Herbal essences: The value and purposes of these natural remedies

Various herbs and their value.

Saffron. Sarah Dea / The National
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Sanout (Cumin)

This spice is used for a variety of purposes, including treating hair loss, headaches, leprosy and asthma. When mixed with honey it helps to cure kidney stones. Black Cumin is a diuretic.

Yea'da (Germander)

After being strained, the boiled leaves of the Germander plant are combined with dry lemons to treat fever, diabetes, haemorrhoids and malaria. Germander is also used to heal ulcers, relieve digestive discomfort and treat worms.

Sidr Leaves (Zizyphus spina-christi)

Sidr leaves have a variety of medicinal uses. When boiled with turmeric and water they are used to help treat bruises. Drinking boiled Sidr leaves is prescribed to people with worms and for those suffering from spleen pain. The liquid is also used as a cleanser for washing hair and dead bodies.

Kheel (Asafoetida)

The gum derived from the Asafoetida plant has an unpleasant odour and taste. Asafoetida gum is consumed to alleviate stomach aches, ulcers and bloating. It is also used to help remove worms and treat diabetes.

Al Mahleb (Prunus mahaleb)

Mixed with saffron, these small yellow grains are placed on top of the head to help relieve headaches.

Heloul (Senna)

Senna is used to help treat headaches, haemorrhoids, back pain, itchy skin and scabies. It is also used as a laxative and can be applied to the head to help prevent hair loss.

Souwaida (Nigella)

Kidney stones and bladder problems can be treated by consuming Nigella mixed with honey. Nigella is a diuretic and is used to relieve head, chest, and asthma pain. To stimulate milk production it is given to pregnant women after giving birth.

Luban (Frankincense)

Frankincense soaked in water is used to alleviate chronic coughs and chest pain. The mixture is also used to help cure hemorrohids and aids in purifying and strengthening the kidneys.

Mur (Myrrh)

Myrrh, a bitter gum, is utilised in the treatment of tumours. It is beneficial for treating colic, joint, menstrual, kidney and bladder pain as well as stomach bloating.

Helbah (Fenugreek)

Fenugreek boiled and mixed with honey is used to treat numerous ailments, such as coughs, asthma, menstrual pain and constipation.

Za'tar (Thyme)

Thyme helps to soothe throat and tooth pain. Sciatica and joint pain is treated with a mixture of powdered thyme and honey. Thyme is also used to treat colic and is consumed with liquid to help expel worms.

Qest (Costus)

Powdered Costus combined with rosewater is used to treat nerve problems, stomach aches and ulcers. It is an antidote to snake venom and when inhaled it helps to alleviate flu symptoms.

Habet Al Hamra (Garden Cress)

Garden Cress is eaten to help expel flatulence and strengthen the immune system. The herbs also function as a cleanser and are given to pregnant women after delivery. Drinking the herbs helps to disinfect the mouth and throat.

SOURCE: Sharjah Heritage Museum.