Introduction of Nan Gua Zi:Pumpkin Seed or Semen Cucurbitae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Pumpkin Seed, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Cucurbita moschata Duch., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Pumpkin Seed, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Semen Cucurbitae(Pumpkin Seed).

many dried whitish herb seeds of Semen Cucurbitae are piled in a plate Pin Yin Name: Nán Guā Zǐ.
 English Name: Pumpkin Seed, Cushaw Seed.
 Latin Name: Semen Cucurbitae.
 Property and flavor: neutral in nature, tastes sweet.

 Brief introduction: The herb Semen Cucurbitae is the dried seed of Cucurbita moschata Duch., used as an anthelmintic for the treatment of taeniasis, schistosomiasis, and clonorchiasis. The herb is commonly known as Semen Cucurbitae, Pumpkin Seed, Cushaw Seed, Nán Guā Zǐ

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb A Pumpkin Seed (Nan Gua Zi) as the seeds of the Cucurbitaceae family (cucumber, cucurbits, gourd, squash family) plant species (1). Cucurbita moschata Duch. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Cucurbita moschata Duch.

 fruiting plant of Cucurbita moschata Duch. with a small green fruit and yellow flower grow on its stem Botanical description: The plant, Cucurbita moschata (Duch.ex Lam.) Duch. ex Poir is a plant of the Cucurbitaceae family (cucumber, cucurbits, gourd, squash family) and Cucurbita genus, it is also known as Cucurbita pepo L.var.moschata Duch.ex Lam., commonly known as Pumpkin, or Nán Guā (means a melon grows in the south area, but occasionally it is also known as Běi Guā because actually it also grows in the north area.), Cucumis satiuus L. Annual rampant herb (vining plant), stems grow up to 2–5 meters long. It often has roots on nodes, densely covered with white bristles. Simple leaves are alternate; petioles are sout (thick and strong), 8-19 cm long, covered with bristles; leaf blades are broadly ovate or oval (egg-shaped), have five corners or are 5-lobed, 12-25 cm long, 20-30 cm wide, the front end is pointed, the base is deeply cordate, the upper surface is green, the under surface is pea green (pale green), both surfaces are covered with bristles and fuzz, edges have small and dense teeth (serrulate). Tendrils are slightly stout (thick and strong), piliferous, trifurcate to 5-divaricate.

 fruiting plants of Cucurbita moschata Duch with red orange color fruits hanging on stems,and green leaves Flowers are unisexual, and monoecious; male flowers are solitary, hypanthium (calyx tube) is campanulate (bell-shaped), 5-6 mm long, lobes are stripe-shaped, 10-15 mm long, covered with pilose, the upper part is enlarged and leaflike, the corolla is yellow, campanulate (bell-shaped), about 8 cm long, 5-lobed, edges of lobes are reflexed, 3 stamens, filaments are glandular, 5-8 mm long, anther is contorted; male flowers are monothetic (solitary), the ovary has 1 loculus, style is short, 3 stigmas, enlarged, the front end is 2-lobed, carpopodium (fruit stalk) is stout (thick and strong), has ridge grooves, 5-7 cm long, Pediculus Melo is enlarged and tubaeform (trumpet-shaped).

 Pepos (gourds) are in various shapes and often have vertical grooves outside. Many seeds, ovate-oblong or oblong, ash gray (grayish white). Its flowering period is from June to July, and the fruiting period is from August to September.

 fruiting plants of Cucurbita moschata Duch with many yellow fruits handing on stems. Ecological environment: The plant grows in a cool and moist climate, and it is easy to cultivate. It can grow well, and the fruits are huge. Geographical distribution: This species was native to Mexico and Central America, and it is widely cultivated around the world. Asia has the largest cultivated area, followed by Europe and South America. It was introduced into China in the Ming dynasty, it is now widely planted throughout the northern and southern areas.

 Growth characteristics: The plant, Cucurbita moschata (Duch.ex Lam.) Duch. ex Poir., prefers warm climate. It is not tolerant to high temperature and low temperature, and prefers sunlight. Its requirements in soil are not strict, it is appropriate to choose a field with deep soil layers, soil with strong moisture and fertilizer retention for cultivation, and fertile, neutral, or slightly acidic sandy loam is better.

 many whitish dried Pumpkin Seeds are piled together Characters of herbs: Seeds are oblate, 1.2~1.8 cm long, and 0.7~1 cm wide. The surface is yellowish white or faint yellow (pale yellow), both surfaces are flat and slightly raised, the edge is slightly ridged, one end is slightly pointed, the front tip has a micropyle, and the hilum is slightly protuberant or inconspicuous. Remove the spermoderm (seed coat), there is a yellow-green membraneous endosperm. 2 cotyledons, yellow, hypertrophic, and oily (oiliness). The herb has a slight fragrance and a slightly sweet taste. The herb of a better grade has full grains, yellowish white.

 Pharmacological actions: ①. Dispelling or killing parasites effect: the herb Semen Cucurbitae has an obvious dispelling effect on cestode (tapeworm) and ascariasis, inhibition and killing effect on schistosome larvae, can lead to atrophy of worm body, reproductive organ degeneration, and egg reduction in the uterus; It also inhibits the movement of Schistosoma japonicum to the liver in animals; ②. Other effects: Oral administration of 4 grams of pumpkin seeds in mice can cause temporary pathological damage to the liver, kidney, and lung, reduce glycogen and increase fat in liver.

 Medicinal efficacy: Dispelling and killing parasites and worms, lactagogue or prompt milk, inducing diuresis to alleviate edema. It is indicated for cestodiasis (taeniasis), ascariasis, schistosomiasis (hemic distomiasis), ancylostomiasis (hookworm disease), oxyuria (oxyuriosis, enterobiasis), postpartum hypogalactia (agalactia after childbirth), postpartum edema of hands and feet, pertussis (whooping cough, chincough, bronchocephalitis), hemorrhoids, etc.

 Administration of Semen Cucurbitae (Nán Guā Zǐ): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Semen Cucurbitae (Nán Guā Zǐ)
TCM Books: ①.Internally: 3~9 grams, ②.Internally:water decoction, 1~2 liang (about 30~60 grams);prepare to finely ground herb powder, or prepare to emulsion. Externally:fumigation wash with water decoction., ③.Internally:water decoction, 30~60 grams;prepare to finely ground herb powder, or prepare to emulsion. Externally:fumigation wash with water decoction.
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions:Take much of the herb Semen Cucurbitae lead to Qi stagnation and obstruction of diaphragm.




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