Cucurbita Pepo. Pumpkin.
Description: Natural Order, Cucurbitaceae. This genus of the cucurbit family includes the pumpkin, and the many varieties of the squash. They are all characterized by their wide-spreading and juicy vines, with their great palmate-lobed leaves standing up from six to eight inches from the ground on furrowed and hollow petioles nearly an inch in diameter. The fruit of the pumpkin is of enormous size–in fact the largest fruit found upon any plant, great or small. The flesh is yellow, abounding in sugar, and very edible. The seeds are numerous, and are attached in rows upon the inside of the hollow flesh. When deprived of their husky covering, these seeds will yield a considerable amount of fixed oil by cold pressure.
Properties and Uses: The seeds, deprived of their husk, may be beaten in a mortar with a small quantity of water; by which treatment they form a milky emulsion which is mucilaginous, oily, and sweet. This emulsion will act transiently but effectually on the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. It may be used in scalding urine and gonorrhea. It has also been pronounced an effective remedy against the tape-worm, killing this parasite outright. For this purpose, an ounce of the seeds are made into an emulsion with sugar, gum arabic, and water, in suitable quantities; and given upon an empty stomach several mornings in succession. If they do not act upon the bowels, they are followed by a brisk cathartic on the second and subsequent days. I have employed them several times without success; but in the hands of many physicians they are reported as having proven very reliable. The expressed oil, in doses of from twenty to sixty drops, is said to be even more effectual than the emulsion. It has been combined with the oil of male fern, and is said to be effectual in this connection.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com