|Botanical Nomenclature||Cucurbita pepo|
|Common Name||Acorn Squash, Autumn Squash, Courgette, Crookneck, Marrow, Ornamental Gourd, Pattypan, Pomion, Pumpkin, Scallop Squash, Spaghetti Squash, Summer Squash, Zucchini|
|Distinguishing Features of the Plant||Cucurbita pepo is a large, one-year or perennial plant growing from 0,5 to 5m, with angular, hairy stems which creep or climb. The plant has large, palmate, hairy, deeply serrated leaves and large, yellow, hermaphrodite, edible flowers. The edible seeds are white, oval and flattened and the edible fruits are green, oblong and rough. The flowering and the harvesting take place from June to August and the seeds grow from August to October|
|Region Found||Epirus (cultivated, not wild species)|
|Part of the Plant with Active Substances||Flowers, leaves, root, fruits, seeds|
|Active Substances||Carbohydrates (5.8%), fat (0.11%), minerals (iron, copper, potassium, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc), water (91.6%), calcium (0.04%) , phosphate (0.31%), vitamin A, B, C, E, pantothenic acid, a- and b- carotene, essential oil, resin, emulsin, cucurbitacin, albumin, lecithin, phytosterin, protein, gum, chlorophyll, cucurbitacin (especially in seeds).|
|Pharmacological Effects - Therapeutic Applications||The whole plant has anthelmintic, diuretic, soothing, emollient and antiemetic properties. It is recommended in the form of herbal tea for the treatment of nephritis, prostate, fever, helminths, bladder's infection and insomnia. It is applied externally in the form of poultice made from the leaves against burns, spots, freckles and acne. In homeopathy the fruits are used as sodium source, which is necessary for the human body in very small amounts as well to prevent travel nausea and vomiting.|
|Method of Administration||It is adminstered in the form of herbal tea (60g of dried seeds in 500mL of boiled water for 5-10min, 3 times daily) and essential oil (6-12 drops a lot of times a day). It is applied externally to the skin in the form of poultice made from the fresh leaves.
Warning: The use of herb preparations is not recommended without seeking advice from your physician or pharmacist. The substances they contain may interact with the subscribed drugs that the patient already takes, thus eliminating their therapeutic efficacy or inducing toxicity. They may also burden further weakened vital functions of the body thus exposing the patient to increased morbidity and life threatened conditions.
|Toxicity- Adverse Effects||Plant's consumption may cause embryotoxicity and it should be avoided during pregnancy.|
|References||1) http://www.herbalencounter.com/2011/10/26/the-many-uses-of-pumpkin-seed-cucurbita-pepo-from-arthritis-to-prostate-health/ 2)http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Cucurbita+pepo 3) http://www.botanical-online.com/medicinalscucurbitapepoangles.htm 4)http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail451.php 5) http://herbalnation.blogspot.gr/2008/09/pumpkin-seed-cucurbita-pepo-medicinal.html|