Herb of the Day: Pumpkin

( Cucurbita pepo )

Parts used: Seeds, pulp

Pumpkin is a annual plant, with twining stem, yellow flowers, and large fruit.
Pumpkin seeds contains a fixed oil which is mostly linoleic acid, oleic acid, protein, sterols, cucurbitin, vitamin E, beta carotene,minerals,iron,zinc and selenium.
The Maya applied sap of the plant to burns, and the Menominee used the seeds as a diuretic. The European settlers ground and mixed the seeds with water, milk, or honey to make a remedy for worms. This practice became so widespread in homes across North America, that the medical profession eventually adopted it as a standard treatments.

Aids with: Mostly used as a safe, effective deworming agent, particularly in children and pregnant women for whom strong acting and toxic preparations are inappropriate. It removes tapeworms, The seeds are diuretic, tonic to the bladder, they have a value in treating the early stages of prostate enlargement. The pulp is used as a decoction to relieve intestinal inflammation, and applied as a poultice or plaster for burns.
The seeds range of medicinal, nutritional compounds have a great value as a natural food supplement. They are a good dietary source of zinc, high levels of selenium,( a mineral with important antioxidant and anticancer activity in the whole body ). Cucurbitin repels intestinal worms, sterols are anti intestinal worms, sterols are anti inflammatory. Research suggests that the seeds is effective in helping reduce benign enlargement of the prostate gland ( BPH )due to both the hormonal influence of sterols, and this anti inflammatory activity. In a clinical trial, pumpkin seed was combined with saw palmetto to treat BPH, the ones taking the herbal extract showed improved urine flow and reduced frequency of urination.


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