Cool as a Cucumber
As I was sent an email from my friend on cucumbers (as she has an allotment), I was thinking to myself, its the second time I have been sent an email recently on these wonderful veggies … well actually, they really are fruits belonging to the Gourd family (as you probably know) because they contain seeds – a subject close to my heart!
It is a dying breed the seed.
Seeds are the SEED of life
Too many fruits are being hybridized and we are being sold seedless fruits which is just about as far from nature as you can get. The more man tampers with nature, the more dis–connected we will become & problems we will incur on wellbeing and of course, Mother Nature. Nature is not to be tampered with. Only she knows best and we will never know everything about nature because that is how it is meant to be. Respect for something more abundant in wisdom than us mere human beings.
When I was living in Nigeria, my dad used to grow cucumbers in abundance . I remember going to the garden with him nearly every evening helping him to manifest veggies and fruits. We ate the Cuke nearly every day as they were cooling to the body. And they are my favourite non-sweet fruit! At my young tender years, I intuitively chose them. They helped me eliminate the dampness I am prone to. You will actually notice that a lot of young children like munching on cukes – especially with a high mucus forming diet even more so. Even in the Victorian times, the sandwiches were often filled with cuke in the summer for this very reason, served with tea (both having a super cooling affect on the system). And they have many more super healthy effects on our body:
- Early doctors or physician priests of ancient Kemet (Egypt) began healing practices that were world renowned (a medical system that was developed over 3000 years) and used the flowers of cucumbers with other ingredients to regulate urination
- According to Chinese records, cucumber was introduced to China around 100 B.C. (during the Han Dynasty). The first recorded medicinal use of the cucumber was in the 7th century. In Chinese medicine, cucumber is considered to have heat-dissipating (removing damp heat), and therefore having diuretic and detoxifying and also laxative effects. Its major uses include the treatment of excessive thirst , often caused by excessive damp heat, sore throat, laryngitis, acute conjuctivitis, and burns. In most Chinese homes, however, whether eaten raw or cooked as a soup, cucumber is used only for keeping cool in summer
- In Chinese medicine: the fresh and dried forms of roots are used for diarrhea and dysentery; and the stems for dysentery, urinary disorders and sores
- Cucumber stems have recently been used clinically in China for treating high blood pressure. Extracts of cucumber seedlings were also effective in treating high blood pressure and for treating tapeworm and are effective for reducing inflammation
- It is also used for treating painful acute conjunctivitis using a traditional Chinese remedy involving a well ripened Cuke
- Raw cucumbers contain large amounts of water (95%). The rest is made up of about 1% protein, 3% carbohydrates, minor amounts of fats (0.1%), minerals and vitamins , none in unusually high concentration. Just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc
- Their bitter taste is due to compounds known as cucurbitacins, one of which has been found to have antitumor effects
- In Chinese Medicine the energetic property of the cuke is cool and particularly works on the kidneys & stomach (& spleen) means you can now understand why it does what it does when consumed. I have often advocated many a patient with kidney imbalances (from kidney stones to high blood pressure etc) to drink the juice or eat cucumbers till they are coming out of their ears!! And they will pee very much eliminating evil (yes evil!) dampness & toxins such as uric acid and excess acidity & reduce oedema from around the eyes to around the ankles & more
- Plus the enzyme Erepsin is found in the cuke and is also found in the intestinal juices! It particularly helps to break down excessive proteins in the kidneys. It is produced and secreted by the intestinal glands in the ileum and the pancreas…so the cucumber helps the pancreas to produce insulin! So it has a beneficial affect in regulating the blood sugar levels
- If you are feeling zonked or tired then put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a Cuke. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours!
- Or looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Then get out a cuke to thwart off hunger pangs
- Cucumbers contain phytochemicals. Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.
- Beauty and the skin . Silicais – the essential component that aids in keeping strong and healthy connective tissues including muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and bone. The phytochemicals such as vitamin C and silica content in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite by drinking the juice of cukes too of course . And works great on wrinkles and rehydrating the skin. Also the cucumber skin contains a high proportion of vitamin A which is excellent for mucus membranes & the skin
- Cukes also contain electrolytes so if you have had to much too drink & want to avoid a hangover then eat cucumber! Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B Vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache
- Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, and won’t leave streaks
- And those grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds! Well just place a few slices of cuke in a small tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals In the cucumber react with the aluminium to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area
Vandana Shiva on the Problem with Genetically –Modified Seeds http://youtu.be/fG17oEsQiEw
By Susan Laing