Hair, Skin, Nails
: In Season: Cucumbers
By Michael T. Murray, ND
Although over 70 percent of them are made into pickles, cucumbers are nutritious and yummy in their own right. Cucumbers are a tropical plant that originated in Southeast Asia over 10,000 years ago. Early travelers to India introduced the cumber to other parts of Asia, and ancient civilizations in Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
Cucumbers as beauty treatment is not a new idea, in fact in ancient times they were often used for their beneficial skin-healing properties. During the 17th century, cucumbers were introduced to the U.S., and also began to be cultivated in greenhouses. It is thought that the pickling of cucumbers began in Spain, and were of high value to Roman emperors.
- Although fresh cucumbers are primarily composed of water, they are still rich in vitamins C and A, and folic acid.
- Cucumber's skin is a good source of fiber and minerals such as silica, potassium, magnesium, and molybdenum.
- A 3-1/2-ounce serving contains only 12 calories.
- Rich in silica, cucumbers contribute to the strength of our connective tissue, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bone.
- Cucumbers can be used to treat a variety of skin ailments, including swelling under the eyes and sunburns.
- Because cucumbers contain ascorbic acid and caffeic acid, cucumbers prevent water retention, helping to combat swelling and burns.
Add cucumbers to any salad or even sandwiches. Dice cucumbers with tomatoes and onions and dress with balsamic vinegar for a low calorie and refreshing dish. Consider making a cold gazpacho soup by pureeing cucumbers with tomatoes, green pepper and onions and seasoning to taste. What is your favorite dish to use cucumbers in?
Dr. Michael T. Murray is one of the world's leading authorities on natural medicine and the author of more than 30 bestselling books, including The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine.
He is a graduate and former faculty member, and serves on the Board of Regents, of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.
© 2016 doctormurray.com