Pumpkin: 10 Health Benefits of Red, Green Squash Juice, Seed Oil

As fall approaches, pumpkins become a staple of the season. From pumpkin patches to pumpkin spice lattes, these orange gourds have become a symbol of autumn. But have you ever stopped to think about where they come from and why we love them so much? They are native to North America and have been around for thousands of years. Archaeologists have uncovered pumpkin seeds in Mexico dating back to 7000-5500 BC. Early settlers introduced it to Europe, and they quickly became popular. Today, people enjoy pumpkins in a variety of ways, from decorating them for Halloween to using them in recipes.

Red Pumpkin with Seeds

Pumpkin Nutrition Facts and Calories Chart

Pumpkins are an excellent source of nutrition, providing high levels of essential vitamins and minerals. They are especially rich in Vitamin A, as well as Vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Pumpkins are also a good source of fiber and contain small amounts of calcium, phosphorus, and zinc. Eating pumpkins can help support healthy vision, immunity, and digestion, while helping to maintain healthy bones and muscles. Nutritional value per 100 g pumpkin:

  • Biotin: 0 mcg
  • Calcium: 18 mg
  • Carbohydrates (Carbs): 7 g
  • Chloride: 11 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Choline: 6 mg
  • Chromium: 0.2 mcg
  • Copper: 0.3 mg
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
  • Energy (Calories): 26 kcal
  • Fat: 0.1 g
  • Iodine: 0.2 mcg
  • Iron: 0.4 mg
  • Magnesium: 12 mg
  • Manganese: 0.1 mg
  • Molybdenum: 0.8 mcg
  • Pantothenic Acid: 0.2 mg
  • Phosphorus: 24 mg
  • Potassium: 340 mg
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.03 g
  • Selenium: 0.3 mcg
  • Sodium: 4 mg
  • Sugars: 2 g
  • Vitamin A: 782 IU
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 0.1 mg
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 0.1 mg
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 0.6 mg
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 0.2 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.2 mg
  • Vitamin B9 (Folate / Folic Acid): 17 mcg
  • Vitamin B12: 0 mcg
  • Vitamin C: 6 mg
  • Vitamin D: 0 IU
  • Vitamin E: 0.2 mg
  • Vitamin K: 2.5 mcg
  • Water: 89 g
  • Zinc: 0.2 mg

Pumpkin in India

With its smooth, round shape and orange rind, pumpkin is a winter squash that people commonly enjoy in various dishes. Rich in vitamins and minerals, it adds nutrition and flavor to soups, sauces, pies, and pastries. Beyond culinary uses, pumpkins serve as excellent decorations, whether carved into jack-o-lanterns or used as centerpieces, enhancing the festive atmosphere of the fall season. So, embrace pumpkins to savor the essence of autumn with every meal and decoration.

  • Scientific Binomial: Cucurbita Pepo / Cucurbita moschata
  • Common English: Marrow / Butternut Pumpkin / Butternut Squash
  • Ayurvedic: Kumshmaanda
  • Unani: Safed Kaddu / Kumhraa
  • Sanskrit: Karkaru / Kurkaru / Kurlaru / Kushmanda
  • Hindi / Urdu: Kumrha / halwa kaddu / kashiphal / mitha kaddu / petha
  • Bengali: Kumro / Safed Kaddu / Lanka / Kumara
  • Marathi: Kohala / Bhopli / Kala Bhopala
  • Telugu: Budadegummadi / Budide-gummadi / Gummadi
  • Tamil: Suraikayi / Parangi / Pucani
  • Gujarati
  • Kannada: Bude-kumbala-kayi / Bileegumbala / Boodugumbala / Sihi Kumbala Kaayi
  • Malayalam: Kumpalam / Kumpalanna / Mattanna
  • Oriya
  • Punjabi / Sindhi
  • Assamese
  • Kashmiri
  • Konkani
  • Manipuri
  • Dogri
  • Bhojpuri

Home Remedies

While pumpkins are best known for pie and Halloween, their seeds offer well-established nutritional benefits. Full of high-grade essential fatty acids and trace elements, notably zinc, the seeds make an excellent food supplement. Pumpkins are good in the treatment of back ache, boils, bruises, burns, cancer, diarrhea, ear ache, fever, fractures, gout, headaches, kidney stones, muscle injuries, neuralgia, prostatitis, sprains, tendonitis, and worms.

