Viewing entries in
tibb nabawi

The Common Cold as the Cure

The Common Cold as the Cure

Is the cold a cure for greater illnesses?

It was of great interest to see this idea supported in a recent 2019 study by Surrey University and Royal Surrey County Hospital in which it was said "Traditionally viruses have been associated with illness however in the right situation they can improve our overall health and wellbeing by destroying cancerous cells. Oncolytic viruses such as the coxsackievirus could transform the way we treat cancer and could signal a move away from more established treatments such as chemotherapy."



Constipation - Qabz - Imsak-ul-Batan

Constipation - Qabz - Imsak-ul-Batan

Constipation, Qabz, Husr, Ehtebaas-al- batan, Eátaqaal-al- batan, Ehtabas-al- tabiya, Eátaqaal-al- tabiya  and Imsaak-ul- batan

The home of disease and the mother of disease

The Arabs of old said, “The stomach is the home of disease and restraint is the basis of the remedy.” There is also an old saying that “constipation is the mother of all diseases”. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam 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.”

The Cause of constipation

The National Health Portal India states that, “According to Unani Medicine, constipation (qabz) is caused by intake of less quantity of food, consumption of constipative and flatulent diets, decreased repulsive force or increased retensive force of intestine, weakened intestinal sensation and muscles, excessive absorption of chyme by the liver, decreased flow of secretions towards intestine and weakened heat of stomach and intestine…” and is a result of a “faulty lifestyle and wrong dietary pattern. Causes like untimely, unbalanced food habits, irregular sleeping habits, and low physical exercise are few of them. It is also mentioned that constipation is the mother of all diseases. It causes gastritis, piles, duodenal ulcer and severe abdominal pain.”

Diagnosing Constipation

 In June 2019 research by King's College London it was reported that

  1. The “public's perception of constipation differs drastically from that of doctors' and from the formal diagnosis guidelines.”

  2. “Currently prescription medication for constipation fails in nearly 60% of patients and almost half report not being satisfied with their treatment.”

  3. “Nearly one in three "healthy" patients were … clinically constipated but did not recognise it.

  4. “The study also highlighted six key symptom clusters which were commonly agreed upon across the study groups: abdominal discomfort, pain and bloating; rectal discomfort; infrequent bowel movements and hard stools; sensory dysfunction; flatulence and bloating; fecal incontinence.”



  • Drink more water.

  • Do more exercise.

  • Walk or do light exercise in the open air in the morning.

  • Take a hot bath on an empty stomach.

  • Eat radishes, turnips, peas, carrots, tomatoes, beetroot, sprouts, coriander, cabbage, and mint.

  • Eat avocados, guava, mangoes, oranges, papaya, and grapes.

  • Eat dried figs, almonds, apricots, and dates.

  • Drink apple-pear juice.

  • Eat stewed prunes, figs, and dates.

  • Chew food properly.

  • Drink more soup.

  • At the end of meal, eat watermelon, mangoes, and cucumber.

  • Eat honey and lentils.

  • Reduce bread, white flour, biscuits, preserves, sugar, cakes, pasta, pizzas, burgers, cookies.

  • Avoid fast foods, coffee and strong tea, fried foods, oily and junk foods.

  • Avoid boiled eggs, cheese and yoghurt.

  • Avoid spices, fats, and excessive salt. 

Sunnah Days in May 2019

Sunnah Days in May 2019


Each month we publish the Sunnah Dates as published by the Saudi Press Agency, by the Moroccan Ministry of Awqaf and by the ICOUK.

There are differences of opinion about sighting of the new moon. We do not decide who is right nor impose one opinion over others. We simply offer a service to all members of the community whatever view they take about the matter.  And Allah knows best.


SUNNAH DATES IN MAY 2019, in shaa Allah

North Africa - Europe - UK

Thursday 23 May 2019

Saturday 25 May 2019

Monday 27 May 2019

Saudi Arabia - Europe - UK

Wednesday 22 May 2019

Friday 24 May 2019

Sunday 26 May 2019

Sunnah Dates in March 2019

Sunnah Dates in March 2019

North Africa - Europe - UK - Saudi Arabia

Sunday 24 March 2019

Tuesday 26 March 2019

Thursday 28 March 2019


Belching, Yawning and Gasping

Belching, Yawning and Gasping

According to Tibb, Chishti in "The Traditional Healers Handbook" says, “These are caused by excess gas. Use a purgative and correct digestion. Relief of gas can be had from ground anise in rose water or honey.”

