Did you know that 100 g of pumpkin contains only about 25 kcal. And this is with the richest vitamin and mineral composition! Pumpkin is useful to absolutely everyone - both adults and children. At the same time, in any form - boiled, fried, baked and even candied candied fruit - the pumpkin almost does not lose its properties. But it is most useful, of course, to use it raw. This article will discuss the useful and medicinal properties of pumpkin, about how to use it in traditional medicine and the correct (to preserve all useful properties) storage.Pumpkin - useful and healing properties
Pumpkin - Botanical Characteristics
Common pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) belongs to the Pumpkin family. It includes about 700 species. In Russia, in addition to pumpkin, relatives are very popular and its relatives - cucumber, zucchini, zucchini, squash, watermelon, melon.
Pumpkin is an annual plant native to the arid regions of central America. Each gardener is well acquainted with its creeping stems, sometimes up to 5 meters long and longer, large, hard leaves and large beautiful flowers. Pumpkin root can reach a depth of 3-4 meters. It blooms in July, the fruits ripen, starting in September.
This is a very thermophilic and photophilous culture, loves fertile soils, grows well on a compost heap. It is interesting that scientists consider pumpkin a berry, but gardeners are accustomed to consider it a vegetable.
What is remarkable, in the wild it was never found. In Russia, pumpkin is cultivated throughout the territory as a vegetable and fodder, oilseed (from seeds) and decorative culture.Common pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.).
The chemical composition and beneficial properties of pumpkin
90% of pumpkin pulp consists of water, contains amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, pectins, salts of potassium, magnesium, iron, fluorine, calcium, zinc, manganese, iodine, copper, vitamins B1, IN2, C, PP, E, D, beta-carotene and vitamin T. The seeds contain fatty oil, phytosterols, organic acids, resins, carotenoids, vitamins C, B1, IN2.
Pumpkin seeds have anthelmintic properties, and dried seeds do not lose their properties for 2 years. It is only necessary to dry in air and in no case use dryers or ovens, since all useful properties are lost.
Pumpkin contains a large amount of fiber and organic acids, so it is included in the diet for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, the pulp contains a lot of pectin, which is useful for inflammation of the colon. Everyone knows that pectin removes toxins, waste and cholesterol from the body, so pumpkin is good for atherosclerosis.
This vegetable berry has a laxative effect. It is useful for cardiovascular diseases, as it contains a lot of potassium salts, and also for anemia - it is rich in iron.
Pumpkin is a low-calorie product, so it is recommended to use it for obesity. In addition, it speeds up the metabolism, and the rare vitamin T prevents the accumulation of fat cells, which is why pumpkins are recommended by nutritionists around the world.
Pumping fasting days are very useful. Pumpkin pulp has a diuretic effect and cleanses the whole body well.
Kids don't like pumpkin? Offer them candied pumpkin!
In the old days it was believed that such a food-medicine always helps and never harms, even in large doses. It is good to use with all kinds of edema, especially with diseases of the cardiovascular system, gout, diseases of the kidneys and bladder.
Pumpkin is good for the eyes, and also, due to the high content of carotene in it, it is an excellent antioxidant and prevents aging.
Eating pumpkin is also good for men's health. Vitamin E, zinc and L-arginine contained in seeds have a positive effect on the functioning of the prostate gland.The amount of protein in pumpkin is greater than in chicken eggs, and carotene is 5 times more than in carrots!
The use of pumpkin in folk medicine
In official medicine, only ordinary pumpkin is used, as well as seeds of large pumpkin and musky pumpkin.
From time immemorial, in folk medicine, pumpkin seeds, peeled from husks, as an anthelmintic have been used for medicinal purposes. The thin film around the seed contains the substance cucurbitin. This tool is very effective in the treatment of round and tapeworms, as well as in diseases of the genitourinary organs.
Sunflower seeds are recommended to be eaten raw - up to three glasses a day (however, it must be taken into account that they are very high-calorie), or they can be used to prepare “milk”, which can be drunk or mixed with buckwheat, you can grind the seeds with honey.
