Prophetic Medicine – Barley – Talbinah
Barley (the essence of Talbinah) is a rugged cereal grain from the grass family, it can grow up to 1 ½ to 4 feet tall and flourishes in cool climates.
It has not been established where exactly barley originated from however it has been traced back to 7000BC Iran and 5000BC in the early Egyptian and Sumerian writings. Barley was part of the staple diet in ancient Egypt, in 5th century AD Tibet, and Medieval Europe.
Known to the ancient Greeks, Romans and Chinese, it is from the most ancient of cultivated grains; it was the first domesticated grain in the Near East (current day Syria, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon) and has been used for centuries in dishes ranging from bread, soup and cereal.
Talbinah has been mentioned in many narrations of the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him such as the narration of ‘Aisha that when someone from her relatives died, the women would gather for that (reason) then they would disperse except her family, she would order an earthenware pot of talbinah be cooked, then tharid (a dish made form meat and bread) would be made and the talbinah poured over it.
Then she (‘Aisha) would say (to the women), ‘Eat from it for indeed I heard the Messenger of Allah peace and blessings be upon him: “Talbinah is a relaxation for the heart of the sick person and it removes some of the sorrow”.’ [Bukhari 479/9, Book of Food, Chapter of Talbinah]
It was narrated from ‘Aishah that the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said: “You should eat the beneficial thing that is unpleasant to eat: Talbinah,” meaning broth. If any member of the family of the Messenger of Allah peace and blessings be upon him was sick, the cooking pot would remain on the fire until one of two things happened, either the person recovered or died.