Friday, 26 August 2011

Treating Anaemia.

There are several different types of anaemia and each one has a different cause. The most common type of anaemia is iron deficiency anaemia, which this article focuses on. Iron deficiency anaemia occurs when there is a reduced number of red blood cells because the body does not have enough iron to produce them. The main symptoms are weakness, tiredness and lethargy (lack of energy).

People with iron deficiency may also notice a pale complexion and a pale colour underneath the lower eyelid (this area is highly vascular and will show up any lack of Haemoglobin in the blood a bit more clearly). Dry and flaking nails or a sore tongue can also be other signs.

Other forms of anaemia can be caused by a lack of vitamin B12 or folate in the body.

See the NHS Health A-Z topic about Vitamin B12 and folate deficiency anaemia for more information about this condition.


Iron is found in meat, dried fruit and some vegetables. It is used by the body to make hemoglobin, which helps store and carry oxygen in red blood cells. Haemoglobin transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. If there is a lack of iron in the blood, the organs and tissues will not get as much oxygen as they usually do.

How common is iron deficiency anaemia?

Iron deficiency anaemia affects up to 1 in 20 men and 1 in 20 post-menopausal women (after a woman’s monthly periods have stopped) in the UK.

Iron deficiency anaemia may be more common in women who are still menstruating (having periods), particularly if they are prone to heavy bleeding. This is because blood loss and pregnancy can cause lower levels of Haemoglobin in the blood.

It is also very common for women to develop iron deficiency during pregnancy. This is because your body needs extra iron so that your baby has a sufficient blood supply and receives all of the necessary oxygen and nutrients. Many pregnant women require an iron supplement, particularly from the 20th week of pregnancy.

Iron deficiency anaemia can also be caused by gastrointestinal bleeding or being restricted to a vegetarian diet. Your doctor should always be consulted in these cases.

Iron-rich foods include:

• dark-green leafy vegetables, such as watercress, spinach, broccoli and curly kale
• iron-fortified bread
• beans and lentils
• eggs
• carrots
• nuts (almonds are the best type)
• meat (particularly liver, see below)
• apricots (a fruit which was used by one of the wives of Nabi (pbuh) to make a drink which he loved)
• dried dates, figs and prunes
• watermelon
• raisins

Liver is a fantastic source of soluble iron, thus making it one of the best foods for patients with iron deficiency. Amongst the livers of all the halal animals, the liver of the camel is the best type, particularly when it is cooked with a little of its hump fat. If camel liver is not available in your location, lamb’s liver or chicken livers are also very good. They tend to be slightly softer and easier to digest.

Tasty Liver Curry Recipe

Regarding the consumption of liver, it has been recorded in the Sunnah that it is permissible;

It was narrated by Abdullah ibn 'Umar (radhi Allahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Two kinds of dead meat and two kinds of blood have been permitted to us. The two kinds of dead meat are fish and locusts, and the two kinds of blood are the liver and spleen.”
Sunan Ibn Majah  Book 29, Hadith 3439. Classed as Sahih by Darussalaam.

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) used to eat liver;

It is narrated that Abu Rafi' (radhi Allahu anhu) said, "I testify that I used to roast the liver of the goat for the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and then he offered praver but did not perform ablution."
Sahih Muslim Book 3, Hadith 695

In order to take full advantage of the healing which liver meat provides, its curries should be cooked in the blessed olive oil, without browning the onions too much. For this curry, salt to taste and a little vinegar should be stirred in just before serving to ensure that the meat doesn’t become tough during the cooking process. With regards to vinegars, the best to use are those which are raw (unfiltered) and organic.


1 cup – Liver meat, cleaned, washed and drained, chopped into bite-sized chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons - Ginger and garlic paste
½ teaspoon – Turmeric powder
1 teaspoon – Red chilli powder, or to taste
½ teaspoon each of cumin and coriander powders
Salt, to taste
1 medium-sized ripe tomato, finely chopped
1-3 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon of vinegar
Small bunch of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon garam masala powder


Gently heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan, try not to get it too hot (smoking).
Add onions and fry, stirring frequently, until they have barely browned.
Add in the ginger and garlic paste and turmeric powder and cook for another 1-2 mins.
Add in the red chilli powder, cumin and coriander powders, cook for 30 seconds.
Add in the chopped tomato and a little water, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are fully cooked and a little oil starts to separate from the rest of the masala.
Now add in the liver pieces, the remaining water, cover and cook for 5-7 mins, or until some of the water has evaporated and the meat is tender.
Just before serving, add salt, vinegar and garam masala and stir though the curry. Garnish with the chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

This curry should ideally be served with barley bread in order to maximise its healing benefits insha’Allah.

