Wednesday, May 20, 2009

SUNNATH WAY FOR HEALTHY LIFE

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Avoid too much food and drink
Prophet Mohammed (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) in regards to food and diet. It is sufficient for the son of Aadam to eat a few mouthfuls, to keep him going. If he must do that (fill his stomach), then let him fill one third with food, one third with drink and one third with air.

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Prophet Muhammad's (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) firm
 belief in the existence of a cause and a cure for every disease is described in many hadith:[4][5]

"There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its treatment."

"Make use of medical treatment, for Allah has not made a disease without appointing a remedy for it, with the exception of one disease, name was old age."

"Allah has sent down both the disease and the cure, and He has appointed a cure for every disease, so treat yourselves medically."

"The one who sent down the disease sent down the remedy."

This belief encouraged early Muslims to engage in medical research and seek out cures for diseases known to them.[5]


 The Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) is believed to have said: “In the black seed is healing for every disease except death.” (Sahih Bukhari)

Black Cumin: Islam’s Miracle Cure Seed

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Within Islam there are many herbs, plants and fruits that are believed to have medicinal and healing properties. Olive, pomegranate, dates and figs are amongst those that are directly mentioned in the Qur’an as blessed foods. However, there is only one that can stake a claim as a super food and that is Black cumin or ‘Habbat ul Sawda’ as it is known in Arabic. 

According to hadith, the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) is believed to have said: “In the black seed is healing for every disease except death.” (Sahih Bukhari)

 

Indigenous to the Mediterranean region, the black seed plant (Nigella Sativa) has been used medicinally by Muslims and non-Muslims alike for hundreds of years. In fact the earliest written reference to the black cumin is in the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament where Isaiah talks of the harvesting of the black seed. It was also mentioned in the Bible as the curative ‘black seed’ and has been used by Asian herbalists and the Romans for culinary purposes. However it never really held any place of importance until the rise of Islam. 

A Cure For All Things
Within Arabo-Islamic culture, the black seed has been prescribed for various ailments including fever, asthma, chronic headaches, diabetes, digestion, back pain, infections and rheumatism. In fact, since its rise in popularity in the Seventh century the black seed has remained a staple of family medicine within the Muslim world. The black seed is believed to have 100 components and is a significant sources of fatty acids, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
Whenever I get a cold or flu, the first things that gets added to my hot drinks is black cumin and although it leaves no taste in the drink- the trick is to chew the seeds rather than just swallow them whole. They have a slightly bitter and pepperytaste but nothing too strong so it is a relatively pain-free medicine. My mother constantly tells me about its amazing properties and it seems that there science out there to back it up.

islam-black-seed-cumin-cure-medicine


A Revival In Natural Medicine

Black seed has been scientifically proven to demonstrate strong anti-bacterial, antioxident, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties which support its claims to be of medicinal value for various ailments. There was also interesting studies carried out which found that black cumin had inhibitory effects on carcagins and was also helpful for fighting tumours.


A rise interest of Mediterranean cuisine and herbs has highlighted the uses of the black seed which seems to be enjoying a revival in popularity across the Muslim world and in the west. It has been introduced to recipes and is even an ingredient in Evoca cola which is also known as ‘Islam Cola’.
Black seed can also be used as a spice and particularly as a substitute to pepper- although with its additional properties it really does give flavour with added health benefits.

Natural Remedies of Arabia:Black Seed

Arabic: Habba Souda, Habbat al-Barakah;
Other Name: Fennel Flower, Black Cumin Nigella sativa; Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
Native to the Mediterranean and grown throughout the Middle East and parts of Asia, Nigella sativa is cultivated for its seeds, which are known as the “seeds of blessing.” For the Arabs, black seed is not only a food but also a valued traditional medicine that has long been used to treat such ailments as asthma, flatulence, polio, kidney stones, abdominal pain and so on. It has served as an important health and beauty aid for thousands of years.
According to tradition, the Prophet Muhammad described black seed as a cure for every disease except death. The great physician Ibn Sina (980–1037), better known as Avicenna, stated that black seed works as an expectorant, stimulates the body’s energy and helps overcome fatigue and dispiritedness.

How to use:

  1. Eat black seeds plain;
  2. Eat a teaspoon of black seed mixed with honey;
  3. Boil black seed with water. Strain and drink;
  4. Heat black seed and warm milk until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat. Cool, then drink;
  5. Grind black seed and swallow it with water or milk;
  6. Sprinkle on bread and pastries;
  7. Burn black seed with bukhoor (incense) for a pleasant scent.
In the kitchen: Black seed is aromatic with a slight peppery flavor. It is one of the distinct flavors of Arab pastries. It is often sprinkled on breads and cheese. It is heated with milk for flavor. It is eaten ground with honey or with cakes and pastries.
Remedies across Arabia: In Arabia, black seed remains a traditional remedy for asthma, coughs, stomach aches, abdominal pain, colic, general fatigue, rheumatism, mouth and larynx diseases, skin diseases and cancer. It is also believed to strengthen a mother after childbirth; stimulate menstruation, urination and liver functions; aid digestion; dissolve kidney stones; and increase intelligence. Black seed is used to beautify skin, nourish hair and stimulate hair growth.

Did you know?

Black seed was found in Tutankhamen’s tomb. This suggests that black seed had an important role in ancient Egypt, since it was customary to place in tombs items needed for the afterlife.


Black Seed
Black Seed truly is an Amazing Herb!
For centuries, the Black Seed herb and oil has been used by millions of people in Asia, Middle East, and Africa to support their health. An aromatic spice, similar looking to sesame seed except black in color, it has been traditionally used for a variety of conditions and treatments related to respiratory health, stomach and intestinal health, kidney and liver function, circulatory and immune system support, and for general overall well-being.

Black Seed is also known as Black Cumin, Black Caraway Seed, Habbatul Baraka (the Blessed Seed), and by its botanical name "Nigella Sativa".

Since 1959, over 200 studies at international universities and articles published in various journals have shown remarkable results supporting its traditional uses recorded almost 1400 years ago.

While the Black Seed is highly effective by itself, ongoing studies with the combination of other herbs have produced remarkable results.

Amazingly Black Seed's chemical composition is very rich and diverse. Aside from its primary ingredient, crystalline nigellone, Black Seed contains 15 amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, both fixed oils (84% fatty acids, including linolenic, and oleic), and volatile oils, alkaloids, saponin, and crude fiber, as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, sodium and potassium. There are still many components in Black Seed that haven't been identified. But research is going on around the world. *
Black Seed:
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Narrated Abu Huraira:
I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "There is healing in black cumin for all diseases except death."

Narrated Khalid bin Sad:
We went out and Ghalib bin Abjar was accompanying us. He fell ill on the way and when we arrived at Medina he was still sick. Ibn Abi 'Atiq came to visit him and said to us, "Treat him with black cumin. Take five or seven seeds and crush them (mix the powder with oil) and drop the resulting mixture into both nostrils, for 'Aisha has narrated to me that she heard the Prophet saying, 'This black cumin is healing for all diseases except As-Sam.' Aisha said, 'What is As-Sam?' He said, 'Death."
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Both the holy Qur'an and Hadith refer to honey as a healer of disease.
'And thy Lord taught the bee to build its cells in hills, on trees and in (men's) habitations..... there issues from within their bodies a drink of varying colours, wherein is healing for mankind. Verily in this is a Sign for those who give thought'.
(Translation of Quran 16:68-69)
In addition, the Prophet MOHAMMED (PBUH) said:
'Honey is a remedy for every illness and the Qur'an is a remedy for all illness of the mind, therefore I recommend to you both remedies, the Qur'an and honey.'
(Bukhari)


Does your work require sitting for hours before the computer -something that causes eye irritation? Are you suffering from acidity? Or, have you caught a bad cold or a bout of asthma? Well, there is a single remedy to all the ailments - honey

You have been keeping a hawk's eye on your body weight and are a regular at the gym. You also drink lots of water and fiber-rich diet. You even follow experts' advice on taking care of your hair and skin. But what about those eyes? How do you protect them from the stress that is caused by working long hours before the computer? Well, here's an easy answer to that: Take the traditional route add a little honey to your daily diet.
Yes, whether its your grandmother, or the neighbourhood doctor, everybody will agree to this fact that honey not only helps protect the eyes, but also help improve your eyesight. While there are plenty of home remedies from honey, we bring you a few here:
Perry Kharpuri is a researcher based in Shillong, a place well-known for it's large-scale honey production. Perry's advice is , "mix two teaspoons of honey with carrot juice and consume regularly", to improve your eye sight and cure problems such as watering of eyes.
In cold, cough and congested chest, two teaspoons of honey with equal quantity of ginger juice should be consumed frequently. This is one of the oldest and most popular remedies that millions of Indians already follow. The other such popular remedy is to take one spoon of fresh honey mixed with the juice of half a lemon in a glass of lukewarm water in order to get cured of constipation, hyperacidity and obesity.
Now, Swapan Debnath, a homeopath says that honey can help control your BP as well. According to him, two teaspoons of honey should be mixed with one teaspoon of garlic juice and taken on a regular basis.
Maheep Kohli owns a bee farm in Moga, Punjab and she has a few honey-based remedies up her sleep as well. One of them is a mixture of honey, ginger juice and black pepper powder, mixed in equal quantities. When consumed thrice daily helps to relieve symptoms of asthma.
However, here are also a few words of caution from Maheep: Always make sure that the honey you are taking is not heated, avoid taking honey when you are exposed to high temperature.
And last but least, never ever mix honey with hot and spicy foods and fermented beverages like whisky, rum, brandy, etc. Honey includes nectar of various flowers some of which may be poisonous and when it is mixed with hot and spicy foods, the poisonous properties get enhanced, sometimes to the extent of being fatal.
- By Stella Paul, India Syndicate



Surah An-Nahl 16:68-69
And your Lord inspired the bee, saying: "Take you habitations in the mountains and in the trees and in what they erect. "Then, eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Lord made easy (for you)." There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying colour wherein is healing for men. Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think.
Surah Muhammad or Al-Qitâl 47:15
The description of Paradise which the Muttaqûn (pious - see V.2:2) have been promised is that in it are rivers of water the taste and smell of which are not changed; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine delicious to those who drink; and rivers of clarified honey (clear and pure) therein for them is every kind of fruit; and forgiveness from their Lord. (Are these) like those who shall dwell for ever in the Fire, and be given, to drink, boiling water, so that it cuts up their bowels?
Sahih Al-Bukhari 007.065.342 Narrated 'Aisha: Allah's Apostle used to love sweet edible things and honey.
Sahih Al-Bukhari 007.071.584 Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: (The Prophet said), "Healing is in three things: A gulp of honey, cupping, and branding with fire (cauterizing)." But I forbid my followers to use (cauterization) branding with fire." Sahih Al-Bukhari 007.071.588 Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: A man came to the Prophet and said, "My brother has some abdominal trouble." The Prophet said to him "Let him drink honey." The man came for the second time and the Prophet said to him, 'Let him drink honey." He came for the third time and the Prophet said, "Let him drink honey." He returned again and said, "I have done that ' The Prophet then said, "Allah has said the truth, but your brother's abdomen has told a lie. Let him drink honey." So he made him drink honey and he was cured.
It is found that mixture of Honey and Cinnamon cures most of the diseases. Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world.
Ayurvedic as well as Yunani medicine have been using honey as a vital medicine for centuries. Scientists of today also accept honey as a Ram Ban (very effective) medicine for all kinds of diseases. Honey can be used without any side effects for any kind of diseases.
Today's science says that even though honey is sweet, if taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm diabetic patients also. A famous magazine named Weekly World News published in Canada dated 17 January, 95 has given a list of diseases that can be cured by Honey and Cinnamon as researched by western scientists.
ARTHRITIS: Take one part honey to two parts of luke warm water and add a small teaspoon of cinnamon powder, make a paste and massage it on the itching part of the body slowly. It is noticed that the pain recedes within a minute or two.
Or arthritis patients may daily, morning and night take one cup of hot water with two spoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder.
If drunk regularly even chronic arthritis can be cured. In a recent research done at the Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon. Honey and half teaspoon cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week out of the 200 people so treated practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain and within a month, mostly all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis started walking without pain.
HAIR LOSS: Those suffering from hair loss or baldness, may apply a paste of hot olive oil, one tablespoon of honey, one teaspoon of cinnamon powder before bath and keep it for approx. 15 min and then wash the hair. It was found very effective if kept for 5 mins. also.
BLADDER INFECTIONS: Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of luke warm water and drink it. It destroys the germs of the bladder.
TOOTHACHE: Make a paste of one teaspoon of cinnamon powder and five teaspoons of honey and apply on the aching tooth. This may be done 3 times a day daily till such time that the tooth has stopped aching.
CHOLESTEROL: Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water, if given to a cholesterol patient, it reduces the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10% within 2 hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, if taken 3 times a day any chronic cholesterol is cured.
As per the information received in the said journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complains of cholesterol.
COLDS: Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon luke warm honey with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold and clear the sinuses.
INFERTILITY: Yunani and Ayurvedic have been using honey for years in medicine to strengthen the semen of men. If impotent men regularly take two tablespoon of honey before sleeping, their problem will be solved. In China, Japan and Far-East countries, women who do not conceive and to strengthen the uterus have been taking cinnamon powder for centuries. Women who cannot conceive may take a pinch of cinnamon powder in half teaspoon of honey and apply it on the gums frequently throughout the day, so that it slowly mixes with the saliva and enters the body. A couple in Maryland, America had no children for 14 years and had left hope of having a child of their own. When told about this process husband and wife started taking honey and cinnamon as stated above, the wife conceived after a few months and had twins at full term.
UPSET STOMACH: Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomachache and also clears stomach ulcers from the root.
GAS: According to the studies done in India & Japan, it is revealed that if honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.
HEART DISEASES: Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, apply on bread or chappati instead of jelly and jam and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves the patient from heart attack. Also those who have already had an attack, if they do this process daily, are kept miles away from the next attack. Regular use of the above process relieves loss of breath and strengthens the heart beat. In America and Canada, various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that due to the increasing age the arteries and veins which lose their flexibility and get clogged are revitalized.
IMMUNE SYSTEM: Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacteria and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacteria and viral diseases.
INDIGESTION: Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food, relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals.
INFLUENZA: A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural ingredient which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.
LONGEVITY: Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly arrests the ravages of old age. Take 4 spoons of honey, 1spoon of cinnamon powder and 3 cups of water and boil to make like tea. Drink 1/4 cup, 3 to 4 times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life span also increases and even if a person is 100 years old, starts performing the chores of a 20 year old.
PIMPLES: Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it next morning with warm water. If done daily for two weeks, it removes pimples from the root.
SKIN INFECTIONS: Eczema, ringworm and all types of skin infections are cured by applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts.
WEIGHT LOSS: Daily in the morning, 1/2 hour before breakfast on an empty stomach and at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup water. If taken regularly it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also drinking of this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.
CANCER: Recent research in Japan and Australia has revealed that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully. Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder for one month 3 times a day.
FATIGUE: Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful than detrimental to the body strength. Senior citizens who take honey and cinnamon power in equal parts are more alert and flexible. Dr.Milton who has done research says that half tablespoon honey taken in one glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3.00 p.m. when the vitality of the body starts decreasing, increases the vitality of the body within a week.
BAD BREATH: People of South America, first thing in the morning gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water. So their breath stays fresh throughout the day.
HEARING LOSS: Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder taken in equal parts restores hearing.

