Great Pumpkin: The Medicinal Qualities of
Autumn - Halloween & Thanksgiving
Autumn is my favorite season of the year. It is the time of year
to put on a soft cozy sweater and walk through a pumpkin patch.
The crunch of leaves underfoot is a magical sound. As I walk,
I inhale the crisp, cool, clean air and take in the warm colors
of the trees and vegetables of the season; maple red, amber, burnt
orange, yellow, Nile green. Autumn is special because it leads
us into a series of celebrations, gatherings and of course to
Pumpkin pie is a personal favorite of mine because it is traditionally
served on Thanksgiving and my birthday falls on Thanksgiving every
five years. Growing up, my family would incorporate my birthday
celebration with Thanksgiving. It seemed the table - full of food,
family and pumpkin pies - was set out especially for me.
Pumpkin Recipes & Pumpkin Pie
In this month's article I will discuss the medicinal quality
of pumpkins and give you recipes for:
- Pumpkin soup in the shells
- Pumpkin risotto and
- Vegan pumpkin pie (non-dairy... and your guests will never
Medicinal Qualities of Pumpkins
Pumpkins are cooling and sweet and slightly bitter. You can try
pumpkins for the following conditions:
- Clear dampness conditions like dysentery, eczema, and
- Balance blood sugar levels. Hypoglycemic and diabetic
patients may eat a slice of pumpkin with each meal or as a pie
mashed with sweet yams (do not add sugar or other sweeteners
contraindicated for your condition).
- Intestinal worms. Eat a handful of seeds 2 times a
day for about 3 weeks. Chew the seeds well. You can also eat
fresh pumpkin slices then take some sesame seed oil a couple
of hours later to help expel roundworms. Do this for two days
- Spleen qi vacuity or malnutrition. Steam pumpkin with
sweet rice (available at Chinese food grocery) or you can boil
it with ginger and brown sugar, mash, then serve.
- Childhood vomiting. Pumpkin stem and top cap can be
boiled and administered as a tea.
- Bronchial asthma and/or thick sputum due to a bronchial
infection. Boil chunks of pumpkin. In a separate pan, sautee
organic, lean beef. Mix pumpkin and beef in a bowl. Eat to resolve
phlegm and build your body's resistance to disease.
- Abdominal pains during pregnancy. Eat cooked pumpkin.
You can steam it and/or add to stir fry, eat as soup or pie.
(And make sure you see your healthcare provider)
Nutritional Facts about Pumpkins
According to The Healing Cuisine of China, pumpkins contain:
- 1.3 g Protein
- 0.3 g Fat
- 9.9 g Carbohydrates
- 26,908 IU Vitamin A
- 0.03 mg Vitamin B1
- 0.07 Vitamin B2
- 0.4 mg Niacin
- 5mg Vitamin C
- 32mg Calcium
- 42 mg Phosphorus
- 1.7 mg Iron
Pumpkin Soup, Risotto, & Pie:
If you have questions or live in the Tri-State area and want
an Oriental Dietary counseling session, Contact Me:
Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac.
Aiyana Center for Acupuncture, Herbs, Massage
New York, New York 10003
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- Lui, Jilin. Chinese Dietary Therapy. Churchill Livingstone,
- Ni, Maoshing, Cathy McNease. The Tao of Nutrition. Santa Monica
SevenStar Communications, 1996
- Pitchford, Paul. Healing with Whole Foods. Berkley North Atlantic
- Zhao, Zhuo, George Ellis. The Healing Cuisine. of China Rochester
Healing Arts Press, 1998