Pumpkin (Nan Gua)

Botanical Name: Cucurbita (Pumpkin), Cucurbita pepo L. (Pumpkin Seeds)

Pumpkins and pumpkin seeds are both high in zinc and vitamin A making them a wonderful food and herb to support menses, strengthen the prostate, and aid fertility. They can also treat urinary tract infections and support the kidneys.

Watch a short video, from Ann Christensen, Founder and Creator of White Rabbit Institute of Healing™ – What does pumpkin do for your stomach?

Below is an overview of pumpkin, combining the best of Western Science, Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore, and a wide range of healing modalities. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of pumpkin.

How to take FULL advantage of Pumpkin's healing powers...

Pumpkin (Nan Gua)

JOIN ME in an exploration of the healing herb, Pumpkin (Nan Gua). Dive deep into the benefits and applications of Pumpkin, from Eastern and Western perspectives, and so much more!


Western Name: Pumpkin, Pumpkin Seeds

Also Known As: Squash, Pepitas

Organs/Systems: Digestive, Reproductive, Intestines, Respiratory

Key Actions: Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, Nutritive, Immune Enhancing, Vermifuge, Anthelmintic (expels intestinal worms), Taeniacide (kills tapeworms), Hypertensive, Hypoglycemic, Diuretic, Laxative

Medicinal Uses: Heart health, constipation, menses, diabetes, intestinal worms and parasites, urinary retention, supports the immune system and eye health, glaucoma, sperm count and motility, urinary dysfunction due to a swollen prostate, skin, anemia, builds strength, lowers blood pressure, supports respiratory system.


Pin Yin: Nan Gua (Pumpkin), Nan Gua Pi (Pumpkin Seeds)

Also Known As: N/A

Meridians: Kidney, Large Intestines, Spleen, Stomach

Key Actions: Resolves Damp, Expels Worms, Relieves Pain, Calms Fetus, Promotes Lactation

Medicinal Uses: Dysentery, diarrhea, eczema, bladder infections, stomach aches, digestion, hemorrhoids, intestinal worms, parasites, joint pain and swellings due to Dampness, improves lactation and fertility, benefit postpartum fluid metabolism (especially hand and feet swelling). Some say it is an antidote for opium.

Basic Habitat / Botany:

Pumpkins are in the Cucurbitaceae family of squashes. They are a herbaceous annual vine. Harvested and dried in the Summer and Fall when the squash is ripe.

Pumpkins are native to North America and are now cultivated worldwide in temperate regions.

Parts Most Frequently Used: Flesh (Pulp), Seed, Oil

Flavors/Temps: Sweet, Cooling, Slightly Bitter

Caution: Considered very safe. Careful if used to expel worms while pregnant.

Key Constituents: Water, Iron, Beta-carotene, Tannins, Cyanide (in seeds), Essential fatty acids (Linoleic acid being the main Fatty acid), Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Sterols, Sterol glycosides, Cucurbitine, Tocopherols, Vitamin A, C, and E, Zinc, Selenium, Potassium, Copper, Phosphorous, Phytosterols, Magnesium

History/Folklore: Pumpkins have been cultivated in Mexico and North America since at least 14,000 B.C. Typically the seeds are used medicinally, but the pulp is a highly nutritional food as well and is often baked, or used in stews and soups. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of iron and have been taken as a supplement to increase iron in adults.

A type of winter squash, the word pumpkin originates from the Greek word for “large melon” which is “pepon.” Commonly viewed as a vegetable, they are actually a fruit, as they contain seeds, though their nutritional profile more closely resembles vegetables.

Pumpkins can be eaten in various preparations including baked, roasted, or in soups. Pumpkin seeds can be crushed and ground to make teas, poultices, or to toss on salads. They are also used to make liquid extracts or seed tinctures. Pumpkin seed oil is beneficial to the skin.

To treat intestinal worms, grind 200-400 grams of dried unpeeled seeds into a pulp, mix with milk and honey until you have a porridge-like consistency. Take it on an empty stomach in the morning, followed by castor oil 2-3 hours later. Repeat the next morning.

