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.


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

    Yes, somehow, vitamin b12 deficiency is one of the cause of anemia, sometimes depression, loss of hair and many others. That's why my doctor friend recommend this

  2. good blog :) more info on anemia if required


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