Phytochemical and therapeutic potential of cucumber.
Fitoterapia. 2013 Jan ;84:227-36. Epub 2012 Oct 23. PMID: 23098877
Pulok K Mukherjee
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family like melon, squash and pumpkins. It is a popular vegetable crop used in Indian traditional medicine since ancient times. This vegetable is very high in water content and very low in calories. It has potential antidiabetic, lipid lowering and antioxidant activity. Cucumber has a cleansing action within the body by removing accumulated pockets of old waste materials and chemical toxins. Fresh fruit juice is used for nourishing the skin. It gives a soothing effect against skin irritations and reduces swelling. Cucumber also has the power to relax and alleviate the sunburn's pain. The fruit is refrigerant, haemostatic, tonic and useful in hyperdipsia, thermoplegia etc. The seeds also have a cooling effect on the body and they are used to prevent constipation. Several bioactive compounds have been isolated from cucumber including cucurbitacins, cucumegastigmanes I and II, cucumerin A and B, vitexin, orientin, isoscoparin 2″-O-(6‴-(E)-p-coumaroyl) glucoside, apigenin 7-O-(6″-O-p-coumaroylglucoside) etc. Despite huge exploration of cucumber in agricultural field, comparatively very few studies have been published about its chemical profile and its therapeutic potential. This article reviews the therapeutic application, pharmacological and phytochemical profile of different parts of C. sativus. In this review we have explored the current phytochemical and pharmacological knowledge available with this well known plant and several promising aspects for research on cucumber.