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Cucumber: Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

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By NS Desk 08-Dec-2020

Cucumber

Cucumber, also known as Kheeraa, Shashaa, Kantakiphalam in India, is cultivated for atleast 3,000 years. India is also the origin of cucumber, and there are many varieties of cucumber observed here. This creeping vine plant is mostly found growing in South Asia, but now it is growing on most continents.Cucumber is a very effective dietary supplement for weight loss and helps to maintain dehydration as it is low in calories and made up of 96% water. It is also widely used for skincare routine because of its cooling, healing, and astringent properties.

How did the cucumber word originate?

The Latin word for crunchy vegetables is known as cucumerem. This word may be turned into cocomber in the old French language, and then in English, it turned into Cucumber.

There is an interesting fact about the name of cucumber, 18th-century cucumber is reputed as being poisonous, and thus, everyone stopped using cucumber. It was considered trash and only used as animal food, especially for cow food. From that cucumber got the name "Cowcumber” in the early days.

History of Cucumber
Cucumber originated from ancient India; it was cultivated 3000 years ago. The early species of cucumber is considered to be much bitter than a modern cucumber. Later, Indian civilization starts incorporating cucumber into their cuisine. In 1st millennia BC, Indians started treading cucumber with Middle Eastern civilization and Europe; this is how cucumber spreader out in the globe. 

Romans loved cucumber so much that they build specialized greenhouses to grow cucumber.

Treating diseases/health problems using Cucumber

  • Cucumber juice forUrinary Tract Infection (UTI)


In Ayurveda, Urinary tract infection or UTI is called Mutrakacchra, where Mutra means ooze (sluggish flow of a fluid), Krichra means painful. So the slow, painful urination is called Mutrakacchra in Ayurveda. Thus cucumber possesses the Sita or cooling property; it helps with the pain and burning sensation during urination. Cucumber is 96% water, so it is a natural diuretic (increase the formation of urine), which removes or excrete toxins from the body in case of urinary tract infection.

The use of cucumber will not cure UTI, but it can bring relief from the symptoms.

Half or a whole peeled cucumber is diced into pieces. Diced cucumber is blended with required water, then filtered and add honey to make cucumber juice. This juice is very refreshing and advisable to take in breakfast regularly.

  • Cucumber juice for Gouty Arthritis

Gout is a metabolic disease where the accumulation of uric acid causes joint pain. In this condition, the body makes excess uric acid (hyperuricemia), accumulating in joints and forming crystals. These crystals cause inflammation, and this leads to pain in joints in the body. Vatarakt is the Ayurvedic name of gout, where the main dosha or problem is Vata, and it's related to Rakta or blood, that’s why the name Vatarakt.

Cucumber is very helpful in this situation. Cucumber's diuretic property helps to form more urine in the body, which ultimately leads to removal or excretion of excess uric acid formed in the body—this why cucumber helps to maintain a relatively low level of uric acid in the blood.

One can eat the cucumber raw, but for the best result, cucumber juice is preferred in breakfast every day.

To make cucumber juice, a whole or half cucumber is peeled and then diced. Then the diced pieces are blended and filtered to extract the juice. Add honey according to your taste.

  • Cucumber pulp for Sunburn

Too much exposure to sunshine (have ultraviolet rays) can cause the skin to become red, and the affected area feels hot in touch and gives pain. This complication is known as Sunburn. In Ayurvedic term, when the Pitta of the skin increases due to sun rays and Rasa Dhatu decreased, it is called sunburn. Rasa Dhatu is the nourishing fluid which gives the skin its color and glows.

As cucumber incorporates the Sita or cooling property and the Ropan or healing property, Cucumber pulp is very helpful in reducing the pain and burning sensation and repairing the damaged skin.

According to the area of sunburn, one or two cucumbers are peeled and blended to make pulp. The pulp is then applied directly to the sunburn area. This whole process is repeated once or twice a day, and this will reduce sunburn.

Cucumber juice can also be used in this situation, but the pulp form is preferred.

  • Cucumber helps to Reduce Acne

The pore of skin is made up of a hair follicle and a sebaceous gland that releases oil or sebum. When these pores are blocked due to dead skin, oil, or bacteria, inflammation and infection can occur, and this condition is called Acne.

According to Ayurveda, there are two main reasons for this complication. First, aggravation of kapha (body energy), which increases the sebum production in skin pores. Increased sebum can clog up the pores and cause inflammation and form white or blackheads. Second, Pitta's increase can also lead to inflammation with pus causing purple bumps in the skin.

Cucumber is a great natural medicine for Acne; the cooling property of cucumber helps reduce the inflammation and removes the accumulated pus. The astringent nature of cucumber also helps to reduce the excessive sebum production in the pores.

