Viewing entries in
tibb nabawi

Astralagus

Astralagus

Latin: Astragalus propinquus, astralagus membranaceus

TCM: Huang Qi

Also known as milkvetch.

 “Immune enhancer, tonic.” (Menzies-Trull in "The Herbalist's Prescriber")

Dan Bensky and Andrew Gamble, in “Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica” say, “Sweet, slightly warm … Tonifies the spleen … [and] lung … [and] blood …”

David Hoffman in “The New Holistic Herbal” notes its role in deep immune activation along with, amongst others, Ligusticum wallichii and Schizandra chinensis.

 

The Effect of Pungent Foods

The Effect of Pungent Foods

Bhikha and Abdul Haq in “Tibb – Traditional Roots of Medicine in Modern Routes to Health” state, “Excess pungent foods [For example, garlic, onion, cayenne, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, turmeric chilli peppers, black pepper, ginger root, horseradish.] increase heat and dryness and are harmful to the liver and weaken muscular tone.”

Burdock Root

Burdock Root

Latin: Arctium Lapa

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): Niu Bang Zi

“Burdock is used the world over as a blood-purifying agent as well as a diaphoretic, a diuretic, and an alterative.” (Robert Thomson, in “The Grosset Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine” (1980))

A “vaso-tonic alterative” (Menzies-Trull in "The Herbalist's Prescriber")

A “most valuable remedy for the treatment of skin conditions which result in dry and scaly skin. It may be most effective for psoriasis if used over a long period of time. Similarly, all types of eczema (though primarily the dry kinds) may be treated if Burdock used over a period of time … useful as part of a wider treatment for rheumatic complaints, especially where they are associated with psoriasis … It will aid digestion and appetite … in general Burdock will move the body to a state of integration and health…” (David Hoffman in “The New Holistic Herbal”).

Dan Bensky and Andrew Gamble, in “Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica” say it is, “acrid, bitter, cold … disperses wind-heat … clears heat … vents rashes… moistens intestines…”

Fruit and sour foods at mealtime

Fruit and sour foods at mealtime

Bhikha and Abdul Haq in “Tibb – Traditional Roots of Medicine in Modern Routes to Health” state, “Fruit should preferably be eaten before a meal or on an empty stomach, sour foods [For example, lemons, grapes, oranges, and melon.] can be eaten after a meal as they aid digestion.”

Celery Seeds

Celery Seeds

Latin: Apium Graveolens

Arabic: Karafs

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): Qin Cai

 

As-Suyuti in "Medicine of the Prophet" mentions its neutralizing effects on eating spleen meat.

Ibn Qayyim in "Medicine of the Prophet" said, "…the garden variety sweetens the breath greatly, and if the stem is worn around the neck, it is beneficial for toothache.  It is hot and dry though some say it is moist. It opens obstructions of the liver and spleen. Its leaves, when moist, are beneficial for a cold stomach and liver, are diuretic and emmenagogue, and break stone.  Its seeds have a stronger effect in this and are aphrodisiac and beneficial for bad breath.”

An “anti-septic diuretic.” (Menzies-Trull in "The Herbalist's Prescriber")

An “anti-rheumatic, diuretic, carminative, sedative … Celery seeds find their main use in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis and gout. They are especially useful in rheumatoid arthritis where there is associated mental depression.” (David Hoffman in “The New Holistic Herbal”).

Skullcap

Skullcap

 Latin: Scutellaria Lateriflora

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): Huang Qin

 

A “nervine and anti-spasdmodic, and is slightly astringent … it has been known to render the patient free of disturbance in many cases of hydrophobia. This is also true in cases of insomnia, excitability, and restlessness.” (Robert Thomson, in “The Grosset Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine” (1980))

A “central nervous system vaso-dilator and antispasmodic.” (Menzies-Trull in "The Herbalist's Prescriber")

“Skullcap is perhaps the most widely relevant nervine available to us in the materia medica. It relaxes states of nervous tension whilst at the same time renewing and revivifying the central nervous system … it may be used in all exhausted or depressed conditions.” (David Hoffman in “The New Holistic Herbal”).