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Vinegar - the cure for many ailments





By Dr. Hassan Shamsi Basha





Prophet Muhammad (saws) liked vinegar. Modern medicine also acknowledge its anti-cough, anti-inflammation and digestive properties



Jabir narrated, "The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, took me one day with him to his house. He was served some bread. He asked: 'Is there any dip?' They replied 'No, only some vinegar.' He said, 'Vinegar is a good dip.'

Jabir used to say, "I have loved vinegar since I heard it from Allah’s Prophet". And Talhah ibn Naf'a said, "I have loved vinegar since I heard it from Jabir."
[Muslim, Abu Dawud, Nasa’i]

What is Vinegar and Why is it a Good Dip?
Vinegar is made by fermenting the juice of sweet fruits and grains such as barley, apple and grape. The process of creating vinegar entails fermenting in an aerobic environment (in the presence of oxygen) as opposed to alcoholic fermentation, which is done in an anaerobic environment (in the absence of oxygen). The alcohol in these liquids is oxidized to acetic acid. Vinegar contains 4 per cent or more acetic acid. Its colour and tastes differ depending on its base.
Vinegar contains small amounts of protein and starch. 100g of vinegar has only 16 calories. It also contains sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, zinc and chlorine but it has no vitamins.
Ibn Seena (died 1037 CE) wrote in his famous book Al-Qanoon fit Tibb (the Canon of Medicine), that vinegar is a powerful clotting agent. If poured on an external wound, it will stop the bleeding and prevent swelling. It aids digestion and is an expectorant. It helps with felons (inflammation of the tissues of a finger or toe) and carbuncles (a kind of skin inflammation). It acts quickly on burns. When mixed with old and applied to the head, it helps with headaches caused by heat. It strengthens gums. It is an appetizer and aids digestion.

Vinegar is treating External Injuries


The Martin-Dale Encyclopaedia of Pharmaceuticals 1989 indicated that vinegar has many beneficial uses. Some are :
  1. To treat poisoning by alkaline (non-acidic) substances.
  2. To help reduce fevers by applying a cold pad to the forehead which is soaked with vinegar and water.
  3. To cure ‘black hairy tongue.’ a disease caused due to intake of antibiotics like penicillin, tetracycline by using vinegar once or twice daily for a week.
  4. To soothe pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis by applying a pad soaked with vinegar and water to painful joints.
  5. To treat bee and jellyfish stings by applying a mixture of equal amounts of salt and vinegar to the sting, relieving the pain and preventing inflammation.

    Cider Vinegar

    Professor John B.Yudkin wrote in the 1986 edition of the Penguin Encyclopaedia of Nutrition that Cider vinegar is known for its ability to cure several diseases. "It helps in treating joint pain, rhinitis (inflammation of the nose), asthma and gastric disorders and is helps in losing weight."
    Slight cases of diarrhoea are a way by which the body gets rid of harmful substances that enter the digestive system. The 1989 edition of Dr. Micheal Sharon’s book, Complete Nutrition, stated that vinegar aids in treating diarrhoea. It should be taken as one to two tea spoons of vinegar in a glass of boiled or mineral water several times a day.

    Anti-Microbial

    Complete Nutrition also states. "Vinegar performs the role of disinfectant for the intestines. Some people advise it to be used for gargle for the mouth and throat. It disinfects the inside of the mouth from germs. The usual dosage for gargle is to mix one to three tea spoons of cider vinegar in a glass of water, in morning and at night."
    Dr. Sharon ends his argument about cider vinegar by saying: "We always have to remember that cider vinegar will not have the same effect on everyone. Some may benefit from it and some may not. Very few people may be allergic to vinegar. Nevertheless vinegar is beneficial for the majority of people.
    Didn't the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) say, "Vinegar is a good dip."


Islamic traditions, vinegar is one of the four favored condiments of the Prophet Muhammad, who called it a "blessed seasoning"
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EATING DATE FRUIT IS GOOD FOR HEALTH


It is recommended to break our fast on dates”, as Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings be upon him) used to do:
“Break your fast by eating dates as it is purifying.” (Narrated by Ahmad)

He said in another Hadith:

“The date that is from high [branches] is a cure”. (Narrated by Muslim and Ahmad.)
Narrated by Ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "There is a tree among the trees which is similar to a Muslim (in goodness), and that is the date palm tree." (Bukhari, Vol.7 (65): 359)

The date is one of the most nourishing fruits. It is a food of great importance and is called the bread of the Sahara. But its use is now universal. It is included in the categories of both dry and fresh fruit. The date is a cylindrical fruit of yellow to reddish brown color. It has fleshy pericarp surrounding a single seed containing 60 to 70 per cent sugar. The tree-ripe fresh date is delicious fruit. It, however, undergoes fermentation very rapidly. It is, therefore, dried in the sun. The fruit looses about 35 per cent of its weight in the process of drying.
Origin and Distribution:
The date is held in high esteem from ancient times and is one of the earliest fruits cultivated by man. In Mesopotamia, more than 5,000 years old bricks have been found to contain instructions for growing date palms. The ancient monuments of Egypt have been found to contain carved figures of date palms. There are numerous references to the palm and its fruit in the Bible, testifying to its manifold virtues Prophet Mohammed believed that the first date palm was made from the tempered dust which remained after the formation of Adam. The original home of date is believed to be in the Persian Gulf area or in Mesopotamia. It is now classed as one of the standard crops of world agriculture and is widely grown in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Spain, Italy, China and U.S.A.
Food Value
The date is a food of high nutritional value. It provides natural sugar in the form of glucose and fructose. This sugar is ready for immediate absorption and is, therefore, infinitely superior to cane sugar. It is usually taken raw or with milk, which makes it highly nutritious in most respects. Taking it with curdled milk is also common. In Sahara, rich people take it with butter by removing the seed and filling the cavity with butter. It is a scientific way of taking fat. It is also taken in several cooked forms. The seeds of the fruit, roasted and ground into powder makes a beverage like coffee, called ‘date coffee’. The date palm yields a sweet juice of high food value. It can be taken fresh with great advantage or make into a tasty country sugar.
Analyzed as :
Energy: 287kcal,Glucose: Min 41%, Frutose:Min 29%, Fiber:4.0g. Protein:3.3, Iron:2.60gm. Carbohydrate:68.0g.Br ix:70 +_ 1%, Vitamin BI:0.03mg.Vitamin B2 :0.06mg.Vitamin C :2.60mg.
Produced under the most modern and hygienic conditions.
You can eat date as a Complement to bread,mix it with cold or hot milk and drink,it can be used as a toping of icecream, can be used as a sweetner while making cookies but I eat it raw alongwith milk and cerials.
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties
Dates are valuable as medicine for their tonic effect. Being easily digested, they are very useful for supplying energy and repairing waste. Milk in which clean and fresh dates have been boiled is a very nourishing and restorative drink to children and adults alike, especially during convalescence.
Constipation
The date is a laxative food. It is highly beneficial in the treatment of constipation as the roughage provided by it stimulates sluggish bowels. They should be immersed in water at night and taken after making them into a fine syrup the next morning to secure laxative effect.
Intoxication
Dates are an excellent remedy for alcoholic intoxication. In such cases, drinking water in which fresh dates have been rubbed or soaked will bring quick relief.
Weak Heart
Dates are an effective remedy for weak heart. Dates soaked overnight in water and crushed in the same water in the morning after removing the seeds should be taken at least twice a week in this condition. It will strengthen the heart.
Sexual Debility
Dates are highly beneficial in the treatment of sexual weakness. A handful of dates soaked in fresh goat’s milk overnight should be ground in the same milk in the morning. A pinch of cardamom powder and honey should be mixed in this preparation. This becomes a very useful tonic for improving sex stamina and sterility due to functional disorders.
Children’s Diseases
According to Dr. Aman, a date tied to the wrist of the baby and allowed to be sucked by him during teething time hardens the gums and prevents other complaints like fretfulness and diarrhoea. A teaspoonful of paste of the date prepared with honey is an effective medicine for diarrhoea and dysentery during teething. It should be given three times a day.
extracted from: http://www.sahravi.com/dates/iranian-date-nectar-honey-syrup.htm
The fruit,because of its tanin content , is used medicinally as a detersive and astringent in intestinal troubles.In the form of an infusion,decoctin,syrup or paste,is adminstered as a treatment for sore throat,colds,bronchial catarrh.It is taken to relieve fever,cystitis,gonorrhea,edema,liver and abdominal troubles. A gum that exudes from the tree trunk is employed in India for treating diarrhea and genito-urinary ailments.It is diuretic and demulcent. The root of the plant is used against toothache. The pollen yields an estrogenic principle,estrone,and has a gonadotropic effect on young rats.
Magic doesn't affect you ifyou eat seven Ajwa dates every morning.
Allah's Apostle said, "He who eats seven 'Ajwa dates every morning, willnot be affected by poison or magic on the day he eats them. " Volume 7,Book 65, Number 356: Narrated Sad: Also, Volume 7, Book 71, Number 663:Narrated Saud Number 436: Narrated Abu Huraira
8, Number 436: Narrated Abu Huraira
Ibn Abbas (R) reports that the Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam. ) was veryfond of Ajwa dates and said that the Ajwa date is from Jannah, and contains acure against
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Zaitoon (Olive) is Cure for Seventy Disease


(By the fig, and the olive. By Mount Sinai. By this city of security (Makkah).)
(Surat At-Tin (The Fig):1-3)

