Pumpkin a day

Keeps ulcer at bay

people suffering from stomach ulcers may now look for a cure in their kitchen garden. Scientists at the S N Pradhan Centre for Neurosciences, University of Calcutta, say pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) has medicinal properties that protect against peptic ulcers.
Excessive acid secretion often damages mucosal lining of the digestive tract, particularly of stomach and duodenum, resulting in ulcers. Drugs used to treat the ailment are considered the best sellers in the market.
Various systems of traditional medicine claim the use of pumpkin seeds and pulp for treating liver and gastric disorders like inflammation and dyspepsia. The vegetable is also rich in vitamins A, B, C and E and its anti-oxidant property is well established.
Debjani Guha and her colleagues tried to find out how these protective properties of pumpkin also help increase the defensive mechanism of mucosal lining and heal ulcerated tissues. To evaluate the properties, the team tried ripe pumpkin pulp extract on rats. The scientists fed them with the extract for 14 days and then gave aspirin to induce ulcer. The stomach lining of the rats that fed on pumpkin pulp extract showed fewer ulcers. The team observed that the extract triggered the activity of alkaline phosphatase