If you haven’t considered using pumpkin seed oil in your health and beauty regime, maybe it’s because you haven’t heard of its awesome benefits. Austrians call it “green gold” and it’s no wonder as this oil is packed with a wide array of vitamins, antioxidants, nutrients and fatty acids all of which are essential to good health and skin.
What is it?
Pumpkin Seed Oil (Cucurbita maxima, C. Pepo) is exactly what you think it is. It is an oil derived from roasted pumpkin seeds. Pumpkins are harvested and the seeds are removed. They are then rinsed, cleansed, dried, roasted and then cold pressed to extract the oil. The oil ranges in color from a yellowish brown to a greenish orange and its taste is mildly sweet and pleasant.
Pumpkins are native to the Americas and pumpkin seed use can be traced back thousands and thousands of years. Earliest use of the seed is thought to have occurred around 7000 A.D. in Mexico. Native American tribes such as the Aztecs and the Mayans used pumpkins seeds for food, rituals and medicinal purposes. Medicinally it was used for internal parasites and kidney problems. As pumpkin and pumpkin seeds spread throughout the world and gained popularity many cultures adapted this oil into their daily diet and used it for medicinal purposes as well. As early as the 1800’s, herbal doctors prescribed it for urinary and gastric illness and today both the seeds and oil are used in the diet and to treat a variety of ailments.
Pumpkin seed oil is currently consumed throughout the world for use in food, as a nutritional supplement, an herbal medicine and is also used in cosmetics.
Foods and Beverages
Pumpkin seed oil is used as a nutritional supplement due to its high fatty acid, protein, zinc and vitamin content. It is taken directly, mixed in smoothies or shakes, or used as a salad dressing.
Benefits for the Body (Internal Use)
When taken internally, pumpkin seed oil offers the following benefits:
- High in protein
- Vitamins A, C, E
- Zinc – aids in prostate health and libido
- Fatty Acids ( high in omega 3 and omega 6)
- Treatment for tapeworms
- Alleviates irritation of the mucous membranes
- Healing to the digestive tract
Benefits for the skin
Pumpkin seed oil is anti-aging and is an excellent moisturizer for the skin due to its high fatty acid content, most significantly: palmitic acid (6-21%), oleic acid (24-41%) , stearic acid (3-8%) and linoleic acid (42-60%). Applied topically, these fatty acids are of great benefit to the skin. For instance,
- Palmitic acid aids the skin by providing a protective barrier.
- Oleic acid is moisturizing, softening, and aids in skin cell regeneration
- Linoleic acid aids in moisture retention, provides a protective skin barrier and reduces dry/scaly skin conditions
- Stearic acid aids in moisture retention, skin damage repair and increases skin flexibility and elasticity
Pumpkin seed oil also contains significant amounts of the carotenoids beta-carotene and lutein. These carotenoids are antioxidants and help the skin stave off free radicals.
Benefits for hair
Pumpkin seed oil is conditioning, moisturizing and protective. In addition, studies that show this oil may help regrow hair for those suffering with alopecia and/or thinning hair.
Are you ready to add pumpkin seed oil to your beauty routine? Why not whip up this easy 3 ingredient anti-aging facial serum recipe?
At Beauty By Francesca, we fell in love with the anti-aging and moisture retention properties of this oil. Currently we offer 3 fantastic products that contain pumpkin seed oil. Why not try one today?
Honey Pumpkin Milk Bar – Made with raw honey, organic milk and pumpkin seed oil our Honey Pumpkin Milk Bar will leave your skin squeaky clean and hydrated.
Beard Oil– Moisturizing, softening and conditioning. Great for daily maintenance and will leave your beard soft and manageable. Also great for getting rid of flaky dry skin.
Citrus Sunshine Whipped Body Butter – fragranced with a delightful blend of lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit essential oils. Designed to inspire, uplift and bring some sunshine to your day.
Do you already use pumpkin seed oil? What benefits have you seen?
Price, Len with Price, Shirley. Carrier Oils For Aromatherapy And Massage (4th edition). Oxfordshire, England: Riverhead Publishing, 2014. Print.