Medieval Islamic Medicine & 4 Natural Syrup Recipes

islamic medicine

THE Islamic era from the 14th to 16th centuries CE was dubbed the golden age due to the flourishing of science, architecture and cuisine, to name a few of the achievements of that era.

During this time, studies were conducted and medicines developed to treat illnesses. These treatments were based on natural herbs taken from various places around the world such as Greece, India and Persia, not just those developed by Arabs or Muslims.

Using natural herbs in place of factory produced medicine is nothing new, and has taken place for centuries. As science has advanced so has our medicine. Allah told us that there is a treatment for every disease. Scientists today have linked several herbs and plants with the properties to fight diseases.

In the past, households relied on syrups with herbs, honey or sugar and used them for different treatments. These syrups are not very different from syrups we may find today, but obviously they were natural and homemade. Here are a few recipes of syrups used for treatment and their purported effect:

Mastic And Mint Syrup

For the stomach and for digesting food; it cuts vomiting and binds the bowels, and fortifies the liver.

- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon ground mastic
- 1/2 cup sugar or honey

1. Add the mint and mastic in the water, allow to steep for 30 minutes then strain, reserve water. In a small pot on high heat, add sugar and reserved water. Bring to a full boil, then reduce to low for 15 minutes.

2. Allow to cool, then place in a glass jar with a lid.

Lavender Syrup

For clearing the brain and stomach; it lightens the body and dries up black bile gently, but it contracts the breath.

- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender
- 1/2 cup honey

1. Add the lavender in the water, allow to steep for 30 minutes, then strain, reserve water. In a small pot on high heat, add sugar and reserved water. Bring to a full boil, then reduce to low for 15 minutes.

2. Allow to cool, then place in a glass jar with a lid. Mix with equal parts of syrup and hot water, then drink when needed.

Lemon Syrup

For heat of bile; cuts thirst and binds the bowels.

- Juice from 4 lemons
- 1/2 cup honey

1. In a small pot on low heat, add juice and honey, allow to cook until a thick consistency has formed, about 15 minutes.

2. Allow to cool, then place in a glass jar with a lid.

Apple Syrup

Fortifies and gladdens the heart.

- 4 Apples, quartered
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups sugar

1. In a small pot on high heat, add the apples in the water. Bring to a full boil, then reduce to low for 30 minutes. Strain and reserve water.

2. Allow to cool, then place in a glass jar with a lid. Mix with equal parts of syrup and hot water, then drink when needed.


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