1. Intestinal Worms

To treat intestinal worms – especially tapeworms, the seeds of the ripe pumpkin are useful. Prepared by peeling and crushing the seeds, an infusion will kill parasites and assist in expelling the tapeworm. It will be necessary to fast for a day and empty the intestines by taking the juice of boiled dry prunes. The following day, individuals should consume three or four tumblers of this pumpkin seed infusion. As large amount of seeds need for this treatment so seek professional advice. Also pumpkin pie or other great tasting pumpkin recipes are good way to expel intestinal worms.

2. Skin Care

It is rich source of vitamin A, E and zinc, which makes it food remedy for psoriasis. Pumpkins also contains carotenes. Carotenoids, acting as potent antioxidants, aid in immune function and contribute to tissue growth and repair. To treat burns try ice-cold mashed pumpkin.

3. Stress and Depression

Advance research suggest that L-tryptophan from pumpkin may help to relieve depression. Pumpkin seeds, which contain high quantities of zinc, iron, and calcium, as well as B vitamins and proteins, which are necessary for brain function, will help you to deal with the effects of stress.

4. Prostate Problems

Many patients have found relief from prostate problems through the effective use of pumpkin seeds as a home remedy. These seeds are rich in unsaturated fatty acids which are essential to the health of the prostate. Eat a handful of unroasted pumpkin seeds each day. The seeds, an old folk remedy often recommended today for prostate enlargement, remain a rich source of zinc. And for the same reason it is also helpful for people with Alzheimer’s. People often use pumpkin seed oil in combination with saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) for relieving BPH symptoms. Take 160 mg three times daily with meals.

5. Urinary Problems

For treating edema, gout, kidney stones, urinary burning and difficult urination – try pumpkin seeds. Crush a handful of the seeds and then add to a liter of boiling water, cover, and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes, then steep away from the heat for an additional half an hour. Drink several cups of the strained liquid each day as needed until you obtain the desired relief. Consuming these seeds also reduces risk factors for kidney stone formation.

6. Muscle Strengthener

In the treatment of sprains, bruises, torn ligaments – try pumpkin leaves poultice. Pick some fresh pumpkin leaves and pound them with a hammer or small round stone to macerate them a little before binding them on a sprain or dislocation. This helps to reduce swelling significantly and appears to hasten the healing process when combined with other internal remedies for inflammation.

7. Headaches

In certain parts of India and Europe, people apply the scraped pulp of fresh pumpkin or yellow and orange squash to the forehead and temples as a cooling application to relieve intensely splitting headaches. Additionally, they apply the same grated pulp to the sides of the face, neck, and throat to relieve neuralgia or to draw out the purulent matter in ripe boils.

8. Heart Health

Cold infused pumpkin oil is high in essential fatty acids and vitamin E. The lack of essential fatty acids may leads in arthritis, skin diseases, menstrual and menopausal problems, and heart disease. Pumpkin butter is one way to include it in everyday diet. Put some seeds in blender and whirl for few minutes to get pumpkin butter. It makes a delicious spread for sandwiches or crackers.

9. Eating Disorder

A zinc deficiency has been linked to anorexia nervosa. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of this mineral. Eat a quarter to a half cup daily. Men should snack regularly on pumpkin seeds. They’re an excellent source of zinc, a nutrient that’s an important part of male reproductive fluids.

10. Menopausal Symptoms

Key constituents within the seeds have an estrogenic activity, so regular intake may prove helpful in relieving menopausal symptoms.


Q. Are pumpkins vegetables or fruits?

Pumpkins are technically fruits. In botanical terms, a fruit is the mature ovary of a flowering plant, usually containing seeds. Pumpkins fit this definition, as they develop from the flowering part of the pumpkin vine and contain seeds inside. However, in culinary contexts, people often treat pumpkins as vegetables due to their savory flavor and common use in savory dishes.

Q. How do you pick a ripe pumpkin?

When selecting a ripe pumpkin, consider the following factors:

  • Look for pumpkins with a consistent color and no visible signs of mold or decay.
  • Check the pumpkin’s stem; it should be firm and attached. A dried or brittle stem may indicate that the pumpkin is not fresh.
  • Tap the pumpkin lightly; it should sound hollow, which indicates ripeness.
  • Press your fingernail against the pumpkin’s skin; if it leaves a mark, the pumpkin may not be fully ripe.
Q. How do you store a pumpkin?

To maximize the shelf life of a pumpkin:

  • Store it in a cool, dry place, such as a cellar or garage.
  • Avoid storing pumpkins directly on concrete floors, as this can cause them to decay faster.
  • Keep pumpkins away from direct sunlight, which can cause them to ripen too quickly and spoil.
  • Handle pumpkins gently to prevent bruising or puncturing, which can lead to decay.
Q. What are the different varieties of pumpkins?

