Mending the heart of the sorrowful

Ibn Maaja relates an hadith of A’isha may Allah be pleased with her, who said: When any one of his family was indisposed, the Messenger of God, peace be upon him, used to call for a broth of barley to be made, then he would order them to drink the broth. He would say, ‘Indeed it mends the heart of the sorrowful and relieves the heart of the sick, just as one of you removes dirt from his face with water’. 

“Ratw” (mend) means to firm and strengthen.

“Sarw” (relieve) means to uncover and remove.


Talbina - Talabina - Barley Broth – Barley Gruel

Talbina is a white, thin broth made of ground barley with the husks. 

It is a type of soup that has the consistency of yoghurt,

Because it is thin and cooked rather than thick and raw it is good for sick people.


Driving Away Sorrow

A’isha may Allah be pleased with her, said:  the Prophet, peace be upon him, ‘Talbina soup fills up the inner parts of a sick man to the brim and drives away sorrow’ (Al Bukhari) As-Suyuti says, “the ‘inner parts’ means the cardia of the stomach.”


Awful but Efficacious

A’isha may Allah be pleased with her, said Talbina was “awful but efficacious” (As-Suyuti).  

Ibn Qayyim notes that is better than porridge made of barley and that cleanses, refines and dissolves.


Talbina Recipe

Ibn Qayyim says, “Take a good quantity of good, crushed barley, and five parts of pure water, put it all in a clean pot, cook it over a moderate fire until two fifths of it remain, then it is strained and as much as is needed may be used with sweetener added.”



Talbina is better than barley water (made from whole barley) for the sick because, according to Ibn Qayyim, “the special properties of barley are released through grinding.” 

Barley broth has more power to cleanse than barley water.

As-Suyuti notes that, “Some say that it is a laxative and some say it constipates.”


Happiness and Tranquillity

Talbina relaxes a sick person’s heart. It makes them tranquil and happy.

Distress and sorrow originate in the heart and make for a cold temperament.

This weakens the person’s innate heat.  Talbina increases the innate heat and disperses the sorrow and distress.


A sad person’s faculties are weakened

The organs, especially the stomach, of a sad person tend to dryness. This weakens their faculties. Talbina makes the stomach and heart moist, nourishes and strengthens them.


Putting the stomach at rest

An imbalance in the stomach can be dispelled by the use of barley broth which puts the stomach at rest.


The habit of the people of Madinah

Ibn Qayyim remarks, “This is especially so for the person who is accustomed to feed on barley bread. This was the habit of the people of Madinah, at that time. It was their staple food, for wheat was expensive in their region.”


Barley Broth mixed with Cress and Vinegar - Sciatica

For sciatica, make a poultice made up of mixed barley broth with cress and vinegar.



This Journal entry is based entirely on the following sources:

Ibn Qayyim in "Medicine of the Prophet"

As-Suyuti in "Medicine of the Prophet"