For Armenian farmers, pomegranates represented abundance and fertility. It was used as a guardian against the evil eye and witchcraft. Weddings in Western Armenia saw the bride smash a pomegranate, breaking it into many pieces to disperse the seeds. This was believed to ensure the bride would bear many children. In Van, Armenian women who wanted sons would eat bread made from dough mixed with pomegranate seeds. Ironically, though, modern scientific testing shows that pomegranates actually have contraceptive effects, reducing fertility.