Cucumber: Properties and uses in Cooking, Health and Beauty

The cucumber, Cucumis sativus, is the fruit from an annual herbaceous plant.  It belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae.  This plant has big, bright green leaves which bloom sideways between the plants’ arms.  Its stalks are thick and spiny and are divided into junctions that sprout tendrils and leaves.  The cucumber is a plant with dark green skin, or in some occasions yellow, and it is smooth, shiny, and have a long cylindrical form, from 20 to 30 cm.  The inside of the cucumber has a white and juicy pulp which has small and soft seeds in the middles, spread out throughout the fruit.

Cucumber: Properties and uses in Cooking, Health and BeautyCucumber’s nutritious composition:

  • It has a nutritious composition made up of 97% water, 0.8 of proteins, and 0.2 of carbohydrates.
  • The minerals it contains are: Calcium 17 mg/100 grams, Sodium 8 mg/100 grams, Potassium 140 mg/100 grams, Phosphorus 22 mg/100 grams, and Iron 0.3 mg/100 grams.
  • Vitamins: Retinol (vitamin A) 2 mg/100 grams, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) 11 mg/100 grams, Thiamine (vitamin B1) 0.03 mg/100 grams, Riboflavin (vitamin B2) Folic acid (vitamin B3) 16 µg/100 grams.

Cucumber’s nutritive properties:

  • Emollient
  • Diuretic
  • Blood tonic
  • Laxative
  • Calming
  • Refreshing
  • Alkalizing
  • Activates the intestines

Cucumber is recommended in cases of:

  • Cystitis, urolithiasis oliguria.
  • Excellent for treating constipation.  Fresh cucumber juice twice a day helps regulate intestinal movement.
  • A condition called toxoplasmosis exists which can be treated by cucumbers.
  • Obesity: putting yourself on a diet by eating only cucumbers and 2 liters of water a day for one week will help cleanse the body and lose weight.
  • Necrosis: and in all cases whereby neutralizing excessive acid is necessary, like in diabetes, gout, obesity, arthritis, etc.

Cucumber’s cosmetic uses:

  • Whitening the skin: used to whiten skin.
  • Dark circles under the eyes: cucumber slices on the eyes help reduce dark circles.
  • Hair: very good for nourishing the hair and making it once again silky and shiny.
  • Marks on the skin: helps remove marks on the skin.
  • Throat illnesses: if you have throat problems, apply poultices made from cucumber pulp, several times a day.
  • Hemorrhoids: make an emulsion out of cucumber seeds to fight hemorrhoids.
  • Rashes, abscesses, and other skin eruptions: see mask.
  • Skin and blackheads: very useful for skincare.  Very good for applying to oily skin, for softening skin on the hands and face, and for preventing blackheads and wrinkles.  It also rejuvenates the skin and makes it once again fresh and healthy.  If you want to benefit from these cucumber properties, make a cucumber mask, as described below:

How to make a cucumber mask:

You will need:

  • 1/4 kilo cucumbers
  • 1 liter first cold pressed olive oil
  • Strainer

How to make the mask:

Wash the cucumber very well and then cut it into small pieces, skin and all.  Blend with one liter of oil and then, boil the mixture for a few minutes.  Later, let cool  and strain.  Use the strained oil to apply to your skin in the following manner: wash your face.  Once clean, apply the oil (preferably warm) to your face.  You can also apply it to your hair before washing it.  Let set on your skin as if it were a cream.  It is excellent at night because at this time, the oils can be deeply absorbed.

Cucumber cream:

You can make dozens of recipes with cucumber.

  • Avoid cucumbers in vinegar (pickles) because they are very irritating and harmful to health.
  • It’s best to eat them fresh, either in juices or salads.
  • Cucumber juice combined with carrots and parsley are perfect for strengthening the hair and for bringing it shine and softness.

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