With all the discussion and interest in Essential Oils these days, I thought this article in the American Farmer ©1828 at first they were discussing how pumpkin seeds affect horses then they went on to explain pumpkin seed oil and it's possible uses. Personally, I love the roasted pumpkin seeds we would have as kids after we cut out the Jack-o-lantern, it was part of the holiday. But one pumpkin for a family at Halloween wouldn't deal with the rich harvest of pumpkins and their seeds to the average farmer. Below is the excerpt:
On The Oil Op Pumpkin Seeds. To Dr. C. L. Setger, Northampton, [Mass.)
Your inquiries respecting pumpkins, which have lately reached me, I hasten to answer to the best of my knowledge.
I understood that pumpkin seeds were pressed like rape seed, and of course cold: when I added "or like flax seed," it was because I had never seen flax seed or linseed pressed warm after roasting, as you say it is done with you.
Pumpkin seeds, being very oily, and containing thin oil, require no heat to help the effect of the press. They will yield their oil to the press as easily as almonds, walnuts, and seeds of the melon tribe.
The Harmonists press this oil in the press used for rape seed oil.
I do not think that the pumpkin seed oil can be employed, like linseed oil, for painting. It is too thin and fluid, but it will answer in the instances where walnut oil is employed, being similar to it in that respect, although otherwise much sweeter and less desecative.
Pumpkin bread and cakes are much used in the interior of the state of Kentucky, as pumpkin pies in New England. The bread is made either by itself or mixed with corn meal, by kneading pumpkins either raw or boiled, and baking them immediately afterwards, without any addition of yeast It has, therefore, a great similarity to corn bread, and is eaten either warm or cold. It is very sweet and of a reddish colour: I cannot say it is very palatable to me, but those that are used to it like it well. You know that corn bread is not liked at first by many persons. I think that the best pumpkin bread is that made by uniting equal parts of corn meal and boiled pumpkins.
Respecting the cultivation of pumpkins, I can hardly give you any additional information. Their culture is well understood all over the country, and all the farmers know how to avail themselves of the facility which they have of growing among corn, without injury to either crop. I do not conceive that any positive advantage might result from their separate cultivation. But manures might be highly beneficial in either instance, and would increase the crops.
I remember the following additional uses which may be made of pumpkins:
1. The cakes, remaining after the oil is pressed from the seeds, are eaten greedily by cattle and hogs.
2. In Europe, they make good preserves of pumpkins, by cutting them in slices and boiling them for a long time in strong syrup of sugar.
S. In the south of Europe, a very good soup is made by mashed or diluted pumpkins with oil, butter, or broth. This dish is called Furlata in Tuscany. Rice is often added to it.
4. The hard skin of pumpkins, if uninjured, may be used for pails, buckets, baskets, &c. The pumpkins may be made to assume almost any shape, by being confined while young, in wooden or hard vessels, which they will fill gradually, moulding themselves to their shapes.
I remain, respectfully, yours, &c.
C S. RAFINESQUE, Professor of Botany and JYat. History. Transylvania University, Sept. 10, 1819.
Another use for pumpkin seeds was written up in the American Journal of the Medical Sciences Vol. 25 ©1854 Fresh seeds rubbed up with sugar and water were administered once an hour in four doses. The patient had been prepared with a light breakfast and dinner then fasted for the evening. The seeds were prepared and administered as mentioned above and within half an hour the patent passed a tape-worm measuring about three yards. A month later the patient left the hospital without any evidence of the return of the affection. Theophilus Parvin, MD