Dr. M.Laiq Ali Khan

Zaitoon (Olive) the sign of peace and friendship in this world has its description in Holy Qur’an Allah Taala says
  1. By the fig and olive
  2. And the mount of Sinai
  3. And the city of security
  4. We have indeed created man in the best of moulds
  5. Then do we abase him (to be) the lowest of low
  6. Except such as believe and do righteous deeds for they shall have a reward unfailing
  7. What then, can after this, make you deny the last judgement
  8. Is not Allah the wisest of judges” (The Fig, Surah 95)
The plant of olive goes upto the height of 3 metres, leaves are bright green and very attractive and the fruits are of bright bluish or violet colour, possesses a metallic taste. It is known from old ages. During the excavation of ancient Egyptian graves, vessels full of olive oil were found with other articles. According to the scholars of Hadith, on subsidence of Toofan-E-Nooh, when water level came down, the first thing on the earth that was seen, was the olive plant.
The plant is extensively found in Asia minor, Palestine, Roman territory, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Italy, North Africa, Algeria, Tunisia, California in America, Mexico, Peru and South zone of Australia. Usually it is imported from Spain, Italy, France, Turkey and Greece. Though olive fruits are very nutritious it is not usually eaten due to its metallic taste. Rather pickles of its fruits are largely consumed in Europe. The fruits preserved in vinegar is imported from Greece and liked very much in Europe and in Arabian countries.
Olive oil is a good preservative for other eatables too. Sardine and other fishes are tinned and preserved in olive oil. The smoke-less burning of olive oil is a peculiar feature, which produces a bright light. Holy Qur’an stresses the importance of Zaitoon on several occasions: (141-M-AlInaam-6), (99-K-AlInaam-6), (11-K-AlNahl-16), (AlNoor-35), (Moominoon).
Hazrat Sayyed Al-Ansari narrates that the Prophet (Pbuh) said “Eat the olive oil and massage it over your bodies since it is a holy (mubarak) tree.” (Tirmizi, Ibn Maja)
Hazrat Alqama Bin Amir narrates that Prophet (Pbuh) said, “ There is olive oil for you, eat it, massage over your body, since it is effective in Heamorrhoids (Piles).” (Ibn Al-Jozi, Zanbi)
Hazrat Aqba Bin Amir narrates that the Prophet (Pbuh) stated, “You have the olive oil from this Holy (mubarak) tree, treat yourself with this, since it cures the Anal fissure (Basoor).” Khalid Bin Saad narrates “I came to Madinah with Ghalib Bin Al Jabr. Ghalib became ill during the journey. Ibn Abi Ateeq came to see him and told a narration from Hazrat Aisha that the Prophet (Pbuh) told about the cure in Kalonji. We crushed a few seeds of Kalonji and mixed it with olive oil and dropped in both nostrils, after which Ghalib became healthy.” (Ibn Maja, Bukhari)
Hazrath Abu Hurairah (t) narrates that the Prophet (Pbuh) stated, “ Eat the olive oil and apply it (locally), since there is cure for seventy diseases in it, one of them is Leprosy.” (Abu Naim)
Hazrat Zaid Bin Arqam narrates “ We have been directed by the Prophet (Pbuh) that we should treat the Pleurisy with Qust-e-Behri (Qust Sheerin) and olive oil.” (Tirmizi, sanadeAhmed, Ibn Maja)
Olive oil has a place in Govt Pharmacopoca of USA and Britain (British Pharmacopoca). Both of these countries have given prime importance to olive oil for the treatment of various ailments and have fixed standard parameters to evaluate its purity.
It contains Palmatic Acid, Oleic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Steanic Acid, Myristic Acid and Glycerides. It is not dissolved in water but in Alcohol, Ether, Chloroform and Liquid Paraffin.
The adulterant very often used in the olive are of the seeds of Tea Plant, Arachis oil in the market samples of olive oil. Sometimes Machine Gun oil and refined Mobile oil are also found.
Olive oil is extracted from the ripened fruits. The unripe and over ripe fruits contain less amount of the oil. The fruits are processed three times. Successively, the first round oil is the best in quality, golden in colour, with a light fragrance and known as virgin oil. Some varieties of olive oil remained unchanged in its effectiveness for years together. It contains therapeutic potential even if it is a thousand years old. Despite the prime importance and holiness given by Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) no work has been done to find out its efficacy for the ailments other than the Haemorrhoids, Anal fissure, Skin diseases, pleurisy and leprosy, which are already described by the Prophet (Pbuh) , whereas the Prophet (Pbuh) himself says us that it contains cure for seventy diseases.
According to Ibn Al-Qayyim the red coloured oil is better than blackish one. It is an exhilarant, glows up the facial complexion, provides prevention against poisons, regulates the digestive process, expels the intestinal parasites, makes the hair lustrous and minimises the ageing problems. The massage of olive oil with common salt over the gums is a remedy for several diseases of gums and teeth. The local application of olive oil or the water extracted from the crushed olive oil leaves is effective on boils, rashes and itching. The chronic ulcers and boils, which show difficult healing condition, are healed up with the use of olive oil locally.
According to Zahbi it strengthens the hairs and body, hence could be used as a good tonic in old age problems and to delay the ageing process. It is also useful in sexual weakness. Combination of normal saline with olive oil is highly effective in burns cases.
The decotion of olive leaves in water is effective against mouth and lips ulcers and allergic dermatitis also. The concentrated aquous extract of olive leaves and fruits is very effective against dental cavities and application of this solution shows very good effects on Leukoplaquea in mouth. This solution is applied with vinegar on Alopecia, grows the hair and removes the Alopecia. It is also stated that the local application of this extract removes the scars of small pox and boils. The powder of seeds mixed with butter is effective in brittle nails. The pickles prepared from olive fruits is a good appetizer and removes constipation. The smashed leaves are applied locally to check excessive perspiration. The water extracted from the leaves with honey is used as Ear drops and effective in various Ear ailments. The oil procured by burning of olive wood is effective against all fungal infection viz, Ringworm, T.versicolor etc. in addition to Eczema, Psoriasis, Dandruff and Alopecia. The local application of olive oil on scalp is highly effective against dandruff. It grows the hairs and checks, the loss of hair. The application of olive oil in eyes relieves the inflammation.
The massage of olive oil over the body tones up the muscles and organs, it relieves muscular pains. Some physicians also advocate the massage of olive oil for epilepsy. It relieves the Sciatic and arthritis. The ointment prepared from olive oil are very good healing agents. It heals the sinus and fistula very quickly. 25ml of olive oil mixed with 250ml of barley water, if taken internally, is highly effective against chronic constipation. It is good Diuretic, hence is used in Ascites. It also removes the kidney stones.
A conventional regimen is also available comprising of olive oil and other herbal drugs having potential against the Gall bladder stones. It is stated that this regimen dissolves and expels the Gall bladder stone.
In view of the researchs carried out in USA and England, it is concluded that it is a good nourishing diet during the ailments of kidney, where nitrogen containing food/proteins in take is contra indicated. Since, the Prophet (Pbuh) stated that it is a good remedy for Anal fissure, hence for the same complaint patients were advised to take two spoonful of olive oil at bedtime and an ointment was applied on fissure locally at retiring and in morning, prepared from 8 spoonfuls of olive oil and 2 spoonfuls of ground henna leaves. This showed very good effects against the problem. It is a good tonic for hair and maintains the lustre. Its combination with other prescribed drugs of Tibb-al-Nabwi is a good remedy for Psoriasis and Eczema. The impressions of several doctors practising in middle east and North Africa reveal that no case was detected of Gastro Intestinal Carcinoma, among those who were used to consuming olive oil. Japanese doctors also endorse this fact and have the opinion that olive oil prevents the incidence of Carcinoma in G.I.T.
The Prophet (Pbuh) stated that it is a good remedy for intestinal inflammations. Therefore it was used in the cases of G.I.T ulcers and found very much effective. It is also observed that no remedy equates the benefits of olive oil in hyper acidity and gas troubles.
The Prophet (Pbuh) recommended the use of olive oil in Pleurisy. Keeping this in view olive oil was administered in various diseases of Respiratory tract and it was observed that the regular users of olive oil were least affected with common cold and coryzha and pneumonia.
The clinical experiences of well qualified and highly established doctors in the profession who take a keen insight in Prophet’s medicine reveal that olive oil is a good supportive treatment in Tubercular infection of either sites. According to a narration of Kahlid Bin Saad in Ibn Maja, one spoonful of Kalonji was pulverised and mixed with 12 spoonful of olive oil. This suggestion was dropped into the nostrils morning and evening for the cases of chronic cold and epistaxis. The results were found highly positive.

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(By the fig, and the olive. By Mount Sinai. By this city of security (Makkah).)
(Surat At-Tin (The Fig):1-3)



By: Dr. / Zaghloul El-Naggar
Abu ad-Darda' (A.S.) narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
"If I could say that a fruit was sent down from Heaven (to earth), I would say it is figs, because the Heaven's fruit has no stones. Eat it, as it cures hemorrhoids and it is useful for treating gout'."
In another narration by Abu Dharr (A.S.), he said, "The Prophet (PBUH) was given a basket full of figs as a present. He said to us, "Eat!" He ate of it and said:
"If I could say that a fruit was sent down from Heaven, it would be this, as the fruit in Heaven has no stones. Eat it, as it cures hemorrhoids and it is useful for treating gout (or arthritis)."

Uses of Fig (Anjeer)

Characteristics

Fig is a tree brought to India during the Moghul rule and has stayed over since. The leaves are highly useful as feed for cattle. Figs are high sources of calcium, iron and copper. Zinc is also moderately present. Vit. A and C are present in all forms of fig fruit while Vit. A is lost by 30 percent in dry ones. Vit B complex and vit D are also present.

Characteristics

How it looks - It is a medium sized tree w ith leaves rough on the upper surface and softer on the under surfaces. The fruits arise from the corners of the leaves and turn red in colour when ripe. They are many seeded. The latex of the tree is used medicinally.
What we use - Fruit latex
What it does - It is highly nutritive, diuretic, expectorant, laxative

Herbal Medicines for the Cure of General Disorders

  • In delayed periods - Boil the roots of the fig and take the decoction, filtered for a few weeks to set the cycle normal.
  • In urinary stones and dysuria - Boil figs in water to get a decoction. Take an ounce or two of this decoction twice a day to set right urinary disorders and to melt small stones.
  • In burn ulcers - Boil the bark of fig in water along with neem, mango and peepal barks. This decoction is very useful to wash and soothe ulcers caused by burns.
  • To build resistance - Take a dry fig fruit or tvvo everyday to build body resistance and for your natural daily requirement of vitamins.
  • In anaemia - Due to the iron-rich content of fig, it is ideal to include it in one's diet in anaerma.
  • In hyperacidity - The burnt ash of the fig fruit is highly basic in nature and can be consumed a tsp before meals to counter hyperacidity.
  • In worm infestation - The enzyme ficin present in the fig latex is responsible for its anthelmintic activity and can be given with great benefit in worm infestations especially ascaris and tricharus types.

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Miswaak: The natural toothbrush



The Miswaak was known before Islam, but Islam added a religious perspective to its usage.

The Prophetic guidance:

The Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) recommended Muslims to clean their teeth using a Miswaak every day; especially upon waking up, when performing ablution, before prayer, when reciting the Quran, before sleeping, when entering the house, and when the mouth has a foul odor.

There are many Prophetic narrations that talk about Miswaak. Following are some of them:

‘Aa'ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her related that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Ten things are part of one’s natural disposition: Trimming the moustache, growing a beard, (using) the Miswaak, sniffing water, cutting the nails, washing hands, plucking armpits, shaving pubic hair, and conserving water." [Muslim]

Furthermore, he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) highlighted its importance, saying: "If it were not that it would create hardship for my people, I would have ordered them to use the Miswaak with every ablution and with every prayer." [Al-Bukhaari]

Medical discoveries:

The Miswaak is a natural tool for brushing the teeth. It is taken from the roots and branches of particular desert trees. It differs from one region to another, but in Arabia and Asia it is taken from the Arak tree. This is the most famous variety, and is the kind that was used by the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ).

Its scientific name is Salvadora Persica. It is a tree that grows in hot equatorial countries, especially in desert valleys. It is widespread in the South of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, Egypt, and elsewhere.

Salvador Persica is an upright evergreen small tree or shrub, seldom more than one foot in diameter, reaching a maximum height of three meters. The leaves are small, oval, thick and succulent with a strong smell of cress or mustard.
The Miswaak is also obtained from other trees. In Africa, for example, it is cut from Lime and Orange trees, and in America some are cut from the Senna tree.

As the Arak tree is so well-known, and as it was the kind that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) used, it has been scientifically studied. The following summarize the various discoveries regarding Miswaak.


Health effects of Miswaak:


Physically, the Miswaak is a natural toothbrush. It is composed of a compact group of minute natural fibers that perform exactly the same function as a normal toothbrush except that it is made of natural rather than plastic fibers. For this reason it may be more gentle on the gums.


Miswaak's natural toothpaste is made up of many substances that are important for cleaning teeth. Many researchers have studied the Miswaak in depth, and have proven that Miswaak contains over ten different natural chemical compounds considered essential for good oral and dental hygiene.


They are: fluoride, silica, tannic acid, resins, alkaloids (salvadorine), volatile oils (sinigrin), sulfur vitamin C, sodium bicarbonate, chlorides, calcium, benzylisothiocyanate (BIT), and others including salicylic acids, sterols, trimethylamine, saponins, flavenoids.


Some of these components are stain removers and teeth whiteners, some protect teeth against caries, some are bactericidal and antiseptic, some help in healing and to repair tissues, some promote remineralization (building) of tooth enamel, and some give the pleasant taste and smell.


Cytotoxicity:


Results of cytotoxictests showed no cytotoxic (cell damaging) effects from using freshly cut Miswaak. However, the same plant used 24 hours after cutting did contain harmful components. Based on these findings, researchers recommend cutting the used portion of the Miswaak after it has been used for a day and preparing a fresh part.


Scientific comparison between Miswaak and toothbrushes:


A clinical trial study on Ethiopian schoolchildren, comparing Miswaak with the conventional toothbrush, found Miswaak to be as effective as the toothbrush in removing oral deposits. The study also found instruction and supervision to be important since the children in the sample were not familiar with techniques for using Miswaak.


How to use Miswaak:


The method of preparing a Miswaak for use is to cut a branch or root of the Arak tree into pieces between 10 cm and 20cm in length, and between 4mm and 14mm in diameter. Occasionally some are thicker than this.


Fresh Miswaak is brown in color, with a hot, pleasant taste. People usually strip off some of the Miswaak's thin bark from one end, then chew that end a little to separate the fibers so that they become like the fibers of a normal toothbrush. They then use it to brush their teeth.


Length and diameter:


A length of 15cm is recommended, which is convenient to grip, and easy to manipulate in a confined space. The diameter is normally less than 1 centimeter, which provides a supple stick firm enough to transmit the pressure of the cleansing action to the teeth without breaking.


