Health Library

Pumpkin Seed

Introduction

The small seeds found in pumpkin squash are called pumpkin seeds. The seed and seed oil are high in fatty acids. They have been used to ease symptoms of enlarged prostate. Pumpkin seeds can be eaten raw or cooked and eaten. The oil can be used plain or taken as a pill or extract.

Dosages

5 grams seed 1 to 2 times daily

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Enlarged prostate—may improve quality of life A1-A3

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Menopause B1, B2

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take pumpkin seed in small doses for a short time, but allergic reactions may happen in some people. C1 Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period.

Interactions

TaTalk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:

  • People taking blood thinners should talk to their doctor before taking pumpkin seed. It may increase the risk of bleeding.

References

REFA
Enlarged Prostate

REFA1
Coulson S, Rao A, et al. A phase II randomised double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial investigating the efficacy and safety of ProstateEZE Max: a herbal medicine preparation for the management of symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy. Complement Ther Med. 2013 Jun;21(3):172-179.

REFA2
Shirvan MK, Mahboob MR, et al. Pumpkin seed oil (prostafit) or prazosin? Which one is better in the treatment of symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia. J Pak Med Assoc. 2014 Jun;64(6):683-685.

REFA3
Vahlensieck W, Theurer C, et al. Effects of pumpkin seed in men with lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia in the one-year, randomized, placebo-controlled GRANU study. Urol Int. 2015;94(3):286-295.

REFB
Menopause

REFB1
Gossell-Williams M, Hyde C, et al. Improvement in HDL cholesterol in postmenopausal women supplemented with pumpkin seed oil: pilot study. Climacteric. 2011 Oct;14(5):558-564.

REFB2
Cho YH, Lee SY, et al. Effect of pumpkin seed oil on hair growth in men with androgenetic alopecia: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:549721.


Safety

REFC1
Patel A, Bahna SL. Hypersensitivities to sesame and other common edible seeds. Allergy. 2016 Oct;71(10):1405-1413.

  • EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • 201907
  • 20200410