This garden beauty is on the site of almost every summer resident. Orange, yellow, green and colorful, small and huge, its fruits are the decoration of the garden. Many have tried tasty and healthy dishes from this berry (yes, yes - the botanists have pumpkin fruits as berries), but not everyone knows about its medicinal properties.
Botanical description and area of common pumpkin
Common pumpkin belongs to the pumpkin family, the genus pumpkin. In Latin - Cucurbita pepo. Described it, like many other plants, the famous Swedish botanist Karl Linney. This family is quite large, the pumpkin has many edible and well-known relatives: cucumbers, watermelons, melons and many more exotic vegetables and even fruits. Zucchini and squash are varieties of this type of pumpkin.
This plant is annual and grassy, has great growth power and power. What other vegetable can boast fruits of this size and weight? To feed huge rough leaves and fruits, the same powerful root system is required. It consists not only of a strong rod root that goes deep, most often by 3 meters or more, into the ground. He has a considerable number of branches, which can be up to 12 m long. Such a mass of roots allows the plant to successfully resist weather adversity and grow safely in dry and rainy weather.
Five-sided stems cross the ground. This plant cannot wrap itself around a support, but under favorable conditions it manages to climb high enough, since the stems reach a length of up to 10 m. And branchy or simple antennae help it in this. Clinging to the support, they allow the plant to master a rather large height. There are compact varieties of this vegetable, which branch slightly and do not take up much space when grown.
The leaves of this garden lady are large, to match the fruits, depending on the variety, they can be lobed or palmately dissected. Varieties with strongly dissected leaves are considered more resistant to lack of moisture. Petioles are long. Like the stems are pubescent.
Large yellow flowers with fused five-lobed corolla. On one plant there are both male and female flowers, moreover, in female flowers, pedicels are short, and in male flowers are long. The number of male flowers exceeds the number of female 25 times. Only in bush varieties of female flowers is only slightly less than male. The arrangement of colors also varies. Female flowers are more often located on the lateral processes, and male flowers are located on the main stem. The first, about 50 days after germination, are male flowers. Female flowers do this a week later. Cross pollination, pollinators are bees and bumblebees, pollinated by pumpkins and ants.
The fruit is a pumpkin. Usually it is covered with a hard crust, which allows the pumpkins to be stored for a long time. The color and size of the pumpkin depends on the variety. Inside the pumpkin there are quite large seeds with a length of 1 to 3 cm, covered with two shells: dense, white on the outside and filmy greenish-gray on the inside. There are varieties in which the seeds do not have an outer shell, the so-called gymnosperms.
Pumpkin is a southerner; therefore, for successful growth, it requires warmth and sun. On poor soils, this plant will grow poorly or not at all. She loves humus-rich non-acidic soils that warm up quickly.
Wild species of this vegetable are found in the southern states of the USA, in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. There is evidence that some of its species were grown in China in antiquity. But ordinary pumpkin was introduced into the culture by the Indians. And it happened five millennia BC. It is precisely this age that pumpkin seeds found in Mexican caves have. This vegetable came to Europe in the 16th century, quickly fell in love and very soon found himself in Russia. The ease of cultivation and long shelf life liked the peasants. It began to grow in almost every peasant farm. Now this vegetable can be found everywhere. By the way, Russia takes the 3rd place in the world in its cultivation.
Features of growing pumpkins
The chemical composition and calorie content of pumpkin
92% of this vegetable is water. But the remaining 8% are rich in composition. BUT exactly:
- various vitamins, including carotene, in carrots it is less;
- many trace elements, including such valuable as potassium, iron and zinc;
The leaves of this vegetable contain a lot of vitamin C - 620 mg. Rich in nutrients and seeds:
- tasty and healthy oil with a high content of unsaturated fatty acids;
- amino acids;
- carotene and carotenoids;
- essential oil.
Such a composition enables this vegetable to be not only useful, but also a medicinal product. At the same time, by calorie content, which is only 26 kcal per 100 g of product, it can be considered dietary.
The healing and beneficial properties of pumpkin
A large number of delicious dishes can be prepared from this vegetable, starting with appetizers and ending with desserts. There are almost no medical contraindications for its use. It can be eaten even with diseases of the stomach and intestines. And it can successfully cure many different diseases.
It contains a lot of antioxidants.whose role in the body is extremely large. Binding free radicals, they are an excellent tool against cancer, strengthen the cardiovascular system. Potassium also helps to improve its condition.
Vitamin A, which is obtained in the human body from beta-carotene, not only improves vision, but also strengthens the immune system. Thanks to him, the skin, hair and bones become healthier. And with various skin lesions, such as burns, inflammations, it contributes to their healing. In this case, the pulp of the pumpkin is applied externally in the form of gruel.
Pumpkin juice heals an ulcer, and the pulp itself is good for constipation and intestinal inflammation. By taking juice, you can reduce the acidity of gastric juice, which means getting rid of heartburn. It will help with insomnia, can serve as a sedative. Juice and seeds treat prostatitis.
Pumpkin pulp will help to remove swelling, both heart and kidney. If you eat it a couple of times a day just boiled, it will help get rid of even tuberculosis. It is a good remedy for toxicosis in pregnant women. In the elderly, is the prevention of atherosclerosis. A sufficiently large amount of fluorine allows it to be a prophylactic against caries.
