Pumpkin (Cucurbita)

Main Facts about Pumpkin

Pumpkin (Cucurbita)
Pumpkin is round, with smooth, slightly ribbed skin and usually deep yellow to orange coloration. Pumpkins vary greatly in shape, size and colors. The thick shell contains the seeds and pulp. In structure, the fruit features golden-yellow to orange flesh depending up on the poly-phenolic pigments in it. The fruit has a hollow center, with numerous small, off-white colored seeds interspersed in a net like structure. Pumpkins, like other squash, are thought to have originated in North America.

Using Pumpkin

Pumpkin is one of the very low calorie vegetables. 100 g fruit provides just 26 calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; however, it is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins, therefore recommended in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs. Pumpkin seeds, eaten raw, are largely used to remove intestinal worms. Boiled pumpkin leaves reduce fever. Pumpkin is used as a mild laxative, it does not irritate the intestinal tract. It also has a diuretic ability. Applied externally, pumpkin souftens rough and dry skin, helps to eliminate pimples, frecles, and spots. The fiber, potassium and vitamin C content in pumpkin all support heart health. Increased potassium intakes are also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density and reduction in the formation of kidney stones. The antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene support eye health and prevent degenerative damage and offer an immunity boost.

Pumpkin is a remedy for: Constipation, Weight loss

Cooking with Pumpkin

Pumpkin, squash and gourd flowers are beautiful additions to salads. Most parts of the pumpkin are edible, including the fleshy shell, the seeds, the leaves, and even the flowers. In the United States and Canada, pumpkin is a popular Halloween and Thanksgiving staple.When ripe, the pumpkin can be boiled, baked, steamed, or roasted. Often, it is made into various kinds of pies. Pumpkin seeds are a popular snack. Pumpkin seed oil is used for cooking and salad dressing.

How to grow Pumpkin

Pumpkins require a lot of food and a long growing season (generally from 75 to 100 frost-free days) so you need to plant them by late May in northern locations to early July in extremely southern states. Do not plant it until all danger of frost has passed and the soil is warmed as the seedlings will be injured or rot.
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