Latin Name: Cucurbita pepo
The listings of research below represent a compilation of scientific articles found on the species, with a very brief overview description of each article/study. Research found is catalogued by therapeutic action. This categorized compilation of research articles does not necessarily imply that there are adequate results to demonstrate safe and/or effective human use.
- Natural Standard (2017). Pumpkin Seed Monograph. www.naturalstandard.com
- ACHS (2017). Course Material: Herb502: Pumpkin Seed Monograph. www.achs.edu
- This article provided a review of research on the pharmacological uses of Cucurbita pepo. Possible therapeutic actions include: hepatoprotection, inhibiting benign prostatic hyperplasia, antioxidant activity, anticancer potential, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, and antiulcer. From: Perez Gutierrez, R. M. (2016). Review of Cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) its phytochemistry and pharmacology. Medicinal chemistry, 6(1), 12-21.
- Folk uses of pumpkin seeds have included to helping with urinary problems, fighting intestinal worms, reducing stomach ulcers, and as a diuretic. Isolated constituents have shown antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-ulcer, and anti-bacterial actions. Research has shown it could be useful related to the following conditions: hyperplasia, prostate cancer, urinary diseases, kidney disorders, bronchitis, hemorrhoid, and anemia. From: Adnan, M., Gul, S., Batool, S., Fatima, B., Rehman, A., Yaqoob, S., … & Khan, S. N. (2017). A review on the ethnobotany, phytochemistry, pharmacology and nutritional composition of Cucurbita pepo L. The Journal of Phytopharmacology, 6(2), 133-139.
- May interfere with the drug lithium due to its diuretic properties (Natural Standard, 2017).
- In a double blind study, a Saw palmetto herbal blend that included pumpkin seed was safe and effective for men with moderately symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia. From: Marks, L. S., Partin, A. W., Epstein, J. I., Tyler, V. E., Simon, I., Macairan, M. L., … & Santos, P. B. C. (2000). Effects of a saw palmetto herbal blend in men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia. The Journal of urology, 163(5), 1451-1456.
- The phytosterol curbicin, as found in pumpkins seeds and the dwarf palm plant, improved symptoms of prostatic hyperplasia in a double blind study. From: CARBIN, B. E., Larsson, B., & Lindahl, O. (1990). Treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia with phytosterols. BJU International, 66(6), 639-641.
- An herbal product containing pumpkin seed oil, saw palmetto, nettle root, lemon bioflavonoid, and vitamin A reduced symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia in a large double blind study. From: Friederich, M., Theurer, C., & Schiebel-Schlosser, G. (2000). Prosta Fink Forte®-Kapseln in der Behandlung der benignen Prostatahyperplasie. Eine multizentrische Anwendungsbeobachtung an 2245 Patienten. Forschende Komplementärmedizin/Research in Complementary Medicine, 7(4), 200-204.
- In a review of research, including 4 clinical studies, Cucurbita was effective in reducing urinary tract symptoms related to benign prostatic hyperplasia; more research is warranted. From: Damiano, R., Cai, T., Fornara, P., Franzese, C. A., Leonardi, R., & Mirone, V. (2016). The role of Cucurbita pepo in the management of patients affected by lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia: A narrative review. Archivio Italiano di Urologia e Andrologia, 88(2), 136-143.
- Pumpkin seed oil inhibited testosterone-induced hyperplasia of the prostate in rats. From: Gossell-Williams, M., Davis, A., & O’connor, N. (2006). Inhibition of testosterone-induced hyperplasia of the prostate of sprague-dawley rats by pumpkin seed oil. Journal of Medicinal Food, 9(2), 284-286.
- In a double blind study, Korean men showed reduced symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia with the use of pumpkin seed and saw palmetto oil. From: Hong, H., Kim, C. S., & Maeng, S. (2009). Effects of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil in Korean men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia. Nutrition research and practice, 3(4), 323-327.
- In a one year study with 1,431 men ages 50-80 with urinary tract symptoms suggestive of benign prostatic hyperplasia, taking a pumpkin seed extract, symptoms were significantly reduced compared to the placebo without side effects. From: Vahlensieck, W., Theurer, C., Pfitzer, E., Patz, B., Banik, N., & Engelmann, U. (2015). Effects of pumpkin seed in men with lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia in the one-year, randomized, placebo-controlled GRANU study. Urologia internationalis, 94(3), 286-295.
- This article provided a review of research on the use of pumpkin seed oil for benign prostatic hyperplasia. From: Đorđević, I., Milutinović, M., Kostić, M., Đorđević, B., Dimitrijević, M., Stošić, N., … & Kitić, D. (2016). Phytotherapeutic approach to benign prostatic hyperplasia treatment by pumpkin seed (Cucurbita pepo L., Cucurbitaceae). Acta Medica Medianae, 55(3), 76-84.
