Pumpkin Seed

Cucurbita pepo – Cucurbitaceae

Pumpkin Seeds

Cucurbita pepo (pumpkin or gourd) belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae and is an annual herbaceous plant, with a prostrate, angular tree with branches that can be up to 10m long. Five-lobed leaves overgrown with sharp hairs are on long stems. The flowers are large, unisexual, yellow. Male flowers are either single, or collected in the leaf axil, while female ones are solitary. The fruit is a large, spherical or cylindrical, yellow, white or orange berry, with a smooth, slightly ribbed skin.

The fruits are used in nutrition and the seeds are used in phytotherapy. Besides pumpkin, this family (Cucurbitaceae) also includes cucumber and watermelon.


Pumpkin seed oil is rich in vitamins A, E, K, B group vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6 and B9), as well as vitamin C. Present minerals include magnesium, manganese, calcium, phosphorus, trace amounts of iron, copper and selenium, and is also an excellent source of zinc. Thanks to phytosterols (mostly Δ 7-sterols), pumpkin oil reduces the content of dihydrotestosterone in the body, by inhibiting the enzyme 5-α reductase, which converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. Dihydrotestosterone is the main androgen in prostate growth.

In addition, due to the high content of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, pumpkin seed oil also exhibits excellent anti-inflammatory properties, which has found application in the treatment of chronic prostatitis.


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