Cucumbers (Curcumis sativus, C. melo, C. citrullus) are members of the Curcurbitaceae (Gourd) Family, making them relatives of zucchini and melons. The genus name Curcumis is from the Latin word for “gourd.” The species name sativus refers to its long history of cultivation. Native to India and Egypt, cucumber was a popular vegetable amongst the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Cucumber is slightly bitter, cool, and alkaline. It helps dissolve uric acid levels and aids in dissolving kidney stones. Its high silicon content is believed to encourage healthy skin, nails and hair growth. Cucumber moistens the lungs, is diuretic and laxative.
It is considered therapeutic for those suffering from acne, conjunctivitis, depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, pyorrhea, skin and stomach inflammation, sore throat, sunburn, and tapeworm. Eating cucumbers can truly help relieve summer heat, helping one feel “cool as a cucumber” Those that are excessively cold, weak and have damp conditions, such as diarrhea are not recommended to eat large amounts of cucumbers.
Though, not regarded as highly concentrated in nutrients (being 95.6% water) cucumbers contain erepsin, an enzyme that helps digest proteins and kill tapeworm. It also contains phosphorus, potassium, silicon (in skin), vitamin E, beta-carotene, and folic acid.
Cucumber can also help heal from the outside. Mashed cucumber is applied topically to cool burns, wasp stings and tired, swollen feet. It is applied as a facial for clear acne and wrinkle free skin. Cucumber slices can be applied to puffy tired eyes to reduce redness and inflammation.
Cucumbers with an overly large diameter are overgrown. Avoid those with a yellow rather than green color, or with puffy, withered ends. Commercial cucumbers often have wax on their skins, which should not be eaten. Organic peels can be consumed and are rich in silicon and chlorophyll.
Enjoy cucumbers sliced, in yogurt dishes, salads, dressings, pickles, relish, and juice. Try Stuffed cucumbers. Scoop out seeds and pulp and fill with sun cured olives, chopped celery, red pepper tossed with a bit of dressing. Spicy meals are cooled by the addition of cucumber.
You all be cool!