Modern people don't use old remedies anymore. They want to take pills and get rid of the pain instantly if possible.


But there is hope, because many have started to look back to grandma's remedies and also to grandma's meals. I think I can consider myself lucky for living in Romania, where we're still cooking at home and the old remedies are still known and passed down from generation to generation. Some may seem silly or not fast enough but if used constantly, they have good results.
One of these natural (also called organic) remedies is the cucumber. Some may like it, some don't, but this small vegetable is full of medicinal properties. By eating it, you can assure your health, considering you don't have any other illness which doesn't allow cucumber consumption.

A small cucumber in my hand
Cucumber is a vegetable in the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, genus Cucumis, originally from South Asia. Its Latin name is Cucumis sativus, but it is mostly called a 'cuke'. It's stalk is a creeping vine, grown on trellises on which the plant wraps up with thin, spiraling tendrils. The leaves are large and form a canopy over the fruit. The flowers are small and yellow. The plant produces male and female flowers, the same as the pumpkins. Bees pollenize them and the fruits appear.

A bee in a yellow cuke flower

The cuke has a cylindrical, but elongated shape, with tapered ends. They can grow up to 24 inch (60 cm) long and 4 inch (10 cm) in diameter, if allowed to grow that much. The small 4 inch (10 cm) cuke color is usually green, but some varieties have white stripes. The skin is hard but crispy when the fruits are young. When it grows bigger, the rind gets yellow and it hardens. The 'Cornichon' variety which I like best, has warts with black spines on the skin. When I wash them, the spines break easily.

Two small cukes coming down from the flowers on the vine
I let a cucumber grow until it is yellow, only if I need to take its seeds which I will be using for sowing directly in the garden the next spring. Like any other vegetable, the cuke seeds are viable only if the fruit it's ripest, meaning, when the fruit is yellow.

Huge yellow cukes on the vine on my fence

I'm always growing cukes in my vegetable garden, just for fun, I could say, because they don't do very well here, in full sun. Their leaves are getting dry spots in about a month or two. I can hardly make them grow and produce in August, when the sun is very strong and there's drought. But I am happy just for the two or three cukes I can pick up every day.
I'm sowing the seeds directly into the ground, close to the garden's fence, on which the plants climb. It makes me so proud and happy to see those small cukes, growing from the yellow flowers! I watch them closely, so they won't grow too much. About a man's finger is the right dimension, otherwise, they are overgrown and will have big seeds inside, which are unpleasant to eat.
Cucumber plants need daily watering, because the fruits consist in 95% water. No water, no cukes!

Lots of fresh cucumbers arranged in rows
There is another reason for which I'm growing cucumbers, that is for my grandsons, who like very much eating raw cukes. I am so happy to see them eating the cukes they just picked up from the vine! Same as my grandma, I'm teaching my grandsons to wear the cuke end on their forehead, for the headache. No worries, they don't know what a headache is, except the days when they're sick with fever. But isn't it fun to wear that cuke "bump" right in the middle of the forehead?

Me with a cuke end on my forehead
I've always wondered how come that the cuke "bump" stays so well stuck on the forehead. Of course, my grandma didn't know and neither does my mom. I didn't find a real answer on Google, but I found what a cucumber contains and that is, vitamins A, B, C, fiber, minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium) mucilage and carottenoids - and more other substances, in much smaller quantities. The mucilage must be the one which makes it stick so well to the skin, because it really sticks like a sucker and it acts like one, when I want to take it off.
It is well-known that women all around the world are using cukes for cleaning and hydrating their face, whether they are mixed with other ingredients or are just sliced and applied fresh on the face, including the eyes. I've never done that, but I'm eating fresh cucumbers during summer and always stick the end on my forehead - whether I have a headache or not! I usually have a headache when the air pressure is changing, before it rains or snows. If it's during summer, I might have fresh cukes to put on my forehead, to take the headache away, but during all other seasons I'm taking pills like all people do. Tt's easier and faster! Really, I don't have time to lay in bed and wait for the cuke slices to remove the pain. Maybe someday, when I'm old and oh, those days are so close!