Freshness: Miswaak should be freshly cut so that it is supple, easily chewed, and still rich in active constituents. The root should be whitish-brown in color; a dark brown color indicates that the Miswaak is no longer fresh.


If a stick is dry, the end for chewing should initially be soaked in fresh water for 24 hours. It should be noted that soaking for unduly long periods causes loss of active constituents and diminishes the therapeutic properties, although the mechanical effects on the teeth can still occur.


The end: Before Miswaak is used, the end should be washed with water. It is then chewed repeatedly until the fibers stand out like the bristles of a toothbrush. These fibers should be trimmed every 24 hours.


Brushing technique:


The techniques employed for removing plaque mechanically are similar to that for the toothbrush and the chewing stick; i.e., vertical and horizontal brushing. The cleaning movement should always be directed away from the gingival margin of the teeth (away from the gums) on both the buccal (outer cheek) and lingual (inner cheek) surfaces.


Care should be taken to avoid damaging the soft tissues of the mouth. Satisfactory cleaning can be achieved if this procedure is followed for five minutes.


There are two basic holds: Pen-grip (three-finger) or palm-grip (five finger-grip). In each case the aim is to ensure firm but controlled movement of the brush end of the Miswaak within the oral cavity, so that every area of the mouth is reached with relative ease and convenience.


When to use Miswaak:


In general, the Miswaak should be used a minimum of five times a day (i.e. before each prayer). However it is recommended to use it all the time, whenever possible.


Common mistakes in Miswaak use:

1. The end is either too thin or too thick.
2. Keeping it in the mouth while doing other things.
3. Not cutting the end every day.
4. Forgetting that teeth have five faces (inner, outer, two sides, and biting/chewing face), and only using Miswaak to clean the outer faces.

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Milk: The Prophet SAW) said that milk wipes away heat from the heart just as the finger wipes away sweat from the brow. It strengthens the back, increases the brain, augments intelligence, renews vision and drives away forgetfulness.
Honey: Considered to be the best remedy for diarrhoea when mixed in hot water. It is the food of foods, drink of drinks and drug of drugs. It is used for creating appetite, strengthening the stomach, eliminating phlegm, as a meat preservative, hair conditioner, eye salve and mouthwash. It is extremely beneficial in the morning in warm water and is also a sunnah.
Olive oil: excellent treatment for skin and hair, delays old age, treats inflammation of the stomach
Mushroom: The Prophet SAW) said that mushroom is a good cure for the eyes, it also serves as a form of birth control and arrests paralysis.
Grapes: The Prophet was very fond of grapes, it purifies the blood, provides vigour and health, strengthens the kidneys and clears the bowels.
Dates: The Prophet SAW) said that a house without dates has no food, also to be eaten at the time of childbirth.
Figs: It is a fruit from paradise and a cure for piles
Barley: Good for fever in a soup form
Melon: Melon contains 1000 blessings and 1000 mercies, The prophet SAW said "None of your women who are pregnant and eat of water melon will fail to produce off spring who are good in countenance and good in character.
Pomegranate: The Prophet SAW) said it cleanse you of Satan and evil aspirations for 40 days.
Water: The Prophet SAW) said the best drink in this world and the next is H20 (water), when you are thirsty drink it by sips and not gulps, gulping produces sickness of the liver.
In the Holy Qur'an, Allah commands Muslims and all of mankind to eat of the Halal things.
O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and wholesome in the earth, and follow not the footsteps of the devil. Lo! he is an open enemy for you. (2:168)
O ye who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you, and render thanks to Allah if it is (indeed) He Whom ye worship. (2:172)
Eat of that which Allah hath bestowed on you as food lawful and good, and keep your duty to Allah in Whom ye are believers. (5:88)
Halal: The Arabic word Halal means lawful.
The following products are definitely Halal:
1. Milk (from cows, sheep, camels, and goats)
2. Honey
3. Fish
4. Plants which are not intoxicant
5. Fresh or naturally frozen vegetables
6. Fresh or dried fruits
7. Legumes and nuts like peanuts, cashew nuts, hazel nuts, walnuts, etc.
8. Grains such as wheat, rice, rye, barley, oat, etc.
Zabihah: Animals such as cows, sheep, goats, deer, moose, chickens, ducks, game birds, etc., are also Halal, but they must be Zabihah (slaughtered according to Islamic Rites) in order to be suitable for consumption. The procedure is as follows:. The animal should be put down on the ground (or held it if it is small) and its throat should be slit with a very sharp knife to make sure that the 3 main blood vessels are cut. While cutting the throat of the animal (without severing it), the person must pronounce the name of Allah or recite a blessing which contains the name of Allah, such as "Bismillah Allah-u-Akbar".
Haraam: The Arabic word Haraam means unlawful.
The following items have been categorically spelled out as being Haraam by jurists in light of the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Mohammad (SAW):
1. Pig
2. Blood
3. Carnivorous animals
4. Almost all reptiles and insects
5. The bodies of dead animals
6. Halal animals which are not slaughtered according to the Islamic Law.
7. Wine, Ethyl Alcohol, and Spirits.
The above mentioned items are Haraam and should be avoided by all Muslims.
Ingredients: The following ingredients should be avoided by all Muslims:
1. Alcohol (Ethanol, Ethyl Alcohol): Alcohol is a colourless liquid, produced by the fermentation of sugar or starch, that is the intoxicating agent in fermented drinks and is used as a solvent. Also called ethanol and ethyl alcohol.
2. Animal Shortening: Shortening is a type of fat such as lard that is solid at room temperature, and is used for making pastry.
3. Bacon: Meat from the back and sides of a hog that has been salted, dried, and often smoked.
4. Enzymes: Microbial Enzymes are okay A protein substance produced in living cells, that influences a chemical reaction within a plant or animal without being changed itself; an organic catalyst. Enzymes help break down food so that it can be digested. Pepsin is an enzyme.
5. Ethanol: Alcohol is a colourless liquid, produced by the fermentation of sugar or starch, that is the intoxicating agent in fermented drinks and is used as a solvent. Also called ethanol and ethyl alcohol.
6. Ethyl alcohol: Alcohol is a colourless liquid, produced by the fermentation of sugar or starch, that is the intoxicating agent in fermented drinks and is used as a solvent. Also called ethanol and ethyl alcohol.
7. Gelatine: An odourless, tasteless, protein substance like glue or jelly, obtained by boiling the bones, hoofs, and other waste parts of animals. It dissolves easily in hot water and is used in making jellied salads and desserts, camera film, and glue.
8. Gin: A strong colourless alcoholic drink distilled from grain and flavoured with juniper berries.
9. Ham: Meat cut from the thigh of the hind leg of a hog after curing by salting or smoking.
10. Lard: The fat of pigs or hogs, melted down and made clear. Lard is made especially of the internal fat of the abdomen and is used in cooking.
11. Rum: An alcoholic liquor made from sugar cane or molasses. It can be clear but is usually coloured brownish-red by storage in oak casks or by the addition of caramel.
12. Wine:
1. Alcohol fermented from grapes: an alcoholic drink made by fermenting the juice of grapes
2. Alcohol fermented from other fruit: an alcoholic drink made by fermenting the juice of fruit other than grapes, or the juice of other plants
13.. Tallow: A hard fatty substance extracted from the fat of sheep and cattle.
14. Vanilla Extract/Flavour: A flavouring extract made from the vanilla bean and used in candy, ice cream, and perfumes. The flavour extracted from vanilla beans is most commonly dissolved in alcohol. Documentation from a distributor of vanilla extract showed that the ingredient contained 35% alcohol
Almond protects against diabetes and heart disease

Scientific American study showed that eating almonds helps to prevent diabetes and heart disease.


ونقلت صحيفة ذي إندبندنت عن الدراسة أن دمج المكسرات في الوجبات قد يساعد على علاج النوع الثاني من مرض السكري الذي يشكل 90% إلى 95% من الحالات. And The Independent newspaper quoted the study that the integration of nuts in the diet may help to treat type II diabetes, which accounts for 90% to 95% of cases.


وذكرت الدراسة التي نشرت في دورية الكلية الأميركية للتغذية أن اللوز قد يعالج الأوعية الدموية. The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition that almonds may be treated blood vessels.


وتبين أيضا أن استهلاك وجبة غنية باللوز قد يعمل على تحسين حساسية الأنسولين ويقلص مستويات الكولسترول الرديء (أل دي أل) لدى الأشخاص المهيئين للإصابة بمرض السكري، وهم الذين يرتفع لديهم سكري الدم عن المستويات الطبيعية ولكن لم يرق إلى المستوى الذي يصنفهم بمرضى السكري. It was also found that the consumption of a diet rich in almonds may improve insulin sensitivity and reduces cholesterol levels bad (LDL) in people susceptible to diabetes, they who have high blood sugar levels normal, but did not live up to the level at which it classified patients with diabetes.


ولدى خضوع 65 شخصا مهيئين للإصابة بالسكري (48 امرأة و17 رجلا) في الخمسين من أعمارهم للدراسة، تبين أن الفريق الذي تناول اللوز شهد تحسنا كبيرا في الأنسولين وانخفاضا واضحا في الكولسترول الرديء، مقارنة بالفريق الذي لم يتناول هذا النوع من المكسرات. And the subordination of 65 people prepared to diabetes (48 women and 17 men) in the fifty years of age to the study, showing that the team that eating almonds has seen significant improvement in insulin and a clear decline in cholesterol poor, compared to a team that did not address this kind of nuts.


وتقول الصحيفة البريطانية إن اللوز خال من الكولسترول ويعد الأغنى -مقارنة بأنواع أخرى من المكسرات- بالمواد الغذائية الضرورية الست، وهي الألياف والمغنيسيوم والبروتين والبوتاسيوم والنحاس وفيتامين "أي". According to British newspaper The almonds free of cholesterol and is a richer - than other types of nuts - the six essential nutrients, the fiber and magnesium, protein and potassium, copper, vitamin "A".


والسكري أسرع الأمراض انتشارا في العالم حيث يعاني المصابون به من نقص الأنسولين أو القدرة على استخدام الهرمون الذي يسمح للجلوكوز (السكر) بالدخول إلى الخلايا والتحول إلى طاقة. And diabetes, diseases spread faster in the world where living with suffering from a lack of insulin or the ability to use the hormone that allows glucose (sugar) to enter cells and transformation into energy.


وعندما يخرج مرض السكري عن السيطرة، تبقى الدهون والجلوكوز في الدم، ومع مرور الوقت تدمر الأعضاء الحية. When out of control diabetes, the remaining fat and glucose in the blood, with the passage of time destroy living organisms.


وتشير الإحصاءات إلى أنه تم تشخيص مرض السكري لدى نحو 55 مليون شخص في أوروبا، ومن المرجح أن يرتفع هذا العدد إلى 66 مليونا بحلول 2030. Statistics indicate that he was diagnosed with diabetes about 55 million people in Europe, is likely to increase this number to 66 million by 2030.



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 Eating fish helps to prevent vision loss

Confirmed the recent Australian scientific research that eating copious amounts of fish helps to prevent the incidence of blindness among the elderly.

وأشارت الأبحاث إلى أن كبار السن من المدخنين معرضون بنحو الضعفين لمخاطر الإصابة بتدهور وظائف شبكة العين والإصابة بفقدان البصر بالمقارنة بكبار السن من غير المدخنين. The researchers noted that older smokers are about twice the risk of deterioration in the functions of the retina and the incidence of blindness compared to elderly non-smokers.

ويرى الباحثون إمكانية التغلب وخفض مخاطر الإصابة بفقدان البصر بمعدل الثلث في حالة تناول كميات وفيرة من الأسماك إلى جانب تقليل الآثار السلبية الناجمة عن عادة التدخين السيئة، وذلك حسب ما ذكر في صحيفة "الدايلي ميل" البريطانية. The researchers believe can be overcome and reduce the risk of blindness by one third in the case of eat copious amounts of fish as well as reduce the negative effects of the bad habit of smoking, according to what stated in the newspaper "Daily Mail" the British.

وأجريت إحدى الدراسات على 681 أمريكيا متقدما في السن لتثبت أن فرص الإصابة بالمرض بين أولئك الذين كانوا يتناولون السمك مرتين أسبوعيا كانت أقل بنسبة 36 في المائة. Conducted a study of 681 U.S. an advanced age to prove that the chances of infection among those who ate fish twice a week were less by 36 per cent.

فيما أظهرت دراسة أخرى شملت 2335 رجلا وامرأة أسترالية على فترة خمس سنوات، أن فرص الإصابة عند من تناولوا السمك مرة واحدة فقط في الأسبوع، كانت أقل بنسبة 40 في المائة. Another study showed in 2335 included an Australian man and a woman over a period of five years, the chances of injury when you ate fish just once a week, were lower by 40 per cent.

وقدمت الدراستان سببا آخر للإكثار من تناول السمك، وهو الوقاية من مرض "التنكس البقعي" المرتبط بالتقدم في العمر، والذي يعتبر السبب الرئيسي المؤدي لفقدان البصر عند كبار السن. Studies and provided another reason to eat more fish, is the prevention of disease, "macular degeneration", linked to progress in life, which is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.

ويُعرف بأن الأحماض الدهنية المسماة "أوميغا 3" الموجودة في الأسماك كالسلمون تساعد على المحافظة على القلب والدماغ بصحة جيدة. Is known that fatty acids called "Omega 3" found in fish like salmon help to maintain heart and brain healthy.

