|Botanical Nomenclature||Cucurbita maxima|
|Distinguishing Features of the Plant||Cucurbita maxima 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, hermaphrodites, edible flowers. The fruits (Pumpkins) are bulky, spherical, with yellow or red flesh and sweet taste, weighing over 60kg. The flowering lasts from July to September and the fruiting takes place 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||Triterpenoids, cucurbitan, glycosides, carotenoids (lutein and b-carotene), cucurmosini, proteins, glutamic acid, aspartic acid, leucine, valine, phenylalanine, tryptophan and other amino acids, phytosterols (spinasterol, b-sitosterol, stigmasterol), iron, potassium, lipids, tocopherols, squalene.|
|Pharmacological Effects - Therapeutic Applications||The whole plant has diuretic, sedative, tonic, anthelmintic, emollient and anticatarrhal properties. It is applied externally to the skin in the form of poultice against first degree burns, inflammation and headache. The plant is also known for its anthelmintic properties, as well it is used against taenia (parasite), as seeds' essential oil is too effective to those patients. The seeds contain a mixture of oils, vitamins and minerals which restrict urinary incontinence in patients with prostate. Finally, a lot of studies are conducted to plant's extract in order to prove its hypotensive and hypoglycemic properties.|
|Method of Administration||It is adminstered in the form of herbal tea (30g of dried seeds in 500mL of boiled water for 5-10min, 3 times a day). It is applied externally to the skin in the form of poultice and essential oil made from the seeds.
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||Methemoglobinemia may be caused due to plant's high content in nitrate. In infants may be caused constipation. Other possible adverse reactions are allergy, nausea, diarrhea and itching. Cross-reactivity with watermelon, cucumber and zucchini may be occured.|
|References||1) http://journals.usamvcluj.ro/index.php/hamei/article/viewFile/10076/8461 2) http://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=rjmp.2011.577.586&org=10 3) http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cucurbita+maxima 4)https://www.ayurtimes.com/cucurbita-maxima/ 5)http://www.academia.edu/3158888/Antidiabetic_and_Antihyperlipidemic_Activity_of_Cucurbita_maxima_Duchense_Pumpkin_Seeds_on_Streptozotocin_Induced_Diabetic_Rats 6)http://www.drugs.com/npp/pumpkin.html|