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13 Ways To Use Cucumbers

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1. Make a Cooling Summer Bath
Call me an old granny, but I love Epsom salt baths and their surprising health benefits. But do I love taking a bath in 95-degree weather? Not so much. So since Iím kind of addicted, Iíve devised a cooling Epsom salt bath that is the perfect antidote to a hot, stressy summer day. Itís a bath that incorporates, ta da, cucumbers! Along with fresh mint, and a hit of floral essential oil. Mmmmm. According to University of Maryland Medical Center, peppermint has has a soothing and cooling effect on skin irritations caused by hives, poison ivy, or poison oak; it reduces headache symptoms; and it can be used in the treatment of depression. (So if youíre hot, itchy, depressed and have a headache Ö)

To a tub of tepid water add 2 cups Epsom salt, stir in 1 sliced cucumber, a handful of torn peppermint leaves, and an optional 3 drops ylang ylang pure essential oil. Soak, be soft and happy.

2. Soothe Puffy Eyes
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. The high water content helps to hydrate tender skin in the eye region, while the chill of a refrigerated cucumber helps contract blood vessels in the area–both effects combine to reduce swelling. To use cucumbers as an eye treatment, grab a cold cucumber from the refrigerator and cut two thick slices. Find a comfortable place to relax and set the cucumbers over your closed eyes for about 10 to 15 minutes. I also like to grate the cucumber and just kind of pack it in.

3. Make a Cucumber Toner

This formula is inspired by one in the book Ecobeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends–it is very mild and works well for all skin types. If you ever wake up feeling like your face is a little puffy, this toner is your best bet for calming and tightening your skin.
1/2 cucumber with peel, chopped
3 tablespoons witch hazel
2 tablespoons distilled water

Put all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove all of the solids, then pour the toner into a clean bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Store this toner in the refrigerator for a longer shelf lifeóit should last for several weeks. To use, apply the toner to your face using a clean cotton ball.

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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12:30PM PDT on Apr 6, 2014

NIMUE P: Great Post. Growing up, our mums must have been neighbors. Don and WE CAN! :-))

5:41AM PDT on Apr 6, 2014

Love them! Thanks.

7:07PM PDT on Apr 5, 2014

My Mum used to make a salad with sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, sliced onions and white vinegar. Simple but yummy! I just love my cucs! :)

3:25PM PDT on Mar 30, 2014

BEVERLY C: Good Post. My bride just made some the other day: refrigerator pickles. Don and WE CAN! :-))

1:30PM PDT on Mar 30, 2014

My mother used to fix them an "old-fashioned" way; however, they were delicious! She would peel and then cut into THIN slices - one cucumber; then she'd add a small thinly sliced onion; add vinegar and pickling spices and then refrigerate the mix for about an hour before "first" eating some....absolutely delicious (and healthy, since onion is also known for it's "inner cleansing" abilities.

I can almost see people making a face and maybe even saying, "Ew-w-w"; but trust me, it's goooood!!! lol TRY IT!

3:13PM PDT on Mar 20, 2014


9:38AM PST on Mar 7, 2014

Love cucumber, a good snack meal

5:37PM PST on Feb 23, 2014

Thanks for the post.

1:44AM PST on Feb 21, 2014

Thank you!!

7:45AM PST on Feb 9, 2014

Oops... My comment was cut off... Too long I guess, but people with toothaches need to hear this!

Well, basically the cucumber really took the pain away and made the toothache barely noticeable. I have been chewing on cucumber all day and now the pain is gone, like I never had a toothache in the first place. Obviously I still need to visit the dentist but who knows when I will get an appointment and at least I will get a good nights sleep tonight. I am also in a much better mood now because the toothache that I had was putting me in a foul, irritable mood.

So for anyone who has a toothache, you need to try chewing on cucumber, or putting cucumber over the sore tooth. If your teeth are sensitive to cold, like mine are, then wait until the slices warm up to room temperature first. It works wonders and I bet anyone who tries it will be amazed by how well the cucumber soothes a toothache. Plus it's much healthier for you than regular painkillers or codeine.

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