ويُعتبر تدهور كفاءة شبكة العين من الأمراض التي تؤثر بصورة كبيرة على وظيفة إبصار العين، حيث تعد من أهم الأسباب للإصابة بالعمى للأشخاص الذين تخطوا الستين عاما. The deterioration of the efficiency of the network of eye diseases that affect largely on the function of vision and eye, where one of the most important causes of blindness for people aged over sixty years.

يُذكر أن مرض التنكس البقعي يتسبب بحدوث إعتام في مركز رؤية العين، ومن ثم يتطور إلى العمى بصورة تدريجية أو بسرعة في بعض الأحيان حسب طبيعة المرض. The disease Macular degeneration causes the occurrence of cataracts in the center of the eye to see, and then progresses to blindness gradually or rapidly in some cases, depending on the nature of the disease.

-------------------------

Natural Remedies of Arabia
by Robert W. Lebling and Donna Pepperdine
Photographed by Donna Pepperdine
Excerpted with permission from Natural Remedies of Arabia. Robert W. Lebling and Donna Pepperdine. 2006, Al-Turath/Stacey International, 1-905299-02-8 (North America: Interlink Books, www.interlinkbooks.com).
Whether you are in Doha, Dubai, Manama, Salalah, Jiddah or an obscure country village, when you step into an herbal medicine shop or wander through the traditional suqs (markets), you will find vendors of herbs, spices, bark, twigs, rocks and salt intended for culinary, cosmetic or medicinal purposes.
As you gaze at the piles of twisted bark or the varied combinations of dried flowers, you may wonder: What are these products? Where do they come from? How are they used locally?
These fascinating items whisper tales of the ancient trade routes, for many still come to Arabia from India, China, Indonesia, Egypt, Syria and other exotic locations, and are distributed across the Peninsula through existing commercial networks. Others are harvested locally, some under harsh desert conditions, and have their own fascinating stories to tell.
The people of the Arabian Peninsula have, for centuries, combined goods obtained by trade and barter with a prudent use of local plants and have developed a rich heritage of folk medicine.
Many of the natural remedies presented here are the result of a questionnaire distributed throughout the Arabian Peninsula in early 2002. The questionnaire, printed in both Arabic and English, asked families to explain how they, as well as their mothers and grandmothers, use various herbs, spices and other substances in natural healing. It also requested specific remedies for conditions such as headache, colds and coughs, sore throats, hair loss, general fatigue, childbirth and so on. We present their generous responses, which have helped to unlock many of the mysteries of local medicinal herb shops and reveal unique insights into the natural remedies of Arabia.
Alum
AlumArabic: Shabba, Shabb;
Other English: Potassium Alum, Potash Alum

First-time visitors to Middle Eastern markets may be puzzled to see piles of stones displayed prominently among the herbs and spices. One of them is alum, a crystal-white mineral often imported from China. Alum is a compound of several metals, including aluminum. It is an astringent, widely used in the Middle East to control bleeding and to clean and heal wounds. Shabba powder is mixed with henna for skin decoration, and when applied to the underarms, it acts as a deodorant. Alum is not ingested, nor is it used in cooking.

Did you know?



  • In ancient Babylon, physicians used alum in a mouthwash, as a styptic, as a pessary for menorrhagia, as a nasal douche, and as a treatment for itchy scabs, gonorrhea and purulent ophthalmia. Greek and then Arab medical authorities continued these practices, and went on to use alum for the treatment of leprosy, bad gums, pustules and ear trouble.
  • The alums are valuable in paper manufacturing, textile dyeing, fireproofing, water purification, and in medicine as astringents, styptics and emetics.
  • The Alum Mountain, in Bulahdelah, Australia, is the only known above-ground outcrop of alum stone (alunite) in the world.
  • Using shabba deodorant stones is considered safe and will not cause high levels of aluminum in your system. This is because potassium alum molecules have a negative ionic charge, and the aluminum is unable to pass through cell walls.
  • Bauxite, the ore from which alum is drawn, can be purified and converted directly into alum.

Anise
Arabic: Anisun, Yansun, Yansoon Pimpinella anisum Umbelliferae/Apiaceae (Parsley Family)

From cookies to colds, this tiny, aromatic, gray-brown seed—often called aniseed—serves families across the Arabian Peninsula. Saudi merchants import much of their aniseed from Syria and India. Anise also grows in Egypt, Cyprus, Crete and on the Eastern Mediterranean coast.


Anise
LINDA LEBLING
How to use: 1) For tea, simmer one teaspoon of aniseed in a cup of water for about 10 minutes. Strain and drink; 2) Grind seeds to powder for use in baking; 3) Chew the seeds to freshen the mouth and aid digestion.
In the kitchen: Licorice-flavored aniseed provides subtle flavor to cookies and other sweets.

Remedies across Arabia: Anise is a popular folk medicine, with a long tradition in Islamic pharmacology. It is used to treat general abdominal pain, colic, indigestion, menstrual cramping, coughs and headaches. It is also believed to clean the urinary system and prevent inflammations. Anise has aromatic, diaphoretic, relaxant, stimulant, tonic, carminative and stomachic properties.

Did you know?


  • Anise is sometimes confused with fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), particularly the Iranian varieties, which are quite similar in appearance and flavor.
  • An oil distilled from anise is what gives licorice candy its flavor.
  • Anise is a key ingredient of supari, the digestive spice mix served after a curry meal.

Arak
Arabic: Arak, Rak;
Other English: Toothbrush Tree, Mustard Tree, Saltbush Salvadora persica L.; Salvadoraceae

ArakHave you ever wondered how people cleaned their teeth before the invention of the toothbrush? One answer is the miswak! A miswak (plural: masawik) is a fibrous stick prepared from the root of the arak tree. It has antiseptic and astringent properties which help clean and protect the teeth and gums. A high-quality miswak has a strong, pungent smell. It is pale yellow or cream in color. It is moist and flexible.

The Prophet Mohammad, founder of Islam, recommended the miswak to his followers. He used it to sweeten his breath during fasting and advised its use prior to prayer. This practice is still popular in Arabia today.

The arak is a short evergreen tree that grows in sandy and arid areas of the Middle East and Africa. Sheep and goats like to nibble its leaves.

How to use: Soak the root in water for a few hours to soften the natural fibers. Then scrape off five to 10 millimeters (¼–½) of bark from the tip and gently chew until fibers have separated and the root becomes brush-like. Clean the teeth by rubbing the miswak up and down and sideways as you would a conventional plastic toothbrush. When the fibers become overused, simply cut off the tip of the miswak, scrape off more bark and continue to use as before. To retain freshness, keep miswak in the refrigerator or soak in water.

Did you know?


  • Arak roots contain triclosan, an effective antibacterial used in modern toothpastes. Other ingredients include fluoride, vitamin C, alkaloids and small amounts of tannins and flavenoids.
  • A herbal toothpaste with pure miswak extract (made by a hygiene-products company in India) is currently marketed in Saudi Arabia and other countries of the region.
  • Other natural toothbrush sources, when arak is not available, include the peelo tree, the olive tree, the bitam tree, the walnut tree, the neem tree or any bitter tree that is not harmful or poisonous in any way!

Asafetida
AsafetidaArabic: Haltita, Hiltit;
Other English: Asafoetida, Giant Fennel, Devil’s Dung, Stinking Gum, Food of the Gods Ferula assa-foetida or F. asafoetida; Umbelliferae/Apiaceae (Parsley Family)

When the doorbell rang, Khalid knew that his grandmother had arrived with her infamous family remedy: the foul-smelling gum resin of the asafetida plant. His mind raced to find an excuse, any excuse, to avoid taking it. He felt uncertain that the effort required to swallow the bitter substance was worth the cure. Yet he knew his grandmother would be firm. Her words still echoed to him from times of past sickness: “You know, Khalid, asafetida has been used for ages as an effective medicine in the Arab world. It works mainly to improve the digestive system, but it’s also used as a pain-reliever, a cough medicine and a blood thinner. We’ll use it to treat your upset stomach.” Khalid had no choice but to agree—and he soon felt better. In Saudi Arabia today, families still turn to asafetida as a “last-resort” treatment for coughs, colds, fevers and stomach discomfort. It is not the most popular home remedy; parents must coach their children to hold their nose and swallow quickly in order to tolerate the strong smell and bitter taste.

How to use: 1) Melt in hot water and drink; 2) Grind or crush the lump resin into powder or melt it in liquid and use sparingly as a cooking spice.

In the kitchen: Despite its sulfurous smell, asafetida, when cooked, imparts a surprisingly pleasant flavor to many foods. In Indian cuisine, it is a substi- tute for onion or garlic. Use in small amounts. The powdered form is milder than the resin, because it is normally blended with rice flour. The resin should be fried in hot oil before using. A pea-sized quantity is enough to flavor a large pot of lentils or vegetables. Store asafetida in an air-tight container.

Remedies across Arabia: Asafetida is available in Middle Eastern herb shops and can be purchased in lump resin or powdered form.

Did you know?


  • Alexander the Great is credited with carrying asafetida west in the fourth century BC, following his expeditions into the Persian Empire (modern Afghanistan).
  • The famous ancient Roman gourmet Apicius (first century) used asafetida in over half of his recipes.
  • The British explorer Charles Doughty, who traveled throughout Arabia in the mid-19th century, called asafetida “a drug which the Arabs have in sovereign estimation.”
  • Asafetida is native to Iran and western Afghanistan.
  • Modern herbalists regard asafetida as a sedative, antispasmodic and circulatory agent. It is also known to relieve intestinal and stomach upsets.
  • Asafetida is much used in the Ayurvedic tradition and is also popular in Indian vegetarian cooking.
  • Al-Kindi, an Islamic scholar of the ninth century, used asafetida to counter phlegm and treat sore throat, tooth pain, rheumatism and nervous conditions, and also as an aphrodisiac.
  • Asafetida gets its name from the Persian aza, for mastic or resin, and the Latin foetidus, for stinking.

Banana
Arabic: Mauz Musa sapientum; Musaceae (Banana Family)

The banana plant is the world’s largest herb. It is often mistaken for a tree, but does not have a woody trunk or boughs. It springs from an underground rhizome to form a false trunk three to six meters (10–20') high and is crowned with a rosette of 10–20 beautiful, oblong banana leaves.

BananaHistory credits Arab traders with giving the banana its popular name. Although there are several hundred varieties which differ in taste, color, form and size, Arab traders noted that bananas growing in Africa and Asia were small, about the size of a man’s finger, and so called them banan, which means “fingertips” in Arabic. “Banana” is the singular form.

Bananas are rich in potassium, riboflavin, niacin and dietary fiber. They also contain vitamins A and C and some calcium and iron. Bananas are a quick source of energy.

How to use: In banana-producing countries, vegetables and spices are sometimes wrapped in banana leaves and then steamed. Banana leaves are used as serving plates, as tablecloths and as barriers between a wood fire and a pot. They are even used for thatching roofs and making rope.

In the kitchen: Bananas can be eaten fresh or dried. The dried fruit can be ground into a nutritious banana flour.A very old and traditional breakfast in Makkah is omelet with banana. Masoub, also featuring the banana, is currently a popular Hijazi breakfast dish. Kanafa with banana is a delicious dessert.

Remedies across Arabia: For diarrhea, use cornstarch and water; yogurt; tea leaves; mashed potatoes; bananas.

Did you know?


  • Hundreds of banana varieties thrive in the tropics. Bananas grow in Egypt, Yemen, Oman and other Arab countries. In the Nile River, near Luxor, Egypt, local boats sail to Gazirat al- Mauz (“Banana Island”), where visitors can sample fruits from a large banana orchard.
  • The banana has been cultivated in India for at least 4000 years. Bananas are widely used in Indian folk medicine for the treatment of diabetes mellitus.

Black Seed
Arabic: Habba Souda, Habbat al-Barakah;
Other English: Fennel Flower, Black Cumin Nigella sativa; Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Black Seed Native to the Mediterranean and grown throughout the Middle East and parts of Asia, Nigella sativa is cultivated for its seeds, which are known as the “seeds of blessing.” For the Arabs, black seed is not only a food but also a valued traditional medicine that has long been used to treat such ailments as asthma, flatulence, polio, kidney stones, abdominal pain and so on. It has served as an important health and beauty aid for thousands of years.

According to tradition, the Prophet Muhammad described black seed as a cure for every disease except death. The great physician Ibn Sina (980–1037), better known as Avicenna, stated that black seed works as an expectorant, stimulates the body’s energy and helps overcome fatigue and dispiritedness.

How to use: 1) Eat black seeds plain; 2) Eat a teaspoon of black seed mixed with honey; 3) Boil black seed with water. Strain and drink; 4) Heat black seed and warm milk until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat. Cool, then drink; 5) Grind black seed and swallow it with water or milk; 6) Sprinkle on bread and pastries; 7) Burn black seed with bukhoor (incense) for a pleasant scent.

In the kitchen: Black seed is aromatic with a slight peppery flavor. It is one of the distinct flavors of Arab pastries. It is often sprinkled on breads and cheese. It is heated with milk for flavor. It is eaten ground with honey or with cakes and pastries.