Cucumber paste\ pulp or juice can be used for Acne. For improved results, one cucumber is grated or blended to make a paste. 1-2 teaspoon of besan is mixed, and water is added accordingly to make a paste-like consistency. This paste is applied to the skin and keeps it for some time, then wash it out. Regular use of this paste helps to get rid of acne\ pimples.

  • Cucumber can reduce Hair Loss

Hair fall is a serious problem for both men and women. It can occur due to numerous problems like stress, water, another underlying disease, or genetic problem. In Ayurveda, it is explained that hair fall occurs due to aggravated Vatadosha.

As cucumber has Vata balancing property, it is a great choice for reducing hair fall.

Ripe yellow cucumber is preferred, as it reduces the rate of hair loss and stimulates thick and healthy hair growth. The astringent property of cucumber also showed dandruff control.

Yellow ripe cucumber is blended to make pulp. Rosewater is added to 1\2 -1 cup of cucumber pulp and mixed.

This mixture is applied to the scalp properly and leave it there for an hour or two. Wash the scalp properly with normal water.

Apply this pulp twice a day on a regular basis to reduce hair loss and have healthy hair.

Types of Ayurvedic Care with Cucumber

  1. Cucumber in raw form

Cucumber can be used directly without any processing. One can eat raw cucumber as a salad or can also use it as a home remedy for skincare. Cucumber is mostly water, so eating cucumber on summer days helps to prevent dehydration. Cucumber's diuretic function helps to detoxify our body, which will help in gout, urinary tract infection.
Massaging the face with cucumber slice reducesthe acne problem, increases skin glow and complexion, and also smooths the skin. Putting cucumber slices one on each eyelid helps reduce dark circles.

  1. Cucumber salad


It is very healthy, refreshing, and hydrating food.- 1-2 cucumber washed and then sliced it or dice it as per desired sizes.
- you can add tomato, lettuce, olive, or other vegetables as per liking.
- Add salt and pepper, squeeze lemon according to your taste
- mix everything properly and have this during breakfast, lunch, dinner, or in-between.

  1. Cucumber raita

Raita is a very tasty and healthy way of having food. One can have both the goodness of curd and added vegetables or fruit.
to make cucumber raita,
- wash 1-2 cucumber and grate them or dice them
- Mix curd to the cucumber
- Add salt accordingly to taste and mix it well.
- you can eat it for breakfast or lunch.

  1. Cucumber juice
    If someone wants to lose some weight, cucumber juice in the morning, along with cucumber salad, is a great combination.
    - half or a whole cucumber is washed and cut into small pieces.- bend it with water, then filter this to extract the juice and remove fibers and seeds.
    - you can enhance it by adding a little bit of honey
    - and your cucumber juice is ready. Drink it regularly at breakfast.
  1. Cucumber juice as a skin toner

Too much exposure to sunlight can cause suntan, which is very hard to remove. Cucumber extract is a great remedy here; it removes tan and makes the skin smooth.
how to use -
- 5-10 ml or 1-2 teaspoon cucumber juice is mixed with rose water.
- soak a cotton pad into this mixture.- every night, before going to bed, wipe the face with this cotton pad. Wash your face in the morning. Do it regularly, and it will magically get rid of suntan.

  1. Cucumber oil

Cucumber oil has anti-aging properties. It is rich in linoleic acid and also contains vitamin E; both are good for the skin. Cucumber oil protects the skin. Make the skin soft and smooth, it’s both anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and also promote cell regeneration, that helps to cure acne problem.
- 2-5 drops of the cucumber seed oil are added with coconut oil or olive oil.
- apply this mixture once or twice daily.

  1. Cucumber seed powder

Cucumber seed powder is great for the skin. It can solve problems like sunburn, suntan, wrinkles, dry skin. This powder also has anti-oxidant properties.
- ½ to 1 teaspoon or 5 gm of cucumber seed powder is mixed with rose water and honey to make a paste-like consistency.
- apply this paste as a skin pack and let it sit for half an hour.
- Do this once or twice a week for great results.

FAQ’s about Cucumber

  • What is Cucumber, a fruit or a vegetable?

    Cucumber is a fruit. The scientific definition of a fruit is a plant part that develops from a flower, and fruit contains seeds. Cucumber is also a plant part that is developed from flower and has seeds, so cucumber is a fruit.
  • What is Cucumber’s water content?

    Cucumber is mostly water; it contains very little fiber, and the fibers are also soluble. Cucumber contains 90-96 percentwater.
     
  • How to eat Cucumber?

    Cucumber is preferred raw, as cucumber contains mostly water, so cooking is not right. The best way to have cucumber is to eat it with its skin, as peeling the skin off leads to a loss in fiber and nutrition. One can have raw cucumber in various forms like salad or raita.
     
