“There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin."
- Linus in It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Linus was a wise little fella, but today we’re grabbing our carving knives and digging into all things pumpkin. From learning how this bulbous squash became the center of a fall holiday, to discovering what it can do to make your skin glow, let’s explore the world of Cucurbita pepo!
THE HISTORY OF THE PUMPKIN
When most people think of pumpkins, they think of newspaper-covered tables, globs of gooey seeds, carving competitions, and the spooky, sparkly spectacle of lighting their Halloween jack-o’-lantern. But, when and why did October 31st become a pumpkin parade?
The concept of Halloween originated from the Irish festival, Samhain, celebrated as a transitional time marking the end of harvest to the darker days and cooler weather. According to The History Channel, “Tradition dictated huge bonfires be built in fields, and it was believed that fairy spirits lurked in the shadows. To distract these spirits from settling into houses and farms, people would carve rudimentary faces into large turnips, and set candles inside.” As time went on, and Irish and Scottish immigrants journeyed to America to make new homes, they soon unpacked their local lore. Since North American soil produced more pumpkins than turnips, the turnip-o’-lanterns faded and jack-o’-lanterns as we know them were born. The term jack-o’-lantern also came over from the UK, where night watchmen with lanterns have been referred to as “Jack of the Lantern” since the 17th century. Pumpkin carving grew in popularity and by the 1930’s costumes and trick-or-treating was the new way to celebrate the harvest holiday.
So, now that you know how the hollow, hallowed gourd became the symbol for the freaky festival of Halloween, let’s move on to how it can make YOU glow like you have your own little candle burning inside.
Eaten or applied to the skin, the pumpkin is a vitamin powerhouse. Pumpkins are rich in vitamin A, C, and E, all of which have benefits for the body and the skin. Vitamin A is excellent for your vision, and for helping skin cells recover from chronic sun damage. Vitamin C is a critical component of collagen, so having a handy supply in the body increases the likelihood of healthy collagen production. Pumpkin is also rich in beta-carotene, a known antioxidant and free radical fighter. Applied to the skin, pumpkin’s alpha-hydroxy-acids help increase cell turnover, resulting in brighter, smoother skin over time. Pumpkin seed oil contains zinc and vitamin C, both of which can help strengthen skin cells, diminish scarring, and improve skin tone. With loads of health and skin benefits, it’s no shocker there are prize-winning pumpkins being grown all over the world - like this Belgian born, 2,624-pound, perfect pumpkin.
So, how can you incorporate more of this magical fruit into your life this pumpkin season? Here are a few of our favorite ideas.
When you’re carving your jack-o’-lantern…
Scrape out the seeds and pick them out of the stringy pumpkin flesh. It’s a very zen activity, we swear. Toss the seeds with olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper, and roast them at 300 degrees in the oven for about 20 minutes, until slightly brown and crispy. Let them cool on a paper towel, and then snack on them incessantly until they’re all gone, which will be in about seven minutes.
When you’ve got leftover pumpkin puree after making your pumpkin pie…
Make a DIY face mask by mixing pure pumpkin puree (organic, of course) with raw honey and almond meal. Leave it on your skin for 10 minutes, then massage away in the shower!
When you’re at the grocery store…
Look for a cold-pressed, organic pumpkin seed oil and substitute it for olive oil in this simple, delicious salad dressing.
The next time you’re ordering from Osmia…
PUMPKIN FACIAL SOAP
Organic pumpkin and tomato are incorporated into our well-loved facial soap recipe for a gentle yet effective enzymatic exfoliation. The mild exfoliating action is complemented by the soothing, softening action of organic honey and camellia seed oil. Calms the senses, brightens the complexion.
BRIGHTEN FACIAL SERUM
This brightening botanical treatment was formulated to support healthy cell turnover and improve the texture of the skin. Camellia seed, argan, prickly pear, broccoli, and pumpkin seed oils create the perfect, velvety texture to nourish and soften the skin.
Both of those are available as part of our Brightening Starter Set - see it here!
Organic oils of safflower, argan, prickly pear, and pumpkin seed work together to create a powerfully softening blend with a smooth, silky texture. By adding 3-4 drops of Nectar to your usual face cream or serum, you will notice that your skin is finally able to retain moisture throughout the day.
With love and heaps of pumpkin from us to you,