Tag Archives: history

Pumpkins are more than Halloween

Pumpkins are More than Halloween

Pumpkins are more than Halloween

Or Cinderella’s Carriage Ride!
There are so many health benefits for you!


Pumpkins are more than Halloween, or Cinderella’s carriage ride! They are loaded with health benefits, making it a great all-rounder!

Did you know that the word Pumpkin comes from the Ancient Greek word, ‘Pepon’ which means melon? And that they are amongst the longest domesticated plants, having been cultivated as far back as 7,500 to 5,000 BC?

Over the centuries, the term ‘pepon’ into Latin (peponem), French (pompon), English (pompion) when it was eventually referred to as ‘pumpkin’ by 17th century English colonists when they arrived in north-eastern USA.
Being native to southern United States and north-eastern Mexico, half the world’s production of pumpkins is now grown in China and India.

According to Wikipedia, “ In 2018, global production of pumpkins, which included squash and gourds, topped 27.6 million tonnes with – China 8.1m, India 5.3m, Ukraine 1.3m and Russia 1.2m each”. These volumes are astounding!!The only place it’s not grown is Antarctica!

It’s considered as a winter squash, with its smooth but ribbed exterior, often orange in colour though there are variations of yellow and green.
Regarded as a fruit because it’s a botanical berry known as a pepo, which has seeds and pulp inside, that are consumables, together with the exterior rind of some types.Pumpkins usually weigh anywhere between 3 and 8 kilograms, though some have tipped the scales over 34 kilos. Recently, my uncle in Sicily told me that his neighbour grew a 1.2 metres wide pumpkin weighing over 95 kilos!!

Consumed in the autumn months, traditionally for Thanksgiving in the US in a Pumpkin Pie.But for some of us, we love it whenever we can get our hands on it!!It’s one of my all-time favourite vegetables!
Other favourite dishes include pumpkin soup, roasted pumpkin, risotto, or in a Moroccan filo pastry with peppers and spices.

If you’re interested in trying out new recipes, besides roasted pumpkin and delicious soup, see:see the recipes on Taste webpage: Pumpkin Recipes, or alternative recipes at Favourite Pumpkin Recipes.

Gallery of Pumpkins varieties at the market, Unsplash Ben Ashby Love of Pumpkins, Unsplash Cayla1 Pumpkin Soup

What’s so great about Pumpkins, its seeds and oil?

Using cold pressed Pumpkin Seed Oil (Cucurbita pepo L) is far better as the nutrients and antioxidants are maintained in the extraction process. Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds and using the Oil:

• Because of the orange carotenoid pigments, alpha and beta carotene, pumpkins have the wonderful colour, offering provitamin A, which our bodies enjoy when consumed. The seeds are also great for consumption and provide wonderful benefits for our overall health and well-being too.

• It is rich in Vitamins A, B, C, D & E, with minerals and proteins, containing over 60% unsaturated fatty acids, Omega 3 & 6.

• The high vitamin and mineral content makes Pumpkin Seed oil a wonderful inclusion for cosmetics and skincare products, improving the overall appearance of your skin.

• The colour of Pumpkin seed oil can vary from light to very dark green or red in colour. This depends on the sample’s thickness – where thin layers appear green, with thicker layers red. This is known as ‘dichromatism’ where varying colours can be seen depending on how it’s observed. Image shown below in the Gallery of images.

Pumpkin seeds are rich in Antioxidants, which help protect the body’s cells, assisting the prevention of chronic conditions like diabetes, autoimmune disorders and heart disease.

• Pumpkin seed & the oil derived from the seeds can help maintain a healthy heart . Tests conducted after using the seeds showed that cholesterol levels and blood pressure dropped, both contributing to a healthy heart. The levels of nitric oxide in our bodies can also rise from consuming the seeds, which encourage blood flow, assisting the efficient functionality of the heart.

• For women, the menopausal symptoms can be improved as diastolic blood pressure is reduced, increasing good cholesterol.

• Including the seeds in our diet can improve the functioning of the bladder reducing its over activity.

• Daily addition of pumpkin seeds to your diet can help improve the quality of your sleep. They contain nutrients and amino acids like magnesium and tryptophan, aiding with insomnia, restlessness, how quickly you fall asleep as well as the length of time sleeping.

• Including the seeds can stablise & regulate blood sugar levels, preventing the sudden rise, spikes and crashes. When blood sugar levels are high, they can create symptoms similar to diabetes, like nausea, needing to urinate often, fatigue and an overwhelming thirst.Being rich in protein and fibre, pumpkin seeds slows down sugars being absorbed in the bloodstream;

• The contents of zinc which helps balance hormone levels that can benefit hair re-growth, reversing loss;

Gallery of Pumpkin Seed Oil – dichromatism of Pumpkin Seeds, varying colours, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Pumpkins.