Dan Bensky and Andrew Gamble, in “Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica” say, in the section headed “Herbs that clear Heat and Dry Dampness”, that it is, “bitter, cold … [it] clears heat and drains fire … drains dampness … sedates ascendant Liver yang…”.  

Fasting, enzymes and healing

Fasting, enzymes and healing

Bhikha and Abdul Haq in “Tibb – Traditional Roots of Medicine in Modern Routes to Health” state, “whenever the body undergoes fasting, enzymes normally assigned by the body to digest food are freed to conduct healing functions, such as dissolving latent tumours. Fasting is regarded as a major technique of health enhancement by practitioners of Tibb.”

Mullein

Mullein

Latin: verbascum thapsus

Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM): Jia Yan Ye

 

“A demulcent expectorant” (Menzies-Trull in "The Herbalist's Prescriber").

“A very beneficial respiratory remedy useful in most conditions that affect this vital system.” (David Hoffman in “The New Holistic Herbal”).

Unani Tibb: For, amongst other things, coughs, colds, chest and haemorrhoids (Robert Thomson, in “The Grosset Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine” (1980).

 

Rice

Rice

We have mentioned rice before.

Ibn Sina in “The Canon of Medicine” says, “The temperament of rice is hot and dry; the dryness being more pronounced than hotness. Some physicians, however, hold it to be hotter than wheat …Rice gives good nourishment but also causes dryness. When cooked with milk and almond oil, it gives more and better nutrition. Its properties of causing constipation and desiccation are lost when it is soaked in bran water and left over night. This process endows rice with a property to cool and cleanse … Rice produces some constipation when cooked with water. If cooked with milk, it increases the production of semen. It does not cause constipation except when boiled with its husk and an attempt is made to remove the moisture of the milk. The dryness may be removed by soaking the rice in bran-water.”

 

 

Full Meals

Full Meals

Ibn Sina is quoted as saying in “Avicenna’s Medicine” that “The best way to eat full meals is to eat only one a day and two the day after (morning and evening). The schedule should be strongly followed since a person who gets used to two meals will become weak and lose strength. A person with weak digestion should eat two meals and reduce the amount of food each time.”

 

Raisins

Raisins

The Prophet (pbuh) said eat this [raisins], it is a healthy meal, removes tiredness, cools the anger, gives strength, makes food sweet smelling, reduces phlegm and brightens the face. (Dr Mohammed Shakeel Shamsi in, “Tibb-e-Nabawi, Medical Guidance & Teachings of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh)”)

 

Keeping the kidneys strong

Keeping the kidneys strong

Paul Robin and Paul Brecher in, “Practical TCM”, say, “To keep the kidneys strong we eat beans … and dates. Then in winter when it is cold our kidneys can stay balanced … instead of saying a food is healthy, we say it is either appropriate or inappropriate. For example, in winter we would choose to eat more foods with warm and hot properties …”

Using Food for health preservation

Using Food for health preservation

Ibn Sina is quoted as saying in “Avicenna’s Medicine” that “One who is seeking health preservation should endeavour not to have the essence of their food as medicinal foods such as green, leafy vegetables and fruits, and alike. 

"The attenuant food [that which thins or dilutes the fluids] chars blood (i.e. oxidizes), and heavy food causes phlegm and weightiness of the body.

"Food should be composed of meat, especially that of the young goat, young beef, and young lamb; wheat that has been cleaned and is free from contamination … sweets that are suitable to [the individual’s] temperament [mijaaz]; and good drinks made of fragrant herbs.

Other than that is used for treatment and preservation.”

