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).

Semen Cucurbitae:herb photo 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.

 Cucurbita moschata Duch.:flowering plant Botanical description: The Cucurbita moschata Duch., is a plant of the Cucurbitaceae family (cucumber, cucurbits, gourd, squash family) and Cucurbita genus, it is commonly known as "Pumpkin", or "Nán Guā" (Literally it means a melon grows at the south area, but occasionally it is also called "Běi Guā" because actually it also grows at the north area.), "Cucumis satiuus L." Annual creepers, stems grow up to 2-5 meters. The regular section rooted and was covered with white bristles. Leaves are alternate; petiole is stout, 8~19 cm long, setae; leaf blade is broadly ovate or ovate, 5- or 5-lobed, 12~25 cm long, 20~30 cm wide, apex is pointed, base is deeply cordate, the top is green and the bottom is light green. Both sides are covered with bristles and hairs. The edges have small and dense fine teeth. The tendrils are slightly thick, with hairs 3~5. Flowers are unisexual, monoecious; male flowers are solitary, calyx tube is swollen bell-shaped, 5~6 mm long, lobes have strips, 10~15 mm long, pubescent, expanded into a leafy upper part, corolla is yellow, bell-shaped, long 8 cm, 5 midribs, lobed edges revolute, 3 stamens, filaments are glandular, 5~8 mm long, flowerbed flexed; female flowers are solitary, ovary 1 racehorse, style is short, 3 stigmas, inflated, apex is 2-lobed, fruit peduncles are stout, furrowed, 5~7 cm long, and guati expands into a trumpet. Capsularfruits are varied in shape and often have vertical grooves outside. Most seeds, long oval or oblong, gray. Its flowering period is from June to July, fruiting from August to September.

 Cucurbita moschata Duch.:fruiting plant Corolla campanulate, yellow, 5-lobed, lobes are abducted, wrinkled. Stamens are 3 pieces. The anthers are close together and the chambers are regularly sigmoidal. Female flowers flowering lobulated, leaflike, ovary or elliptic, 1-locular, parietal placentas, style is short, stigma 3, each 2-lobed. Capsularfruits, oblate spheroids, pot-shaped, cylindrical, etc., with longitudinal grooves and ridges, smooth or knob-like protrusions on the surface. Like orange petals, ranging from orange to orange-red. The pedicel is ribbed and the guati enlarges into a trumpet. Seeds are ovate or elliptic, 1.5~2 cm long, gray or yellowish-white, thin margins. Its flowering period is from May to July, the fruiting period is from July to September.

 Cucurbita moschata Duch.:fruiting plant Ecological environment: The Cucurbita moschata Duch., grows in a cool and humid climate and it is easy to cultivate. It is planted on the sidewall of the hospital and the side of the ground is squat. It can grow well and the fruits are huge. Geographical distribution: This species was native to Mexico and Central America, 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 north and south.

 Growth characteristics: Pumpkin is the short sunshine plant that likes temperature, drought tolerance is strong, the requirement to the soil is not strict, but with fertile, neutral or slightly acidic sandy loam is better.

 Pumpkin Seed:herb photo Characters of herbs: Seeds are oblate, 1.2~1.8 cm long, and 0.7~1 cm wide. The surface is yellowish-white or even yellowish, both sides are flat and slightly raised, the edge has a slight ridge, one end is slightly pointed, the apex has a micropyle, and the hilum is slightly raised or inconspicuous. Remove the seed coat, there is a yellow-green membranous endosperm. 2 cotyledons, yellow, thick, and oily. The herb has a slight fragrance, it tastes slightly sweet. The herb of better grade has full grains, yellow and 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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