Pumpkin

Pumpkin
Pumpkin is a medicinal and a popular vegetable. It is generally known as “Bitter Melon”. Pumpkin has antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is useful to manage high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. All parts of this plant are used but seeds have gain more importance because of its nutritional value. Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of bioactive compounds with medicinal properties. The oil obtained from the seed is also used as a preservative and as an ingredient in cosmetics, foods and nutraceutical[1][2].

What are the synonyms of Pumpkin?

Cucurbita maxima, Ranga, Kumda, Kumbalakai, Dudde, Al Tumbi, , Koron, Parangikaji, Pushini, Gummadi, Saphurikomra, Farsi, Halwa Kaddu, Lal dhudhiya, Mattanga, Autumn Squash, Winter squash, Red gourd, Melon Pumpkin

What is the source of Pumpkin?

Plant Based

Benefits of Pumpkin

What are the benefits of Pumpkin for Worm infections?

scientific
Scientific View
Pumpkin contains active constituents like cucurbitine and alkaloids. These compounds are responsible for the anthelmintic (inhibit intestinal worms) activity of Pumpkin[5].

What are the benefits of Pumpkin for Overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms?

scientific
Scientific View
Overactive bladder is a condition associated with a sudden urge to urinate. Pumpkin seed oil contains sitosterols which help in case of overactive bladder. However, the exact mechanism by which sitosterols works is still not known[3][8].

How effective is Pumpkin?

Likely effective
Benign prostatic hyperplasia
Insufficient evidence
Overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms, Worm infections

Precautions when using Pumpkin

Breastfeeding
scientific
Scientific View
It is safe to take Pumpkin in food amounts. However, it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking Pumpkin supplements during breastfeeding[3].
Moderate Medicine Interaction
scientific
Scientific View
Pumpkin may react with CNS drugs. Pumpkin may act as a water pill and reduce lithium absorption in the body. So it is advisable to consult your doctor before consuming Pumpkin or Pumpkin supplements along with CNS drugs[3].
Pregnancy
scientific
Scientific View
It is safe to take Pumpkin in food amounts. However, it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking Pumpkin supplements during pregnancy[3].

Recommended Dosage of Pumpkin

  • Pumpkin Churna - ½ - 1 teaspoon twice a day.
  • Pumpkin Oil - ½ - 1 teaspoon twice a day or as per your requirement.
  • Pumpkin Capsule - 1-2 capsules twice a day.

How to use Pumpkin

1. Pumpkin Seed Churna
a. Take ¼-½ teaspoon of Pumpkin seed churna.
b. Mix with honey or water.
c. Take it after lunch and dinner.

2. Pumpkin Seed Oil
a. Take 1/ 2- 1 teaspoon Pumpkin seed oil.
b. Use it for garnishing salad or add it to soups.

3. Pumpkin Seed Capsule
a. Take 1-2 Pumpkin Seed Capsules.
b. Swallow it with water preferably after lunch and dinner.

Benefits of Pumpkin

What are the benefits of Pumpkin for Hair loss?

scientific
Scientific View
Pumpkin seed oil contains phytosterols that are responsible to affect the enzyme associated with male hormones such as testosterone and androsterone. Although the exact mechanism is not known, Pumpkin seed oil is believed to be useful for managing male hair loss[3][6].

How effective is Pumpkin?

Likely effective
Hair loss

Recommended Dosage of Pumpkin

  • Pumpkin Oil - 2-5 drops or as per your requirement.

How to use Pumpkin

1. Pumpkin Seed Oil for skin
a. Take 2-5 drops of Pumpkin seed oil.
b. Add coconut oil and mix well.
c. Apply it on the skin and let it absorb.
d. It moisturizes the skin and makes it look hydrated.

