Why Put Cucumbers Over Your Eyes
Have you ever seen women with cucumbers over their eyes, laying down in some luxurious spa? Ever wonder what, if anything, cucumbers do for you, other than making you look like part of a salad? Beauty specialists say cucumbers help alleviate puffy eyes. Well, not actually the eyes, but the skin (bags) beneath and around the eyes. Since cucumbers are more than 90 percent composed of water, they have a hydrating effect. But experts don’t always agree on the actual value. Some say it’s from the vegetable’s water content, while others say cucumbers reduce puffiness because they are colder than the skin.
M. Grieve, long considered a primer in herb knowledge, tells us this about the cucumber:
In the East this trailing annual plant has been extensively cultivated from some 3,000 years and spread westward. It was known to the Greeks (the Greek name being sikuos) and to the Romans. According to Pliny, the Emperor Tiberius had it on his table daily, summer and winter. Pliny describes the Italian fruit as very small, probably like our gherkin; the same form is figured in Herbals of the sixteenth century, but states, ‘if hung in a tube while in blossom, the Cucumber will grow to a most surprising length.’ In Bible history, the Israelites in the wilderness complained to Moses that they missed the luxuries they had in Egypt, ‘Cucumbers and Melons,’ and Hasselquist in his travels (middle of eighteenth century) states: ‘they still form a great part of the food of the lower-class people in Egypt serving them for meat, drink and physic.’ Isaiah, speaking of the desolation of Judah says: ‘The daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers.’ The Cucumber of the Scriptures is, however, by some authorities considered to be a wild form of Cucumis melo, the melon.
The Cucumber has been long known in England, where it was common in the time of Edward III (1327), then fell into disuse and was forgotten till the reign of Henry VIII, but not generally cultivated here till the middle of the seventeenth century. (Source: botanical.com)
So if you want to know whether cucumber is any good when it’s over your eyes like a pair of green funky glasses, the answer is yes: Cucumbers are good because they look cool.