There are numerous varieties of pumpkins, including:

  • Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins: Large, round pumpkins commonly used for carving.
  • Sugar pumpkins: Smaller, sweeter pumpkins ideal for cooking and baking.
  • Miniature pumpkins: Tiny pumpkins often used for decoration or in crafts.
  • White pumpkins: Pale-colored pumpkins that offer a unique aesthetic for decorations and cooking.
  • Cinderella pumpkins: Deeply ribbed pumpkins with a flattened shape, often used in culinary applications.
Q. What are the different varieties of pumpkins available in India?

In India, several varieties of pumpkins are cultivated and consumed, each with its own unique characteristics and culinary uses. Some of the common varieties of pumpkins found in India include:

  • Kaddu (Indian Pumpkin): This is one of the most widely cultivated varieties of pumpkin in India. Kaddu has a pale yellow to orange skin and sweet, firm flesh. It is often used in savory dishes, curries, soups, and desserts.
  • Parangikai (Tamil Nadu Pumpkin): Parangikai is a popular variety of pumpkin in Tamil Nadu and other southern states of India. It has a light green to orange skin and is commonly used in traditional South Indian recipes like sambar, kootu, and avial.
  • Mathanga (Kerala Pumpkin): Mathanga is a traditional pumpkin variety native to Kerala. It is used in various Kerala dishes such as olan, erissery, and thoran. Mathanga has a light green or yellow skin and sweet, tender flesh.
  • Chal Kumro (Bengal Pumpkin): Chal Kumro is a pumpkin variety cultivated in West Bengal and other eastern states of India. It has a dark green to orange skin and is used in Bengali cuisine to make dishes like chal kumro chingri (pumpkin and shrimp curry) and chal kumro chingri bhorta (mashed pumpkin with shrimp).
  • Lal Bhopla (Red Pumpkin): Lal Bhopla is a red-skinned pumpkin variety commonly found in Maharashtra and other parts of India. It has a sweet flavor and is used in various Maharashtrian dishes like bharli bhindi (stuffed pumpkin), bharta (mashed pumpkin), and sabzi (curry).
  • Kashi Phal (Ash Gourd): Although not a pumpkin in the traditional sense, ash gourd, also known as Kashi Phal, is a close relative and is often used interchangeably in some Indian dishes. It has a green skin and white flesh and is used in savory dishes, sweets, and beverages.
Q. What are some popular pumpkin recipes?

Some popular pumpkin recipes include:

  • Pumpkin pie: A classic dessert made with pumpkin puree, spices, and a flaky crust.
  • Soup: A creamy and comforting soup made with pureed pumpkin, broth, and seasonings.
  • Pumpkin bread: Moist and flavorful quick bread flavored with pumpkin puree, spices, and sometimes nuts or chocolate chips.
  • Roasted Seeds: A crunchy and nutritious snack made by seasoning and roasting the seeds removed from fresh pumpkins.
  • Curry (Kaddu ki Sabzi): This is a simple yet flavorful curry made with pumpkin, onions, tomatoes, and a blend of Indian spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chili powder. It’s often served with rice or Indian breads like roti or paratha.
  • Lentil Curry (Kaddu Dal): Pumpkin pieces cooked with lentils (usually yellow lentils or split chickpeas) along with spices like cumin, mustard seeds, turmeric, and ginger-garlic paste.
  • Halwa (Kaddu ka Halwa): A delicious and indulgent dessert made by cooking grated pumpkin with ghee (clarified butter), milk, sugar, and aromatic spices like cardamom and saffron.
  • Sambar: In South Indian cuisine, pumpkin is frequently used in sambar, a flavorful lentil-based stew. Pumpkin pieces are added to a base of lentils, tamarind extract, and a blend of spices including sambar powder, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and dried red chilies.
  • Pumpkin Poriyal: A South Indian stir-fry dish made with vegetables, coconut, and spices. In this poriyal, diced pumpkin pieces are sautéed with mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves, grated coconut, and turmeric until tender.
  • Soup: A creamy and comforting dish made by blending cooked pumpkin with onions, garlic, vegetable broth, and spices like cumin and nutmeg.
Q. Can you eat pumpkin seeds? How do you prepare them?

Yes, pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are edible and highly nutritious. To prepare seeds:

  • Remove the seeds from the pumpkin and separate them from the pulp.
  • Rinse the seeds under cold water to remove any remaining pulp.
  • Pat the seeds dry with a towel and spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  • Toss the seeds with olive oil and seasonings of your choice, such as salt, garlic powder, or chili powder.
  • Roast the seeds in a preheated oven at around 300°F (150°C) for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
Q. What are some alternative uses for pumpkins besides carving?