Since there are almost no side effects, such drugs are recommended to be used if necessary for pregnant women and children. By the way, fried seeds lose their beneficial properties.
In addition, folk doctors recommend drinking juice of pumpkin pulp in diseases of the kidneys and liver, 1 glass per day. In antiquity, inflamed places on the body were wrapped around the pulp of pumpkins, it was used for burns, acne, rashes, eczema.
Modern doctors recommend pumpkin for atherosclerosis, constipation, gout, cholelithiasis. Pumpkin reduces nausea during toxicosis during pregnancy. A pumpkin decoction with honey is prescribed for insomnia.
Freshly squeezed juice of pumpkin pulp strengthens the immune system, so it is prescribed for colds and flu. Pumpkin seed oil is useful for diseases of the liver, urogenital organs, normalizes the intestines, improves immunity. Modern science has proven that thanks to its high zinc content, pumpkin prevents cancer of the esophagus.
Decoctions and infusions of pumpkin leaves and flowers
It is interesting that even pumpkin leaves have healing properties - antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. And due to the large amount of vitamin C contained in them - a wound healing property.
A decoction and infusion of pumpkin leaves is used to treat gums, it also reduces blood sugar, improves immunity and is used to prevent SARS.
For the preparation of infusion take two tablespoons of dried pumpkin leaves and pour them 200 ml. boiling water. This is convenient to do in a thermos. It is possible in an enameled saucepan, but it will have to be put in a warm cooling oven (the temperature of the oven should be no more than 100 ° C).
So infusion should be prepared for about 15 minutes. Then it needs to be cooled at room temperature. If necessary, add volume to 200 ml. And you can drink 1/2 cup twice a day to increase immunity, for example. And in the case of diseased gums, rinse the mouth with this infusion 2-3 times a day.
Pumpkin flowers can be treated for cough, for this they prepare a decoction.
Decoction of flowers and pumpkin leaves done as follows. 2 tablespoons of dried flowers (or leaves) of pumpkin are poured into 200 ml of boiling water and boiled in a water bath for 30 minutes, the fire should be light. Next, you also need to cool, bring the volume to 200 ml (if necessary) and take 1/2 cup 2 times a day.
Be careful! In addition to such enormous benefits, pumpkin can be harmful. It contains a lot of sugars, so it is not recommended to use it for diabetes. And also, like all raw juices, fresh pumpkin juice can cause exacerbation of gastritis, gastric ulcer or duodenal ulcer.
Pumpkin for Beauty
Pumpkin is also used in cosmetology. A face mask made from gruel of seeds or from boiled pulp moisturizes, brightens, rejuvenates the skin. Pumpkin oil relieves skin inflammation. In addition, due to the high content of vitamins in it, it strengthens the nail bed, if it is regularly rubbed into the nail plate.
For proper storage, ripened pumpkins must be cut together with a 5–6 cm long stem and allowed to lie down for a couple of days somewhere on the street.
Pumpkins are very beautiful on their own! Read our material 15 original pumpkin decor ideas.
How to store a pumpkin in order to preserve its beneficial properties?
It is very important to be able to store the pumpkin correctly so that all useful substances are preserved in it. To do this, ripened pumpkins must be cut together with a 5–6 cm long stalk and allowed to lie down a couple of days somewhere on the street so that they dry out a little. Such pumpkins will be better stored. The main thing is that these days the weather should be dry and sunny.
And then you can store pumpkins at room temperature, but it is better that it is some cool dark place, where the temperature is + 5 ... +8 ° C, a cellar, for example.
Pumpkin has the ability to maintain its nutritional and medicinal properties for up to several years, but it is better to eat it in the first few months. It perfectly tolerates freezing and retains almost all of its useful properties.
For freezing, I wash my freshly cut pumpkin, peel and cut it into small pieces (2x2 cm), put it in bags and put it into the freezer, where I sometimes have it until the next harvest. This pumpkin can be used for making cereals or soups. By the way, the larger the pumpkin, the less sugar content in it.