Shri Nathji likes and occasionally asks for “Kaandhaari Annar”–a special variety of pomegranates which Shri Nathji says originated in Afghanistan. And both HH Priya Nath and Shri Nathji used to take them. Shri Nathji always praised the pomegranate for its powers to generate blood in the human body: “Ye khoon paidaa kartaa hai.”
The pomegranate is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between five and eight meters tall.
Native to the area of modern day Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan the pomegranate has been cultivated in the Caucasus since ancient times. From there it spread to Asian areas such as the Caucasus as well as the Himalayas in Northern India. Today, it is widely cultivated throughout the Mediterranean region of southern Europe, the Middle East, northern Africa and tropical Africa, Indian subcontinent and the drier parts of southeast Asia. Introduced into Latin America and California by Spanish settlers in 1769, pomegranate is also cultivated in parts of California and Arizona. In the Northern Hemisphere, the fruit is typically in season from September to February. In the Southern Hemisphere, the pomegranate is in season from March to May.
The pomegranate has been mentioned in many ancient texts, notably the Book of Exodus, the Homeric Hymns and the Quran. In recent years.
The pomegranate is native to the region of Persia (modern day Iran) and the western Himalayan range, and has been cultivated in Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Russia, and the Mediterranean region for several millennia. Kandahar in Afghanistan has always been famous for its high quality pomegranates. And even today the best fruit comes from Kandahar. Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m (3,297 ft) above sea level. The Arghandab River runs along the west of the city. The region produces fine fruits, especially pomegranates and grapes, and the city has plants for canning, drying, and packing fruit.
The region around Kandahar is one of the oldest known human settlements. Alexander the Great had laid-out the foundation of what is now Old Kandahar in the 4th century BC.
The name has originated from the word "kand" or "qand" in Persian means "candy", and "har" means necklace. The name "Candahar" in this form translates to "candy-necklace". Therefore, "Qandahar" becomes "river of candy". This has to do with the city being known for producing sweet fine pomegranates, grapes, apricots, melons and other sweet fruit
In Ayurveda system of medicine, the pomegranate called - Anar has extensively been used as a source of traditional remedies for thousands of years. The rind of the fruit and the bark of the pomegranate tree is used as a traditional remedy against diarrhea, dysentery and intestinal parasites. The seeds and juice are considered a tonic for the heart and throat, and classified as a bitter-astringent (pitta or fire) component under the Ayurvedic system, and considered a healthful counterbalance to a diet high in sweet-fatty (kapha or earth) components.
The astringent qualities of the flower juice, rind and tree bark are considered valuable for a variety of purposes, such as stopping nose bleeds and gum bleeds, toning skin, (after blending with mustard oil) firming-up sagging breasts and treating hemorrhoids. Pomegranate juice (of specific fruit strains) is also used as eyedrops as it is believed to slow the development of cataracts.
Pomegranate juice provides about 16% of an adult's daily vitamin C requirement per 100 ml serving, and is a good source of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), potassium and natural phenols, such as ellagitannins and flavonoids. Pomegranates are listed as high-fiber nutritional value.