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January 30, 1967

The Forbidden Fruit

Author Affiliations

Winnimani, Canada

JAMA. 1967;199(5):343. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120050085024

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To the Editor:—  Why is pomegranate the favored fruit in the "Song of Songs"? The question which vexed historians for centuries has now been answered. "The estrogen content of the pomegranate," states Ariadne (New Scientist, 31:743, 1966), "could well account for the prominence given to that fruit throughout the 'Song of Songs,' which is Solomon's." Recent extraction of "animal" estrogen from the pomegranate (American Newsletter, No. 717), viewed in the light of the etymologic definition of estrogen as "begetter of mad desire," supports Ariadne's thesis.Having shed new light on a Biblical mystery, we can now hope to clarify another. Why did Eve tempt Adam with an apple, when the aphrodisiac pomegranate would have been so much more appropriate? This too can now be answered. "Apple," in the language of the Old Testament, is sometimes used as a generic term applicable to a variety of fruit and vegetables. When