|Source: Cucumber closeup|
Eventually this long green vegetable made its way into countries like China, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Egypt, Spain, Mexico, the Ukraine, Japan, Indonesia, and the U.S (Florida and California).
Cucumbers belong to the Cucurbitaceae family and its biological name is Cucumis sativus.
Slicing, pickling and burpless (seedless) cucumbers are the three common types cultivated and eaten.
‘Slicing’ cucumbers don’t require any cooking and can be eaten raw.
‘Pickling’ cucumbers are called pickles, gherkins or wallies. These type of cucumbers are usually soaked in brine or vinegar and have a sweet and sour taste.
‘Burpless’ cucumbers are milder in taste, less bitter and do not cause one to burp when eaten like most other varieties do.
The bitter taste found in cucumbers is due to the presence of the compound Cucurbitacin. Burpless cucumbers have less cucurbitacin in it.
- Vitamin A – needed for healthy eyesight, bone growth, reproduction and cell division
- Fiber – vital for digestion and to prevent constipation, colon diseases and hemorrhoids
- Vitamin C – protects against colds and needed for healthy teeth and gums. Vitamin C combined with zinc is effective in healing wounds.
- Potassium – lowers blood pressure, hypertension and helps in maintaining the nervous system.
- Silica – Keeps the tissues of the skin, hair, nails and eyes firm and strong.
Cucumbers are made up of about 95% water and is effective in getting rid of the toxins in the body and keep the skin blemish free plus soft and supple.
Actress Liv Tyler once revealed in an interview the secret to her beauty was ‘lots of conditioner, clean nails and cucumber juice.’
How to Make Cucumber Juice
- Sugar – 2 tablespoons
- Water – 2 cups
- 1 Cucumber peeled and grated
Cucumber Juice to Treat Sunburn
Peel and grate ½ a cucumber. Strain the juice using clean cheesecloth. Dab the sunburn areas with the juice.
Homemade Cucumber Toner for Oily Skin
Peel and grate ½ a cucumber. Strain using clean cheesecloth. Apply the juice on clean face. Leave on for 15 minutes and rinse off with cold water. Pat dry.
Homemade Cucumber Face Mask for Blemishes
- Peeled Cucumber – ½
- Instant nonfat dry milk powder – 1 tablespoon
- Plain Yoghurt – 1 tablespoon
Cucumber Treatment to Reduce Dark Circles Under Eyes
Peel and grate ¼ of a cucumber. Apply under the eye area and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse off with cold water. Do this treatment thrice a week.
Cucumber Varieties ideal for Growing in Pots
- Bush Champion
- Bush Crop
- Salad Bush Hybrid
© Suranee Perera 2012