Fruits and vegetables are the best dietary source to fulfil the essential need of minerals and vitamins for our body. Today many fruits are used as vegetables. Gherkin is one of them which is used mostly as salad. It is called ‘Trapus’ in Ayurveda and ‘ Kheera’ in general way. Botanical name of it is Cucumis sativus and it belongs to Cucurbitaceal family.
Chemical composition :
Each 100 gm. Gherkin contains –
- Water 96.4%
- Protein 0.4%
- Fat 0.1%
- Carbohydrate 2.8 % Minerals 0.3 %
- Calcium 0.01 %
- Phosphorus 0.03 %
- Iron 1.5 mg. and also vitamin B1 and C .
The seeds of it contain protein 42% and fat 42.5 % . A kind of slightly yellow oil is obtained from these seeds.
The description of this is available in the Charaka Samhita Sootrasthana 1/80 where it is included in Phalinee dravyas. Addition to it in the chapter 27/111 of Charaka Samhita Sootrasthana Gherkin has been told very good diuretic.
There are two kinds of Gherkin according to Bhavaprakasha Phaladivarga 44 –
1. Small bluish green and new which is sweet, cold and relieves thirst, burning sensation of the body, restlessness and vitiated pitta . It has very good anti haemorrhagic properties.
2. Yellow, ripe is warm vitiates pitta and relieves in vitiated Vata and Kapha conditions. The first kind of it is more diuretic than the second. Sushruta also says the same thing which has been told by Bhava Mishra in Bhavaprakash. In our daily practice we see that the first one kind of it is more diuretic and relieves in vitiated pitta than the second .Dhanvantari and Madanpala write in their pharmacopeia that gherkin is distinguished diuretic and Urinary tract disinfectant and ani urolithiasis .
It is very beneficial in the following conditions :
- Retention of urine.
- Urinary stone
- Inflammation of Urinary bladder and urethra
- Burning sensation in urination
- Inflammation and enlargement of prostate gland.
Addition to the above urinary tract problems it is very beneficial in following problems –
- Abdominal problems
- Liver disorders
- Various problems related to vitiated Pitta.
- Cardiac problems
- It is very beneficial in the burning sensation of eyes not only as a medicine but also as a beneficial diet.
- It provides favourable results in the various kind of spots of the face especially dark circles under the eyes.
- It has very cooling properties . During very hot days use of slices of gherkin both locally and orally very beneficial to give cooing effect.
- Local application of its juice with a few drops of lemon juice is very effective to get natural skin complexion.
- It helps to remove the foul smelling of the mouth. A piece of it placing in the mouth is very beneficial in it.
- It is very beneficial in obesity.
- Regular use of it removes constipation and regulates the digestive sys
- It is very beneficial in sunburn.
- It is very good to compensate the loss of water of the body due to excessive perspiration in the summer season. It helps also in the condition of sunstroke. So, use Kheera Kakari [Gherkin (a kind of cucumber)] in the summer season to escape of a lot of problems created by vitiated Pitta.tem.