The Many Uses of Cucumbers


If you enjoy cucumbers in your salads or on your sandwiches, you are not alone. Cucumbers, which originated in India about 3,000 years ago, are the world’s fourth most cultivated vegetable and are thought of as one of nature’s superfoods.

In fact, they contain a lot of the nutrients you need, like vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and C; also zinc, potassium, iron, calcium, folic and more. They are very easy to grow in your home garden, or even a container.

But did you know that they have many more benefits?

… and to think all these years I’ve only been making salads with the cucumbers…

  1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, 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.
  2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.
  3. Try out cucumber detox water – it’s incredibly simple to make, all you need is cucumber and water. Cucumbers are rich in nutrients and they taste great. Grab a jug, chuck in some sliced cucumbers and top with ice. Leave it for at least an hour. The ice cubes are important because they’ll help keep the cucumbers submerged. Add mint or lemons if you fancy trying a different flavor.
  4. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
  5. Fight Constipation. With its high fiber and water content, if you suffer from constipation eat some cucumbers and your body will be thanking you.
  6. Reduce risk of cancer. Cucumbers truly are a super food. They contain three lignans—lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol—which have been shown to reduce the risk of breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancers.
  7. Beat bad breath. Nothing is worse than bad breath and being out of breath mints. A great alternative is cucumber! 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 phytochemicals will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath. It will boost saliva production, which washes away the stinky bacteria.
  8. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.
  9. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!
  10. Relieve sunburn. For quick relief of sunburned skin, a cool cucumber can do the trick. You can apply it in a number of ways, from using a slice directly to making a puree to lightly smear. Either way the cooling effect and antioxidant properties will help get rid of redness and swelling.
  11. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. 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!!
  12. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.
  13. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
  14. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!
  15. Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.
  16. Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your taps, 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, but is won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.
  17. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!
Cucumbers are surprisingly easy to grow, and as with most foods, you’ll find you enjoy the taste of homegrown cucumbers better than that of store-bought ones. You can grow them in the ground, but, since they like to climb, they also do well in a large container that can hold a trellis.  Cucumbers like plenty of sun and consistent watering.  Be sure to keep an eye on them because they grow very quickly and seem to sprout fruit overnight.
growing cucumbers