Besides water, tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages worldwide.
Tea can have potential health benefits while also being a good alternative to sugar-laden drinks like sodas, sweetened teas, and sugar-sweetened fruit drinks.
In this article, we will be taking a closer look at pomegranate tea, and the health benefits it can offer.
What is pomegranate tea?
Pomegranate tea is made by steeping some form of pomegranate with hot or boiling water. You can make pomegranate tea with crushed pomegranate seeds, pomegranate peel, or dried pomegranate flowers. Alternatively, you could add these or concentrated pomegranate juice to another type of tea such as white tea, herbal tea, or green tea.
When tea is steeped in hot water, the nutrients of the tea (leaves, peels, etc.) are extracted into the water, which you then drink.
You can buy pomegranate tea at the store or make your own. Store-bought pomegranate tea often contains other ingredients like hibiscus and other berries to add more complex flavors.
Store-bought pomegranate tea is often combined with herbal and green teas, but some varieties don’t contain another type of tea.
7 health benefits of pomegranate tea
Pomegranate tea that is unsweetened or lightly sweetened can be a healthier choice than sweetened coffee, soda, and other sugar-laden drinks.
Be on the lookout for pomegranate tea concentrates, which will likely contain added sugar in the form of cane sugar or cane juice. Pomegranate tea might also be combined with fruit juice in pre-bottled drinks. For instance, POM brand’s Pomegranate Honey Green Tea contains 32 grams of added sugar per serving, the same amount of sugar in eight sugar cubes.
Like most fruit, pomegranates provide several health benefits, which may be translated into pomegranate tea. We’ll cover some of the potential health benefits of pomegranate tea next.
What are the health benefits of pomegranate tea?
1) It might help prevent certain cancers
Pomegranates are rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect your cells against damage, which can cause inflammation and cancer in some cases.
Pomegranate fruit can induce apoptosis of cancer cells, which means that they help kill cancer cells. One study suggested that pomegranate may effectively prevent and treat prostate cancer.
The most prevalent type of antioxidant in pomegranates is anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are the largest category of water-soluble pigments in plants and are also found in berries like raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
Anthocyanins have antioxidant, anticarcinogenic (cancer-fighting), and antimicrobial properties.
Studies have found a correlation between anthocyanin consumption and a lower risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death worldwide.
2) Antibacterial properties
A study found that pomegranate juice has antibacterial properties, which may help reduce the likelihood of developing illness and infections.
Pomegranate can fight against common bacterial strains like E. coli, which can cause foodborne illness and severe stomach upset.
3) Oral health
Pomegranate tea might help support your oral health thanks to its antibacterial properties. A small study found that rinsing with pomegranate extract as a mouthwash reduced some risk factors for developing gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums.
Gingivitis is prevalent and can lead to more significant oral health issues if left untreated. Some of the symptoms of gingivitis include:
- Swollen or puffy gums
- Dusky red or dark red gums
- Gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Tender gums
If your pomegranate tea is unsweetened or low in sugar, it might also support your teeth and gum health. Sugary drinks feed bacteria on your teeth which can form plaque. If plaque remains on your teeth, it hardens into tartar which irritates your gums and can lead to soreness, bleeding, and sensitivity.
To keep the sugar content of your pomegranate tea low, consider adding natural sugar alternatives like stevia or monk fruit extract instead of regular sugar or honey.
If you do choose to use honey or sugar, try to keep the amount less than one teaspoon, which provides around six grams of added sugar.
4) Low- or caffeine-free
On its own, pomegranate tea is naturally caffeine-free. Store-bought pomegranate tea is usually made with herbal tea, which is also caffeine-free.
If you choose pomegranate tea combined with green tea, there will be a small amount of caffeine, but it will be less than coffee or green tea. White tea is another very low caffeine tea option and is even lower in caffeine than green tea.
Avoiding caffeine is essential for people sensitive to caffeine or those with anxiety, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal issues like irritable bowel syndrome, or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
If your pomegranate tea is caffeine-free, that also means that it’s suitable for sensitive people like children and pregnant or lactating women who should otherwise avoid large amounts of caffeine.
5) Promotes hydration
Drinking caffeine-free beverages like pomegranate tea help count toward your fluid needs. Drinking tea is a great option if you struggle with drinking enough water.
You should aim to drink enough fluids (like pomegranate tea) so that your urine is light in color and doesn’t have a strong smell. If you feel thirsty, you’re likely already dehydrated.
Common dehydration signs include feeling thirsty, dry mouth, confusion, dizziness, fatigue, dry skin, and dark-colored urine.
6) Good source of vitamin C
The amount of vitamin C you get from pomegranate tea will vary depending on how much you drink and how it was made.
Pomegranates, in general, are a good source of vitamin C. One-half cup of pomegranate juice provides around 20% of your daily vitamin C needs. Vitamin C is important for several body functions:
- Helps you absorb iron, which is important to prevent anemia
- Aids in wound healing
- Helps form collagen, the protein found in your hair, skin, and nails
- Supports your immune system
- Aids in bone formation
7) Might support heart health
Pomegranate might help promote your heart health and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. The antioxidants in pomegranates have promoted healthy cholesterol levels and reduced fatty plaque buildup in your arteries. For these reasons, pomegranate juice is often referred to as the “heart-healthy fruit juice.”
A small study was conducted on patients with ischemic heart disease, which is heart disease caused by the narrowing of arteries supplying blood to your heart. Patients receiving pomegranate juice experienced “significant reductions in the intensity, occurrence, and duration of angina pectoris,” which means that chest pain was reduced.
Patients receiving pomegranate juice also had lower troponin levels in their blood, which is a protein that can indicate heart muscle damage.
Keep in mind that these results were based on pomegranate juice, not pomegranate tea. However, the potential cardioprotective (heart-health promoting) benefits shouldn’t be ignored and may apply to pomegranate tea, depending on the strength of the tea and amount consumed.
How to make pomegranate tea
Pomegranate tea can be very easy to make at home if you don’t want to buy store-bought versions.
Below is a popular method to make pomegranate tea from fresh pomegranate seeds. It does contain sugar, so you can scale back on the sugar or swap it out for a sugar substitute of your choice.
Steps to seed a pomegranate
- Wash the pomegranate in cold water and dry.
- Place pomegranate on a cutting board and cut it in half crosswise.
- Take one half over a large bowl and tap the skin with a wooden spoon with the other hand. Keep turning it around, tapping the pomegranate until all of the seeds are out.
- Take the other half and repeat the same process to remove the seeds from the skin.
- Keep the seeds in the fridge until chilled before making tea.
Pomegranate tea recipe
- 3½ cups pomegranate seeds (from 2 large pomegranates, as described above)
- 1 cup sugar (optional)
- Place the pomegranate seeds in a bowl. Crush them coarsely with a pestle about 50 to 60 times.
- Add the sugar and mix well.
- Put the mixture in a glass jar. Make tea right away, or keep it in the refrigerator for up to one month.
To make the tea:
Put about ¼ cup of the pomegranate seeds/juice mixture (above) in a teacup. Add hot water and mix. Serve hot.
Pomegranate juice concentrate
Another method is to use unsweetened pomegranate juice concentrate. Simply mix two tablespoons of the pomegranate juice concentrate into a cup of herbal tea, or combine the concentrate with other ingredients like cinnamon, cloves, or hibiscus to make your tea blend.
While pomegranate tea hasn’t been studied in-depth, plenty of studies show the health benefits of pomegranates, which may be translated into the use of pomegranate tea.
The potential health benefits of drinking pomegranate tea are thanks to its antioxidant and vitamin content and low caffeine and sugar content.