Remedies across Arabia: In Arabia, black seed remains a traditional remedy for asthma, coughs, stomach aches, abdominal pain, colic, general fatigue, rheumatism, mouth and larynx diseases, skin diseases and cancer. It is also believed to strengthen a mother after childbirth; stimulate menstruation, urination and liver functions; aid digestion; dissolve kidney stones; and increase intelligence. Black seed is used to beautify skin, nourish hair and stimulate hair growth.

Did you know?


  • Black seed was found in Tutankhamen’s tomb. This suggests that black seed had an important role in ancient Egypt, since it was customary to place in tombs items needed for the afterlife.
  • In the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah contrasts Nigella (black cumin) with wheat. (See Isaiah 28: 25, 27.)

Caraway
Arabic: Karawya, Karawiya Carum carvi; Umbelliferae/Apiaceae (Parsley Family)

Some botanists say that caraway is the world’s oldest known herb. It is mentioned in the Bible and other ancient texts, and has been found in European archeological excavations dating back 8000 years. In the spice markets of Arabia, caraway can be found alongside her sister spices of anise (yansoon), fennel (shamr) and cumin (kamun). You need only ask for karawiya (from which we get the English word caraway) to take some home. Caraway is grown throughout Europe, the Mediterranean area, North Africa, Asia and North America.

Caraway

Did you know?


  • Caraway seed is the spice which gives rye bread its characteristic flavor.
  • Caraway is important in Tunisian cuisine and is sometimes an ingredient of harissa, a fiery North African condiment made from dried hot peppers.
  • Caraway leaves may be used as a herb in salads and as a garnish, while its seeds may be used as a spice in breads, cheese spreads, pastas and vegetable and fruit dishes.
  • Dioscorides, a Greek physician in the first century, recommended oil of caraway be rubbed into skin to improve a pale girl’s complexion.
  • Caraway is a biennial. It grows as a small green plant the first year and then up to 60 centimeters (2') tall the second year, producing small white and apple-green flowers and fruit. The fruit, commonly called seeds, can be separated from the plant when ripe and then dried in the sun.
  • Most experts believe the word caraway comes originally from the Greek word karon, which means cumin! Caraway and cumin seeds are very similar in appearance. Arabic borrowed the word as karawiya, which medieval Latin transformed into carui or carvi (as in Carum carvi).

Cardamom
CardamomArabic: Hal, Hail;
Other English: Cardamom, Lesser Cardamom, Small Cardamom, Malabar Cardamom Elettaria cardamomum; Zingiberaceae (Ginger Family)

Imagine an ancient trade caravan moving slowly up the Frankincense Trail in western Arabia toward the Mediterranean. The spices and aromatics burdening the camels could be from Yemen, East Africa, India or distant China. Although anticipating lucrative exchanges with merchants of the Mediterranean, caravaners also stop in villages along the way where both villagers and Bedouins are eager to barter. Exchanging goat meat, fresh produce or woven baskets, the local tradesmen obtain the cardamom necessary to flavor traditional Arabic coffee.

Native to India and Sri Lanka, cardamom is a well-loved spice in the Arabian Peninsula. Arab coffee is heavily flavored with it. In fact, cardamom is a valuable ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine: in beverages, sweets, pastries and main dishes.

How to use: 1) Bruise cardamom pods until partially open; remove cardamom seeds from their pods; gently bruise seeds or dry-fry over gentle heat to release their flavor; or 2) Grind seeds into powder.

In the kitchen: Cardamom is a vital ingredient in Arabian coffee making. Its flavor can be added to the beverage by grinding cardamom pods and adding the powdered cardamom to already brewed coffee. Cloves, saffron, sugar, nakhwa (See page 19.) or rose water are also sometimes added for flavor. “Sweet coffee,” which doesn’t contain any coffee at all, is a traditional drink from the Hijaz. It is a wonderful, warm beverage with a pleasant cardamom flavor. It is served on special occasions such as graduation day, which is the day students receive their grade cards.

Remedies across Arabia: A member of the ginger family, cardamom is a carminative and a stimulant. It warms the body and helps relieve indigestion and gas.

Did you know?


  • Cardamom is one of the most expensive spices in the world. This is because each individual fruit pod containing the desired seed spice must be harvested from its flower stalk by hand. Flower stalks must be carefully examined and re-examined as the fruit pods develop at different rates. Harvested while still green and firm, the pods are then dried and sold.
  • About 1000 years ago, the Vikings discovered cardamom in their explorations and conquests around the Mediterranean. They introduced this spice to Scandinavia, where it is still used extensively in baking spiced cakes and breads.
  • Cardamom was one of the most popular Oriental spices in ancient Roman cuisine.
  • Ground cardamom can soften a plastic spoon left in it for several days.

Camomile

Camomile
LINDA LEBLING
Arabic: Babunaj, Babunij;
Other English: Chamomile
German Chamomile: Matricaria recutita, Matricaria chamomilla
Saudi Chamomile: Matricaria aurea; Asteraceae (Aster Family)

One thing every Bedouin, villager and city dweller can tell you is that camomile tea is relaxing and aids digestion. Along with this fact comes the widespread belief that the best babunaj comes from the north. As a result, packaged herbal teas from Syria and Jordan are popular supermarket items. These medicinal teas feature camomile but may also contain coriander, black seed, anise, rose, lemon balm, hibiscus, thyme or sage.

How to use: Use the flower heads to brew a medicinal tea.

In the kitchen: Many families keep camomile readily available. To make camomile tea, boil water and then pour one cup of the water over four teaspoons of dried flowers. Infuse for five to 10 minutes and then strain. Add honey for a sweeter taste and drink the tea warm.

Remedies across Arabia: Camomile is a valued nervine, carminative and general tonic. Camomile tea is well-known for settling the stomach and aiding digestion after a meal. It is also relaxing and can help promote sleep

Did you know?


  • In 1656, John Parkinson wrote, “Camomill is put to divers and sundry uses, both for pleasure and profit, both for the sick and the sound, in bathing to comfort and strengthen the sound and to ease pains in the diseased.”
  • Al-Kindi used camomile in a strong dressing for the spleen and in an application to relax the liver and stomach.
  • Camomile tea is used in the Levant to strengthen a mother after childbirth.
  • Camomile is used in perfumes, soaps, bath oils, skin-care products and in shampoos to add luster to blonde hair.
  • With a reputation as a mild bleach, camomile has been used to lighten blonde hair by pouring two cups of boiling water over a handful of camomile flowers and infusing for 30 minutes. After shampooing the hair, rinse several times with this camomile infusion while it is still warm. It is a very pleasant hair rinse.

Cucumber
Arabic: Khiyar Cucumis sativus; Cucurbitaceae (Gourd Family)

Cucumber

Cucumbers are produced on small farms throughout the Arabian Peninsula and sold in local fruit and vegetable markets. Cucumbers have long been known in eastern and western traditional medicine as one of the best natural diuretics. The effect is in the seeds, which are rich in sulfur, silicon and potassium.

Cucumbers originated in Asia, probably in India, and spread into Europe about 3000 years ago. Today Indian medicine prescribes cucumber juice for an array of ailments, including constipation, stomach disorders, urinary problems, rheumatism and even cholera.

How to use: 1) Slice or finely chop the cucumber to add to salads; 2) Slice, grate or mash the cucumber for use in skin-care applications.

In the kitchen: Middle Eastern cuisine would not be the same without the cucumber. Traditional salads, such as fattoush and tabbouleh, call for this fruit posing as a vegetable, as does the popular yogurt and cucumber salad, which complements and cools rice and meat dishes. Sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, drizzled with lemon juice and garnished with fresh mint and parsley, form the renowned cucumber and tomato salad. Arranged decoratively on a serving plate, it is a simple yet healthy choice.

Remedies across Arabia: Suparna Trikha, one of India’s leading natural beauty experts, advised that the juice made from cucumber skin can be a soothing lotion and skin cleanser. She also suggested grating cucumber and massaging the pulp into the skin and leaving it to dry. Splashing fresh water and gently wiping the face after 10 minutes or so is a good way to slow the advance of wrinkles. Additionally, cucumber slices are put on swollen eyes, to reduce the swelling.

Did you know?


  • Cucumbers were a popular food in ancient Rome, and historian Pliny the Elder reports that the Emperor Tiberius ate large quantities.
  • The cucumber is a fruit because it contains the seeds to reproduce. Botanically speaking, a fruit is the mature ovary of a plant, such as a cucumber, apple, melon or tomato.
  • Cucumbers, along with squash, melons and pumpkins, belong to the group of vegetables known as cucurbits, or vine crops.

Frankincense
FrankincenseArabic: Luban;
Other English: Olibanum, Oil of Lebanon Boswellia sacra or B. carteri or B. thurifera; Burseraceae (Frankincense and Myrrh Family)

Frankincense is crystallized tree sap—a hardened gum or resin exuded by a small tree that grows in the coastal regions of the southern Arabian Peninsula and nearby coastal East Africa. In ancient times, frankincense was a precious commodity, sometimes more valuable than gold. Merchants brought this treasure to the great civilization centers of Europe and Western Asia by sea and by a land trail through Yemen and up the Arabian Red Sea coast to the Levant. In Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, frankincense is used as incense today, though not in religious ceremonies.

How to use: 1) Chew as a gum. This is a popular use as frankincense has a mild, pleasant taste and helps to eliminate bad breath. 2) Suck on a granule to relieve nausea; 3) Soak frankincense granules in water and drink the strained liquid; 4) Burn as incense for a pleasant scent or waft on clothing.

Did you know?


  • Frankincense comes in five main colors: white, pale lemon, pale amber, pale green and dark amber. The color of the gum resin is influenced by its harvest time. A whiter gum is collected closer to autumn, whereas a darker color is harvested closer to spring.
  • Although the frankincense gathering season lasts from May through mid-September, the product is available year-round in traditional local markets of the Middle East.
  • Due to unique climatic conditions, the best frankincense is produced by trees growing in the mountainous Dhofar region of Oman. In addition to Oman, frankincense today is grown in Yemen, Ethiopia, Somalia and India.
  • In the days of the pharaohs, frankincense trees were imported into Egypt, where they were grown for the gum, which was burned in religious rituals.
  • Tenth-century Persian physician Ibn Sina (known to the West as Avicenna) recommended using frankincense in treatments for tumors, ulcers, vomiting, dysentery and fever.
  • Frankincense today remains an ingredient in various incense mixtures burned in rituals of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches.
  • Western herbalists regard frankincense essential oil as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and astringent, and say it is useful as a uterine tonic during pregnancy and labor.
  • Charred frankincense has been used to make kohl, the black powder traditionally used by women in the Middle East to paint their eyelids.

Garlic
Arabic: Thum, Thoom Allium sativum; Alliaceae (Onion Family)

Botanist David Hooper, in his survey of useful plants in Iran and Iraq in the 1930’s, observed that garlic was the potherb par excellence of the East—not only was it used in a dizzying array of culinary dishes, but it also aided digestion and was a gastric stimulant. If anything, Hooper’s comment was an understatement. We now know garlic has a wealth of other medicinal properties to complement its enduring value as a cooking herb.

Garlic, a bulbous perennial, probably originated in Central Asia, the only place where it grows wild. (There are other plants in other lands referred to as “wild garlic”; they are part of the Allium genus but are not true garlic, A. sativum. Garlic has edible flowers but it is primarily grown for its bulbs, each of which contains 12 to 20 cloves. Garlic has been cultivated by humans from time immemorial. Hundreds of varieties have spread out from Asia to encompass the globe.

GarlicHow to use: 1) Crush, chop or use garlic cloves whole to flavor dishes; 2) Bake, roast or grill a bulb of garlic. When softened, squeeze out the pulp from the individual cloves to eat; 3) Mash the softened pulp of baked garlic to form a smooth paste and use it in soups, sauces and dips. Alternatively, grind fresh garlic to a paste with a mortar and pestle.

In the kitchen: Garlic is a much appreciated ingredient in both hummus bi tahina (chickpea and sesame puree) and baba ghannouj (eggplant and sesame puree), two popular dips with Arab bread.

When frying, use enough olive oil or butter to coat the pan and stir often. Garlic burns quickly if cooked over high heat.

Store garlic in a cool, dark pantry. Garlic stored in the refrigerator quickly dries out and rots.

Remedies across Arabia:


  • Use garlic for ant bites. (Northern Province)
  • Use a clove of garlic to relieve the pain of a bee sting. (United Arab Emirates)
  • Use an ointment made of ground garlic on a wound even if it hurts, since this prevents gangrene. Also, you can clean wounds by mixing ground garlic in warm water and washing the wound with it to kill the microbes. (Eastern Province)
  • Rub a raw garlic clove on the spot where a scorpion stings you, and it will heal. (Eastern Province)
  • My grandmother used garlic to kill warts and prevent them from reappearing. (Bahrain)
Did you know?
  • The Greek historian Herodotus, during a tour of Egypt, reported seeing an inscription on the Great Pyramid at Giza that recorded the quantities of radishes, onions and garlic consumed by the laborers who constructed it.
  • According to tradition, the Prophet Muhammad recommended garlic, applied topically, to remedy viper bites and scorpion stings.
  • Al-Kindi, the medieval Arab physician, used garlic in a drug for treating earaches and other diseases of the ear.
  • Despite garlic’s known antibiotic activity, and despite Internet rumors to the contrary, there have been no scientific studies showing garlic has any effect against anthrax.