2. Pumpkin Hair Pack
a. Mash about 1 cup chopped Pumpkin.
b. Add ¼ cup coconut oil.
c. Add 2 tablespoons honey.
d. Mix properly till the mixture has a conditioner-like consistency.
e. Divide your hair into a few sections.
f. Apply the hair mask on each section of damp hair.
g. Gently massage and spread through the length of your hair.
h. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes
i. Wash it with shampoo and lukewarm water

Frequently asked questions

Q. Can you drink Pumpkin juice?

scientific
Scientific View
Yes, you can use a ripe Pumpkin to make its juice.
1. Wash and remove the rind of Pumpkin.
2. Put it in a blender and make a puree.
3. Add some water to get a juice-like consistency.
4. You can add some carrot juice, ground nutmeg, cinnamon or ginger juice to enhance the flavour.
5. Add a few drops of lemon juice.
6. Store in the refrigerator for some time.
7. Serve cold.

Q. Is Pumpkin a fruit?

scientific
Scientific View
A fruit is “the edible reproductive part of a seed plant”, hence all squashes including Pumpkin are classified as a fruit.

Q. How do you cook Pumpkins?

scientific
Scientific View
Pumpkin can be cooked, baked, boiled and grilled. It can be mashed and cooked with or without its rind. Pumpkin can also be eaten in the form of a soup or made into a drink.

Q. How do I eat Pumpkin seeds?

scientific
Scientific View
Pumpkin seeds can be eaten whole after drying and baking or roasting them. They can be eaten in-between-meals as a snack or sprinkled onto salads.

Q. What happens if you eat too many Pumpkin seeds?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Eating too many Pumpkin seeds might cause constipation. This is because it has Ruksha (dry) property. Pumpkin seeds absorb water, as a result of which the stool becomes hard. This leads to constipation.

Q. Can eating too much Pumpkin turn you orange?

scientific
Scientific View
Consuming very high amounts of Pumpkin may turn your skin temporarily orange. This condition is termed as carotenemia. It occurs because of the presence of a pigment called beta-carotene in Pumpkin. Carotenemia can occur at any age but is most common in infants[4].

Q. Is Pumpkin good for diabetes?

scientific
Scientific View
Pumpkin might be good for diabetes. It contains a constituent called as D-chiro-inositol which is responsible for increased insulin secretion from the pancreas. However, the detailed mechanism of antidiabetic action of this component remains to be clarified[7].

Q. Can Pumpkin seed oil be directly applied on the skin?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Pumpkin seed oil is highly concentrated so it should be diluted with coconut oil/olive oil before applying on the skin.

Q. Is Pumpkin good for your skin?

scientific
Scientific View
Pumpkin contains active constituents such as tocopherols, β-carotene and phytosterols that are responsible for its antioxidant activity. It reverses cell damage and increases the formation of collagen. This helps in maintaining a healthy and youthful skin[9].

Q. Is Pumpkin good for arthritis?

scientific
Scientific View
Some studies state that Pumpkin seed oil might help manage the symptoms of arthritis[7].

References

  1. Montesano D, Blasi F, Simonetti MS, et al.Chemical and nutritional characterization of seed oil from Cucurbita maxima L. (var. Berrettina) Pumpkin.Foods.2018;7(3):30.
  2. Montesano D,Rocchetti G,Putnik P, et al.Bioactive profile of Pumpkin: An overview on terpenoids and their health-promoting properties.Current Opinion in Food Science.2018;22:81-87.
  3. WebMD.Pumpkin: Uses, Side effects, Doses, Interactions [Internet].Atlanta [last updated in 2016].
  4. Fico AA, Petrela E, Zajmi E et al.Secondary carotenemia:case report.Med. Res. Chron.2016;3(2):203-205.
  5. Grzybek M, Kukula-Koch W, Strachecka A.et.al.Evaluation of Anthelmintic Activity and Composition of Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) Seed Extracts—In Vitro and in Vivo Studies.Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Sep; 17(9): 1456.
  6. Young Hye Cho, Sang Yeoup Lee, Dong Wook Jeong.et.al.Effect of Pumpkin Seed Oil on Hair Growth in Men with Androgenetic Alopecia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014; 2014: 549721.
  7. Yadav M, Jain S, Toma R.et.al.Medicinal and biological potential of pumpkin: An updated review.NUTR RES REV.2010(23);184–190.
  8. Nishimura M, Ohkawara T,Sato H.et.al.Pumpkin Seed Oil Extracted From Cucurbita maxima Improves Urinary Disorder in Human Overactive Bladder.J Tradit Complement Med. 2014;4(1): 72–74.
Disclaimer
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.