Cucumbers are one of my favorite vegetables. Not only are they incredibly versatile in the kitchen, being an easy addition to cold salads, grain salads, raw food recipes and salsas, they are also incredibly versatile when it comes to other uses such as skin, health and household uses. Keep reading to see what surprising benefits you can put cucumbers to use for.
Digestive Support– Cucumbers are a gentle, yet powerfully effective diuretic, and their consumption helps to support a healthy digestive system and regular bowel elimination without the need for dangerous laxatives. They also help to flush water retention, which can be especially helpful during a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle or after consuming a heavy meal.
Relieve Bad Breath – If your mouth feels dingy and has odorous remnants of your lunch or dinner, pop a slice of fresh cut cucumber in your mouth and hold it on your tongue for 30-60 seconds. The compounds in the cucumber will help to kill odor-causing bacteria, while the high water content will help to flush surface debris that may be clinging to the inside of your mouth. Discard the cucumber and follow with a tall glass of filtered water for immediately breath freshening effects.
Hangover Relief – If you’ve overindulged in alcohol, you can help prevent a nasty hangover by consuming half of a cucumber before bed, and the other half upon waking. Cucumbers are rich in B-vitamins and electrolytes, which are greatly depleted after consuming alcohol.
Sunburn Relief – If a day out in the sun has left your skin hot, red and tight with sunburn, you can relieve your discomfort while providing your skin with beneficial healing compounds by gently placing COLD cucumber slices on the affected areas. Leave in place until the cucumber slices have warmed and repeat as necessary. If you can tolerate it, you can also gently rub the cold cucumber slices across the affected areas as often as needed for fast relief and healing.
Anti-Aging Skin Benefits – Keep your skin taught, fresh and youthful looking with cucumbers. The compounds in cucumber are proven to reduce eye puffiness, tighten loose skin, brighten skin and even reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Simple lay fresh cucumber slices on top of desired areas of freshly washed skin and let them rest there for 20-30 minutes. For optimal benefits, use 3 times per week. Additionally, you can puree up some cucumber and spread on a thin layer to your skin as a cooling, rejuvenating facial mask.
Natural Energy Booster – Skip the dangerous “energy drinks”, excess coffee and other caffeinated drinks, and replace them with some cold cucumber water, freshly juiced cucumbers or a smoothie made with fresh cucumbers. Their rich stores of B-vitamins, electrolytes and healthy carbs make them a far superior choice for a natural energy boost any time of the day with no negative lingering effects.
Repel Common Garden Pests – To keep common garden pests away from your garden, while at the same time acting as a natural compost material, spread some fresh grated cucumber in-between your garden plants and flower rows.
Remove Crayon Markings from Walls – To help remove crayon and pen marks from walls, gently rub an unpeeled cucumber across the markings.
Remove Tarnish from Fixtures – To remove tarnish from stainless steel fixtures, pots, etc., rub a cucumber across tarnished areas and then rinse.
Many of these uses for cucumbers can give you great reason to NOT discard slightly less-than-fresh cucumbers, and take advantage of their many additional benefits for body and household use.
Bon Veggie Appetit!
Gina “The Veggie Goddess” Matthews