Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil is a unique and extraordinary type of oil. This oil is more popular for its medicinal uses rather than its culinary uses. It was the Native Americans who pioneered the usage of this oil for kidney treatments and intestinal parasitic invasion.
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The medicinal properties of this oil have served to be a breakthrough in curing parasitic diseases, lowering cholesterol levels, controlling prostrate enlargements etc.
Pumpkin seed oil is highly consumed by the people of Austria for its nutty flavor. In fact this oil is ranked to be among one of the top export commodities of Austria and Slovenia. The Styrian pumpkin seed oil is a popular example. However this oil tends to lose its nutritional value through cooking, hence it is best consumed when raw.
Pumpkin seed oil is loaded with nutrition. This oil is packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin E, zinc, essential fatty acids like Omega 3 and omega 6.
This oil is identified to have a dark green or dark red color. The color is prone to change depending on the thickness of the oil. As such it will appear to be green in thin layer and red in a comparatively thick layer.
Pumpkin Seed Oil Composition
Pumpkin seed oil is composed of essential fatty acids, antioxidants and oil. Apart from this it is also laden with important vitamins and minerals. Let us summarize the chemical composition of the pumpkin seed oil in brief.
- Oil content (10.9-30.9) %
- Unsaturated fatty acid including linoleic, oleic, palmitic and stearic: (73.1-80.5) %
Enlisted below is the content of unsaturated fatty acids present in this oil.
Myristic Acid: (0.009-0.27) %
Palmitoleic Acid: (0.12-0.52) %
Stearic Acid: (5.1-8.5) %
Oleic Acid: (17.0-39.5) %
Linoleic Acid: (18.1-62.8) %
Linolenic Acid: (0.34-0.82) %
Arachidic Acid: (0.26-1.12) %
Gadoleic Acid: (0-0.17) %
Behenic Acid: (0.12-0.58) %
Pumpkin Seed Oil Extraction
The following information includes the conventional procedure of pumpkin seed oil production.
You can obtain 1 litre oil from 2.5kilograms of seeds. It is important to make sure that the seeds have been dried and cleaned.
Now the dry seeds are crushed into a fine power. Meanwhile the outer covering of the seeds are also removed.
You are recommended to add an appropriate amount of water and salt to the seed powder.
Thereafter this mixture is entirely dispersed.
What follows is the process of ‘roasting’. It is very important to maintain a low temperature during this process, in order to avoid over roasting or burning the flour.
After the process of roasting is complete, the seeds are subjected to ‘pressing’. It is the process of pressing which extracts the oil. Pumpkin seed oil is known for its typical flavor that gives this oil a unique and special taste.
Please note that the pressed oil has to be stored for a few days, so as to promote proper sedimentation. Thereafter you can store the oil in a bottle or a container an use it accordingly.
Pumpkin Seed Oil Uses
Apart from the several health benefits, pumpkin seed oil also has a variety of uses.
This oil is voted to be an excellent kitchen ingredient by many cooks across the world. The nutty flavor of this oil makes it ideal for salad dressings. A little bit of pumpkin seed oil with a dash of vinegar has always been the perfect combination for Styrian dressing.
This oil is also often sprinkled up on desserts, especially the vanilla ice cream.
Pumpkin seed oil is a devoured delicacy for the Austrian people who add this oil in soups and plates of all kinds.
However, it is important to remember that when used as cooking oil it tends to lose much of its beneficial properties.
Pumpkin Seed Oil for Skin: This oil packed with powerful antioxidants and fatty acids, could work wonders for your skin. Adding a bit of this oil to skin care products will not only moisturize your skin, but would also provide a beautiful and healthy glow to the skin. Apart from that it will also maintain and boost the cell structures of the skin. Let us now discuss the skin care benefits of pumpkin seed oil in detail.
This oil is full of natural antioxidants as well as polyunsaturated fatty acids. The presence of a high amount of the gamma – tocopherol form of Vitamin E is what attributes an extremely powerful antioxidant property to this oil. It is these antioxidants that act as a shield for the cell structure and health of our skins. Moreover they also neutralize the effects of air pollution and radiation that could otherwise lead to skin ageing and wrinkling.