Historical facts about Halloween.

• The ancient Celtic festival of Samhain is the where the tradition started. People would light bonfires, wearing costumes to scare away ghosts;

• When the Romans had conquered the Celtic regions circa 43 A.D, ruling for over 400 years, the combined their own festivals with the ancient Celtic Samhain.

• The Romans celebrated and remembered their dead during ‘Feralia’ .They also commemorated the Roman goddess Pomona of fruit and trees. Pomona’s symbol is the apple which was incorporated with the Samhain festivities.It’s believed the bobbing apples in Halloween started because of this tradition.

• November 1 was dedicated to honor All Saints by Pope Gregory III, which included some of the traditions commenced by the Celtic festival of Samhain;

• The night before All Saints Day was called ‘All Hallows Eve’ which later became known has ‘Halloween’;

• Eventually, the tradition developed where carving ‘Jack-o-lanterns’ , gathering together for festivities, wearing costumes, eating treats collected from trick-or-treating;

• Did you know that over ¼ of annual candy sold in the USA is bought for Halloween?

• The American festivities included gatherings sharing stories about their dead, fortune-telling, dance and sing, as well as pull pranks of each other;

• The arrival of the Irish immigrants to America helped make Halloween a popular festivity.

For more fun interesting information, check out Halloween History.

Unsplash Yulia Chinato Halloween fun, Carvings in the garden, Unsplash Nick Fewings Trick or Treat.


  • Did you know that the tradition of Jack O Lanterns started in Ireland?
  • What’s your favourite pumpkin recipe?
  • What do you love the best about Pumpkins?
  • “About Lili & Why I make Essentially Lili Products.”

    About Lili & Essentially Lili – My Health Studies include from 2016-2019 Diplomas in Aromatherapy, Holistic Skincare Products, Clinical Nutrition, Stress Management, Reflexology, Holistic Pain Management, and a Member of International College of Holistic Medicine.I’m currently studying Clinical Nutrition for Over 50s.

    My aim is to help you get the results you want as I have already been on that hard journey to overcome the autoimmune disorder. If you wish to know more about Clinical Nutrition and how to kick start your health, book a private Consultation. Please send an email to info@essentiallylili.com should you need further assistance. At Essentially Lili, the products made are all using 100% Natural Ingredients. See the wide variety of Products available on the webpage.

    Should you need help in deciding, start by reading the Reviews & Testimonials about other Customers who have enjoyed using the products. We have had some amazing Before & After results from Clients using the All-Natural Skincare products. Please don’t forget to write your comments and reviews on our pages to share the love with others.

    See the Blog Library for previous writings about Face Mapping, Dry Skin in Winter, Raiding Your Fridge, Keratosis Pilaris Tips, Anguish of Acne/Rosacea, How to deal with Cystic Acne & Understanding Your Body.. Your feedback allows us to improve the content and information provided and products made.
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Makeup ingredients since Ancient times

The Ladies in Blue Knossos Palace

Makeup ingredients
since Ancient times.

From Prehistoric Minoans, Ancient Greek,
Egyptians, Roman to Queen Elizabeth I,
what have they been applying on their skin?

The fresco are the Ladies in Blue from Knossos Palace, Crete.


Whenever we travel, we always incorporate some historical locations as we believe this is a great educational lesson for our children. We can better understand the people, and just how advanced the previous generations were. In Santorini, we stopped by Akrotiri, the prehistoric home of the ancient Minoans from over 4000 BC, which was well before Pompeii was founded.Situated on the southern part of the island, near Red Beach, what started as a fishing & farming village soon became a prosperous trade destination between the Middle East and Europe.The findings from this Neolithic period are astounding. The Minoan people lived in two and three-storey houses, which had underfloor heating, hot and cold running water, balconies, ventilation and proper toilets.

It’s believed that Santorini, previously known as Strongili, meaning Round in Greek fell victim to the 1500 BC volcanic eruption. This caused giant waves to reach Crete which was located some 70 Nautical miles away, destroying the Minoan civilisation. The central part of Strongili sank into the sea, known as the Caldera, whilst subsequent earthquakes destroyed a big part of what was left of the island.What happened to Strongili has been closely associated with the legend of Atlantis. Strongili was also referred to as Ancient Thera, but under Venetian rule, the name give to the island was Santa Irini, from which the name Santorini developed.