The Direction of Correction

The Direction of Correction

“The correction of disease occurs from the top of the body downward and from the inside outward. Thus, the first sign of crisis often is headache, lastly diarrhoea.” (Robert Thomson, in “The Grosset Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine” (1980))

 

Detoxification

Detoxification

Detoxification

“Detoxification can reduce the toxic overload. Detoxifcation cleansing by fasting, dietary changes, enema, hydrotherapy: sauna/steam, supports immune function.” (Menzies-Trull in "The Herbalist's Prescriber")

Herbs to prevent problems appearing

Herbs to prevent problems appearing

David Hoffman in his introduction to “The New Holistic Herbal” states, “Herbs can be used freely and safely as part of one’s lifestyle without thinking of them as ‘medicines’. For specific health needs, their best use would be preventative … There are specific herbs which strengthen and tone specific organs and systems … the following may be safely used over extended periods of time:

Circulatory system: Hawthorn Berries (Crataegus oxyacanthoides) (Shan Zha)

Respiratory system: Mullein (Verbascum Thapsus) (Jia Yan Ye)

Digestive system: Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) (Xuan Gao Wen Zi Cao)

Nervous system: Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora -Labiatae) (Not Baical Skullcap Root which is Huang Qin - Radix Scutellariae Baicalensis - Labiatae)

Skin: Nettles (Urtica) (Xun Ma)

Muscular and skeletal system: Celery Seed (Apium Graveolens) (Qin Cai)

Reproductive system: Raspberry Leaves (Rubus idaeus) (Fu Pen Zi)

Urinary system: Buchu** (Agathosma betulina) …”

(We’ve added in italics the Latin and, where known, the Chinese Medicine name.)

 

**Contraindicated in pregnancy

 

The Healing Crisis

The Healing Crisis

The healing crisis. In Arabic: al-bahraan.  It is, "the sudden change in the condition of the patient suffering from acute fever, which is usually accompanied by excessive sweating and rapid decrease in temperature. The abnormal heat of fever acts on the maturing of the superfluous matters so that they can be dealt with by the body. It is also described as a detoxification process.” Ibn Sina, as quoted in “Avicenna’s Medicine”.

“Crisis in terms of substance repulsed, has five modes: vomiting, diarrhoea, nosebleeding, urination, and perspiration. Crisis by urine or perspiration is incomplete because a thin substance is thrown out and a thick one remains. Crisis by vomiting, nosebleeding, or diarrhoea is complete.” (Robert Thomson, in “The Grosset Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine” (1980))

It is, as they say, a Good Thing.

Wild Rue

Wild Rue

Peganum harmala, commonly called esfand, wild rue, Syrian rue, African rue, spilani, harmel, or aspand.

Not related to rue (ruta graveolens).

Cited by Robert Thomson, in “Natural Medicine” (Wildwood House, London, 1981) as one of the top herbs for a natural medicine herbalist to stock.

It is said to have antioxidant and antimutagenic properties and has been used as an emmenagogue and abortifacient agent. Also as an anthelmintic.

Image: By Lazaregagnidze (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Red Clover

Red Clover

Robert Thomson, in “The Grosset Encyclopaedia of Natural Medicine” says, “…it is used in the treatment of malignant ulcers, scrofula, indolent sores, burns, whooping cough and various spasms, and bronchial and renal conditions. The warm tea is very soothing to the nerves.”

In latin it is called trifolium pratense.

In TCM it is Mu.

Sweet Wormwood

Sweet Wormwood

Wormwood, also known as sweet wormwood, sweet annie, sweet sagewort, annual mugwort or annual wormwood.  In TCM it is Qing Hao.  The latin name is artemisia annua.

A December 2016 study found that, “A centuries-old herbal medicine, discovered by Chinese scientists and used to effectively treat malaria, has been found to potentially aid in the treatment of tuberculosis and may slow the evolution of drug resistance.”

In fact, wormwood is well known not just within the TCM system but also in western natural medicine and Unani Tibb.

Menzies-Trull, in "The Herbalist's Prescriber" says it is an anti-infective with cautions for diarrhoea, headache and tinnitus.

Robert Thomson, in “The Grosset Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine” (1980), says, of wormwood (artemisia absinthium), “The tops and leaves are used as a tonic, a stomachic, a stimulant febriluge, an anthelmintic, and a narcotic … it is a first-rate treatment of enfeebled digestion and debility … It is also treated for [amongst other things] loss of appetite … diabetes … obstinate diarrhoea.”

 

 

Image

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AMing_herbal%3B_(painting)%3B_Sweet_wormwood_Wellcome_L0039414.jpg