Know the Medicinal Properties, Benefits and Uses of Pumpkin
Nature has provided many things to combat every small and big problem related to health. These contain many medicinal properties and provide many health benefits by their consumption. Pumpkin is one of these nature-given gifts, also known as Kadima or Kushmanda. This vegetable has the ability to cure many diseases ranging from the stomach to the heart and skin. Perhaps because of these qualities, pumpkin has been considered a mine of virtues since ancient times.
Importance of Pumpkin in Ayurveda
Pumpkin is good for the health of people of all ages. It works to increase the immunity of the body due to which helps in protecting the body from many diseases. It has the property to remove bad cholesterol from the body and controls diabetes. It also contains some antioxidants which protect the body from diseases like cancer. By consuming it, stomach worms, liver problems, cleaning the blood, skin related problems etc are cured. Pumpkin contains some useful components which include omega 3, omega 6 fatty acids, amino acids, zinc, and tryptophan etc. Apart from this, it is also rich in Vitamin A, C and E etc. Pumpkin peel also contains an antibacterial element that protects against infection-causing bacteria. Due to being full of these properties, pumpkin is considered an important medicine in Ayurveda.
Benefits of Pumpkin
- Helpful in keeping the heart-healthy: Pumpkin is very beneficial in keeping the heart healthy. It has antioxidant properties which are able to protect the cardiovascular system. They prevent heart diseases before they progress by preventing the damage caused by oxidation on the heart. Apart from this, beta-carotene and polyunsaturated fatty acids present in it work to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol which is very important for a healthy heart.
- Helpful in balancing cholesterol levels: Enriched with omega 3 fatty acids and phytosterols, pumpkin is helpful in maintaining optimum cholesterol levels in the body. These properties help in reducing the bad cholesterol level (LDL) and inhibiting its absorption while increasing the good cholesterol level (HDL) in the body for healing. Apart from this, consuming pumpkins is beneficial in obesity, diabetes, heart attack, high blood pressure and other heart diseases.
- Beneficial for immunity: Pumpkin enhances immunity. According to a journal paper, pumpkin contains a substantial amount of vitamin C that plays an important role in boosting immunity. In addition to vitamin C, vitamins A and E present in it also help in increasing immunity. Therefore, to increase immunity, definitely include pumpkin in your diet.
- For the digestive system: Consumption of pumpkin is good for the digestive system. It helps in increasing digestive power. A high amount of fibre is found in pumpkins that helps in the smooth functioning of the digestive system. Therefore, its regular consumption helps to overcome problems like constipation, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps.
- Beneficial for eyes: According to research, the consumption of pumpkins is beneficial for the eyes. It mainly contains beta-carotene which acts as an antioxidant. It helps in keeping the eyes healthy. Pumpkin contains many vitamins and minerals which help protect against degenerative eye disease (symptoms that occur with ageing).
- Helpful in controlling blood pressure: Pumpkin consumption is beneficial in controlling blood pressure. According to research published on the website of NCBI, 340 mg of potassium is found in 100 grams of pumpkin. Potassium acts as a balancing element in the body. It is an important component for the nervous activity of muscles and the brain. It also proves helpful in blood circulation and gives relief from muscle spasms. Consuming potassium on a regular basis prevents the risk of brain stroke as it lowers blood pressure. Thus, pumpkin is good for the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure.
- Helpful in preventing cancer: The non-carcinogenic properties of pumpkin seeds help in combating the problem of cancer because the antioxidants present in pumpkin seeds exhibit anti-cancer properties. It also helps in protecting the body from cancer-causing harmful external exposures. Thus, these antioxidants are effectively helpful in treating and preventing various types of cancers such as prostate and breast cancer.
- Improves kidney function: The antioxidants present in pumpkin seeds help in curing and preventing kidney-related problems like kidney stones, frequent urination, high bladder activity etc. due to which the proper functioning of the kidney is ensured.
Benefits of Pumpkin for skin
- To reduce acne: Many types of vitamins are found in pumpkins. Vitamin B3 present in it exhibits anti-microbial properties in a way that help the skin get rid of pimples by fighting acne and its bacteria. Apart from this, the anti-inflammatory properties of pumpkin work to reduce the inflammation of acne. For this, pumpkin oil should be applied to the infected area with the help of cotton.
- To reduce wrinkles: Vitamin A is found in pumpkins which helps in reducing the signs of ageing like wrinkles and fine lines. For this, make a paste of pumpkin and apply it on the face and after some time wash it with cold water. By doing this it opens the pores of the skin. It also helps in reducing the oxidative stress of the skin.
- To clear skin colour: Sometimes due to sunlight and UV rays, the colour of the skin starts turning dark. In such a situation, using pumpkin paste is good for the skin because vitamin C present in the pumpkin helps to clean the skin. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant on the skin which helps in reducing depigmentation and oxidative stress and clears the complexion of the skin. For this, take a few drops of pumpkin oil in the palm and massage the face and skin well.
- For face mask: Pumpkin paste, lemon juice and honey can be used as a face pack. Pumpkin contains nutrients like vitamin C and vitamin-A which protect the skin from UV radiation, remove problems like dermatitis and inflammation, and keep it healthy for a long time.
Uses of Pumpkin
- Pumpkin is used as a vegetable.
- Pumpkin is used as a vegetable.
- Some people mix pumpkin with milk and consume it in the form of kheer.
- Pumpkin laddus are also made in some places.
- Pumpkin is used as a chutney.
- Cupcakes can be made for kids by adding jaggery to pumpkins.
Side effects of Pumpkin
- Many people are sensitive to pumpkins. Therefore, they should avoid their consumption, otherwise, allergies may occur.
- Pumpkin has diuretic properties, consuming it in excess can lead to a lack of water in the body.
- Consuming pumpkins in excess may lead to problems such as stomach pain, cramps, diarrhoea etc. as a high amount of fibre is found in them.
- Pregnant or lactating women should avoid consuming pumpkin or its seeds or consume it only after consulting a doctor.
- Consumption of pumpkins is not suitable for patients with low blood pressure as it has properties that reduce high blood pressure.