Everyone knows the classic image of someone wearing a face mask, hair in a towel, and cucumber slices covering their eyes. It might look silly, but there’s a reason for the cucumbers, especially on the eyes.
For one thing, cucumbers are high in water, which makes them refreshing to eat on a hot day. This high water content, as well as various vitamins and minerals, make cucumber not just a tasty and nutritious snack, but also a soothing balm for the skin (x). In addition, cucumbers can also help support a healthy heart, and digestive and immunity systems.
How Long Has Cucumber Extract Been in Use?
Cucumber comes from the family Cucurbitaceae, a family that also includes melons and squash. It’s been used in India and China for medicinal purposes for centuries, not to mention their cuisine (x).
Cucumbers vs. Sea Cucumbers
Although regular cucumbers are more a household item, sea cucumbers have been shown to possibly include several medicinal and nutritional benefits. For years, they have been a part of Asian cuisine and traditional medicine. They look a little different from regular cucumbers, having a more leathery skin and a more elongated body, and there are just over a thousand varieties living in the world’s oceans today (x).
Supposedly, herbalists from the Ming dynasty in China believed that sea cucumbers, because of their incredible adaptive abilities, contained many of the same properties as ginseng, another powerful Asian herb. This means they can possibly help manage high blood pressure, asthma, constipation, rheumatism, cuts and burns, and even impotence. Nutrition-wise, sea cucumbers contain a higher protein and lower lipid content than other foods (x).
Similarly, studies have shown that some species of sea cucumbers are especially high in the amino acid glycine, which is important for creating muscle tissue and converting glucose into energy. Glycine also contains antioxidant properties to assist with digestion, and can also provide protection from cancer (x).
A 2003 bulletin found the protein content of sea cucumbers to be extremely high–as high as 83 percent when the cucumber is dried. Otherwise, their protein content lies between 40 and 60 percent (x).
Most impressive, however, is sea cucumber extract’s antitumor and anticancerous properties. A 2005 study from the State Key Laboratory of Drug Research in China tested an isolated chemical compound from sea cucumbers against tumor growth, and the results for antitumor abilities were positive. Another 2005 study tested how well a hot water extract from sea cucumbers proliferated colon cancer, and cancerous cell growth was found to be significantly inhibited (x).
Several other studies have looked at sea cucumber extract benefits for the immune and cardiovascular systems, most of which had yielded positive results. Similar to regular cucumbers, except for allergic reactions, there have been no reports of adverse sea cucumber extract side effects (x).
Benefits of Cucumber Extract
Besides being a choice snack for warmer weather, cucumber provides several benefits for the body, especially the skin.
Cucumbers have a high water content, but they are also high in electrolytes. Electrolytes are substances that conduct electricity when dissolved in water, such as sodium, magnesium, phosphate, and potassium. Because many body reactions require a small electric current to get started, electrolytes are essential for proper body function (x). With that said, cucumbers could make an excellent substitute for energy drinks, or make good supplements for drinking water.
Bone health is another benefit of consuming cucumbers, thanks to their high Vitamin K content. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting and may help with calcium absorption Experts recommend a daily intake of 90-120 micrograms (mcg) of Vitamin K depending on one’s gender and age. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a 142-gram cup of unpeeled, raw cucumber contains 10.2 micrograms of Vitamin K (x).
A 2001 study from the Vitamins and Fine Chemicals Division in Switzerland found that vitamin K intake might work with vitamin D to increase bone density, reduce fracture rates, and even affect calcium balance (x).
Cucumbers contain chemicals called cucurbitacin, which may help stop cancer cells from forming. Several chemical components and extracts have been isolated from cucumbers to study how well they inhibit cancerous cell growth. A 2009 study from the Journal of Cancer Research found that cucurbitacin supplements might inhibit the growth of pancreatic call lines by about 50 percent (x).
