A while ago I was reading about the history of pomegranates, and saw some mention that they were used as birth control in ancient times. Researching more on the subject, I found a few other mentions of this, including several references to a study that showed an effectiveness rate of 72% in rats and 100% in guinea pigs.
I can’t find anything that specifically quotes the source of the study, or whether it has been successfully repeated with other groups of rats or guinea pigs. And I can’t find out whether any studies suggest it works in humans, or any mentions of how it’s supposed to work. (What chemicals in the fruit have that effect? Does it prevent conception, or cause miscarriage?) It’s as if this study happened and then everyone lost interest, and no one ever tried to do any more research on the subject.
Now, I can understand that science would have little interest in this for purposes of birth control, because we already have effective birth control methods, and thus we have no real need for any insights the pomegranate might give us.
But, what about women who WANT to have kids? If eating pomegranates can prevent, or even end, a pregnancy, surely those who hope to be mothers would want to know that! And lately, with pomegranates being constantly touted as superfoods and healthy sources of antioxidants, there must be lots of expectant mothers eating them, with no knowledge of their other possible effects.
Now, I have no interest in ever having children, and I love pomegranates and would never stop eating them. But considering how many women are desperate to conceive and give birth, I’m scratching my head as to why there hasn’t been more research on this.