CUCUMBER

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.

Cucumber slicesCucumber Cures..

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 

Ingredients:

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. 1.     Wash the cucumber thoroughly. Cut off ½” at the head and tail of the vegetable.
  2. 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. 3.     You can also add salt to the grated cucumber and squeeze out the juice but this will take away the important nutrients.
  4. Combine the grated cucumber, curds, salt, chilli/ginger/coconut paste and mix thoroughly.
  5. 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.
  6. Add to the curd/cucumber  raitha/pachadi.
  7. 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

Preparation:

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.

Cucumber on the vineMahamrityunjaya Mantra (maha-mrityun-jaya) is one of the strongest Sanskrit mantras next to the Gayathri Mantram. Maha Mrityunjaya literally means the great warding off of death. It is a call for enlightenment and for purifying the soul. It is chanted to give mental, emotional, and physical health.

Om Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam

Urvarukamiva Bandhanan Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat

 

OM ! Tryambakam = three-eyed; Yajamahe = We worship, adore, honour, revere; Sugandhim = sweet fragrance; Pushti = A well-nourished condition, thriving, prosperous, full, and complete; Vardhanam = One who nourishes, strengthens, and restores health; a good gardener; Urvarukam = disease, attachment, obstacles in life, and resulting depression; Iva Like, just as; Bandhanan = Stem (of the cucumber); unhealthy attachment Mrityor = From death; Mukshiya = Free us, liberate us; Ma = not; Amritat = Immortality, emancipation.

We Meditate on the Three-eyed reality

Which permeates and nourishes all like a fragrance

May we be liberated from death for the sake of immortality

Even as the cucumber is severed from bondage to the creeper

The Mahāmṛtyuṃjaya Mantra ( महामृत्युंजय मंत्र), the “great death-conquering mantra”, is from the Rigveda (RV 7.59.12) and addressed to Tryambaka “the three-eyed one”, an epithet of Rudra. The verse also recurs in the Yajurveda (TS 1.8.6.i; VS 3.60). Nature is so much a part of Hindu life that the automatic detachment of the ripe cucumber from the parent plant is used as a metaphor for emancipation from worldly bondage.

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About padmum

You could call me Dame Quixote! I tilt at windmills. I have an opinion on most matters. What I don't have, my husband Raju has in plenty. Writer and story teller, columnist and contributer of articles, blogs, poems, travelogues and essays to Chennai newspapers, national magazines and websites, I review and edit books for publishers and have specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. My other major interest is acting on Tamil and English stage, Indian cinema and TV. I am a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff and write about India's heritage, culture and traditions. I am interested in Vedanta nowadays.
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5 Responses to CUCUMBER

  1. Quite the ode to the cucumber. Cucumbers are one of my favorite foods – they taste great and are quite refreshing – especially cold cucumbers on a hot day!

    Like

  2. Ramya says:

    Ma’am, your blog is highly nutritious to the unhealthy mind! I am a fan 🙂

    Like

  3. Olena says:

    How can cucumbers be hard to digest & aid digestion at the same time?

    Like

    • padmum says:

      It is hard to digest when you are sedentary…not exercising after consuming. It helps digestion when you add salt to it and the water content in the vegetable and its inherent nutrients help the digestive process

      Like

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