This is the time of year for pumpkins. Not only do they make great Fall decorations, but they are also perfect in many Fall recipes. Both the seeds and the flesh of pumpkins are loaded with health benefits. These benefits can be delivered both through diet and topically in skin care products.
Pumpkin contains vitamins A and C, antioxidants and minerals to nourish the body and help build tissue. Applied topically, enzymes from the pumpkin gently exfoliate dead skin cells without scrubbing, which can break capillaries and can be too harsh for sensitive skin.
Pumpkin seeds and oils are used to make medicine and have been used for treating bladder irritation, kidney infections, intestinal worms and BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) with varying degrees of success. There is some medical evidence that taking pumpkin seed oil extract alone or with saw palmetto may help the symptoms of BPH, but there is insufficient evidence to show that it is effective for intestinal worms, bladder infections and kidney infections. More evidence and testing are needed to rate the effectiveness of pumpkin seed oil for these uses.
The use of pumpkin seeds as a remedy for parasites and kidney problems is well documented in Native American history. In the late 1800s, herbal doctors used pumpkin seeds regularly to treat urinary and gastric illness, and for parasite removal. The pumpkin plant, along with its seeds, has been used in the traditional medicine of many countries, including India and Mexico for many years, principally to eliminate tapeworms.
The fatty oils in the pumpkin seed function as a mild diuretic and may cause an increase in urination, which may help relieve bladder discomfort. Pumpkin seed also contains a chemical that many believe is effective in killig intestinal worms.
Pumpkin Seeds contain omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, are rich in minerals and protein and are a concentrated source of iron, zinc and magnesium. They are also a good source of the anti-oxidant vitamin E which can improve your skin health.
Vitamin E helps maintain the integrity of mucus membranes and protect tissue cells from free radical damage. Left unchecked, free radicals can attack the skin’s structure, leaving it vulnerable to wrinkling, infection, and other damage. Vitamin E has also been shown to diminish redness, stretch marks and scarring.
Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that are considered essential because they are necessary for life and health, yet they cannot be made by our bodies. Therefore we must get them through diet. Omega-3s are thought to have anti-inflammatory benefits and help prevent heart disease, while omega-6s support skin health and lower blood cholesterol.
Omega-6 fatty acids are not discussed as often as omega-3 fatty acids, however these essential fatty acids are critical components in proper cell development and the maintenance of healthy skin and hair. A lack of essential fatty acids in our diet can lead to skin disorders including a higher risk of skin infections such as dermatitis and eczema, as well as lowered immunity to ward off other types of skin conditions. Research also indicated that linoleic acid (LA), the mother compound of omega-6 fatty acids, may be beneficial in treating acne, psoriasis and other skin conditions.
Pumpkin Seeds are high in calories, so should be eaten in small amounts. The nutritional value in pumpkin seeds is highest when the seeds are raw, but they are usually eaten toasted or roasted.
Fresh and cooked pumpkin:
Fresh and cooked pumpkin is loaded with health promoting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Pumpkins contain calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, alpha-carotene, zinc, beta carotene, and lutein.
Eating pumpkin may also help keep your bones strong. One cup of cooked pumpkin has 37 mg of calcium, a mineral that is important for bone growth. Iron, Magnesium & Folate help your blood cells stay strong and healthy. Pumpkin also provides your body with 2650 IU of vitamin A, which is critical for the normal life cycle of skin cells. Without it, skin becomes fragile and the onset of wrinkles occurs more rapidly. Pumpkin is a strong source of potassium, a mineral that helps keep your heart rhythm stable and strong.
It may seem strange to put it pumpkin on your face, since we think of pumpkins as food. Many people confuse pumpkin scented products with active pumpkin beauty products, especially this time of year. Fragrance has nothing to do with it. Products that contain actual pumpkin enzymes and pumpkin oil can be very beneficial to your skin health.
At the Asarch Center for Dermatology and Laser and our Medical Spa, DermaSpa, we offer a therapeutic pumpkin facial treatment. Included in this treatment is a cleansing with Pumpkin Cleanser, a facial massage with Pumpkin E Oil and a Pumpkin Enzyme Peel. As mentioned above, natural enzymes in pumpkin gently exfoliate dead skin cells without the need for scrubbing. Pumpkin E Oil provides antioxidant support and nourishes the skin, while the pumpkin enzyme peel provides deep exfoliation and cell turn over.
Lighten Up with a Peel.
The Idebenone Anti-Aging Peel will firm the skin and lighten hyperpigmentation, leaving your skin looking brighter and more toned. Special Price $75 (A $90 value!)
Too Much Fun in the Colorado Sun?
Come in for a VI Peel then approximately 3-4 weeks later schedule your Intense Pulse Light Treatment(IPL). A VI Peel is a medium depth peel which delivers powerful results on the face, neck, hands and chest. Safe for all skin types from the lightest to darkest of skin tones. IPL Treatments remove facial redness, broken capillaries and brown spots on the face or body, as well as stimulate new collagen formation. Special Package Price $400 (A $600 value!)