Health & Well-Being A-Z


Pumpkins in Pumpkin field

Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) is a plant native to South America that now grows worldwide. The seed and its oil are used to make medicine.

The chemicals in pumpkin seed can increase urination, which might help relieve bladder and prostate discomfort. Some chemicals might also reduce swelling in the prostate. The pumpkin fruit and seed are commonly used in foods.

People commonly use pumpkin for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It is also used for balding, UTIs, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these other uses.

Is It Effective?

Effectiveness header

NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

Possibly effective
  • Enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). Taking pumpkin seed or pumpkin see oil products by mouth might help relieve BPH symptoms.

There is interest in using pumpkin for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.

Is it Safe?


When taken by mouth: Pumpkin is likely safe when eaten in foods. It is possibly safe to take pumpkin seed or pumpkin seed oil in medicinal amounts. Side effects from pumpkin products are rare, but might include stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and nausea. It might also cause itching, rash, and allergic reactions in some people.

When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if pumpkin seed oil is safe or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if pumpkin is safe to use in medicinal amounts when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick with usual food amounts.

Drug interactions


Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Taking pumpkin might decrease how quickly the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.

Herb interactions

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Food interactions

There are no known interactions with foods.


Pumpkin fruit and seed are commonly eaten in foods. As a supplement, there isn't enough reliable information to know what an appropriate dose of pumpkin might be. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult a healthcare professional before using.

Other names

Calabaza, Citrouille, Cucurbita galeottii, Cucurbita mammeata, Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbitea Peponis Semen, Cucumis pepo, Field Pumpkin, Graine de Citrouille, Great Pumpkin, Huile de Graines de Citrouille, Pepo, Pumpkin Seed, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Styrian Pumpkin.


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