This section is from the book "A Text Book Of Materia Medica, Being An Account Of The More Important Crude Drugs Of Vegetable And Animal Origin", by Henry G. Greenish. Also available from Amazon: A Text Book of Materia Medica : Being an Account of the More Important Crude Drugs of Vegetable and Animal Origin.
Melon pumpkin seeds are obtained from Gucurbita maxima, Duch. (N.O. Cucurbilaceoe), a native of the Levant but cultivated on the shores of the Mediterranean. For use in medicine they should not be more than one month old and should be deprived of their seed-coats.
The seeds are ovate, flat, nearly white, pitted and brittle; about 8 to 20 mm. long and 9 to 12 mm. broad; they have a flat ridge and shallow groove round the edge. The kernels consist of two white, fleshy, oily, easily separable cotyledons and a small radicle; they have a faint odour and only a slight taste.
Melon pumpkin seeds contain an acrid resin to which their activity has been ascribed and about 30 per cent, of a reddish fixed oil together with proteids, sugar and starch. Recent experiments have failed to show that either the resin or the oil possesses therapeutic activity (Power and Salway, 1910).
As a taenicide.