The pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) belongs to the cucurbit family. It is a pumpkin with yellow or orange flesh, with multiple shapes and colors, native to North America.
Its hollow and hairy stems have very large serrated leaves covered with rough hairs.
Photo by Carmen Gonzalez on Unsplash
Pumpkin and its health benefits
Imported from America in the 16th century, it was quickly discovered that the pumpkin had anti-parasite properties and its effectiveness was confirmed as early as the 19th century in the treatment of tapeworms.
These same seeds were also thought to calm inflammation of the digestive and urinary tracts.
Green pumpkin seeds have excellent diuretic properties. Since 1980, pumpkin seeds have been used against benign prostatic hyperplasia.
They are also attributed with anti-inflammatory and purifying properties, as well as a vermifuge action.
Pumpkin pulp, a diuretic and decongestant, is often prescribed in the diets of intestinal and renal patients, as well as arthritic and rheumatic patients.
After a diet, pumpkin pulp is highly digestible and highly recommended as a solid food.
The beta-carotene contained in pumpkin, a source of vitamin A for the body, would also have an antioxidant effect. It may improve certain immune system functions.
- Pumpkin is a source of phosphorus that plays an essential role in the formation and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.
- The raw pulp has emollient properties. Crushed, it constitutes a soothing poultice against burns.
Growing pumpkins for their benefits
To flower, pumpkins need a sunny and warm exposure and a perfectly clear place. They should grow in rich, moist, cool but well-drained soil.
Don’t hesitate to add fertilizer to your land: pumpkins love it.
Be careful, in a too wet soil, the plant will rot. And beware of slugs and snails when the pumpkins start to grow.
Pumpkins are harvested from early fall until the first frost. The fruit reaches maturity when its slightly yellowish foliage begins to dry and the stem is ready to fall off.
- You can store the whole pumpkin in a well ventilated space at a constant temperature of about 15 °C for 6 months. Once cut, the slices can be stored in transparent film in the refrigerator for a week.
- There is no point in trying to grow pumpkins in a pot, it is totally inappropriate and you would not get satisfactory results.
Pumpkin in the kitchen and its benefits
Pumpkin is excellent in soups and purees. You can also enjoy it in compote, mixed with a few apples and flavored with cinnamon and vanilla.
- Pumpkin seeds, natural or roasted, added to your salad dressing, are known for their cardiovascular health benefits and appear to be beneficial in the prevention of certain cancers. The seeds should be vacuum packed to preserve all their freshness and benefits.
20 kcal/100 g. Pumpkin is one of the richest vegetables in provitamin A.
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