Dairy products and tea/coffee are known to hinder the body’s absorption of iron and so should be avoided.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The Amazing Papaya Fruit.

Although Papaya is not mentioned in Tibb an Nabawi because it is not a native fruit of the Arabian Peninsula, it is an incredibly valuable addition to our diets as it has a high medicinal value. Papaya was the only studied food found to halt cancer.

Scientists studied 14 plant foods commonly consumed in Mexico to determine their ability to halt breast cancer cell growth. These included avocado, black sapodilla, guava, mango, prickly pear cactus (nopal), pineapple, grapes, tomato, and papaya. They also evaluated the beta-carotene, total plant phenolics, and gallic acid contents and antioxidant capacity of these fruits/vegetables and found that only papaya had a significant effect on stopping breast cancer (International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition, May issue).

Papaya is a store-house of cancer-fighting lycopene. The intense orangey-pink colour of papaya means it is full of cancer fighting carotenoids. Not only beta carotene, but lycopene is found in abundance. The construction of lycopene makes it highly reactive towards oxygen and free radicals. Scientists at the University of Illinois think this anti-oxidant activity contributes to its effectiveness as a cancer fighting agent.

Epidemiological studies have indicated an inverse relationship between lycopene intake and prostate cancer risk. They showed that oral lycopene is highly bio available, accumulates in prostate tissue, and is localised in the nucleus of prostate epithelial cells. In addition to antioxidant activity, other experiments have indicated that lycopene induces cancer cell death, anti-metastatic activity, and the up-regulation of protective enzymes. Phase I and II studies have established the safety of lycopene supplementation. (Cancer Letter, October 8, 2008).

Prostate cancer was the subject of a study in Australia that looked at 130 prostate cancer and 274 hospitalized controls. The scientists found that men who consumed the most lycopene-rich fruits and vegetables such as papaya were 82% less likely to have prostate cancer. In this study, green tea also exerted a powerful anti-cancer effect. When lycopene-rich foods were consumed with green tea, the combination was even more effective, an outcome the researchers credited to their synergy (Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2007).

Isothiocyanates found in papaya restore the cell cycle to eliminate cancer. Organo-sulphur compounds called Isothiocyanates are found in papaya. In animal experiments, Isothiocyanates protected against cancers of the breast, lung, colon, pancreas, prostate, as well as leukaemia, and they have the potential to prevent cancer in humans. Isothiocyanates have shown themselves capable of inhibiting both the formation and development of cancer cells through multiple pathways and mechanisms (International Journal of Oncology, October, 2008).

Researchers in Japan clarified the mechanisms of action in a type of Isothiocyanate found in papaya known as BITC, which underlies the relationship between cell cycle regulation and appropriate cell death. When cancerous cells die on schedule, they are no longer a problem. The researchers established that BITC exerted cancer cell killing effects that were greater in the proliferating cells than in the quiescent cells. Cancer cells that are proliferating are much more dangerous than cancer cells that are in a state of dormancy (Forum of Nutrition, 2009).

Papaya smoothie

Enzymes from papaya digest proteins including those that protect tumours. The fruit and other parts of the papaya tree, also known as the paw paw tree, contain papain and chymopapain, powerful proteolytic enzymes that facilitate chemical reactions in the body. They promote digestion by helping to break down proteins from food into amino acids that can be recombined to produce protein useable by humans. Proteolytic enzymes protect the body from inflammation and help heal burns. They do a good job of digesting unwanted scar tissue both on the skin and under its surface.

Being a proteolytic enzyme, papain is able to destroy intestinal parasites, which are composed mostly of protein.

To rid the body of intestinal parasites, half a cup of papaya juice can be alternated each hour for twelve consecutive hours with the same amount of cucumber or green bean juice.

Research has shown that the physical and mental health of people is highly dependent on their ability to produce proteins they can use effectively. However, as people age, they produce less of the enzymes needed to effectively digest proteins from food and free needed amino acids. They are left with excessive amounts of undigested protein which can lead to overgrowth of unwanted bacteria in the intestinal tract, and a lack of available amino acids.

