Food as Medicine: Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbitaceae)

Pumpkin has a traditional history as a food and medicine. Some Native American tribes dried the skins of pumpkins into strips and wove them together into mats.4 The modern pumpkin pie has its origins in colonial New England, where colonists cut off the top of the pumpkin, removed the seeds, filled the fruit with milk, spices, and honey, and baked the fruit over hot ashes.4,5 Pumpkins are highly valued in Chiapas, Mexico, where they are combined with honey for the preparation of the dessert palanquetas.