Pumpkin seed oil taken internally (10 drops 3X day) can help treat urinary tract infections and strengthen the lungs.

In Germany, the seeds were discovered to help stimulate sex hormones. The seeds contain phytosterols that are known to improve testosterone production helping to increase sperm count, motility, and fertility. The fatty acids in the seeds also improve blood circulation and increase semen volume. They are very high in zinc and other compounds that support fertility in men and women. Studies have shown the benefits of complex carbohydrates, fiber, omega-3, and zinc on fertility. These and other compounds found in pumpkin and pumpkin seeds help stimulate the flow of blood to the genitalia. Also high in water content, pumpkin also ensures fluid supply to follicles for proper egg maturity.

Native Americans prized pumpkins as a nutritious food and medicine. They used dried pieces of the squash to weave into mats. Most American Indian Nations have their own traditional methods for preparing pumpkins. Grown alongside corn and beans, pumpkins are one of the mythological Three Sisters of American Indian agriculture. Ancient pumpkin containers have been found in Mexico dating back as far as 7,000 B.C. Some tribes dried and ground the seeds into flour to mix with cornmeal to make bread. The Navajo, Hopi, and Pueblo tribes all have Pumpkin Clans, and some Pueblo tribes also have a traditional Pumpkin Flower Dance.

Pumpkins are considered good at strengthening the mucous membrane of organs, especially the lungs and nasal passages. Being high in Vitamin A it is also good for treating the eyes, bladder, and kidneys. Pumpkin can help regulate blood sugar levels.

Pumpkins have long been associated with magic and the Pagan holiday of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), which is the official end of summer and the harvest season. The Ancient Celts believed that the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead were extremely thin at this time of year, allowing the dead to cross over into the world of the living. The dead could be seen as ghosts or black cats. With the arrival of Christianity to Ireland this holiday was incorporated into All Souls Day (November 1).

It is the Irish that is credited with carving pumpkins to celebrate All Souls Day, also called Halloween. As the Irish immigrants came to America and discovered pumpkins, it was an easy transition from the much smaller squashes they had traditionally used to represent “Jack-O-Lantern.” Previously they had used rutabagas or turnips, which were much smaller. Carving pumpkins into a “Jack-O-Lanterns” went with their tale of Stingy Jack who played a trick on the devil that backfired and left him to wander the earth forevermore, stuck between heaven and hell. As time went by the tradition became a symbol of Halloween, with pumpkins being carved every year as a fun part of the holiday decorations.

Some identify the pumpkin with the fire element due to its color and others to water as it is high in water content. Their scent is sweet, warming, and soothing.

A quart of tea with one-and-a-half cups of pumpkin seeds added and brought to a boil can help treat gout. Take one cup every two hours.

Farmers even use cooked pumpkins to help aid animal digestive disorders such as constipation or diarrhea.

Ethiopians chew pumpkin seeds as a natural laxative.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the raw seeds are used medicinally to kill parasites, benefit pregnant women, prevent prostate disease, and protect the gums. The Chinese will mix walnuts, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds to help heal malnutrition.

In China, the pumpkin is a symbol of prosperity and fruitfulness. Enjoyed during the Chinese New Year celebrations it is a symbol of health, happiness, and prosperity.

Pumpkin is unusually high in lutein and zeaxanthin, two compounds that are linked to reducing the risk of age-related cataracts and macular degeneration. Combined with pumpkin’s already high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A, regular consumption of pumpkin can help support eye function.

Ground and powdered pumpkin seeds are available as a supplement for protein and their nutritional value.

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Did you know?

Kill Intestinal Worms

Pumpkin seeds kill intestinal worms.

Enlarged Prostates

Pumpkin seeds do not reduce an enlarged prostate, but they can help reduce the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
Fun fact!

Isquotom Squash

Native Americans called pumpkins “isquotom squash.” Squash is a Native American word.

How to use Pumpkin (Nan Gua) and take FULL advantage of it's healing powers!

Find out how to safely use this powerful herb and get specific recipes you can make use of immediately. Dive deep into Eastern and Western perspectives about HOW and WHY this herb works. Includes uses, benefits, essential oils, gardening tips, and much, much more.

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ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

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