saw a significant drop in their blood pressure after consuming five ounces of pomegranate juice every day for two weeks.
May Support Heart Health
The punicic acid in pomegranate may have several beneficial effects on the heart, and may also help to prevent heart disease.
One four-week study followed 51 people with high triglyceride levels who took 800 mg of pomegranate seed oil per day. At the end of the study, they showed significantly lowered triglyceride levels.
Research has also shown that pomegranate juice can reduce high blood pressure, another major contributing factor in heart disease.
Potential Risks of Pomegranate Tea
There do not appear to be any risks to drinking pomegranate tea.
You should be aware that, while some benefits of pomegranate may be conveyed through tea made from the seeds, you would be better off drinking unsweetened pomegranate juice to receive their full effect.
If you do choose to make pomegranate tea at home, be mindful of the amount of sugar you add to the drink. Too much sugar could negate any health benefits you gain from the pomegranate juice in your tea.
How to Make Pomegranate Tea
To make pomegranate tea at home, you can use the following simple recipe:
- Add 3 cups of pomegranate seeds to a blender
- Add 1/2 cup of sugar and blend well — consider reducing this or cutting out entirely for a healthier drink
- Strain the juice into a container for storage
- Mix 1/4 cup of pomegranate juice with 3/4 cup of boiling water
- Boil water in a kettle or a saucepan
- Steep 1/4 cup of dried pomegranate flowers in 1 cup of boiling water for 3-4 minutes
- Strain and serve hot