Pumpkin Seed Oil
Latin Name: Cucurbita maxima, C. pepo
Etymology: Cucurbita is the Latin name for a gourd, and maxima means largest: pepo is latin for large pumpkin or marrow.
The Plant and its Environment
The pumkin grows in warmer climes and is an ancient vegetable (fruit). It is said to have grown continuously in the Americas for some 9,000 to 10, 000 years! Pumpkins were introduced into England in the 17th Century where they grow quite well on compost heaps, and these huge vegetables captured the popular imagination, even to the extent of being incorporated in a fairy tale. Pumpkin pie is popular in the USA and the hollowed out shell with candlelight shining through the pierced eyes and mouth is ubiquitous at Halloween.
Method of Extraction
The seeds are pressed to make a dark sweetish oil.
|Type||Based On||Content - %|
|Saturated fatty acid|
|Monounsaturated fatty acid content||15|
|Monounsaturated fatty acid|
|Typical polyunsaturated fatty acid conrent||45|
Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc.
Folk-lore and Traditional Plant Remedies
Pumpkin seeds are about 30% protein and contain a significant amount of zinc, useful for maintaining the health of the prostrate gland . Pumpkin seeds are eaten by some Romany men to maintain their virility. The seeds are used for travel sickness and together with Senna alexandrina for tapeworms and round worms (Bow 1995). Bartram (1995) states that punpkin seeds are ground and mixed with honey as an anthelmintic because of their antimitotic effect are used to arrest prostrate gland enlargement.
Therapeutic Properties - Internal
As a winter food supplement, pumpkin seed oil is reputed to be good for the lungs and mucous membranes. It is also slightly diuretic for urinary complaints, is used as a demulcent and as a general vermifuge (Duke 1985) and healing (Stier 1990) to the digestive tract. Pumpkin seed oil is emollient, calming, laxative, and is employed in cases of demineralisation. It is only necessary to use it in small quantities (1 dessertspoonful for an adult). The oil is placed among the top five oils from a nutritional standpoint (Stier 1990).
Reference: Carrier Oils For Aromatherapy & Massage: Len Price with Ian Smith & Shirley Price
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