Botanical Name: Cucurbita pepo L
Family Name: Cucurbitaceae
Common Name: Cucurbita
Part Used: Seeds
Specific gravity: 0.913±0.004 @25C
Optical Rotation: + 15 to +62 degrees
Refractive index: 1.4656±0.004 @25C
Blends well with: The majority of carrier oils
Uses: This oil is used in many food preparations. massage oils, skin treatments, also is used to treat people with arthritis pain.
Countries where it's found
Pumpkins can be found in almost all the continents excluding Antarctica, as they are quite useful not only for agricultural purposes but also for commercial and ornamental purposes. The United States, Canada, Mexico, India and China are the largest producers of pumpkin in the world.
For harvesting 100 kg of pumpkin seeds, one-fifth hectare field is sufficient. Around 40 litres of Pumpkin seed oil can be extracted from this plantation. The seeds obtained from the harvest are properly dried and cleaned.
History of the Plant
References to pumpkins can be dated back to many centuries. The word pumpkin was first mentioned in the Greek language as “pepon" meaning “large melon" which was furthered edited by French into “pompon". This word was further evolved to “Pumpion" by the British. The Americans finally changed it to its present form of “pumpkin". The Native Americans used to dry pumpkin strips and roasted it on fire to eat them. The pumpkin pie was originated when they sliced off its top and replaced its seeds with milk, spices and honey.
The seeds of pumpkin are put in a crusher to obtain a fine powder. The seed flour so obtained is wetted. The roasting process is then carried out, which should be ideally done at low temperature otherwise the flour will be spoilt. The roasting process is followed by the pressing process where the seed oil is extracted with the application of high pressure. Finally the seed oil is refined for impurities and stored for distribution.
Commonly known Benefits
Sound Sleep: Amino acid tryptophan is present in high quantity in pumpkin seeds which enhances sleep when digested in our body.
Stabilize Blood Sugar: The proteins present in pumpkin seeds when taken properly help in stabilizing the blood sugar which further helps in weight loss.
Arthritis: It is a boon for people suffering from Arthritis as studies have shown that intake of pumpkin seed oil with simvastatin normalizes hypercholesterolemia.
Anti - Oxidative Activities: The pumpkin seed oil is richly filled with antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin E and Zeaxanthin as well as polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Kidney stone removal: The studies have confirmed that regular intake of pumpkin seed oil slows down the stone formation and prevents it from reoccurring.
Prostrate Function: Various studies claim that prevention and treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia are also possible with Pumpkin seed oil.
Rich in vitamins A, E. K, C, D, B1, B2 and B6 and minerals like iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium and calcium pumpkins are world famous for their symbolism in Halloween festival and their seed oil is used for culinary and medicinal purposes. It is also added to vanilla ice creams to provide a nutty taste. It is also a beneficial medicine as it contains polyunsaturated fatty acids and various antioxidative reagents.
Interesting info on seed
Pumpkin seed oil is one of the most demanded oils nowadays. Known for its wonderful properties, pumpkin seed oil is used in several uses. Beauty uses like skin care and health several properties. Pumpkin seed oil is highly imbedded with fatty acids and antioxidants. The gamma-tocopherol a form of Vitamin E is the main property that makes Pumpkin seed oil very effective antioxidants.
This property helps the cell and overall health as it neutralizes the free radicals mainly produced due to radiations, air pollutions and etc! Later vitamin E enhances the capability of immune system of skin. Even wounds, stretch marks, psoriasis, erythema, rosacea and other skin problems can be cured from the oil.
Useful Fatty Acids:
Linoleic, Stearic, Oleic Acids and Palmitic oils make up more than half of the Pumpkin seed oil
Linoleic Acid helps in smoothens the skin and makes it really great and active!
Palmitic acid increases the immune system of the skin.
Oleic Acids add to the moisture of the skins and make a perfect lubricant for the skin.
Stearic Acid again revitalizes the skin and makes it pretty flexible.