The Minoans were also living in Crete, and traces of their civilisation were found at other various locations like Knossos Palace, Malia and Gournia, whilst discoveries including jewellery, frescoes, weapons and funeral coffins can be found at the Museums of Heraklion. At Knossos Palace we were able to see copies of the frescoes that were saved.It fascinates me how artists depicted the beauty of the people of the time.My favourite painting was the Prince of Lillies below.

Gallery of Pictures taken at Knossos Palace , Prince of Lillies Fresco, Crete, Santorini’s Akrotiri & Red Beach.

This brings me to the next part about history.

When looking at the beautiful artwork of these ancient times, it interests me what the artist is trying to capture with the final outcome. The subjects whether male or female is usually extremely handsome or beautiful, with striking features which stand out whilst others are often angelic and innocent in their appearance. In ancient times, the artist had full control of what the final painting would look like.However, what happened if the subject wasn’t happy with the result?Would the artist simply start again or amend the work?Would the artist remove facial and body ‘faults, blemishes or imperfections’ to please the person being portrayed?

Let’s look back at what the Ancient Greeks were doing in their time. Make-up was expensive so it was a luxury for the rich.Their idea of prestige and beauty was having pale porcelain skin tone, with long curly golden hair.If their skin was pale, it meant they were wealthy, as they didn’t have to work in the fields to support themselves.The women used to paint their faces with a toxic white lead that ultimately shortened their glamorous rich lives.If this wasn’t in stock, they used chalk, though this wore off quickly.The paint required a soft and even base underneath, so the women would apply creams made with honey all over their faces to keep it hydrated, adding some olive oil if they wanted to have that extra special glow. The hype around make-up was to appear natural, though it was often achieved using toxic unnatural substances. For their lips and eye-shadows, they used rich colours from red iron oxide, earth-based pigments or ochre clays, olive oil and beeswax, mixed with ground charcoal. The dark powder was also used to connect their eyebrows, creating the Unibrow for both Ancient Greek men and women! From the three Graces (Charities) called Beauty, Charm & Grace, to Aphrodite and Helen of Troy, they are some of these Greek Goddesses & strong women featured on this list: Goddesses Of Greece.

What about Cleopatra and the Ancient Egyptians? In general, men and women alike loved using cosmetics for vanity, religious rituals and after-life as well as to protect them against the desert’s sun and bites from insects, regardless of status and wealth.The eye shadow, made from dark pigment, was painted around the eyes to beautify but also to safeguard their skin from the sun’s burning heat beating down on the desert sands.Often seen in pictures of the ancient Egyptians was the bright green thick paste which came from the mineral stone, Malachite Greek: malachites lithos, ‘the mallow-green stone’. This green colour wadj has been linked to death, the power of resurrection, combined with fertility and new life.For them, there was a ‘Field of Malachite’ after death, an eternal paradise of life without pain or suffering, though in the present world, the colour petitioned the protection and healing of Horus, the god of the Sky and Sun.

In the 1BC, Queen Cleopatra had an array of rainbow-coloured cosmetics made from plants, minerals and rocks from the area.She applied the bright green malachite paste on her lower eyelids to make them appear larger, whilst the deep blue eye-shadow and golden flecks from ground lapis lazuli stone were used on the upper eyelids.A concoction of black kohl, animal fat and powdered lead sulphide was used to lengthen her lashes and enhance her eyebrows.Using red iron oxide & earth-based pigments or ochre clays as rouge on her cheeks and lipstick.The Egyptian privet tree was the source for the reddish-brown dye called Henna, which was used to create gorgeous designs on her palms, as well as for painting the nails.

Impurity was associated with an unclean and stinking body, so for hygiene, the ancient Egyptians ensured they were well-groomed and cleaned, frequently washing with soaps consisting of scented oils combined with clay or ash. Due to the harsh weather conditions that the Egyptians were subjected to, their skin was often left dried out, cracked open and burnt. This made moisturising the skin a necessity, even for the workers, who received their body oils or honey as part of their wage allowances. To read more about the Female Rulers of Egypt.

Ancient Romans used makeup initially for rituals, but as time passed, applying cosmetics became a natural part of a woman’s life. The wealthy imported cosmetics from Germany and China, whilst those who couldn’t afford these bought cheaper brands, which needed to be reapplied throughout the day. Prosperous women had female slaves called Cosmetae who not only made the lotions, creams and cosmetics but applied the makeup for them as well. The ancient Romans, who had a naturally darker complexion, also wanted to have light coloured skin, so many applied toxic white lead, marl or chalk powder to make it fairer. To enhance the large eyes and long lashes, they put Kohl on sticks made from either glass, ivory, wood or bone which had been dipped in water or oil. The Kohl was incorporated with saffron, soot, ashes or toxic antimony. Date stones and charred petal roses was also used to darken their eyes. For eyeshadow, they used the green mineral malachite like the Egyptians, with blue azurite.