  • Is there any problem eating cucumber on an empty stomach?
  • Science
  • Ayurveda

There is no problem eating cucumber on an empty stomach. It is the best possible way as per modern science; cucumber acts as an appetizer if eaten before meals.

 

According to Ayurveda, eating cucumber on an empty stomach is safe; in fact, eating cucumber before lunch is a great thing, as cucumber has Deepan (appetizer) property.
 

 

  • Is it safe to consume cucumber skin?
     
  • Science
  • Ayurveda

There is no problem with eating cucumber skin. But as pesticides, other chemicals, and colors are used nowadays, it is best to wash it properly before eating. The dark green cucumber skin is rich in antioxidants, insoluble fibers, potassium, and vitamin K.

According to Ayurveda, if your digestive system is in good condition, you can eat the skin without a worry.

  • Can we consume cucumber at night?
  • Science
  • Ayurveda

Scientifically it is not proven that eating cucumber at night causes any harm to the human body. One can eat cucumber at night as it is nutritious and hydrating food.

Cucumber is incredible in maintaining a balance between all three doshas of the body as well as it keeps the body hydrated. So cucumber can be consumed at night or any time of the day, but as it contains seeds, which are heavy to digest, one with a poor digestive system must avoid eating cucumber at night.

  • How to use cucumber slices for eyes?
     Wash your face properly. Take a cucumber (chilled if recommended) and slice it into two thin pieces. Put these pieces on your eyelids while closing your eye. Please keep it for 15-20 minutes and then remove it to achieve maximum effect. Do it regularly to get rid of dark circles.
  • How does cucumber help in diabetes?
  • Science
  • Ayurveda

In type-2 diabetes, cucumber can be used to lower the blood sugar level. It Is scientifically shown that cucumber stimulates the release of insulin from -cells of the pancreas, which controls high blood sugar levels in type-2 diabetes.

Consuming cucumber enhances body Agni (digestive strength). A good digestive system cause reduction in Ama (indigested toxic food remains). This fixes the impaired function of insulin and helps to maintain a healthy blood sugar level in the case of diabetes.

  • What is the best way to have cucumber in the salad?

    Take one or two whole cucumbers, wash it properly, and peel it. Slice it or dice it into small pieces. Mix with other vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze lemon to your liking. And have this cucumber salad before or during meals.
     
  • Does eating cucumber at night cause cold?
    According to Ayurveda, cucumber has Sita or cooling property, which can increase the Kapha in the body. In the winter season and especially at night, consumption of cucumber or cucumber juice can cause cold.
  • Does cucumber help in losing weight?
    Cucumber is high in water content and high in potassium, and low in sodium. Eating cucumber with the peel gives a sense of satiety as the peel is high in dietary fiber. This ultimately controls frequent eating habits and thus helps to lose weight.
     
  • Is cucumber good for hair?
  • Science
  • Ayurveda

Applying cucumber juice or pulp to the scalp reduces hair fall and promotes thick and healthy hair growth. Cucumber contains Sulphur and silicon, which is essential for the nourishment of hair follicles.

According to Ayurveda, one of the main reasons for hair fall is imbalanced pitta dosha, and cucumber has Pitta balancing property. Thus cucumber helps to control hair fall and also regenerates hair follicles.

  • Is cucumber good for skin?
  • Science
  • Ayurveda

Cucumber is very good for skin problems. It possesses antiaging property, the astringent property, which makes the skin smooth and wrinkle-free. It helps to reduce inflammation and cure acne. Cucumber juice also helps in sunburn and reduce dark circles.

Cucumbers Sita or cooling, Ropan or healing, Kashaya, or astringent property helps to maintain good and healthy skin.

  • Is Pickled cucumber is healthy?

There is no scientific evidence or research that can say pickled cucumber is harmful to health. There is no risk in having cucumber pickles. But as pickle is prepared using salt and vinegar, the high amount of sodium might cause hypertension or problem related to the heart.
 

  • How cucumber juice benefits health?
     
  • Science
  • Ayurveda

Cucumber high water content (90-96%) hydrates the body; it also provides a diuretic effect, which increases urine formation and helps remove toxins. The diuretic effect also provides a hypotensive effect and lowers high blood pressure.Cucumber Juice is a great appetizer, which helps to improve the digestive system.
It is rich in vitamins and minerals, which helps to compensate for nutrient loss from the body. The antioxidant activity also helps to fight cancer as it reduces further cell damage.

Cucumbers Mutral (diuretic) property helps in better urine flow and excretes unwanted toxins from the system. It balances Pitta dosha, and cucumber juice is very refreshing that gives the body a cooling effect because of its Sita property.

consult with ayurveda doctor.
Disclaimer - The aim of the article is just to convey information to you. Use any medicine, therapy, herb or fruit please do it under the guidance of a qualified Ayurveda doctor.
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