Botanical name: Cucumis sativus; Ayurvedakoshatakikul
Vellarikkai (Tamizh); karkati , trapush (Sanskrit); kheera (Hindi); kaakadi (Marathi); tansali (Gujrathi): teoh (Assamese); taushe(Konkani); southekayi (Kannada); keerakai (Telugu).
In Ayurveda, the tender cucumber balances all the three doshas of vata, pitha and kapha.
Cucumbers are considered to be cooling and have diuretic and laxative properties. It is used as a preventive and palliative in Cancer, Heart diseases, Eczemas, Urinary infections and helps with loss of appetite. The skin and seeds of the cucumber are difficult to digest. The juice is useful for soothing the skin and for treating wrinkles and freckles. It is used to treat excessive thirst, sore throats and conjunctivitis and helps to bind the stools. It is believed to be an antidote to poisons.
Cucumbers are rich with most of the daily dose of vitamins like Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
The cucumber is an ideal vegetable that is eaten in the summer and with heavy meals combined with yoghurt/curds. It is however not easy to digest.
Rehydrates body and replenishes daily vitamins – Cucumbers are 95 water, keeping the body hydrated while helping the body eliminate toxins. Cucumbers have most of the vitamins the body needs in a single day. Don’t forget to leave the skin on because the skin contains a good amount of vitamin C, about 10 percent of the daily-recommended allowance.
Skin and hair care –The skin can be used for skin irritations and sunburns just like aloe is used. Place a slice over puffy eyes and its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce puffiness. The silicon and sulfur in cucumbers help to stimulate hair growth.
Fight cancers – Cucumber are known to contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol. These three lignans have a connection with reduced risk of several cancer types, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and prostate cancer.
Energy Booster: If you’re feeling tired grab a cucumber. It has carbohydrates and B vitamins to give you a longer-lasting and healthier boost of energy than soda, coffee, or energy drinks.
Aids in weight loss and digestion – Due to its low calorie and high water content, cucumber is an ideal diet for people who are looking for weight loss. The high water content and dietary fiber in cucumbers are very effective in ridding the body of toxins from the digestive system, aiding digestion. Daily consumption of cucumbers can be regarded as a remedy for chronic constipation.
Cures diabetes, reduces cholesterol and controls blood pressure – Cucumber juice contains a hormone which is needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin which has been found to be beneficial to diabetic patients. Researchers found that a compound called sterols in cucumbers may help reduce cholesterol levels. Cucumbers contain a lot of potassium, magnesium and fiber. These work effectively for regulating blood pressure. This makes cucumbers good for treating both low blood pressure and high blood pressure.
Promotes joint health, relieves gout and arthritis pain -Cucumber is an excellent source of silica that helps to promote joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. When mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering the uric acid levels
Headaches and Hangovers: If you suffer from headaches or are prone to hangovers, eat half of a cucumber before bed. Cucumbers are high in B vitamins, sugar, and electrolytes, and they replenish the nutrients missing in your body.
Halitosis killer: Take a slice of cucumber and put it on the roof of your mouth. Hold it there with your tongue for 30 seconds. The photochemical will kill the bacteria that is causing your bad breath.
Defogger: To fight the fog on the bathroom mirror rub a slice of cucumber on the mirror before you take a shower. Not only will you get a fog-free mirror, but you’ll have a nice smell that will boost your mood.
Tarnish remover: If you’re finding tarnish on your stainless steel kitchen faucets and appliances? Rub it off with a cucumber slice. Not only will it remove years of tarnish, it will leave it streak free and your hands will thank you, and your kids won’t be put at risk from a dangerous chemical.
Crayon on the walls: Take an unpeeled cucumber and rub the crayon off of the walls in the event that your kiddo left you some art. You can also use this technique to erase a pen mistake.
Lubricant : Get rid of a squeak by rubbing a cucumber on the door hinges.
Pest control: Put three or four slices of cucumber in a small tin and place them in your garden. The chemicals in the cucumber have a reaction that pests hate. You won’t smell it, but it will drive them from your garden all year long. Replace them periodically.
CUCUMBER YOGHURT SALAD–Raitha/pachadi
1 cup Cucumber, grated
1 Cup Thick freshly set yoghurt/curds
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Chilli, ginger, fresh coconut paste (optional)
½ teaspoon Coriander leaves
For the seasoning
½ teaspoon Mustard seeds
½ teaspoon Urad dhal (split, dehusked black gram)
½ teaspoon Til/sesame Oil
2 Curry leaves, shredded
¼ teaspoon Hing (Asafoetida) powder
- 1. Wash the cucumber thoroughly. Cut off ½” at the head and tail of the vegetable.
- 2. On the cut side smear some salt and rub thoroughly to take out any bitterness that can be found at the ends of the vegetable. Wash again, peel and grate.
- 3. You can also add salt to the grated cucumber and squeeze out the juice but this will take away the important nutrients.
- Combine the grated cucumber, curds, salt, chilli/ginger/coconut paste and mix thoroughly.
- In a seasoning ladle or small saucepan, heat the oil and splutter the mustard seeds taking care not to burn them. Add and brown the urad dhal. Take the ladle/saucepan off the flame. Finally put in the curry leaves and hing powder while the oil and seasoning is still hot.
- Add to the curd/cucumber raitha/pachadi.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Tasty Tip: Add chopped tomatoes, grated carrot for extra nutrients.
Healthy Tip:This dish is like a salad and is very refreshing.
CUCUMBER COOLER–Neer Moru/buttermilk/Chaas
½ cup Cucumber
2 cups Buttermilk
A pinch Rock Salt
½ teaspoon Cumin/jeera powder roasted brown
2 to 4 Curry leaves
½ teaspoon Coriander leaves
1. Grate the cucumber fine or blend to a paste.
2. Add coriander and curry leaves and just give it a single whirr in the blender.
3. In a jug add buttermilk and the cucumber blend.
4. Add a pinch of rock salt, cumin/jeera powder and beat together with a whisk.
5. Serve the cucumber cooler chilled.