Suyuti says of endive (Arabic: Hindiba) “The endive changes its temperament according to the season. In summer it is hot, in winter cold. Its powers fall to naught at the end of each season. It prevents both hot and cold diseases of the liver. It causes to disappear the flatulence produced by vinegar and by sugar. It is used in decoctions and in the syrup of dodder. A traditional saying is as follows: Eat endives and do not belch, for verily there is not one single day that drops of the water of Paradise do not fall upon them. So says Abu Nu’im.”


Sauna and Hot Tub for Type 2 Diabetes & Obesity

Sauna and Hot Tub for Type 2 Diabetes & Obesity

A 2015 study by the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre and the Regional University of Northwestern Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil concluded that, “Heat therapy is a promising and inexpensive tool for the treatment of obesity and diabetes. … We suggest that heat therapy (sauna: 80–1008C; hot tub: at 408C) for 15 min, three times a week, for 3 months, is a safe method to test its efficiency.”

Heat Shock Protein 70 (HSP70) appears to play a part in improving “…insulin signaling, body composition, endothelial dysfunction, and the low-grade inflammation found in people with diabetes.”



Fasting boosts metabolism

Fasting boosts metabolism

A January 2019 study at Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) and Kyoto University suggests that, “going without food may … boost human metabolic activity, generate antioxidants, and help reverse some effects of aging.”

One of the authors of the study, Dr Takayuki Teruya said, “Contrary to the original expectation, it turned out that fasting induced metabolic activation rather actively.”  

A study by the G0 Cell Unit and Kyoto University researchers suggests that fasting, which puts the body in “starvation mode,” leads to fuel substitution, antioxidation, increased mitochondrial activation and altered signal transduction. 

The study suggests that, “…during fasting, the tiny powerhouses running every cell are thrown into overdrive.”



Known by a multitude of names across the world: shilajeet,   shilajit, salajeet, mumijo, mumiyo, mumiya, mum, mumio, momia, moomiyo, mountain tar, rock-tar,  mineral pitch, mineral wax, black asphaltum, asphaltum punjabianum, shargai, dorobi, barahshin, baragshun mummenayyee, tasmayi, chao-tong, wu ling zhi*, badha-naghay, baad-a-ghee, arkhar-tash, mumiyo.

It is a blackish brown organic mass from the Himalayas used in indigenous India medicine in the ayurveda and unani tibb medical systems.

Al-Himaidi and Umar in, “Safe Use of Salajeet During the Pregnancy of Female Mice.” in the Journal of Biological Sciences (2003) “It has been used for ages in traditional medicines in the treatment of bronchial asthma, diabetes, genito-urinary infection, wound healing and nerve disorder (citing Chopra, et al 1976)”


*Listed, based on a Wikipedia entry. However, in Chinese Medicine the name Wu Ling Zhi is flying squirrel excrement – not halal – and Bensky and Gamble cite a different latin name, exrementum trogopteri seu pteroma, so it is probably not shilajeet.


Valentin [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons



Diabetes – foods from prophetic medicine

Diabetes – foods from prophetic medicine

For those with diabetes useful foods from prophetic medicine in the management of diabetes mellitus are:

·         Blackseed

·         Lemon Grass

·         Olives

·         Miswak

·         Honey

·         Barley

·         Dates

·         Zamzam Water

·         Vinegar

·         Costus

·         Trouffles

·         Figs

·         Gourd (Cucurbitaceae)


Bassem Y. Sheikh of the College of Medicine, Taibah University, Madinah in his review of the literature

Diabetes – Restricted Diets – Foods From Prophetic Medicine

Diabetes – Restricted Diets – Foods From Prophetic Medicine

Launched in 2015, NHS England’s Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) records that, “around 22,000 people with diabetes die early every year. Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of preventable sight loss in people of working age and is a major contributor to kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke.”

Diabetes UK announced a new pilot by NHS England starting in 2019 which, “…will test a Type 2 remission programme … involving low-calorie diets.”

The Guardian reports, “The 800-calories-a-day regimen, made up of soups and shakes, has been shown to help people lose excess weight that has caused fat to build up around their internal organs including the pancreas, leading to type 2 diabetes.”

We hope that those taking on such a regimen consider the role of phlegm (mucus, balgham) we wrote about last week.