Myrrh
Arabic: Murr, Murrah Commiphora myrrha or C. molmol or Balsamodendron myrrha; Burseraceae (Frankincense and Myrrh Family)

Myrrh is collected from the stems of bushy shrubs found growing in southern Arabia and Somalia. A granular secretion exits the stem through natural fissures, or cuts, as a pale yellow liquid. It then hardens to a reddish-brown mass. It can be found in different sizes in the marketplace, most pieces being the size of large marbles or walnuts.


Myrrh
FALEH AL-KHASHRAM
The word myrrh means “bitter” in Arabic. Myrrh is one of the best antiseptics known, an astringent and a stimulant.
How to use: 1) Soak myrrh granules in water for two to three days and then drink the strained liquid; 2) Swallow small granules like pills; 3) Burn as incense.

Remedies across Arabia:


  • Although it doesn’t taste very good because it is so bitter, myrrh is used to alleviate inflammation in the body.
  • Myrrh water is an excellent mouthwash and is helpful for mouth sores or blisters, sore throats, bronchial congestion and other conditions requiring an antiseptic astringent.
  • For burns, soak myrrh in a small amount of water. It is put on burns to reduce scars and to help in quickly healing wounds and to remove warts. (Southern Province)
  • In the past, myrrh oil was wiped on a new baby’s navel. (Bahrain)
  • Myrrh is very good to have if you have external cuts. It makes them get better quickly. (Central Province)
  • We use myrrh for so many uses, for example to treat sores, appendicitis pain after operation, boils, stomach aches and the colon. Soak myrrh stones in water. Then place the water on the area of pain for boils, or drink it. (Central Province)
  • Myrrh is used to help healing of wounds, minor burns and wounds of simple surgical operations. (Southern Province)
Did you know?
  • Ancient Egyptians wore unguent cones saturated with myrrh, marjoram, sweet flag or lotus. They put the cones on their heads in the morning, and as the day grew hot, the cones would slowly melt, running down the body, keeping the skin moist and repelling insects throughout the day.
  • Myrrh is an oil referenced throughout the Old and New Testaments. The Arabian people used it for many skin conditions, such as wrinkled, chapped and cracked skin. It has one of the highest levels of sesquiterpenes, a class of compounds that has direct effects on the hypothalamus, pituitary and amygdala, the seat of our emotions. Myrrh is widely used today in oral hygiene products.
  • The Muslim physician al-Razi (Rhazes), perhaps the greatest of all medieval clinicians, used myrrh to treat ailments of the kidneys and bladder, to dissipate swellings in the stomach and for colic.
  • In Egypt today, traditional medicine practitioners use myrrh as a stimulant, expectorant, antispasmodic, emmenagogue, antiputrescent and astringent. It is also used to treat dental caries and inflamed gums.
  • Myrrh is a fixative, meaning it increases the longevity of the aroma of any fragrance it is combined with but doesn’t dominate or overpower that fragrance.
  • Scientific tests have shown myrrh to possess significant antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Nakhwa

Nakhwa
STEPHEN L. BRUNDAGE
Arabic: Nakhwa, Nankha or Nanakhwah; Hindi: Ajwain or Ajowan;
Other English: Bishop’s-Weed Trachyspermum ammi, Carum ajowan, Carum copticum, Ammi copticum Umbelliferae/Apiaceae (Carrot/Celery/Parsley Family)

Used as medicine by the ancient Greeks and Arabs, nakhwa is still considered a natural remedy. You can buy the aromatic seeds as well as a distillate.

How to use: 1) Release the aroma of the seeds before use by rubbing between your fingertips, crushing with a mortar and pestle or gently stirring while warming in a frying pan; 2) Use seeds whole or grind them into powder form.

In the kitchen: Nakhwa is sometimes added to traditional Arab coffee. In addition to providing a unique flavor, it is believed to soften the impact of coffee on the stomach and reduce the effects of caffeine. In fact, some people across Arabia drink nakhwa as a substitute for Arab coffee to totally eliminate negative coffee effects.

Did you know?


  • Like black seed (Nigella sativa), nakhwa is a popular ingredient in many herbal medicinal blends.
  • The ancient Sumerians described nakhwa as a “plant of the mountain.”
  • Nakhwa is grown in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, India and Egypt.
  • Though more commonly cultivated today in Asia, nakhwa is actually of African origin, and some Arabs call it “Ethiopian cumin” (al-kammun al-habashi).
  • Al-Kindi (ca. 800–870) used nakhwa in a preparation for hemorrhoids.
  • Nakhwa seeds yield 40 to 55 percent thymol, a valuable crystalline phenol extracted for medicinal purposes.
In the West, thymol is used in some cough medicines.

Petroleum
Arabic: Naft, Batrul

Although few people are aware of it today, petroleum was once considered an effective natural remedy not only in the Middle East but in many parts of the world. Oil upwellings and gas vents were known anciently in present-day Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Natural deposits of thickened petroleum (also called “bitumen”) seeped from openings on land or floated to the surface of lakes. It was easy to gather and was used as a building material, waterproofing material, lubricant, adhesive, medicine, fuel, illuminant and fumigant, and even as a weapon.


Petroleum
BOB LAPSLEY
How to use: The All-Encompassing Dictionary (Al-Qamus al-Muhit), written in Makkah in the 15th century by Abu Tahir al-Fayruzabadi, a scholar of Persian descent, reveals that oil was commonly sold as medicine and as a fuel for lighting, and that it was used as an incendiary in a type of military flame thrower.
In the kitchen: Petrolatum—a neutral, odorless, tasteless unguent distilled from petroleum and then purified—is sometimes used in bakery products as a release agent. Petrolatum meets modern us Food and Drug Administration requirements for medicinal, cosmetic-formula and animal-feed use, and is also approved for direct contact with food.

Remedies across Arabia: Descriptions of petroleum’s healing powers date from 2000 years ago, although its traditional medicinal use is probably much older. Oil-and-water baths were supposed to strengthen the body. Ointments of bitumen and other chemicals were often applied to sores or broken bones. Other petroleum preparations acted as antidotes to poison, fumigants, disinfectants or laxatives.

The Book of the Powers of Remedies, a medical text prepared by Masarjawah, a prominent physician living in Basra, Iraq, during the seventh century, described the benefits of ingesting oil for fighting disease and infection. Masarjawah wrote: “Warm naphtha, especially water-white naphtha, when ingested in small doses, is excellent for suppressing cough, for asthma, bladder discomfort and arthritis.”

The All-Encompassing Dictionary states, “The best grade of naphtha is the water-white. It is a good solvent, a diluent and an expectorant. Taken internally, it relieves cramps and aches of the belly, and, when applied topically, it can soothe skin rashes and infections.”

Vicks VapoRub, a nasal decongestant, cough suppressant and topical analgesic, contains petrolatum, and other salves, suppositories and cosmetic products also benefit from the consistency contributed by petrolatums.

Did you know?


  • Akkadian clay tablets from about 2200 BC referred to crude oil as naptu, from which derives the root of the Arabic naft.
  • William Rockefeller, father of John D. Rockefeller, sold bottles of raw petroleum to country folk as a cure for cancer.
  • Petroleum is used today in homeopathic medicine to treat motion sickness, eczema and other skin problems, nausea and diarrhea.

Pomegranate
Arabic: Rumman Punica granatum; Lythraceae/ Punicaceae

Pomegranate
STEPHEN L. BRUNDAGE
While native to Iran and its neighboring countries, the pomegranate was cultivated in ancient times all around the Mediterranean and throughout the Arabian Peninsula. It is a deciduous tree or large shrub that produces excellent fruit under semiarid conditions.
How to use: 1) Eat the fleshy seeds to enjoy a delicious, slightly tart flavor; 2) Dry the seeds and use in cooking; 3) Extract the juice from the seeds for a refreshing drink or as a flavoring agent in cooking; 4) Dry the outer peelings and crush them for culinary, cosmetic or medicinal purposes. 5) Boil pomegranate peelings in water, then strain and drink the liquid; if more concentrated, the liquid can be used as a dye for clothes; 6) Dry the peelings, then grind and mix with henna to make it darker and provide skin nourishment.

In the kitchen: Pomegranate seeds have a sweet-sour taste. Crushed or whole, they often garnish salads, couscous, hummus and other Middle Eastern dishes. Dried pomegranate seeds and pomegranate syrup are also popular in cooking. Pomegranate juice is a refreshing drink on hot summer days. Pomegranate juice stains indelibly, so it’s wise to wear protective clothing when cooking with it.

Remedies across Arabia: Powdered pomegranate peelings are used on burns and to treat infection on external cuts and wounds. Soaked pomegranate peelings are used for sore throats, stomach aches and indigestion. To treat indigestion, pomegranate peelings are dried, then boiled, and the water drunk. Rose water can be added for flavor. Pomegranate soaked in boiled water is used with honey for heart trouble.

Did you know?


  • Pomegranate seeds are rich in vitamin C and are a good source of dietary fiber.
  • Commercially produced pomegranate syrup is called grenadine.
  • The Romans called the pomegranate fruit punicum, the Latin name for Carthage, because they believed that the best pomegranates came from there.
  • The Spanish name for the pomegranate is granada, and its fruit appears on Granada’s city seal.
  • Pomegranate is believed to be the inspiration for the hand-tossed explosive called a grenade. When a pomegranate is dropped on a hard surface, it bursts and seeds are tossed everywhere. The military borrowed the modern French name for the fruit, grenade.

Saffron
Arabic: Za’faran, Za’fran Crocus sativus; Iridaceae (Iris Family)

Saffron
LINDA LEBLING
Saffron refers to the dried, red stigmas collected from the flowers of Crocus sativus. Its high price is better understood when we learn that some 75,000 flowers are required to make one pound of dried saffron. Commercial producers of saffron today include Spain, Iran and India. Native to the Middle East, saffron was introduced to Europe by the Muslim Arabs and Berbers of northwest Africa, who conquered most of Spain in the eighth century. From Spain, known as al-Andalus to the Arabs, saffron was carried to Italy and France, where it became popular. Although not completely new to the British Isles, saffron was brought back to England by the crusaders of the 13th century. Historically, saffron has been used for medicine, perfume, dye and as a cooking spice.
How to use: The stigmas produce a bright yellow or orange color when added to water. If a recipe requires ground saffron, one can crush or grind it to a powder. Be sure it is evenly distributed when added to the recipe. Sifting the ground saffron with the dry ingredients is one way to insure a good mix. If using whole saffron threads, soak them for about 10 minutes in a warm liquid required by the recipe, such as milk, water or broth. The color and flavor of the stigmas will be released into the liquid. A pinch of saffron to a cup of liquid yields enough color and flavor for about half a kilo (1 lb) of rice. A little saffron goes a long way.

In the kitchen: Saffron can add taste and color to breads, chicken and rice dishes.

Did you know?


  • Comparing the beauty of his beloved to a garden, Solomon (The Song of Solomon 4:14 in the Old Testament) lists saffron, cinnamon, frankincense and myrrh as some of the plants cultivated in this metaphor. We sense the magnitude of his admiration because these plant products commanded very high prices in ancient markets.
  • Today, saffron remains the most expensive spice in the entire world.
  • Scholars studying frescoes at Thera, a Greek island in the Aegean, believe the wall paintings (dating from 1500 or 1600 BC) depict a goddess presiding over the manufacture and use of a drug from the saffron flower. This suggests that saffron has been used as a medicine for at least 3500 years.

Thyme
Arabic: Za‘tar, Sa‘tar, Hasha’ Thymus vulgaris; Lamiaceae (Mint Family)

When dining in the Middle East, it is customary to dip bread in olive oil and then in za‘tar for a delicious taste. Although za‘tar is the word for thyme in the Arabic language, it is also a term which describes a Middle Eastern spice blend of powdered dried thyme, sumac and sesame seeds. Each region makes za‘tar a little differently.

Thyme

How to use: 1) Use fresh green thyme leaves when called for in recipes; 2) Use dried thyme leaves as part of the aromatic spice blend called za‘tar; 3) Sprinkle za‘tar (fresh thyme or the spice blend) on meatballs or vegetables; 4) Use the za‘tar spice blend with olive oil as a dip for bread.

In the kitchen: Flat breads with toppings of melted cheese and za‘tar, labna and za‘tar, or za‘tar alone are unspeakably delicious. Store za‘tar in an airtight container away from direct light.

Remedies across Arabia: A general remedy for colds, flu, fevers, coughs and bronchitis is to take four to five cups of thyme tea a day. Thyme is antiseptic, antispasmodic and antifungal. It is also an expectorant and vermifuge (worm expeller).

Did you know?


  • Five millennia ago, the Sumerians used thyme as an antiseptic.
  • The ancient Egyptians employed thyme as an ingredient in the mummification process.
  • The Arab philosopher-scientist al-Kindi (800–870) used thyme in a medicine to treat a bacterial infection or rash called St. Anthony’s Fire (erysipelas).
  • The Islamic physician al-Razi (865–925) regarded thyme as an appetite enhancer, stomach purifier and treatment for flatulence.
  • Thyme is widely grown commercially for its leaves and essential oils.
  • Thyme is one of a small number of herbs that have more flavor dried than fresh. Others are rosemary and oregano.