URINARY SYSTEM HEALTH
- In a study of 45 male volunteers with urinary disfunction related to an overactive bladder, taking a pumpkin seed oil extract for 12 weeks helped reduced symptoms. From: Nishimura, M., Ohkawara, T., Sato, H., Takeda, H., & Nishihira, J. (2014). Pumpkin seed oil extracted from Cucurbita maxima improves urinary disorder in human overactive bladder. Journal of traditional and complementary medicine, 4(1), 72-74.
- Pumpkin seed extract reduced the bladder pressure, increase the bladder compliance, and reduced the urethral pressure in rabbits. From: Xu, Z., Jin-zhi, O., Yong-shang, Z., Balla, T., Xi-cai, Z., & Si-wei, Z. (1994). Effect of the extracts of pumpkin seeds on the urodynamics of rabbits: an experimental study. Journal of Tongji Medical University, 14(4), 235.
- Foods high in zinc, such as pumpkin seeds, may help improve male fertility. A study of male semen and plasma samples found a possible coorelation between sperm count and zinc levels. From: Colagar, A. H., Marzony, E. T., & Chaichi, M. J. (2009). Zinc levels in seminal plasma are associated with sperm quality in fertile and infertile men. Nutrition Research, 29(2), 82-88.
- A compilation of research showed the following herbs to have a diuretic effect: yarrow, lemon verbena, pineapple, dill, gorden asparagus, mugwort, oats, barberry, Indian tree, turnip, marigold, chicory, lemon, cucumber, pumpkin seed, quince, carrot, flix weed, horsetail, asafetida, fig, barely, St. John’s wort, bay, alfalfa, European pennyroyal, mulberry, water cress, catnip, black cumin, parsley, green bean, pistachio, cherry, pomegranate, purstane, savory, tomato, brinjal, tea, haritali, coltsfoot, nettle, bell bean, and corn. From: Rouhi-Boroujeni, H., Rouhi-Boroujeni, H., Khoddami, M., Khazraei, H. R., Dehkordil, E. B., & Rafieian-Kopaei, M. (2017). Hypolipidemic herbals with diuretic effects: A systematic review. In Biol. Sci (Vol. 8, pp. 21-28).
CARDIAC HEALTH / CHOLESTEROL LOWERING
- Pumpkin seed oil lowered blood pressure and cholesterol levels in low estrogen level rats. From: Gossell‐Williams, M., Lyttle, K., Clarke, T., Gardner, M., & Simon, O. (2008). Supplementation with pumpkin seed oil improves plasma lipid profile and cardiovascular outcomes of female non‐ovariectomized and ovariectomized Sprague‐Dawley rats. Phytotherapy Research, 22(7), 873-877.
- A flax and pumpkin seed mixture had a cholesterol lowering and hepatoprotective effect in rats. From: Makni, M., Fetoui, H., Gargouri, N. K., Garoui, E. M., Jaber, H., Makni, J., … & Zeghal, N. (2008). Hypolipidemic and hepatoprotective effects of flax and pumpkin seed mixture rich in ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids in hypercholesterolemic rats. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 46(12), 3714-3720.
- A compilation of research showed the following herbs to have a hypolipidemic effect: yarrow, onion, garlic, dill, celery, burdock, oats, barberry, cabbage, chili pepper, safflower, chicory, chickpea, bitter orange, orange, guggul, coriander, cranberry, melon, pumpkin, artichoke, ginseng, eugenol, schelelecht, ginkgo, soy, walnut, apple, nutmeg, red yeast rice, miswak, evening primrose, basil, bulacy, orchis, avocado, plantain, blond plotitago, green bean, purslane, black cherry, pomegranate, milk thistle, brinjal, tomato, tamarind, thea, thyme, fenugreek, bilberry, grape, ginger, and corn. From: Rouhi-Boroujeni, H., Rouhi-Boroujeni, H., Khoddami, M., Khazraei, H. R., Dehkordil, E. B., & Rafieian-Kopaei, M. (2017). Hypolipidemic herbals with diuretic effects: A systematic review. In Biol. Sci (Vol. 8, pp. 21-28).
SKIN / WOUND
- Forty patients with mild-to-moderate plaque psoriasis participated in this double-blind, randomized clinical trial. A German chamomile extract with pumpkin seed oil or a placebo was applied twice a day for 4 weeks. Symtoms significantly reduced in the treatment group. From: Kolahdooz, S., Karimi, M., Esmaili, N., Zargaran, A., Kordafshari, G., Mozafari, N., & Ayati, M. H. (2018). Evaluation of the efficacy of a topical chamomile-pumpkin oleogel for the treatment of plaque psoriasis: an intra-patient, double-blind, randomized clinical trial. Biomedical Research and Therapy, 5(11), 2811-2819.
- Pumpkins seed extracts showed immuno-regulating activity in vitro by suppressing tryptophan degradation and neopterin production. From: Winkler, C., Wirleitner, B., Schroecksnadel, K., Schennach, H., & Fuchs, D. (2005). Extracts of pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) seeds suppress stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro. Am J Immunol, 1(1), 6-11.
By: Kathy Sadowski