And also the role of foods from prophetic medicine in the management of diabetes mellitus as listed by Bassem Y. Sheikh of the College of Medicine, Taibah University, Madinah in his review of the literature:

  • Blackseed

  • Lemon Grass

  • Olives

  • Miswak

  • Honey

  • Barley

  • Dates

  • Zamzam Water

  • Vinegar

  • Costus

  • Trouffles

  • Figs

  • Gourd (Cucurbitaceae)


And we are reminded, again, of the hadith of the Prophet, peace be upon him, who said, “No human being has ever filled a container worse than his own stomach. The son of Adam needs no more than some morsels of food to keep up his strength. Doing so, he should consider that a third of [his stomach] is for food, a third for drink and a third for breathing.”



Phlegm – Mucus - Balgham

Phlegm – Mucus - Balgham

Notes from an interview with a Hakeem.


Your work is in treating others’ health problems. What are you doing at the moment for your own health?

“I am currently in the process of detoxing from a phlegm imbalance.  Looking back, I think there has been quite a long term build up, a tendency towards imbalance.  I’ve been doing this now for a number of months and hope to have completed the process soon.”

What do you mean by phlegm imbalance?

“Phlegm, or mucus or (the Arabic word) Balgham is a key component in Islamic Medicine. It is a compound temperament, cold and moist, and one of the four bodily humours.

The three core ideas with this detox are, primarily, to reduce those foods that have a tendency to produce mucus.  You use fruit and vegetables as the roughage, and, if you want extra effect, you increase foods that have a tendency to remove mucus.”

So what are the foods that you are reducing?

“I am avoiding or reducing wheat, dairy, rice, eggs and sugar. I am focusing on mainly lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruit, especially dried fruit. Once a week I will have dish of lamb or chicken or fish.”

To be clear, what do you mean by wheat?

“I mean all types of bread made from wheat. Also, pasta, pizza, cake, biscuits, and cereals. This includes naan, pitta, roti and paratha.”

And dairy?

“By “dairy” I mean milk, yoghurt, butter and cheese.”

What kinds of foods are you eating to replace these?

“I continue to eat all types of vegetables - especially green leafy vegetables - and fruit - especially dried fruit - and lentils, pulses, beans, barley, barley bread, rye bread, rye crisp bread, porridge, oats, oat milk and oatcakes. It’s important to remember protein. You’d be surprised how much protein you can get from non-meat and diary sources.”

What about sugar?

“I try to replace sugar with honey but this is not always possible. I avoid pouring boiling water on honey.”

Is this a permanent programme?

“No, not at all. I think it will take a few months. But, long term, I can see the value in eating reduced amounts of wheat, dairy, rice, eggs and sugar.”

What about herbal medicine?

“After a diagnosis from the tongue, eyes, forehead, hands, nails, face, the six body organ pulses on the right and left hands, I decided to support this detox process with specific herbal medicines.”

Can you be more specific?

“Each day I am currently taking a spoon of cayenne powder, as a tonic. It seems to go down best with orange juice with the bits in. I also drink a dilution of lemon juice concentrate first thing in the morning with a spoon of honey. Dried figs, radishes and apples also seem to be good “phlegm-strippers” for me.

For general health, do you take any herbal medicines?

“Yes, I take mullein, hawthorn berry powder, buchu, astralagus, raspberry powder, nettle leaf powder, celery powder, skullcap and meadowsweet powder.  Also, I am taking du zhong [eucommia bark powder] and yin yang huo [epimedium] for the kidneys, bladder, bones and lower back, and lobelia (a paired herb for the cayenne).I would advise people to only take herbal medicines as prescribed by someone trained in herbal medicine and after a proper diagnosis.”

Do you have any general advice?

“I advise myself of the hadith of the Prophet, peace be upon him, who said, “No human being has ever filled a container worse than his own stomach. The son of Adam needs no more than some morsels of food to keep up his strength. Doing so, he should consider that a third of [his stomach] is for food, a third for drink and a third for breathing.”



Phlegm imbalance can lead to very challenging health problems.  Some of those writing about mucus have put together “mucus-lean” or “mucus-free” diets.  Three examples are from Dr Christopher, from Arnold Ehret and from Dr Sebi (Alfred Bowman) who have all written about the problems of mucus. The Livestrong Foundation has an interesting list in this respect.  Some of the views expressed in support of a mucus-free diet seem very extreme or excessive. And these writers have differences of opinion on what mucus is and how to deal with it. 


It is best to return to the Sunnah on these matters and to study what the scholars of Islamic Medicine have to say about what to eat, what not to eat and, most importantly, the amount to eat as referred to in the last part of what was said in the interview.

We advise people to embark on any health and diet detoxification process only on the advice of their medical advisers.

We also advise people to make sure that they get enough protein in their diet, whatever dietary programme they follow.






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”).



 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.”



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).




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.”