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Modern Science View By
B.Pharm
Ayurvedic View By
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Last updated on:
29 Jul 2019 | 03:57 PM (IST)
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Pumpkin

Pumpkin
Pumpkin, generally known as “Bitter melon”, is considered as one of nature’s best medicinal vegetables as it is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help us keep healthy.
Pumpkin might be useful in managing diabetes as it helps increase insulin secretion in the body. It is also one of the most beneficial vegetables to help boost immunity.
All parts of this plant are used but seeds have gained more importance because of their high nutritional value. Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of bioactive compounds with medicinal properties. The oil obtained from the seed is used as a preservative and as an ingredient in cosmetics, foods and nutraceutical. Pumpkin seed oil helps keep the skin healthy and youthful[1][2][7][9].

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
Modern Science 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
Modern Science 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
Modern Science 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
Modern Science 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
Modern Science 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
Modern Science 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
Modern Science 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
Modern Science 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
Modern Science 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
Modern Science 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 are the benefits of Pumpkin for babies?

scientific
Modern Science View
Pumpkin prevents constipation in babies due to the presence of high fiber content. This manages the bowel movements and improves the digestive system. It also improves energy level and boosts the immune system.

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
Modern Science 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
Modern Science 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. Is Pumpkin juice good for weight loss?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Pumpkin juice helps manage weight loss. It increases the sensitivity of insulin by lowering insulin resistance. This helps maintain blood glucose level and results in weight loss[10].

Q. What are the benefits of Pumpkin seeds?

scientific
Modern Science View
Pumpkin seeds have high levels of unsaturated fatty acids due to which it reduces the risk of fat deposition in the arteries and prevents heart diseases. The seeds also contain antioxidants that fight against the harmful free radicals and prevents cell damage. This further reduces the risk of lung, breast, and gastric cancer. It lowers the levels of bad cholesterol in the body and manages prostate enlargement[9].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Pumpkin seeds are beneficial in the removal of worms from the intestines due to its Krimighna (anti-worm) property. The seeds are crushed and given in milk or honey on an empty stomach.

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

Q. Is Pumpkin oil good for hair?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Pumpkin oil is considered to be beneficial for hair in case of men due to the presence of a large number of minerals such as zinc and potassium. These minerals help improves the circulation of blood and promotes the growth of healthy hair. It also helps open up the follicles of hair due to its anti-inflammatory properties[11].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Pumpkin oil is prepared from Pumpkin seeds. It might be good for hair due to its Snigdha (oily) property, which helps to reduce the dryness from the scalp as well as from hair. It also helps control dandruff and promote hair growth.
Tips
1. Mash about 1 cup chopped Pumpkin.
2. Add ¼ cup Coconut oil.
3. Add 2 tablespoons Honey.
4. Mix properly till the mixture has a conditioner-like consistency.
5. Divide your hair into a few sections.
6. Apply the hair mask on each section of hair.
7. Gently massage and spread through the length of your hair.
8. Leave it for 20-30 minutes.
9. Wash it with shampoo and lukewarm water.

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.
  9. Meru G, Fu Y, Levya D, et al.Health benefits of Pumpkin seed and nutrition profile of 35 pumpkin accessions.IFAS.2017:1-5.
  10. Kalaivani A, Uddandrao VV, Saravanan G.Anti-obese potential of Curcurbita maxima seeds oil: effect on lipid profile and histoarchitecture in high-fat diet induced obese rats.Natural products research.2017;32(4):1-4.
  11. Cho YH, Lee SY, Jeong DW, 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;1-7.
  12. Balkrishnan A.Pitkushmand.Ayurved Jadi Buti Rehsya. Danik Bhaskar.2017.
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.

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