What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Halloween? Why, of course, pumpkins! More than 10 million pumpkins are grown in the UK, of which 95% become jack-o’-lanterns. One finding showed that 25% of the people in the UK intended to buy pumpkins for Halloween in 2020, costing above £29.7 million.
The coronavirus lockdown restrictions did put a damper on things. Now that they are lifted, it is expected that the demand for pumpkins will rise by 15% in the UK in 2021. It’s a good thing because pumpkin seed oil is very beneficial for our bodies.
It used to be turnips and potatoes that had their lives carved out of them. However, in the 1800s, Irish immigrants to the United States started carving pumpkins. Pumpkin carving became a popular tradition in the UK in the 1990s.
Unfortunately, almost 13 million pumpkins go to waste each year just because people don’t know that their insides are edible. With such an abundance of pumpkins around Halloween, it’s time you consider using them for something other than carving – how about a nice scalp massage with pumpkin oil?
What Are the Benefits of Pumpkins for the Body?
Extracted from the seeds of pumpkins and consisting of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, the pumpkin seed oil is consumed in various ways. It is also rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, vitamin K, zinc, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. The pumpkin seed oil contains essential fatty acids, such as linoleic acid (omega 6), oleic acid (omega 9), palmitic acid, and stearic acid, along with omega 3 fatty acids. It can help improve heart, urinary tract, and prostate health, and it can help promote hair growth.
If you see a jar full of honey-coloured liquid, not as viscous as honey itself, it’s probably none other than pumpkin oil itself. You reap many benefits from the pumpkin seed in its oil form. However, you can also take its supplements, serums, and masks. Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of pumpkin seed oil for the body.
Pumpkin Seed Oil for Hair Loss
Want to flaunt spectacular hair this Halloween? Well, it won’t work overnight, but pumpkin seed oil can nourish your hair. One study on the pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) seed oil in male swiss mice showed that it played a role in promoting hair growth. They reversed the effects of topical testosterone that was applied to the mice.
After three weeks of application of pumpkin seed oil, hair growth increased by 10% as many hairs had entered the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle. Cucurbita pepo has proven to be beneficial not just for animals but also for humans.
Another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study proved the effectiveness of pumpkin seed oil for androgenetic alopecia in 76 adult males between the ages of 20 and 65.
They divided the participants into control and experimental group. The experimental group received 2 capsules of pumpkin seed oil before breakfast and dinner (4 capsules/day). The control received the same quantity of placebo for 24 weeks. They recorded the hair count of the participants at the baseline, 12th and 24th weeks of treatment. The results showed that pumpkin seed oil did increase the hair count of the participants who received it.
Among the participants in the control, the hair count had increased by 5% after 12 weeks. On the other hand, the hair count of the participants in the experimental group increased by 30%. By the 24th week, the hair count of participants receiving placebo increased by 10%, while it increased by 40% for the people in the experimental group who took pumpkin seed oil tablets.
In another study, the efficacy of pumpkin seed oil was compared with that of minoxidil foam in women with pattern baldness. It also showed the promising effects of the use of the oil extracted from pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkin Oil to Support Heart Health
Pumpkin seed oils also have health benefits for the heart. Containing unsaturated fatty acids, pumpkin seed oil can help lower blood cholesterol levels. It can also reduce blood pressure, which helps protect against many heart diseases. A good quality pumpkin oil is a part of many weight-loss diets. It is popularly used as a salad dressing in different parts of the world. Since it contains good fat, its oil extract is good for your heart health.
In a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study on 35 women who had entered menopause, the effects of pumpkin seed oil were studied. Not only did it reduce postmenopausal symptoms but also reduce blood pressure.
Pumpkin Seed Oil for Urinary Tract Health
There’s no denying the health benefits of this oil for urinary tract and prostate health. Research shows the benefit of pumpkin seed oil for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition in which the size of the prostate and surrounding tissue increases. It is not cancerous.
Research done on 47 Korean men with BPH showed that the use of pumpkin oil and saw palmetto reduced the symptoms of BPH. It can also improve urinary function in those people who have an overactive bladder.
One study showed that the administration of pumpkin oil for 12 weeks in 45 individuals reduced symptoms of overactive bladder. It may be a good idea to make it a part of your nutrition. However, before considering it as a medicine, you need to consult a professional doctor.
Pumpkin Seeds for Wound Healing
The use of oil extracted from pumpkin seeds for wound healing may sound unconventional. However, all the fatty acid goodness in cold-pressed pumpkin oil has numerous health benefits. Research has proven the use of pumpkin seed oil as a natural remedy to heal wounds.
One animal model research showed that the polyunsaturated fatty acids, tocopherols and sterols in pumpkin seed make it a promising wound healing treatment. In another study, second-degree burns were induced in rats, after which they were treated with a combination of pumpkin and linseed oil and Cytol Centella®. 33 days after, their biopsies revealed an improvement in the wounds.
Pumpkin Oil Is Still A Fat So Use It Wisely!
Sure, pumpkin seed oil has many benefits, but you should still use it wisely. At the end of the day, it is fat. So you should use it in moderation as it can cause weight gain. It is good for your heart. But before using it as a treatment, talk to your doctor so that its use doesn’t cause low blood pressure. It can rarely result in an allergic reaction. Make sure you keep that in mind when using it. In general, it is healthy and safe so you shouldn’t worry as much.
How You Can Use Pumpkin Seed Oil?
This Halloween, you don’t have to necessarily lather it onto your head; you can also cook your food in pumpkin oil or take its supplement. There are other methods by which you can use pumpkin seed oil for your hair, and you can DIY them.
Pumpkin Hair Mask
For that, mix the pumpkin seed oil with castor and coconut oil, equal to the amount of pumpkin seed oil, to create a hair mask. Spread it on your head for 20-30 minutes before taking a shower.
Pumpkin Hair Mist
To make a pumpkin hair spray at home, simply take a cup of pumpkin oil and mix it with 2 teaspoons of distilled water. Shake it well since oil and water won’t mix on their own. You can also add coconut oil to emulsify the solution. Add it all in a spray bottle, and you’ll have a bootiful Halloween.
Pumpkin Hair Serum
To make the pumpkin hair serum at home, all you’ll need is apricot oil, along with some pumpkin oil, of course in a 2:1 ratio. Wet your hair a little, and then spread the serum on your hair to nourish and moisturize them.
We witch you all a very happy Halloween but don’t forget to take care of yourself. It’s time you give your hair a treat with pumpkin seed oil. It is a time of merriment. However, not everyone feels comfortable in the aura of fear that Halloween inculcates. So, getting your hands on some pumpkin seed oil is definitely a good idea.
You can take it as a supplement, and drizzle it on your food and cook in it. You can eat the pumpkin itself as it has protein and vitamins that are good for your health. There are good fats in it. Still, don’t go overboard with its consumption as it can cause harm to your health.
Also, researchers need to find out more about the potential benefits of this vegetable for medicinal purposes. So don’t try it as a treatment for any disease on your own. You can try using it for hair loss. But if it isn’t stopping the shedding, you need to look for other solutions. Book a consultation with the professionals at Longevita today to learn more about your hair loss and get it treated!
Reviewed and Approved by Dr. Hassan Soueid.