Pumpkin

Also indexed as:Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita pepo
Pumpkin: Main Image © Martin Wall

Related Topics

Botanical names:
Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita pepo

Parts Used & Where Grown

Pumpkins and other squashes are native to North and Central America, but have since been cultivated around the world. The seeds are primarily used in herbal medicine. The yellow blossoms of pumpkins are also used as medicine in some native traditions.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Pumpkin Seed Oil
160 mg oil three times dailyas Pumpkin Seeds2 stars[2 stars]
Pumpkin seed oil has been shown to relieve BPH symptoms, possibly because it improves bladder and urethra function.
Depression
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Pumpkin seeds contain L-tryptophan, and for this reason have been suggested to help remedy depression.
Kidney Stones
Refer to label instructions as Pumpkin Seeds1 star[1 star]
Two trials from Thailand reported that eating pumpkin seeds reduces urinary risk factors for forming kidney stones.
Parasites
Refer to label instructions as Pumpkin Seeds1 star[1 star]
Pumpkin seeds have purported effects against tapeworms. Given their safety, they are often recommended as an addition to other, more reliable therapies.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Native Americans used pumpkin flesh and seeds for food. Their use of the seeds for the treatment of intestinal infections eventually led the United States Pharmacopoeia to list pumpkin seeds as an official medicine for parasite elimination from 1863 to 1936.1 Native Americans also commonly used pumpkin seeds to treat a variety of kidney problems. The flowers were used topically to soothe minor injuries.2 Eclectic physicians (doctors who recommended herbal medicine) at the end of the 19th century used pumpkin seeds to treat urinary tract problems and gastritis, and to remove tapeworms and roundworms from the intestines.3

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.