As a dietary product, it is indicated for use in a variety of dishes for people of different ages.
Of course, nobody will eat them, they are too hard, but as a medicine they are quite effective. They help with toothache, pyelonephritis, cystitis, salt deposits in the joints.
Their benefits are very great. They are an excellent anthelmintic against pinworms. Even children can be treated this way. The list of problems that regular intake of pumpkin seeds will help to cope with is very large: joint problems, high levels of bad cholesterol, high sugar, poor blood coagulation, hypertension, decreased immunity, prostatitis, depression, poor sleep and much more.
Traditional medicine recipes with pumpkin
The range of problems that can be solved by taking medicines from various parts of this vegetable is extremely wide. The old Russian medical school "Cool Vertograd" advised using pumpkin for many diseases. Traditional medicine does not forget about it today.
What is useful pumpkin
- With all of the above diseases, you can eat it a couple of times a day in boiled form or in the form of cereals. It is enough to consume 150-300 g of pulp per day. But you need to do this regularly and for a long time.
- For some diseases, raw pumpkin pulp is used. Raw pumpkin pulp is good for people who have been treated with antibiotics for a long time, took radiation therapy sessions, with vitamin deficiency, atherosclerosis. It should be grated and eat a glass a couple of times a day immediately before meals.
- Slices of raw pumpkin will help with acne and headache, in the first case they rub the skin several times a day, in the second they simply apply to the sore spot.
- To treat anemia, it is enough to eat 3/4 cup raw pumpkin three times a day for food.
- Pumpkin gruel compresses will help with burns and mastopathy.
- For a good sleep, before going to bed, drink 1/2 cup of juice with a teaspoon of honey.
- With a cold, drink juice as much as you can during the day.
- With urolithiasis, you need to take juice 1/3 cup before meals three times a day
- For problems with the kidneys or liver, it is enough to drink 1/2 cup of pumpkin juice half an hour before a meal.
- With increased pressure and constipation, 1/4 cup of juice is enough, but already 20 minutes before meals three times a day.
- The initial stage of prostate adenoma and prostatitis is well treated with pumpkin juice, which is taken in 1/2 cup in 30 minutes. You need to drink it from 3 to 4 times a day.
- Lotions of pumpkin juice heal burns well.
They are used as anthelmintic with pinworms and tape worms. Seeds must be cleaned, preserving the inner green shell, crushed and mixed with milk, honey or jam, eat lying on an empty stomach gradually in small portions. For adults, 300 g of seeds are needed, for children, their number is reduced according to age. On the eve and after taking, you need to take a laxative and put an enema.
Pumpkin seeds are a good remedy for motion sickness on an airplane. They also have a diuretic effect.
For toothache, the planed pumpkin tail is poured with boiling water. After infusion, they are used to rinse in a warm form.
For the treatment of pyelonephritis, 5 tails are poured with a liter of water and cooked to reduce the volume by half in a small fire. After a day, the broth is drunk and a new portion is prepared. Drink until complete recovery. This treatment also helps with cystitis.
As a choleretic and diuretic, take a decoction of 20 g of fresh tails and 2 glasses of water. Boil for 20 minutes. Drink a decoction during the day.
Pumpkin Pulp in Diet Food
Due to its unique composition, the pumpkin pulp has no contraindications for use. On the contrary, it is very useful for constipation, inflammation of the colon and duodenum, liver diseases, for weakened people, in old age. It can be boiled, baked, made porridge from it, stuffed. Low calorie content allows you to eat pumpkin for those who want to lose weight.
Vitamin T is found in the pulp of pumpkin, which helps digest heavy meat food. Therefore, from it you can cook a useful side dish for fatty meat.
Pumpkin seed oil contains many vitamins and unsaturated fatty acids. Tasty and healthy, it is well suited for dressing vegetable salads.
The use of common pumpkin in cosmetology
Pumpkin - an excellent tool for skin rejuvenation. At the same time, pumpkin increases its moisture content. It is used in the form of masks.
You need to mix 3 tablespoons of boiled chopped pumpkin, a teaspoon of honey and egg yolk. Hold for 20 minutes, then you need to wash.
2 tablespoons of chopped boiled pumpkin is mixed with one tablespoon of olive oil. Then proceed as in the previous recipe.
- A couple of times a week, boiled chopped pumpkin is applied in a thin layer on the skin of the face. After 15 minutes you can wash yourself.
- You can soak a cotton napkin with fresh pumpkin juice and apply it on your face for 15-20 minutes.
- It is useful to wipe aging skin with oil from pumpkin seeds. It helps to heal burns, cuts and wounds.
How to make pumpkin juice
Contraindications and harm pumpkin
Since pumpkin lowers the acidity of gastric juice, people with low acidity should not drink it. Do not use it if the acid-base balance in the body is disturbed. If the blood sugar is elevated, the pumpkin should be eaten boiled or baked, but not raw. After eating the seeds, the mouth must be rinsed so that the acids they contain do not spoil the teeth.
Pumpkin is a vegetable that should be on the table in every home. Its useful properties are difficult to overestimate. Probably not often an effective medicine can also be so tasty.