Squirting Cucumber and Its Medicinal Value

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A nail fungus infection is the most common nail disorder. It starts as a white or yellow spot found under your toenails and even the fingernails. A nail fungal infection is also called onychomycosis. It is said that about 10 percent of the population experience nail fungus. It increases to 50 percent for people who are 70 years old and above.

The Common Causes of Nail Fungus

Most commonly, it is possible for you to acquire nail fungus from any moist and warm area such as a public pool or shower, gym, or locker room. You may incur a nail fungal infection when you have an athlete’s foot which is also caused by the same fungus. The most common fungi that cause nail fungal infections are called dermatophytes. Sometimes it may also be caused by yeasts or molds. The fungi often get access from a tiny cut in the surrounding skin or a crack in a nail.

The Common Symptoms of Nail Fungus

There are several common signs of nail fungal infections. A nail fungal infection causes the following changes to the nail: becomes brittle, turns yellow or white, thickens, gets weaker, becomes distorted in shape, lifts from the nail bed, and others. The infected nail may also give off a foul smell and at times pain and discomfort.

The Common Risk Factors

There are some health risk factors that may increase the possibility of getting infected. These include having diabetes, a blood circulation disorder, a weakened immune system, psoriasis, and others. Some habits like sharing personal items like nail clippers and walking barefoot frequently in areas that are moist and warm.

The Treatment Options

A doctor may recommend several treatment options for nail fungus. A prescribed oral nail fungus treatment is known for being more effective than the topical type. The problem with the topical medication is that it could be difficult to penetrate the nail. For severe cases of nail fungal infection, the doctor may recommend nail removal.

1All about the Squirting Cucumber

Squirting cucumber is a perennial plant known for large fleshy roots. It comes with several thick and round stems that trail and branch out. This plant is a vine with tiny green or yellow flowers and they are often found on roadsides, low woods, and marshes. It has heart-shaped leaves, and its flowers bloom in July.

This plant is native to the Mediterranean region, but it has been introduced in many places as a garden plant due to its distinctive fruit. Squirting cucumber belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family or the gourd family. It is often called exploding cucumber too because of the unusual action of its ripe fruit squirting a stream of mucilaginous liquid that contains seeds as its method of dispersing seeds. The seeds may travel as far as 3 to 6 meters from the plant. Its fully developed yet unripe fruits are often harvested during the summer. These are usually left in containers until all the contents are expelled. Its juice is then dried for later use. The roots of the squirting cucumber contain analgesic properties.

As an Antifungal and Antimicrobial

In a study, the squirting cucumber’s leaves and fruits were evaluated for their antioxidant, antibacterial, and cytotoxic activities. The flavonoid and phenolic contents of the leaves and fruits were also investigated. The plant showed antibacterial activity against Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The result of the study exhibited that the antibacterial, antioxidant, and cytotoxicity of the extracts from squirting cucumber’s leaves and fruits may be brought about by the secondary metabolites found in the plant such as flavonoids and phenolic compounds.

Other Health Benefits

There are several medical uses for squirting cucumber based on their medicinal properties. Here are some of them:

The plant promotes urine flow and is used for treating dropsy. The herb is also used for eliminating effused fluids. This perennial may also be used for reducing pain in the bladder. It also works as a purgative and induces bowel movement. It is also used in treating edema which is related to rheumatism, shingles, paralysis, heart problems, and kidney ailments. It can also be used externally for treating joint pains and sinusitis. It can also be used for treating urinary tract infections and liver cirrhosis. Furthermore, the squirting cucumber is known for augmenting urinary discharge.

The squirting cucumber has to be used with caution and under the supervision of a qualified and experienced herbalist. Cases reported where there were excessive doses of the plant led to gastro-enteritis and even death. It must not be used by pregnant women since it could cause an abortion. When it is taken in large doses, it may also cause vomiting and nausea. Even when you take it in minor doses, this may lead to symptoms like diarrhea, hemorrhage, and kidney injuries. Great caution must also be practiced when administering extracts from this plant to the debilitated and the old and infirm individuals. This is also often contraindicated by gastrointestinal inflammation.

Remember that squirting cucumber contains high amounts of cucurbitacins, which makes the plant fatal if ingested. It has been known that bitter cucurbitacin was cultivated in Malta and England during the 19th century to control intestinal worms. It has also been used for more than 2,000 years as a medicinal plant, providing highly explosive health benefits to the human body that made the plant worthy of its name as a medicinal herb. Its more benign effects include the treatment of rheumatism, cardiac disease, and paralysis.

The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition stated that the actions of the extract resemble those of the saline aperients but are much more powerful. The squirting cucumber is also known as the most active hydragogue purgative that may also lead to depression as well as violent griping. As a remedy, it is valuable in treating dropsy and Bright’s disease as well as in cases of a cerebral hemorrhage. This herb must not be used in urgent cases, and it has to be used with the utmost care, especially when the person has a heart condition.

Today this plant is often considered a poison, but there are still reliable herbalists who still recommend its use.

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