Thumm ~ Garlic: Gives Good Health
Athletes in ancient times chewed a clove of garlic before the start of Olympic games. It is a natural antiseptic and its essence kills germs. A crust of bread rubbed with garlic according to many Arabs will eleminate the common pinworm from young children. Furthermore, it is said to combat diabetes and be helpful in cases of high blood pressure.
Sa-nuwd ~ Green Aniseed: Helps the Digestion
Green aniseed was widely used in ancient Chinese medicine; it counteracts
the problem of indigestion, drowsiness, migraine and dizziness.
Jer-fah ~ Cinnamon: Improves the Circulation
This spice without which pastillas would not be pastillas, is considered
an almost universal remedy by many Asians.
Hal ~ Cardamom: Aids Indigestion
Cardamom is the fruit of the southeast Asian tree which bears the complicated name of 'electarria cardamom much'. It is well known to English physiotherapist who use it in a powdered form to aid digestion. Its medicinal qualities are cineol, both of which stimulate the digestive system.
Lee-mon ~ Lemon: Calms Stomach Burn
Lemons are well known for their citric acid content. But they can also
help relieve stomach burn and there is a scientific explanation for this.
Stomach burn is the result of excessive secretions of gastric juices or,
to be more specific, of hydrochloric acid. The stomach is the simple
organ which can easily mistake one acid for another. When it is presented
with the citric acid of the lemon, it takes this for hydrochloric acid and
stops its own secretions. As citric acid is for less harsh, the pains
Jil-ja-lan ~ Coriander: Eliminates Toxins
In some hot countries, raw meat is preserved by rubbing with mixture of
coriander seeds, salt and black pepper.
Ka-moun ~ Cumin: The Stomach's Friend
Cumin is the first cousin of aniseed and has an essence which stimulates the digestion and counteracts the fermentation of foodstuffs, particularly starchy foods - cakes flavoured with cumin are always easily digested.
Curcum ~ Turmeric: Beneficial to the Gall Bladder
This plant is native to India and is used in the preparation of curry
powder, known throughout Asia for its therapeutic qualities. Indian
doctors recommend it in particular to clean out blocked gall bladders.
Hal-ba ~ Fenugreek: Gives Strength
Fenugreek was recommended for convalescents in classical times by Cato and
has been used for centuries in the East by women who wanted to put on
weight. Its seeds have been studied by many scholars throughout the
centuries and today, thanks to the physicist Mignot, we know that they not
only contain a rich oil with properties similar to those of cod liver oil,
but also a fermenting agent which helps with the assimilation of sugars.
Zan-ja-beel ~ Ginger: Therapeutic Qualities
The ginger root owes its principal therapeutic qualities to its essence
which also gived it a bitter, peppery taste.
Mis-mar ~ Cloves: Kills Germs
This subtle spice from the South Sea islands contains a powerful
disinfectant, eugenol. It was at the beginning of the century that an
American surgeon Professor Briggs, who later became famous, discovered
that the clove was one of the most potent of natural antiseptics.
Jowit-iteeb ~ Nutmeg: Checks Drowsiness After Meals
Nutmeg and its outer skin known as mace, have the same properties. Both certain a slightly bitter essence which helps with the digestion of heavy meals, particularly starches. The skin, like the nut itself, contains a natural hormone related to folliculin which helps regulate monthly periods. Nutmeg and mace both sweeten the breath.
El-bussell ~ Onion: A Universal Remedy
Onion is said to prolong life and indeed the many centenarians in Bulgaria
attribute long life to onion and yoghurt. This however has not been
proven, but what is certain is that the onions contain glucoquinione which
is related to insulin. Both reduce the sugar content of the blood which
makes them particularly good for diabetics.
Mastic ~ Gum: Calms Coughs
Arabic gum is the extract of the acacia tree. It is used in the preparation of many cough medicines and calms the irritation of the mucous membranes in the throat. It may to some extent help cure a cold or 'tickly' throat more quickly.
Na-na ~ Mint: Hides Fatigue
There are over 10 spices of mint in the world and all have the same
properties which stem from their essence, menthol, although the flavour
may differ with each.
Za-toon ~ Olives: Helps The Gall Bladder
Both green and black olives reduce bile and experiments carried out in hospitals have shown that they may even help dissolve gravel and small gall stones. Contaning mineral counteract colitis and are also said to stimulate lazy intestines.
Mye-al-zahr ~ Orange Flower Water: See Life Through Rose-Coloured Spectacles
This is the best and healthiest of all transquilisers. Rose water helps
to banich anxiety and counteract all its related symptoms. It calms
hearts easily disturbed by the slightest of emotions and induces sleep for
Bag-doonas ~ Parsley: Stimulates Growth In Children
This humble little plant is in reality a potent tonic. Twenty grams of
parsley a day (the equivalent of a tablespoon) provides the organism with
48mg of vitamin C, more than half the daily dose required to combat
Fil-fil har ~ Hot Pepper: Helps Digestion
Like all hot spices, hot pepper or harissa is an instant stimulant of the digestive glands. A couscous served with sharp souce is more readily digested than a couscous bathed in an insipid one. However, hot pepper in large quantities can irritate the mucous membranes ~ avoid excessive amounts or risk stomach burn.
Fil-fil aswad ~ Black Pepper: Helps Digestion
Black Pepper has exactly the same virtues as hot pepper, it helps digestion but has the disadvantage of congesting the blood vessels. Those suffering from varicose veins or haemorrhoids should avoid its use or expect painful results.
Ward ~ Rose Petals: For Those In Poor Health
History relates that the famous mediaeval Arab doctor, Avicenna, cured the
Viceroy of Portugal's wife of tuberculosis with the help of rose petals.
Sim-sim ~ Sesame: Gives A Flat Stomach
Sesame contains a essence which counteracts the fermentation of foodstuffs in the stomach and intestines. It helps reduce wind, distended stomachs and flights against drowsiness.
Zaffron ~ Saffron: Helps Food Become More Digestible
With its penetrating aroma, saffron stimulates the sliva glands and it is said to help digestion, particularly of starches.
Za-tar ~ Thyme: Helps Circulation
If ever there was a plant with 100 virtues, it is thyme. It acts as a
tonic which counteracts circulation deficiencies and their relevants
problems such as vertigo, migraine, humming in the ear and swollen limbs.
It also combats weaknesses in the nervous system and helps restore energy
to the listless. Finally, it stimulates the digestion.
From the book "The Complete United Arab Emirates Cookbook"
Copyright © 1997 by Fahad Inc.
Maintained by: Fahad Al Mahmood