Eating papaya after a meal promotes digestion, and helps prevent bloating, gas production, and indigestion. It is quite helpful after antibiotic use to replenish friendly intestinal bacteria that were the casualties in the war against the unwanted bacteria. When the intestinal tract is well populated with friendly bacteria, the immune system is strengthened, and can protect better against flu and cancer.

Papaya contains fibrin, another useful compound not readily found in the plant kingdom. Fibrin reduces the risk of blood clots and improves the quality of blood cells, optimising the ability of blood to flow through the circulatory system. Fibrin is also important in preventing stokes. Proteolytic enzymes containing fibrin are a good idea for long plane rides to minimize the potential of blood clots in the legs. People who sit at a desk all day might want to use proteolytic enzymes too. Proteolytic enzymes are able to digest and destroy the defence shields of viruses, tumours, allergens, yeasts, and various forms of fungus. Once the shield is destroyed, tumours and invading organisms are extremely vulnerable and easily taken care of by the immune system. Undigested proteins can penetrate the gut and wind up in the bloodstream where they are treated by the immune system as invaders. If too many undigested proteins are floating around, the immune system becomes overburdened and unable to attend to the other tasks it was meant to do. Proteolytic enzymes can digest these rogue proteins, freeing up the immune system.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Please don't break your fast with an Israeli date.

Boycott Israeli Dates

Every year, Israel exports millions of pounds worth of dates to the world, which many Muslims unknowingly buy and use to break their fasts.

These dates are grown in illegal settlements in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley, on land that has been stolen from Palestinians. By buying these dates, we are in fact helping Israel to continue its occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people.


In 2004 the International Court of Justice ruled that the Israeli settlements are illegal – they are built on stolen Palestinian land. Growing dates is one of the major agricultural activities carried out by nearly half of the illegal Israeli settlements located in the Jordan Valley – it’s their most profitable crop , and contributes significantly to their economic viability.

Picking of the dates is hard work, so the Israeli settlers bring in Palestinian labourers to do this back breaking work. During the pruning season the workers are dropped on the date palm trees by a hoisting crane at 5 o’clock in the morning, left perched on palms that soar to a height of 10 or even 12 meters – the height of a three- or four-story building, left there swaying in the wind for up to 8 hours without a break and with no means to come down until the crane returns at the end of the day, the workers cling to the tree with one arm and work with the other to meet their quota. They can’t even take a break to go to the toilet. If they complain or fall behind their quota they will lose their jobs and their families will starve.

Out of desperate poverty Palestinian families are forced to take their children out of school and hand them over to the settlers to work for a pittance. (Source: Channel4 news 7 July 2008)

But the Israelis prefer to employ children – even issuing them official work permits, as they are quick and light, can climb trees faster, work for less and it’s easier to cheat and humiliate them.

Most of the Israeli date crop – up to 80%, is exported, mainly to Europe where it has around 10% market share. In 2005, dates were Israel’s leading fruit export.

The two major Israeli companies involved are Agrexco and Hadiklaim. Agrexco, half owned by the Israeli government, handles 60-70% of all goods produced in the illegal Settlements. Its dates have brand names Carmel, Jordan Plains and Jordan Valley. Before the start of Ramadan, Carmel boasted in their press release that they had managed an early crop of dates in order to meet the Ramadan demand for dates from Europe’s Muslims!

Hadiklaim sells 65 percent of the all dates produced in Israel.

It's dates have brand names King Solomon and Jordan River. They also supply Israeli dates to supermarkets and retail chains who market them under their own brand names. These include Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's, Tesco, and Waitrose.

Sainsburys Medjool Dates produced in the illegal Israeli settlement of Netiv Hagdud in the West Bank
Sometimes they are labelled “Produced in the West Bank” – this just confirms they are grown in the illegal Israeli settlements.

Peace activists who visited the Palestinian village of Fasayl in the Jordan Valley discovered that villagers are slowly being forced off their land by the Israeli army. The only livelihood left open to them is to work for Carmel Agrexco. The activists even spoke to two Palestinian children under the age of 12 who were working for Carmel. The Palestinian workers whose land had been stolen and were forced to work for Carmel in order to feed their families – they had a message for the peace activists, a plea for anyone who would listen – they urged them to take action against Carmel Agrexco and such companies that support Israeli apartheid. What excuse is left for us not to boycott Israel? If you oppose the illegal settlements target their dates. Boycotting can make a real difference.

Please don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends.


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