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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

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

A. Enlarged Prostate

A1. 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.

A2. 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.

A3. 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.

B. Menopause

B1. 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.

B2. 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

C1. Patel A, Bahna SL. Hypersensitivities to sesame and other common edible seeds. Allergy. 2016 Oct;71(10):1405-1413.

Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 4/10/2020