Why You Should Stop Throwing Away Pomegranate Peels

There may be a myriad of things you didn't know about pomegranates. For starters, the fruit is technically considered a berry. Then, there's the fact that the hundreds of juicy, ruby-red pebbles nestled inside the fruit are called arils, which are basically sacs of juice that house the actual seeds. But, another interesting thing about pomegranates is that their peels can be used for a number of applications. And there's plenty to go around since the thick and leathery exterior makes up about 40-50% of a pomegranate's total weight.

Beyond being just a protective layer for the fruit and its inner seeds, the skins are also quite nutritious, too. In fact, they contain more antioxidants — the molecules that fight off cell-damaging free radicals — and polyphenols than the seeds themselves, according to studies published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology and the Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, respectively. Moreover, the peels are also a natural source of dietary fiber and have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, per Frontiers in Nutrition, and that's just scratching the surface of their many benefits.

So, what can you do with them? How about making an herbal tea or face mask?

Make an herbal team with pomegranate peels

Although pomegranate rinds are commonly discarded in favor of snacking on the fruit's juicy innards, you may want to think twice about tossing them in your compost bin the next time you peel one open. Because they can actually be used to make a refreshing herbal tea if you salvage its peels, a tip seen on TikTok.

To whip up a steamy cup, all you have to do is dehydrate the fruit peels in the oven. Once you've gotten rid of all the moisture, you can throw the skins in the blender and grind them to make a very smooth powder. Similar to how you can take leftover watermelon rinds and make a refreshing iced tea, you can make hot tea with the fine pomegranate powder by placing some in a coffee filter and pouring boiling water on top.

Granted, pomegranate peel tea can lean a bit on the bitter side, so you may want to add a sweetener such as maple syrup, agave nectar, or honey to counter the bitterness.

Use the peels for beauty applications, too

When it comes to putting pomegranate peels to good use, their applications extend far beyond the likes of just herbal teas. Pomegranate peels are actually a hot commodity in the supplement space, and you can buy them in powder, tincture, and capsule form. However, it's important to note that you should always consult with your doctor before adding any dietary supplements to your health regimen. In addition to infusing a piping cup of tea, pomegranate peel powder can be added to smoothies and a variety of other recipes, such as certain sauces or salad dressings. 

And, you can go beyond the edible to create a DIY facial scrub at home. This can easily be accomplished by diluting the powder with water for an easy, zero-waste mask or exfoliant that can be applied topically. Here too, you may want to check first with your doctor or dermatologist, but with approval, the mask will let your skin soak up all those great antioxidants and vitamins.