Pumpkin seed oil is composed of four essential fatty acids namely palmitic, linoleic, stearic and oleic acids. Palmitic acid is responsible for promoting oil regeneration; it stops the skin from getting too dry or chapped. Stearic acid retains the moisture balance of the skin. Linoleic acid acts as a repairing agent for flaky and rough skin. Oleic acid also provides the skin with good moisture content.
Pumpkin Seed Oil for Hair Growth
The potential of pumpkin seed oil in fighting hair loss and baldness is truly a breakthrough. However the ironic part is that not many are aware of this fact.
This dark green oil is considered to block the hormone known as DHT or ihydrotestosterone that is responsible for baldness, especially in men. It is DHT that prevents hair from growing back. However research has proved that with regular usage of pumpkin seed oil you can bid goodbye to the age old problem of baldness.
Traditional Uses of Pumpkin Seed Oil
This oil has been used as age old folk medicine for bed-wetting sickness in children, urinary problems, diabetes, prostrate disorders and vascular disease. It is also considered to be effective in lowering cholesterol and increasing milk production in women.
In countries like Germany the pumpkin seed oil is associated with anti-parasitic properties. It had been used as a folk medicine to cure and remove tapeworms and parasites from the intestine.
Pumpkin Seed Oil Health Benefits
The discovery of the medicinal properties of pumpkin seed oil dates back centuries ago. This oil is one of the most impressive among nature’s miracles.
Pumpkin Seed Oil for Prostrate
This oil has is known to work as a magic potion for men suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. It is usually the men who have crossed the age of 50 who fall victims to BPH. This condition is recognized by the enlargement of the prostrate gland followed by several urinary symptoms. However this oil slows down the effects of BPH by improving bladder and urethra functions. It subdues the growth of the prostrate caused by testosterone.
Research shows that pumpkin seed oil, packed with essential fatty acids and anti-oxidant properties can be an excellent remedy for chronic rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, in this context the oil is considered to be as powerful as the drug indomethacin that also provides relief from the pain.
This oil has properties capable of tonic the pelvic floor muscles especially in women. As such this oil is highly recommended for women suffering from stress incontinence and overactive bladder. The extracts of soybean seeds along with pumpkin seed oil would be the perfect combination to fight stress incontinence. Women may suffer a mild stomach ache after consumption, but there is nothing to worry about as such.
Pumpkin seed oil has often been used along with cholesterol lowering drugs. The presence of essential fatty acids and anti-oxidants in this oil makes it ideal for lowering LDL levels. These essential fatty acids are polyunsaturated, thus attributing the oil with cholesterol lowering ability. Moreover this oil is laden with properties that can even counteract the varied side effects of cholesterol drugs.
Contains significant Antioxidants
This oil is laden with carotenoids and tocopherols that are rich in antioxidant properties. Moreover carotenoids are full of Vitamin A which is essential for good health. Tocopherols also contain major vitamins.
This oil is attributed with qualities that can come handy in combating parasitic diseases like schistosomiasis; a disease transmitted through snails. Research conducted in countries like China and Russia, has associated pumpkin seed oil with providing relief from intestinal infections caused by tapeworms.
Boosts Kidney function
The health benefits of pumpkin seed oil do not cease to surprise. Two researches conducted in Thailand shows how munching the seeds as snacks could prevent the body from acquiring kidney stones. The oil is capable of reducing bladder pressure and urethral pressure.
The presence of a high content of tryptophan in pumpkin seed oil makes it useful in combating with problems related with sleep disorders or insomnia.
Picture 3 – Pumpkin Seeds
Source – indiamart.com
Pumpkin Seed Oil Recipes
The Austrian people love pumpkin seed oil for its nutty flavor. This oil is ideal for salad dressings and is also added to soups. Majority of the times, it is used with apple cider vinegar. Moreover there are ample recipes for sausage, cakes, noodle salad etc.
Pumpkin Seed Oil Side Effects
Pumpkin seed oil has not been associated with any side effects. Apart from the exception of mild stomach aches, this oil does not cause any harmful side effects. However it is always recommended to consult a physician before consumption of this oil.
Where to buy Pumpkin Seed Oil?
Pumpkin seed oil supplements in the form of capsules etc are available in most of the health stores and nutrition stores.
You will come across lots of pumpkin seed oil suppliers and dealers online.
- by baishakhee
- September 6th 2011