Other ingredients used by the ancient Romans included poppy and rose petals, or red ochre clays imported from Belgium, poisonous red lead, red chalk, alkanet, mulberry juice, wine dregs, Tyrian vermillion or crocodile dung, a well as sheep’s fat and blood for their nails…. Eeewwww! To deal with wrinkles, sun spots, freckles, acne and flaking skin, they made creams and lotions. Some of the ingredients include barley, lupine, honey, lentils, fennel mixed with oils, oregano seeds, vinegar, goose grease, basil juice, hawthorn and sulphur, often adding rose essence or myrrh. For more information about this list of Interesting Women of Ancient Rome

Gallery of Pictures Queen Cleopatra of Egypt, Helen Of Troy, Queen Elizabeth I & Livia Drusilla, 1st Empress of Rome

If you have never seen Horrible Histories you have to watch this British show which is not only hilarious but a fun way for kids to learn something about the Kings, Queens and history of the world.In no time, they’ll be singing songs about the ‘Terrible Tudors, the Kings of England and William Wallace, Scottish Rebel’. During these episodes, my kids always ask why Queen Elizabeth I, the daughter of Henry VIII to his second wife, Anne Boleyn, is made to look hideous. Elizabeth was called England’s Gloriana, the Virgin Queen, married to her country England who helped bring prosperity during her Golden Age of reign.Her ‘mask of youth’ skincare routine incorporated covering her hands, face and neck with layers of toxic white lead and vinegar whilst kohl-lined her eyes, and red paste from plant dye and beeswax made to colour her lips. She wore wigs to match her own colouring and as she aged, the wigs covered her grey hair.Queen Elizabeth, I ruled for 44 years, the once young and pretty woman became bald, frail, with black teeth that were rotten and foul-smelling, who had scars caused by pox, was battling depression and had the worst headaches. For more interesting facts about her, read here: Queen Elizabeth I.

Today with modern technology and social media, there’s a constant push for image manipulation. We have access to photoshop, airbrushing, beauty apps, image enhancers that we can use to create or enhance our mood, colour, shape, size to create what we think is a perfect image for others to see, covering up what’s real and true. This is a conversation I am constantly having with my pre-teen, about what’s really beautiful and what isn’t. Why can we not ‘Be Our Own Kind Of Beautiful’?

In the next blog, I will share what kinds of ingredients are added from the 1800’s to the 21st-century cosmetics. It will help us understand that despite the evolution of the ages, that women in particular, have been applying cosmetic treatments to not only enhance their beauty but to give the impression of nobility, purity, wealth and stature.


  • What did you find to be the most intriguing ingredient for ancient times?
  • And the worst? For me it was the crocodile dung!!
  • Feel free to comment and share your personal stories below.
  • About Lili & Essentially Lili – My Health Studies include from 2016-2019 Diplomas in Aromatherapy, Holistic Skincare Products, Clinical Nutrition, Stress Management, Reflexology, Holistic Pain Management, Member of International College of Holistic Medicine. Currently studying Clinical Nutrition for Over 50s.

    My aim is to help you get the results you want as I have already been on that hard journey to overcome the autoimmune disorder.If you wish to know more about Clinical Nutrition and how to kick start your health, book a private Consultation. Please send an email to info@essentiallylili.com should you need further assistance.

    At Essentially Lili, the products made are all using 100% Natural Ingredients. See the wide variety of Help Skin Assistance for products available on the webpage.

    Should you need help in deciding, start by reading the Reviews & Testimonials about other Customers who have dared to try them out. We have had some amazing Before & After results with their using the All-Natural Skincare products. Please don’t forget to write your comments and reviews on our pages to share the love with others.

    You can also request to join the various groups I have set up.You can ask your questions and discuss your thoughts/concerns about health, skincare and nutrition. I share not only what I have studied with the school in London about Nutrition and the Body, but what the other experts write too. Essentially Lili Q&A – Taking Care of Your Skin and Essentially Lili Nutrition & Well Being. Both of these groups are not for advertising or promoting unless previously approved by Admin.

    Blog Library include: Anguish of Acne/Rosacea, Men’s Grooming, How to deal with Cystic Acne, Understanding Your Body, Perseverance Is Key, Understanding Your Body, Essentially Lili Products, Essential Oils, Managing Stress & Raiding Your Fridge.

    Your feedback allows us to improve.We look forward to hearing from you, With Loving Regards Lili.

    Check out the Gallery of Pictures – Products overlooking the Caldera, Last day in Santorini, Heraklion Street Art Crete.