Pomegranates are quite the bright tree; bright five petal flowers and big red glossy berries filled with hundreds of juicy pink seeds - quite the cheery natural wonder of the Plant kingdom.

The name pomegranate comes from the Latin words for apple (pomum) and seeded (granatus). This may explain where grenadine syrup received its name. The thickened and sweetened pomegranate juice is used as a cocktail mixer these days but has long been drunk in India and other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures. Other than the sweet delight of the beverage the juice of the pomegranate is also good thicken soups and sauces as an accompaniment to duck or chicken and rice.

But the pomegranate tree is perhaps more than a tasty delicacy. Last year at least 17 clinical trials were underway to test the medicinal virtues of the plant. Research has already shown that its juice was effective in reducing the risk factors associated with heart disease. It has also proven to reduce systolic blood pressure and can stop viral infections. The pomegranate seed oil was shown to slow the production of breast cancer cells in vitro.

In the eco world of natural and organic textiles pomegranate juice is often used for dying non-synthetic fabrics. In skin care products you can find this special ingredient in concentrated face serums, shampoos and moisturises for its high nutrient content. The skin soaks up the B (1, 2, 3, 5 and 9!) and C vitamins of this fruit.

Some organic beauty products that utilise the skin beneficial properties of pomegranate are the Superfruit Concentrate Serum by Essential Care, the Rose Formula Hydrating Eye Cream by Neal's Yard Remedies, the Rejuvenating Facial Oil by Green People and the new Pomegranate Facial Nourishing Oil by John Masters Organics.