Two Blue Peonies, Art by Roya Azal

The Peonie: Queen of Islamic Floral Art

“During the night the Peonie spends medicine and healing, during the day the beautiful “Rose with no thorns” is protected by a jealous bird.”

The Peonie (Paeonia officinalis) is known in phytology lore as “Fuga Demonica” – a repellent against bad energies and demons. It is a medical rose that came back to medieval Europe via the Islamic world from China (who imported it – via Arab, Persian and Syrian traders – originally from ancient Greece). The Peonie is a very stately flowering bush with large, lush dark pink, purple and rose tinted blooms. She is a wonderful floral gift for women.Continue reading

Bird Praising Allah

Leech Therapy (Taleeq): History and Overview

“The colour should be greenish (like duckweed), and there should be two longitudinal lines having the colour of orpiment and ruddy; they should be rounded and liver-coloured. One may accept leeches which look like little locusts, or like mousetails, with very small heads. But do not accept those with red bellies and green backs, especially if they were collected from running waters.” ~ Avicenna on Leeches, from “The Canon of Medicine”

Leeches have been used for therapeutic purposes for millennia.  The earliest traces of the use of leeches appear to date back to 1600-1300 BC to a Greek named Nicander of Colophon.  The medical use of leeches is discussed by Avicenna ( Ibn Sina in The Canon of Medicine (follow this link for the Online Edition of The Canon of Medicine and the section on leeches), as well as by Abd-el-latif al-Baghdadi in the 12th century.

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Red Clover Plant Healer

Portraits of Plants and Healers: The Red Clover

There are two kinds of knowledge: knowledge of religion and knowledge of the body.” ~ Prophet Mohammed (a.s.)

Not far from our house we have fertile meadows that carry from Spring to late Summer lush fields of red clover. These modest little pink to dark purple colored flowers are not only gentle to the eye, they are also a great source of nutrition for insects, animals and people alike. It tastes wonderful in salats, but also makes dried a great tea and is a healing agent for both women and men. Traditionally Red Clover tea is known as hormone balancing herb for women in hormonal distress, mainly with menopausal or menstrual problems. However, I also found it to be a very good healer for women (and men) who went through major upheavals and emotional turmoils and it can take the edge even off post traumatic symptoms, depressions and associated problems such as chronic pains, nervousness, anxieties and dark moods.

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The Dervish's gift

God’s Attributes and the Dhikr in Iatro-Theology and Theurgian Medicine

“Knowledge gives life to the soul.” ~ Ali Ibn Talib (a.s)

It is interesting how words are made and how words are lost. It is through the lecture of German science historians such as Arthur Imhof and Robert Jütte that I un-earthed the words Iatro-Science, Iatro-Theology, Iatro-Magic and Theurgian Medicine. They give semantic criteria to various practises that were also part of European healing cultures and traditions but got lost over time.

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Halal Herbal Vinegar

Recipe for (Halal) Herbal Apple Cider Vinegar

Allah has put blessings in vinegar (…)” ~ Muhammed (a.s)

The issue of Halal is often raised in relation to vinegar due to the process of making vinegar from ciders and wine. The website “My Halal Kitchen” has looked at the issues closer and has written about the different varities of vinegar and what they mean in a Halal context.  http://myhalalkitchen.com/the-vinegar-page/

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A Rose is a Rose

Rescue remedies against mental distress, Part 2: Aromatic water

“There are olive and orange groves, hills of pine, lavender and sage, and the valleys of wild orchids, cyclamens and anemones. Children snacked straight from the trees on green almonds,figs, apricots, sweet carob pods, pine kernels and many more natural ‘fast foods’. When they were thirsty, they simply drank from the streams of mountain spring water.”

Lebanon is situated in an area of the world that is distinguished for its outstanding natural beauty and abundant and diverse flora. Naturally it has brought forward many herbal and plant remedies and outstanding healers working with the spectacular diverse nature in their homeland. This post can be understood also as a follow up to my post on “Wise Muslim Women Medicine” and my quest for finding and promoting female herbalists and healers in the Muslim world. The inspirations given in here are insh’allah inspiring for Muslims who seek alternatives to such popular alcohol based “quick remedies” as the popular Bach Bluten Therapy (Rescue Remedy) which are essences of flowers in a alcohol solution. The alcohol content in these Bach tinctures is so high it has to be considered a liquor, and it is diluting in my experience the healing properties of the plants.

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Rescue remedies against mental distress, Part 1: Bathing & Cleansing

“Allah created every [living] creature from water. (…)“ ~ Quran, 24:45

In Islamic medicinal knowledge and spiritual rituals are many transmissions enshrined, that concern bodily and spiritual cleanliness, such as in the book of Taharah. Most popular are the Ghusl (ritual cleansing) and the Woudou before prayer.  Water does not only cleanse, it replenishes the mind and the body, and in a bath the water’s spiritual qualities are made optimal use of. Ritual baths (Ghusl) are also given to the dead in Islam.

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Recommended Times for Hijama

A Guide to Hijama, Part 2: Recommended Times for Hijama-Therapy

اقْتَرَبَتِ السَّاعَةُ وَانشَقَّ الْقَمَرُ وَإِن يَرَوْا آيَةً يُعْرِضُوا وَيَقُولُوا سِحْرٌ مُّسْتَمِرٌّ
“The hour drew nigh and the moon did rend asunder. And if they see a miracle they turn aside and say: Transient magic.” ~  Verse 54:1-2 of the Qur’an

“Cupping is most detestable at the beginning of the crescent, but it is curing when the full moon begins to decrease.” ~ Prophet Muhammed (a.s)

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Honey in Islamic Healing

Honey is a Divine Nourishment

“Allah is mild and is fond of mildness, and he gives to the mild what he does not give to the harsh.” ~ Mohammed (a.s)

Early Muslims utilized many plants and animal products mentioned in the Holy Quran and in the Hadith of the Prophet for health promotion, for example, dates, black seeds, olive leaf and olive oil, honey, and camel milk. Later on, these products formed the basis for the Prophet’s book on medicine (Al-Tibb al-Nabawi), which includes medical treatments, prescriptions of diseases, prevention, health promotion, and spiritual aspects that were recommended by the Prophet (a.s) to his companions.

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The Atoms are Dancing, Roya Azal

Scientific Medicine, Heroic Medicine, Wise Woman Medicine and Muslim Women Medicine

“Man is the weakest of creatures because he is empty in himself. The central place of man is his heart. This is in the image of the Supreme Name of God, the hā’ of Allah, which in Arabic script forms a circle. This circle is at once a sign of the capacity of the circle to encompass everything, and also of its essential emptiness.” ~ Paul Ballanfat

“The Scientific Tradition defines truth as measurable and repeatable. The whole is the same as its most active part. Herbs are reduced to standardized extracts; only the active ingredient is important. Healing is fixing. Linear thought, linear time. Good and bad, health and sickness are always at war. (…).” ~ Susun Weed

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