Pumpkin seed oil is called “green gold”. This is due to the fact that this natural oil, obtained from pumpkin seeds, is characterized by a brownish-green color and a valuable composition. The oil has a broad healing effect, supporting the immune system, digestive system, cardiovascular system, urinary system, nervous system. It is also used in cosmetics for the care of skin, hair and nails.
Characteristics of pumpkin seed oil
Pumpkin seed oil is soft in taste, in it you can often feel the taste notes of a walnut. Its color depends on the batch of grains from which it was made. Most often, the oil acquires a brownish-green color, but it can also be straw.
Precipitation of pumpkin seed oil
Oil deposition is a natural process. If the product is not used regularly, the particles precipitate at the bottom of the bottle. Don’t worry about this phenomenon – all we have to do is shake the bottle and the pumpkin seed oil will return to its former form.
Caloric content of pumpkin seed oil
Pumpkin seed oil refers to high-calorie foods. Its 100 milliliters contain about 900 calories. One tablespoon of the product provides about 90 calories.
Pumpkin seed oil – what does it contain?
Pumpkin seed oil in its composition contains valuable unsaturated acids, including polyunsaturated fatty acids from the omega-6 and omega-3 families. Especially dominant: oleic acid, linoleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid. We will also find in it: vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, fluorine.
The group of antioxidants contained in the oil includes: phenolic acids, tocochromanols, tocopherols, carotenoid dyes, chlorophyll dyes and squalene.
Pumpkin seed oil in its composition contains: polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, trace elements, phenolic acids, squalene.
It is worth emphasizing that squalene, which is a precursor to the synthesis of cholesterol, steroid hormones, fatty acids and vitamin D. It has strong antioxidant properties, supports the immune system and supports the process of transporting oxygen to the cells of the body.
Phenolic acids counteract coronary heart disease, inflammation of the body, diabetes. They also have choleretic and antibacterial effects. In contrast, carotenoid dyes reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
Pumpkin seed oil – what are its healing properties?
Pumpkin seed oil has the following effects:
Pumpkin Seed Oil for Immunity
Pumpkin seed oil naturally strengthens the immune system, stimulating macrophages and lymphocytes, as well as anti-inflammatory effects. It is particularly effective in the treatment of respiratory diseases.
Pumpkin seed oil for the digestive system
Pumpkin seed oil gently regulates digestive processes, accelerates our metabolism, thereby preventing frequent constipation. Some sources indicate that it can also help the weight loss process.
Pumpkin seed oil for the cardiovascular system
This natural product, due to the presence of phytosterols, effectively reduces the concentration of “bad” LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol. However, it increases the concentration of the “good” cholesterol fraction – HDL. Due to this, it prevents the development of atherosclerosis. In addition, it also regulates blood pressure and limits platelet aggregation.
Pumpkin seed oil for the nervous system
This does not end the healing properties of this vegetable oil. It also affects our nervous system. The content of magnesium and tryptophan – an amino acid involved in the synthesis of serotonin and melatonin – makes the oil improve our well-being, softens the effects of stress and nervous tension, has a positive effect on the quality of sleep and concentration. It can prevent depressive states, reduces the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Pumpkin seed oil in the fight against parasites
Pumpkin seed oil is used as a therapeutic support or a single remedy in the fight against parasites of the gastrointestinal tract in both adults and children. This action is due to the alkaloids contained in it (or cucurbitacin), which damage the nervous system of parasites that live in the digestive tract, i.e. tapeworm, pinworms or roundworms. Alkaloids also accelerate the process of removing parasites from the body, as well as other toxic substances.
Oil treatment should last at least two weeks.
Pumpkin seed oil supports the prostate
Pumpkin seed oil supports the urinary system and prostate gland, i.e. prostate. Healthy substances are especially useful in the case of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Pumpkin seed oil regulates the processes responsible for urination and reduces the level of the hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a high concentration of which is responsible for prostate hypertrophy.
Pumpkin seed oil supports vision
Pumpkin seed oil contains vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin, which is why it naturally protects vision and reduces the risk of cataracts.
Pumpkin seed oil for acne
Pumpkin seed oil has a calming, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effect, which is why it can also help in the treatment of acne.
Pumpkin seed oil for the urinary system
Pumpkin seed oil is recommended not only for mild prostatic hyperplasia, but also for the treatment of diseases of the bladder – especially the so-called overactive bladder.
Pumpkin Seed Oil and Cancer Prevention
Scientific studies show that the oil has an anti-cancer effect in the case of: ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer.
Pumpkin seed oil relieves the symptoms of menopause
According to scientific sources, pumpkin seed oil relieves the symptoms that accompany menopause, including mood swings or hot flashes.
Pumpkin seed oil – cosmetic use
Due to the content of many valuable substances, which we wrote about above, pumpkin seed oil is also used in cosmetics – we can use it for genuine skin, nails and hair care.
Pumpkin seed oil for the skin
Pumpkin seed oil belongs to the group of so-called non-drying oils with a content of polyunsaturated fatty acids below 20%. It is characterized by a fairly thick consistency and a long absorption time, so it is recommended especially in the case of dry and mature skin. It is also used in the treatment of psoriasis. It is worth emphasizing that the already mentioned squalene – contained in the oil – is a lipid component of our skin and has antibacterial and antifungal properties, reducing the visibility of skin acne in the case of problem skin.
Pumpkin seed oil is recommended especially when caring for dry skin, mature skin, problem skin.
Cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil lubricates the skin, moisturizes, restores its tone and reduces fine wrinkles and protects against the appearance of signs of aging. It also regulates sebum production.
The oil can be used not only on the face, but also on the whole body, for example, in the form of a massage oil – then we will reduce cellulite and the visibility of stretch marks. It is also worth lubricating the dry epidermis on the elbows, knees or heels.
How to use pumpkin seed oil for skin care? The oil can be applied directly to the epidermis. However, the most important thing is to dilute it with water at the very beginning – the risk of skin staining is high. The oil can also be added to your favorite cream.
Pumpkin oil for hair
Regularly used pumpkin seed oil in hair care will make our strands soft, smooth, nutritious, shiny. Applying the oil to the scalp further inhibits excessive hair loss and activates new hair follicles for growth.
Scientific studies show that this natural product blocks androgens, which contribute to baldness in men.
Pumpkin seed oil suppresses excessive hair loss, and also improves their condition along the entire length.
How to use the oil in hair care? The best results will be achieved when performing home lubrication procedures.
There are several methods of lubricating hair, but the most popular are dry lubrication and wet lubrication. A small amount of pumpkin seed oil is heated in the hands, and then evenly applied to dry or moistened strands (squeeze out excess water with a soft towel). To enhance the effect, the hair can be wrapped in a towel, cap or cling film – under the influence of heat, the ingredients more effectively penetrate deeper into the hair. Hold the oil for at least 30 minutes, and preferably for at least an hour. At the end, rinse with water and wash your hair with shampoo. We also recommend performing the so-called oil emulsification, thanks to which we will avoid a greasy hairstyle at the root. All you have to do is apply the conditioner to the oil, wait 15 minutes, and then rinse it all and wash your hair with shampoo.
Pumpkin seed oil can lightly darken hair.
The oil can also be added to your favorite shampoo or hair mask – 3 to 5 drops are enough. It’s also worth including his oral supplements.
Pumpkin seed oil – used in the kitchen
Pumpkin seed oil is characterized not only by valuable healing properties, but also by an original taste that will enrich our dishes. We can use it as an additive to:
- Sweet desserts.
Fry in pumpkin seed oil – is it possible?
It is worth knowing that cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil is not suitable for frying. It is used exclusively in cold, and it should not be added to dishes during cooking. Why? Under the influence of high temperature, this natural product loses its valuable healing properties.
Dosage of pumpkin seed oil
It is assumed that due to the content of unsaturated fatty acids per day, a maximum of two to three teaspoons of pumpkin seed oil should be consumed. Exceeding this dose can lead to a decrease in blood pressure.
The maximum recommended daily dose of pumpkin seed oil is two to three teaspoons of the product.
The oil can be used both as an additive to dishes and as a form of dietary supplement taken orally. We can reach it on an empty stomach, before eating or after eating.
Pumpkin seed oil for children
Pumpkin seed oil is considered a safe product for children – before including it in the menu, it is worth consulting a pediatrician. For children under nine years of age, a dosage of one teaspoon of oil per day is recommended. It is best to give it on an empty stomach, immediately after waking up.
Pumpkin seed oil will primarily naturally support the immune system, as well as positively affect memory and concentration.
Side Effects of Using Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil is considered a safe product – provided that it is taken in recommended doses. Exceeding the dosage can lead to:
- abdominal pain
What are the contraindications to the use of pumpkin seed oil?
Particular caution when using pumpkin seed oil should be taken by pregnant and lactating women. This is due to the fact that to date, the effect of oil in the case of pregnancy and breastfeeding is not exactly known.
Pumpkin seed oil can increase the ability of lithium to accumulate in the body, which is why it is not recommended for people taking lithium-based drugs.
Pumpkin seed oil should not be used by people with pumpkin allergies – there is a small risk of an allergic reaction also after consuming the oil. Alarming symptoms should be taken into account: skin rash, itching or redness of the skin, shortness of breath, a feeling of tightness in the chest. If you experience these symptoms, see your doctor.
The oil is also not recommended for people struggling with cholelithiasis due to the fact that it promotes the excretion of bile.
Pumpkin seed oil is not recommended: pregnant and lactating women, people with pumpkin allergies, diabetics, people struggling with cholelithiasis, people taking hypertension medications and lithium-based drugs.
Diabetics should be careful. As we wrote above, pumpkin seed oil improves the lipid profile, while the regulation of lipid metabolism in people struggling with diabetes can lead to hyperglycemia.
Pumpkin seed oil should be used with caution in the case of people taking hypertension medications. As we have already mentioned, this natural product has a hypotensive effect, which means that it affects the reduction of pressure. The simultaneous use of oil and taking medications for hypertension (for example, felodipine, captopril) can enhance the effect of pharmaceutical drugs. Therefore, when including pumpkin seed oil in the menu, you should consult a doctor.
Which pumpkin seed oil to choose?
When buying pumpkin oil, you should pay attention to the fact that the product is 100% natural, cold pressed from seeds and unrefined. Otherwise, in this food product we will not find biologically active compounds that exhibit valuable healing properties. It is also worth choosing oil in a glass, dark bottle, which will protect it from the negative effects of solar radiation.
How to store pumpkin seed oil?
Pumpkin seed oil in its composition contains unsaturated fatty acids, which are subject to oxidation, or rancidity. In order to enjoy the health benefits of the oil as long as possible, it is recommended to store it in the refrigerator for no more than six months after opening.