Traditionally for maintaining prostate function*
Pumpkins are the harbingers of fall. Thoughts of them conjure jack-o-lanterns, pies; even a pumpkin spiced late comes to mind. Pumpkins are one of the most popular crops in the United States with 1.5 billion pounds taking up 75,000 acres of cultivated soil each year. There are several plants in the genus, squash, gourds, cantaloupes, and cucumbers. Pumpkins originated in America. Fragments of stems, seeds, and fruits have been identified and recovered from cliff dweller ruins in the southwestern United States. Some pumpkin varieties may have originated in Mexico and Central America, while others probably developed in Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador. Some of these pumpkin and squash varieties probably have been cultivated as long as maize (corn), since around 3500 B.C. The seeds are known as pepitas and are extracted for their nutritious oil, made into a “butter”, and roasted or dried and sold for whole consumption.
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