There’s more to pumpkin than meets the eye
You may think of pumpkin as a festive fall decoration or the ingredient for the perfect pie, but pumpkin has other uses. Pumpkin seed oil, for example, has certain health benefits.
Pumpkin seed oil is said to help promote urinary health and heart health. It’s full of vitamins and anti-inflammatory agencies, along with linoleic and oleic acid. Here’s what you need to know about this fruit’s potential health benefits.
Effects on mental health
Traditionally, pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin seeds in general have been said to boost mood and ward off depression. Past findings from the British Journal of Psychiatry, for example, showed positive results from giving pumpkin seeds to children with depression.
Effects on hair and skin
Pumpkin seed oil has been linked to positive effects on hair growth, especially in men. One study found that men who took 400 milligrams of pumpkin seed oil every day for 24 weeks actually had 40 percent more hair growth than men in the placebo group. No adverse effects were found.
Effects on heart health
You may know that saturated fats aren’t good for healthy hearts. But it can still be confusing to know which fats are OK to eat. Pumpkin seed oil is actually an unsaturated fat, meaning it’s the “good” kind of fat. Unsaturated fats like pumpkin seed oil can actually promote a healthy heart.
One animal study found that pumpkin seed oil not only helped lower cholesterol, but it also had anti-inflammatory effects. The oil has also been shown to lower blood pressure in mice.
Effects on prostate health
Pumpkin seed oil, along with palmetto oil, has shown promising results as an alternative therapy for benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH). BPH is a common condition where the prostate becomes enlarged. This can be extremely painful and block the flow of urine.
A study of Korean men with BPH found that pumpkin seed oil may act as an effective alternative medicine with no adverse reactions. Participants in the study saw an improvement in symptoms, including better urinary flow. Researchers found that optimal results occurred when pumpkin seed oil was paired with palmetto oil.
Effects on urinary health
In general, pumpkin seed oil seems to have a positive effect on the urinary tract. This tract is made up of the kidneys, the bladder, and the urethra, which connects the bladder to the urinary opening.
Researchers in a small study gave participants between 500 and 1,000 milligrams of pumpkin seed oil. The participants saw a drastic improvement in their overactive bladder symptoms, including wetting themselves at night.
Effects on menopause
In one study, pumpkin seed oil was found to help relieve some of the symptoms of menopause. This included a decrease in hot flashes, joint pain, and headaches. The women taking pumpkin seed oil also had an increase in their HDL levels, which is the “good” cholesterol.
How can I get pumpkin seed oil?
Like flax seed, pumpkin seed oil can be taken in a liquid or concentrated pill form. This can be purchased in health stores or through an online health retailer. Most of the time, people take pumpkin seed oil in the pill form. This is generally because it's more convenient and is easier to swallow. It’s commonly sold in 1,000-milligram capsules, but you can find it in different dosages.