Immy and I were preparing a pumpkin to steam and I watched as she cut into it and carved away the goop and seeds into the trash pile. I started to retrieve them and told her how the pumpkin seed has an anthelmintic known as cucurbitacin found in them and this is the same active ingredient found in deworming medicine. She replied, “OHHH! I didn’t know! Every time I get a pumpkin, I won’t throw the seeds now. We don’t have to buy tabs now”, (tabs are medicine and deworming tabs are not easily available and expensive in the village, but oh so necessary). She was amazed and kept saying “thank-you for teaching me”! I showed her how I prepare them by rinsing the seeds and roasting them in a pan with some small oil and salt, until they are dry and crispy. Immy’s family of 5 and I ate those seeds so quickly! They tasted really good! Other people that walked by were inquiring about what we were cooking and we explained to them about the cucurbitacin found in the pumpkin seed acts as a natural de-wormer and how to prepare the seeds for eating. Most everyone seemed so amazed and excited for the next time they get a pumpkin.
It really is amazing how knowledge has the power to transform communities; who knows the impact this will have on the health of Immy’s family and the surrounding community.
Props to my Pops for teaching me about anthelmintics and cucurbitacin in the pumpkin seed last October J