Over a century ago, American farmers noted that when their livestock munched on pumpkin seeds, they seemed to urinate more often. They weren’t the first to notice the seeds’ effects. The Iroquois had long used pumpkin seed as a diuretic, and the Cherokee gave it to children to control bed-wetting, since it seemed to help empty the bladder before falling asleep.
More recently, Europeans began using the bright green oil from crushed pumpkin seeds for prostate health, and in Germany today, the oil is an approved over-the-counter treatment for enlarged prostate glands. In the U.S. too, the oil is one of the top ingredients in herbal blends for prostate health, says Mark Blumenthal, executive director of the American Botanical Council, a nonprofit group based in Austin, Texas, and backed by herbal supplement makers.
Subtly sweet and nutty with a malleable, chewy texture, the roasted seeds from inside your Halloween pumpkin are one of the most nutritious and flavorful seeds around. While pumpkin seeds are available year round, they are the freshest in the fall when pumpkins are in season.