Pulse of Oriental Medicine: Alternative Medicine That Works for Regular Folks
Alternative Medicine That Works for Regular Folks


Great Pumpkin: The Medicinal Qualities of Pumpkins

by Juliette Aiyana, LAc

pulse of oriental medicine yin yang symbol

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 delicious foods!

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 know!).

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 edema.
  • 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


  1. Lui, Jilin. Chinese Dietary Therapy. Churchill Livingstone, 1999
  2. Ni, Maoshing, Cathy McNease. The Tao of Nutrition. Santa Monica SevenStar Communications, 1996
  3. Pitchford, Paul. Healing with Whole Foods. Berkley North Atlantic Books, 1993
  4. Zhao, Zhuo, George Ellis. The Healing Cuisine. of China Rochester Healing Arts Press, 1998
Join the PulseMed mailing list Email:
Join the PulseMed mailing list



All information herein provided is for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of appropriate local experts and authorities.
Copyright 1999-2074, Pulse Media International