In terms of how cucumber assists cardiovascular health, 133 g of cucumber also contains about 1 g of fiber, which can help manage cardiovascular problems, such as high cholesterol. Increasing potassium intake has also been linked to cardiovascular health, and 42 g of unpeeled cucumber has 17 mg of magnesium and 193 mg of potassium (x).
Several studies have linked cucumbers to lowered blood pressure, thanks to its supposed ability to help dilate the blood vessels. A 2017 study from the Public Health of Indonesia journal saw that elderly participants with high blood pressure saw a decrease after consuming cucumber juice for 12 days (x).
The best-known benefit of cucumbers is their soothing, calming effects. People often use cucumber extract for the skin to soothe morning puffiness or any irritation. This is partially due to cucumbers’ powerful hydration content. But cucumbers also contain Vitamin K, A, and C, which not only act as antioxidants but also have anti-inflammatory and moisturizing effects on the skin. Cucumber extract skin benefits also include reducing dark circles and slightly smoothing out wrinkles (x).
Recently, researchers found that cucumber fruit extract contains Rutin and ascorbic acid oxidase, both free radical scavengers that can help protect against skin damage (x). Free radicals are naturally generated by the body, but they must be kept in balance with antioxidants for proper physiological balance. If not, it produces oxidative stress, which, if left unchecked, can trigger several diseases (x).
Much research has suggested cucumber’s benefits for the skin, such as its ability to reduce swelling and irritation, alleviate sunburn, and even decrease morning puffiness around the eyes (x). But cucumbers also contain phytochemicals, which have the potential to protect body cells, thus increasing cellular immunity, cell barrier function, and generally regenerate the body (x).
Similarly, cucumbers protect the body by counteracting acidic pH, specifically in the kidneys, which help keep blood pH within balance. When the body has to continually regulate blood pH, especially if a patient has a highly acidic diet, the kidneys can be sent into overdrive. This can cause all kinds of health problems, from high blood pressure to memory problems, to even bone and muscle weakening. Cucumber counteracting acidic pH can help slow these problems (x).
Not many side effects have been found with consuming cucumber. However, consumers should be wary of pesticides and the waxes used to preserve and protect cucumbers.
Warnings and Precautions
Some people find some types of cucumber to be difficult to digest, though the most conventional, easily available cucumbers should be easy for most people to digest (x).
Because cucumber is high in Vitamin K, it can affect the way the blot clots and even lower blood sugar. People consuming blood-thinning medications should not consume cucumber in greater amounts without consulting their healthcare provider first (x).
Signs of an allergic reaction to cucumber include difficulty breathing, hives, and swelling.
Cucumbers are heavily sprayed with pesticides, so some consumers worry about consuming pesticides as well. They might also be waxed to protect them during shipping. Organic cucumbers use non-synthetic waxes, so they are the most recommended for consumers (x).
How to Take Cucumber Extract
Cucumber extract, like many other supplements, can be taken as a tablet, tincture, powder, or liquid extract. As a dietary supplement, patients are recommended to take cucumber extract powder 500 mg (about ⅕ teaspoon) once or twice daily, or as otherwise directed by a physician (x).
Where to Buy Cucumber Extract
You can purchase cucumber extract supplements at BulkSupplements.com. The company is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor for pure dietary supplements. BulkSupplements.com is not just a consumer brand. It also supplies pure ingredients to other brands that distribute food and other supplement products. All products at BulkSupplements.com are manufactured and tested according to current and proper manufacturing practices.
Are you interested in testing cucumber extract to better promote hydration and healthy digestion, heart, and skin? Contact BulkSupplements.com to place an order today.
The Bottom Line
Cucumbers could almost be considered a super fruit, not just for their hydrating abilities but also for the countless nutrients and antioxidants they provide. They can benefit almost any part of the body, including the heart, digestion, immunity, and skin. There are not many known side effects from consuming too much cucumber. While more research is needed to confirm certain benefits, the cucumber is still a beneficial addition to anyone’s diet.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.