Turmeric
Arabic: Kurkum Curcuma longa, C. domestica; Zingiberaceae (Ginger Family)

Often called “Indian saffron,” turmeric rhizome was one of the ancient trade products brought by sea from India. Today turmeric is widely used as a spice, cosmetic and dyestuff, and remains part of traditional medicine from Egypt to Iran.

Turmeric How to use: 1) Slice, grate, chop or grind turmeric to a paste with other ingredients. Then use it as you would fresh ginger root; 2) Grind dried turmeric into powder; 3) Use whole pieces of dried turmeric in pickling.

In the kitchen: Slicing a piece of turmeric rhizome reveals the deep yellow color used to brighten curry powders and a variety of foods. When coloring rice dishes, it is also sometimes a substitute for saffron. But it is easier to buy ready-ground turmeric than to grind it yourself. Wear rubber gloves when handling fresh turmeric to avoid staining your hands.

Did you know?


  • In Indian cuisine, turmeric is an ingredient of virtually all curry powders.
  • Because turmeric is an edible coloring, the food industry uses it to color mustard, butter, cheese and liqueurs.
  • Turmeric is used to dye cotton and silk.
  • Al-Kindi used turmeric in a medicine for throat and mouth pustules, and in a dentifrice to strengthen the gums.
  • The US Patent and Trademark Office

Walnut Bark
Arabic: Deerum Juglans spp.; Juglandaceae (Walnut Family)

Walnut Bark
STEPHEN L. BRUNDAGE
A container filled with thin bark strips folded up and tied into bundles is another curiosity at a traditional market. Although not widely used nowadays, it is a reminder of the traditional self-reliance and ingenuity of peoples of the Arabian Peninsula during times of more limited resources.
How to use: 1) Chew the end of the bark until soft; 2) Rub the bark vigorously on lips for a natural dark brown lipstick; 3) Use the bark as a toothbrush to clean teeth and gums.

Remedies across Arabia: The bark of the walnut tree is astringent and cleansing. It strengthens the gums and acts as an anti-inflammatory. It has been used to treat gum disease.

Did you know?


  • Pliny reported that walnut trees were introduced into Italy from Persia, and Varro, who was born in 116 BC, mentioned that walnut trees were growing in Italy during his lifetime.
  • Walnut bark is a traditional source of yellow-brown dye.
  • ====================
  • Watching hours of TV daily could

    shorten your life (Reuters)

    Sydney - Couch potatoes, beware. Sitting in front of the television for hours daily could shorten your life, according to an Australian study.

    Researchers from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in the state of Victoria tracked the lifestyle habits of 8 800 adults and found that each hour spent in front of the TV daily increased the risk of dying earlier from cardiovascular disease.

    The study, published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, found every hour in front of the TV was associated with an 11 percent increased risk of death from all causes, a nine percent higher risk of cancer death, and an 18 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) related death.
    Continues Below ↓


    "Compared with people who watched less than two hours of television daily, those who watched more than four hours a day had a 46 percent higher risk of death from all causes and an 80 percent increased risk for CVD-related death," the researchers said in a statement.

    The researchers said this association held regardless of other independent and common cardiovascular disease risk factors, including smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, unhealthy diet, excessive waist circumference, and leisure-time exercises.

    Researcher David Dunstan said the study focused specifically on television watching but the findings suggest that any prolonged sedentary behaviour, such as sitting at a desk or in front of a computer, may pose a health risk.

    "The human body was designed to move, not sit for extended periods of time," said Dunstan, head of the institute's physical activity laboratory in the division of metabolism and obesity.

    "Technological, social, and economic changes mean that people don't move their muscles as much as they used to - consequently the levels of energy expenditure as people go about their lives continue to shrink.

    "For many people, on a daily basis they simply shift from one chair to another - from the chair in the car to the chair in the office to the chair in front of the television." Dunstan said the findings applied not only to individuals who were overweight and obese, but also those of a healthy weight.

    "Even if someone has a healthy body weight, sitting for long periods of time still has an unhealthy influence on their blood sugar and blood fats," he said.

    "In addition to doing regular exercise, avoid sitting for prolonged periods and keep in mind to 'move more, more often'. Too much sitting is bad for health." The researchers interviewed 3 846 men and 4 954 women aged 25 and older who underwent oral glucose-tolerance tests and provided blood samples so researchers could measure biomarkers such as cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

    Participants were enrolled from 1999 and followed through 2006 and reported their television-viewing habits. - Reuters
  • =====================
  • When to eat fruits: Before or after meals?

    Words by Katherine C. Eustaquio Published in Action & Fitness Magazine 2009
    A fruit is the world’s most perfectly packed food. Everything you could possibly need for growth and nourishment is present—vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids and amino acids, and carbohydrates. The bulk of fruits you consume in a day won’t affect your weight. However, eating fruits after heavy meals can throw off your digestion into mid-frenzy, leaving you with a heavy feeling and a rumbling stomach.




    The science is simple: when you eat raw fruits on an empty stomach, they break down easily in as fast as 30 minutes and pass through the intestines wherein the nutrients are distributed. Cooked and canned fruits that are heavy with fruit concentrate ferment in the stomach, leaving you with more toxins to deal with later. Raw fruits should be eaten as a snack, preferably 15 -30 minutes before meals.

    When your stomach is full, the fruits and its digestive juices will ferment along with the full meal you ate. The food will begin to spoil and turn to acid, resulting to a burping fury or mega trips to the nearest bathroom. It’s also the reason why you get constipated after eating a bunch of bananas after meals.

    Another benefit of eating fruits prior to meal times is that the sweetness can make you feel full and satisfied. As a result, you will start to eat less during lunch or dinner.

    Fruits, when eaten at the right time, can be the most powerful way of getting rid of your belly fat. It can give you an energy boost much stronger than caffeine, and can promote better digestion than whole grains.

    Take note, of course, that we are talking about raw fruits. Cooked and processed fruits come with less nutrients compared to the fresh ones, especially the canned fruits that contain too much artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Unfortunately, with today’s lifestyle, preparing fresh fruits in the morning can be such a hassle, so people resort to the commercial ones sold on grocery aisles. Even fresh juices that claim to be 100% pure do not carry the same health benefits.

    This, of course, shouldn’t stop you from grabbing an apple in the morning or opting for an orange for your 3pm snack. If you really want to enjoy the nutrients that come from the world’s most nutritious foods, you should work you way around it.


    Ergo, those colorful fruit platters at the end of the buffet table are big, juicy traps. That’s the reason why people who go to buffets leave with a bloated stomach and a need to rush to the nearest bathroom. Even if the caterers do something about the arrangement of food at their buffet tables, it would take years to educate the people on the proper way of eating fruits because as far as the majority is concerned, they think that fruits are desserts.

    So think of yourself as one of the chosen few who are in on the secret to a slimmer body and a flat tummy without having the need to diet. If you can practice the proper way to eating these delectable fresh produce, then you won’t need to starve yourself to detox, skimp on a few meals as part of your diet regimen, spend thousands of money on gym memberships, or God forbid, a bagful of laxatives every time you overeat.

    Remember, an apple a day can make you slimmer in its own way.
    When to eat fruits: Before or after meals?
    Words by Katherine C. Eustaquio
     
    ================================
Dr Stephen Mak
EATING FRUIT…

We all think eating fruits means just buying fruits, cutting it and just popping it into our mouths. It's not as easy as you think. It's important to know how and when to eat.

What is the correct way of eating fruits?



IT MEANS NOT EATING FRUITS AFTER YOUR MEALS! * FRUITS SHOULD BE EATEN ON AN EMPTY STOMACH.

If you eat fruit like that, it will play a major role to detoxify your system, supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and other life activities.

FRUIT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FOOD. Let's say you eat two slices of bread and then a slice of fruit. The slice of fruit is ready to go straight through the stomach into the intestines, but it is prevented from doing so.

In the meantime the whole meal rots and ferments and turns to acid. The minute the fruit comes into contact with the food in the stomach and digestive juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil….

So please eat your fruits on an empty stomach or before your meals! You have heard people complaining — every time I eat watermelon I burp, when I eat durian my stomach bloats up, when I eat a banana I feel like running to the toilet, etc — actually all this will not arise if you eat the fruit on an empty stomach. The fruit mixes with the putrefying other food and produces gas and hence you will bloat!

Graying hair, balding , nervous outburst, and dark circles under the eyes all these will NOT happen if you take fruits on an empty stomach.

There is no such thing as some fruits, like orange and lemon are acidic, because all fruits become alkaline in our body, according to Dr. Herbert Shelton who did research on this matter. If you have mastered the correct way of eating fruits, you have the Secret of beauty, longevity, health, energy, happiness and normal weight.

When you need to drink fruit juice – drink only fresh fruit juice, NOT from the cans. Don't even drink juice that has been heated up. Don't eat cooked fruits because you don't get the nutrients at all. You only get to taste. Cooking destroys all the vitamins.

But eating a whole fruit is better than drinking the juice. If you should drink the juice, drink it mouthful by mouthful slowly, because you must let it mix with your saliva before swallowing it. You can go on a 3-day fruit fast to cleanse your body. Just eat fruits and drink fruit juice throughout the 3 days and you will be surprised when your friends tell you how radiant you look!

KIWI: Tiny but mighty. This is a good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin E & fiber. Its vitamin C content is twice that of an orange.

APPLE: An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Although an apple has a low vitamin C content, it has antioxidants & flavonoids which enhances the activity of vitamin C thereby helping to lower the risks of colon cancer, heart attack & stroke.

STRAWBERRY: Protective Fruit. Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits & protect the body from cancer-causing, blood vessel-clogging free radicals.

ORANGE : Sweetest medicine. Taking 2-4 oranges a day may help keep colds away, lower cholesterol, prevent & dissolve kidney stones as well as lessens the risk of colon cancer.

WATERMELON: Coolest thirst quencher. Composed of 92% water, it is also packed with a giant dose of glutathione, which helps boost our immune system. They are also a key source of lycopene — the cancer fighting oxidant. Other nutrients found in watermelon are vitamin C & Potassium.

GUAVA & PAPAYA: Top awards for vitamin C. They are the clear winners for their high vitamin C content.. Guava is also rich in fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Papaya is rich in carotene; this is good for your eyes.

Drinking Cold water after a meal = Cancer! Can u believe this?? For those who like to drink cold water, this article is applicable to you. It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this 'sludge' reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.

A serious note about heart attacks HEART ATTACK PROCEDURE': (THIS IS NOT A JOKE!) Women should know that not every heart attack symptom is going to be the left arm hurting. Be aware of intense pain in the jaw line. You may never have the first chest pain during the course of a heart attack. Nausea and intense sweating are also common symptoms. Sixty percent of people who have a heart attack while they are asleep do not wake up. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let's be careful and be aware. The more we know the better chance we could survive.

A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this mail sends it to 10 people, you can be sure that we'll save at least one life.

 
===================================


carrot
A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye...and YES science now shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.
tomato
A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart is red and has four chambers. All of the research shows tomatoes are indeed pure heart and blood food.
grapes
Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows that grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food .
walnut
A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds are on the nut just like the neo-cortex. We now know that walnuts help develop over 3 dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.
Kidney Beans
Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys .
Celery
Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet the body pulls it from the bones, making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.
avocado
Eggplant, Avocadoes and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats 1 avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? .... It takes exactly 9 months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).
figs
Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the motility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm cells to overcome male sterility.
lemon
Grapefruits, Oranges, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts .
onions
Onions look like body cells. Today's research shows that onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes.
sweet potatoes
Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.
olives
Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries
Then which of the favours of your Allah will ye deny? - [Quran 55:13]
Milk :
The Prophet(SAW) said that milk wipes away heat from the heart
just as the finger wipes away sweat from the brow. It strengthens the back, increases the brain, augments intelligence,renews vision and drives away forgetfulness.
Honey :
Considered to be the best remedy for diarrhea when mixed in hot
water. It is the food of foods, drink of drinks and drug of drugs. It is used
for creating appetite,strengthening the stomach, eliminating phlegm,
as a meat preservative,hair conditioner, eye salve and mouthwash. It is
extremely beneficial in the morning in warm water and is also a sunnah. 

 
Olive oil :
excellenent treatment for skin and hair, delays old age, treats inflammation of the stomach
Mushroom :
The Prophet(SAW) said that mushroom is a good cure for the eyes, it also
serves as a form of birthcontrol and arrests paralysis.
Grapes :
The Prophet was very fond of grapes, it purifies the blood, provides vigour and health, strengthens the kidneys and clears the bowels.
Dates :
The Prophet(SAW) said that a house without dates has no food, also to be
eaten at the time of childbirth.
Figs :
It is a fruit from paradise and a cure for piles.
Barley :
Good for fever in a soup form 

 
Melon :
Melon contains 1000 blessings and 1000 mercies, The prophet SAW said "None of your women who are pregnant and eat of water melon will fail to produce off spring who are good in countenance and good in character.

 
Pomegranate :
The Prophet(SAW) said it cleanse you of Satan and evil aspirations for 40
days. 

 
Water :
the Prophet(SAW) said the best drink in this world and the next is Water, when you are thirsty drink it by sips and not gulps, gulping produces sickness of the liver.
So praise be to our beloved Nabi(SAW) who produced us with marvelous knowledge which dazzles the wisest minds. May this information be beneficial to all of us Insha-Allah
 
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1 comment:

  1. thanks may Allah swt give shifa to whoever folllows the sunnah

    ReplyDelete