Besides carving for Halloween, pumpkins have various alternative uses, including:

  • Decorations: Painting or decorating pumpkins with glitter, ribbons, or other craft materials.
  • Cooking: Using pumpkin puree in soups, stews, curries, muffins, pancakes, and other baked goods.
  • Feeding animals: Providing pumpkins to livestock such as pigs, chickens, and horses, as they enjoy eating pumpkins as a treat.
  • Composting: Adding pumpkins to compost piles to enrich the soil with nutrients and organic matter.
Q. Can you compost pumpkins after Halloween?

Yes, pumpkins can be composted after Halloween. Composting pumpkins is an excellent way to recycle organic waste and enrich the soil. To compost pumpkins, chop them into smaller pieces to speed up the decomposition process and add them to a compost bin or pile. Avoid composting pumpkins that have been painted or treated with chemicals, as these can be harmful to the composting process and the environment.

Q. What is the significance of the pumpkin in Halloween festivities?

Pumpkins hold significant symbolism in Halloween festivities, particularly in the form of jack-o’-lanterns. The tradition of carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns originated from Irish folklore. According to the legend of “Stingy Jack,” a man named Jack tricked the devil and, as a result, was denied entry into both heaven and hell upon his death. He was condemned to roam the earth with only a carved-out turnip lantern to light his way. When Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, they found that pumpkins, with their larger size and easier carving, were better suited for the purpose. Today, jack-o’-lanterns are a ubiquitous symbol of Halloween, adorning doorsteps and windows to ward off evil spirits and add to the festive atmosphere.

Q. Is pumpkin seed oil good for hair growth?

Pumpkin seed oil is rich in nutrients such as vitamin E, zinc, and fatty acids, which are beneficial for promoting overall hair health. Some studies suggest that these nutrients may help improve hair thickness, reduce hair loss, and promote hair growth. Additionally, this seed oil has anti-inflammatory properties that may help soothe scalp irritation and promote a healthy environment for hair growth. While there is anecdotal evidence and some scientific support for the benefits of seed oil for hair, more research is needed to fully understand its effectiveness and mechanisms of action.

Q. Is it safe to eat raw pumpkin seeds?

Yes, it is generally safe to eat raw pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas. Pumpkin seeds are a nutritious snack and are rich in protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, raw seeds may contain a tough outer hull that can be difficult to digest. Some people may experience digestive discomfort or irritation if they consume large quantities of raw seeds at once. To make raw seeds more digestible and flavorful, they can be soaked in water and then roasted in the oven with a little salt or other seasonings. Roasting also enhances the crunchiness and flavor of seeds, making them a delicious and nutritious snack option. It’s always a good idea to consume these seeds in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Q. How to use pumpkin seed oil for hair growth?
  • Direct Application to Scalp: Start by warming the pumpkin seed oil slightly. You can do this by placing the oil bottle in warm water or microwaving it for a few seconds. Part your hair into sections to expose the scalp. Using your fingertips or a cotton ball, gently massage the warmed seed oil into your scalp in circular motions. Ensure that the oil is evenly distributed throughout the scalp. Once you have covered the entire scalp, gently massage for a few minutes to improve circulation and promote absorption.
  • Hair Mask with Pumpkin Seed Oil: Combine seed oil with other beneficial oils like coconut oil, argan oil, or olive oil. Add a few drops of essential oils like lavender, rosemary, or peppermint for additional benefits and a pleasant scent. Mix the oils well and apply the mixture to your scalp and hair, focusing on the roots and ends. Leave the mask on for at least 30 minutes to an hour to allow the oils to penetrate the hair shaft and nourish the scalp. Wash your hair thoroughly with a gentle shampoo to remove the oil mask.
  • Adding Seed Oil to Hair Products: You can enhance the effectiveness of your existing hair care products by adding a few drops of pumpkin seed oil. Mix a small amount of seed oil into your shampoo, conditioner, or hair serum before applying it to your hair. Ensure that the oil is evenly distributed throughout the product to maximize its benefits.
Q. How long does it take for pumpkins to grow?

The time it takes for pumpkins to grow depends on various factors, including the variety and growing conditions. Generally, pumpkins take between 80 to 120 days to reach maturity from the time the seeds are planted. Factors such as temperature, soil quality, and water availability can influence the growth rate of pumpkins.

Leave a comment