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Cucumber - Health Benefits of Cucumber

Botanical Name: Cucumis sativus

Family Name : Cucurbitaceae

It is a very popular vegetable cultivated in large scale. It has refreshing and cooling effect. It contains all minerals and trace elements essential for health. Many varieties of cucumber are known-from light to dark green color. It turns yellow when mature. Its size varies from 8 to 30 cm.

Origin and Distribution

Cucumber is believed to have originated in northern India. It was known to ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans and was available in China in the sixth century AD. It has now spread throughout the world. Its areas of cultivation include northern and southern India, South East Asia, China, Africa, central and South America, the Caribbean and most tropical areas

Properties of cucumber

Aromatic, stimulant, carminative, lithontriptic, antifertile, abortifacient, diuretic, galactagogic, ophthalmic and source of minerals.

Forms of Use :- Juice, decoction, essence, tincture.

Food Value of cucumber

The cucumber has a relatively high, mineral ratio. Its skin is most valuable as the cell salts and vitamins are just beneath it. So, peeling is to be avoided while eating. A valuable source of potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulphur, silicon, chlorine and fluorine. Nutritional value of food is enhanced with the addition of cucumber as salad (better prepared with the addition of carrot, tomato, radish, cabbage and curd).

Analysis of cucumber gives the following compositions (per 100 gm's of edible part):

Moisture 96.3%
Protein 0.4%
Fibre 0.4%
Carbohydrate 2.5%
Phosphorus 25 mg
Fat 0.1%
Calcium 10 mg
Vitamin C 7 mg
Iron 1.5 mg

Medicinal Uses & benefits

Cucumber has 65% alkaline and 35% acid forming minerals. This mineral balance makes cucumber a medicinally useful vegetable. It maintains alkalinity of the blood. It is a natural powerful diuretic, promoting flow of urine. It should be taken raw (skin intact) to get more benefits.

Other benefits are:-
  1. Being laxative in nature, it corrects constipation. Two cucumbers per day are advised for removing habitual constipation.
  2. For stomach disorders, its juice is useful as it corrects acidity, gastric and duodenal ulcers. A cup of fresh juice 3/41 times daily is helpful. It gives immediate relief in burning sensation of stomach.
  3. Cucumber juice promotes hair growth due to its high silicon and sulfur content, particularly when mixed with carrot, lettuce and spinach juice.
  4. In rheumatic problems, its juice along with the juices of carrot & beet, brings relief as it washes out uric acid deposition in arthritis, gout etc.
  5. In urinary disorders, cucumber is very beneficial. It increases flow of urine and is useful in dissolving the gravel in urinary tract and reducing the urine acidity.
  6. Grated cucumber applied over face, eyes and neck for 15 to 20 minutes has been found effective as a beauty aid and a best tonic for the skin of the face. Its regular use prevents pimples, blackheads, wrinkles and dryness of the face.
  7. For nausea/cholera it is a boon, as it immediately stops nausea & vomiting, which allopathic medicine fails to control. A glassful fresh juice mixed with coconut water given one cup hourly, controls cholera. It is a wonderful remedy for electrolyte imbalance in case of dehydration.
  8. Cucumbers contain a special ingredient that helps to reduce the swelling around eyes or the bags under the eyes.

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