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Originally from North and South America, the pumpkin was domesticated in Mexico about 9000 years ago and was then used for their medicinal virtues. Pumpkin seeds have always been used for their pharmaceutical virtues. The Algonquian’s Menomini used pumpkin seeds as a diuretic. The first North American settlers would grind the seed, mix it with water, milk and honey and use it as a vermifuge. The Cherokees also used pumpkin seeds to help treat children bed wetting.
Until 1936, American pharmacopoeia acknowledged the fact that pumpkin seeds had positive effects on stomach and intestine parasites. In Central America, people would use these seeds to treat nephritis and urinary tract infection. Finely ground and ingested, pumpkin seeds were also used to treat fever and gastrointestinal disorder.
In Mexico, pumpkin seeds are usually toasted and flavored with salt, lime, or chili peppers for a light snack.
Pumpkin seeds can easily be added to muffins, cookies, breads, salads, smoothies, and even cereals. To get the most out of pumpkin seeds, eat them raw!
Still need some inspiration? Try these recipes:
Raw unsweetened Brazil nut and pumpkin seed milk
Vegan cheese ball with dill, cranberries and pumpkin seeds
Matcha and pumpkin seed shortbread cookies
Pumpkin chia pudding
Colours of the Fall gluten-free veggie pâté
Middle-Eastern inspired quinoa and roasted veggie salad
Cauliflower couscous with fresh herbs and grilled pumpkin seeds
Magical pumpkin and dried apricot cookies
Pumpkin seeds are very fragile! They are therefore best kept in the fridge.
The pumpkin symbolizes different things in different cultures. Among American Indians, the pumpkin represents the sun. With its roundness, it refers to fertility and prosperity. For the followers of Feng Shui, it represents the relationship between parents and children and the possibility of reviving the passion lost between a couple. In North America, the pumpkin is a traditional element of Halloween, the costumed holiday that happens every October.