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Pumpkin Seed
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Pumpkin Seed Usage

Written by FoundHealth.

What Is Pumpkin Seed Used for Today?

Pumpkin seed oil has become popular today as a treatment for prostate enlargement ( benign prostatic hyperplasia , or BPH), and it was approved for this use in 1985 by Germany’s Commission E. However, there is no meaningful evidence that pumpkin seed is helpful for this condition. Only double-blind , placebo-controlled studies can prove a treatment effective, and none have been reported for pumpkin seed oil alone. (For information on why this type of study is essential, see Why Does This Database Rely on Double-blind Studies? ) However, two such studies evaluated a combination product containing pumpkin seed oil and the herb saw palmetto . 1 These studies did suggest benefit with the combination product, but since saw palmetto is thought to be effective for BPH, it is not clear whether pumpkin seed oil made any additional contribution.

The only reported study on pumpkin seed oil alone lacked a placebo group, and for this reason its results prove little. 2 (BPH is a condition that responds greatly to the power of suggestion, so it could have been assumed even before conducting this trial that people given pumpkin seed oil would show improvement.)

In highly preliminary research, pumpkin seed or its constituent curcurbitin has shown some activity against intestinal parasites. 3 These studies, however, can only be regarded as highly preliminary investigations of a traditional use; they were not designed in such a way that they could prove effectiveness.

Two studies performed in Thailand hint that pumpkin seed snacks might help prevent kidney stones among children at high risk for developing them. 4 However, this research only looked at chemical changes in the urine suggestive of a possible preventive effect, not actual reduction of stones. Furthermore, the design of the studies did not reach modern standards.


  1. Carbin BE, Eliasson R. Treatment by Curbicin in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Swed J Biol Med. 1989;2:7–9.
  2. Schiebel-Schlosser G, Friederich M. Phytotherapy of BPH with pumpkin seeds–a multicenter clinical trial. ZeitsPhytother. 1998;19:71–6.
  3. Rybaltovskiĭ OV. [On the discovery of cucurbitin--a component of pumpkin seed with anthelmintic action] Med Parazitol (Mosk). 35(4):487-8.
  4. Suphakarn VS, Yarnnon C, Ngunboonsri P. The effect of pumpkin seeds on oxalcrystalluria and urinary compositions of children in hyperendemic area. Am J Clin Nutr. 45(1):115-21.


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