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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

(Cucumis sativus)
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FYI An annual, fleshy, bristly vine native to southern Asia which attaches itself to objects by TENDRILS. LEAVES are long-petioled, cordate, triangular-ovate, often 3-lobed. FLOWERS are bell-shaped and golden-yellow followed by cylindrical FRUITS containing many lateral SEEDS. First cultivated in England circa 1570 CE

Astrologically ruled by the moon §
CONTAINS: Arginine, caffeic acid, ascorbic acid, chlorogenic acid, cucurbitacins A-B-C-D, fructose, galactose, isoquercitrin, mannose, 2,6-nonadienol, rutin.
SEED OIL contains: 22.3% linoleic acid, 58.5% oleic acid, 6.8% palmatic acid, 3.7% stearic acid; potassium, sulfur, manganese, chlorine, silicon
PROPAGATION By SEED. Annual garden plant.
NEEDS A frost-tender, warm weather (minimum temp of 50ºF) crop planted in rows which are spaced 5 to 6 feet apart, or if grown on hills, hills should be 2 feet apart; in either case plants should be spaced 12" apart. Full sun (may require part shade in southern portions of the United States) and well-draining soil. Growing tips should be pinched out when plants have 3 leaves, then again when the lateral shoots have 4 or 5 leaves. Vine types can be grown on poles or trellises. Susceptible to Mosaic virus, Botrytis, Anthranose, Verticillium wilt, Powdery mildew, Sclerotinia, Root rot, and Beetle damage.
PART USED Fruits, Seeds
HARVEST Unripe FRUITS; SEEDS when fruit is ripe.
FORM Slices, pulp, juice, ground dried seeds.
RELATED SPECIES SIKKIM CUCUMBER (C.s. var sikkimensis): Large-fruited variety reaching 15" in length by 6 inches thick.
SNAKE CUCUMBER (C. flexuosum): Name is self descriptive; eaten raw or pickled.
WEST INDIAN GHERKIN (C. anguria): Slender vines with small egg-shaped fruit covered with warts and prickles.
♦ Research is currently ongoing in regard to cucumbers possibly lowering cholesterol.
Diuretic, cooling, alterative. nutritive, aperient, cleansing, skin softening. Seeds considered vermifuge. Affects heart and stomach; JUICE affects intestines, lungs, kidneys, skin.
Has been used as a diuretic to treat cases of heart problems and kidney problems; has also been used to dissolve uric acid accumulations in cases of kidney stones and bladder stones.
Has been eaten daily in salads to treat chronic constipation.
The ground seeds have been used to expel intestinal worms (followed by a cathartic), including tapeworm.
Has been taken internally for tendonitis, skin blemishes, heat rashes, and overheating in hot weather (as a refrigerant).
The juice has been used as a lotion to treat skin irritations, skin inflammations, bed sores, burns, sunburn, scalds, heat rash; also the fruit which has been pulped in a blender or food processor and applied directly for 30 minutes (this method also used cosmetically for skin blemishes and irritations).
Has been used externally for sore eyes and conjunctivitis.
In Chinese medicine the juice of the leaf has been used as an emetic to treat dyspepsia in children. The juice of the fruit is considered diuretic, purgative, resolvent. The pulp of the fruit has been used for burns, scalds, skin problems. The seed is considered vermifuge. The root has been bruised to treat swelling from porcupine quills. A decoction has been used as a diuretic to treat beri-beri.

!All others buy commercial preparations and follow directions carefully!
♦ Only one source (John Lust, The Herb Book) contradicts all other sources by stating that the best fruit for therapeutic use is that which is beginning to turn yellow.
FRUIT = 15 to 30 grams
JUICE = 1 cup

Has been used to help dry up milk in a bitch when she fails to do so naturally; dose being 2 tsps of the juice, morning and night.
In the wild, cats enjoy cucumbers; possible worm remedy?
Cucumber fruit is eaten fresh, cooked, and pickled.
The fruit is added to cooling drinks.
The fruit is added to yogurt to make raita.
The juice is used as a facial cleanser and skin lotion (rubbed into the face). Is also used in commercial cleansing and toning face lotions to clear the skin.
The pulp is applied to the face for 15 minutes to diminish wrinkles.
Soothing, cooling, toning FACIAL: Simmer half a peck of quince blossoms covered with water for an hour; cut 2 large cukes into very thin slices and mince; put in pan with blossoms and boil for 5 minutes; when cold, pour into bottles. Use by smearing on face and leave for 10 minutes before washing.
The chemicals (trans-2-noneal) in cucumber skins repel cockroaches.
Considered a 'visionary herb' in Earth religions; the green peels being placed over the closed eyes while meditating to bring one in close touch with the subconscious and personal intuition.

©2001 & 2006 by Ernestina Parziale, CH