- Natural Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet by Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya
Imaam Abu ‘Hanifa said: “Garden cress is the medicinal botanical described by Allaah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).”
This plant of the crucifer family is called ‘hurf’ in Arabic. Common people also call it Rashaad, and among others, Abu ‘Ubaid called it thufaa’.
It is reported in the Marasil of Abu Dawoud that Ibn ‘Abbaas (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhuma) narrated that Allaah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “What a beneficial cure both cress seeds and aloes have in common.“ [Weak Hadeeth as verified by al-Albaani]
Abu Hurairah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Use Thufaa’ (cress) because Allaah has made in it, a healing for every sickness.” [Reported by Ibn as-Sunni and Abu Na’em, and as-Suyooti mentioned it in Faid al-Qadeer]
The healing properties of water cress reside in its heat and dryness in the third degree. Cress seeds help eject intestinal worms, cure scales caused by ringworm, dry up pus formation in boils, cure impetigo, abate swelling of the spleen (splenoma), stimulate sexual desire, and increase semen.
A poultice made of garden cress and honey abates the swelling of the spleen, and helps sufferers of enlargement of the spleen (splenomegaly).
Cress seeds cooked with camphire (a variety of henna plant) act as an expectorant.
Drinking an infusion of garden cress helps against insect bites, and the smoke of garden cress repels insects.
Treating ones hair with juice extracted from garden cress can stop hair loss.
Spreading a pomade of cress, barley stems, and vinegar can help remedy sciatica, and hasten abatement of inflammation of the nerve endings and hot swelling during convalescence.
Applying a pomade made of crushed cress seeds soaked in saltwater helps the maturation of furuncles and their possible elimination.
Eating garden cress helps one recover from atony (muscle weakness), reduces muscle tension, increases appetite, helps asthma sufferers, alleviates breathing difficulties, purifies the lungs, stimulates the menstrual period, reduces pain in the acetabulum (hip socket), and helps sufferers of sciatica in general.
Drinking a decoction of cress seeds dissolves viscous (sticky) phlegm in the chest and lungs and helps their purgation, cuts short diarrhea and vomiting, and reduces bile.
Drinking a decoction of five drams of cress seeds stimulates bowel movement, expels wind, and reduces nephritic colic pain.
Drinking a finely ground preparation of cress seeds helps sufferers of lepra (leprosy).
Applying patches of cress seeds with vinegar on herpetic eruptions helps their cure, and a bandage of the same reduces common headaches caused by cold.
A drink of whole fried cress seeds calms ones nature because frying releases its oil.
Rinsing ones head with the water of garden cress dissolves impurities and washes away viscous humidity.
Galen (Roman physician, died AD 217) likened the actions of cress seeds to those of mustard seeds, for both seeds require heating to bring about their healing properties, and both have similar medicinal benefits.
Watercress is a great super food; gram for gram it is richer in Vitamin C than oranges, and higher in iron than spinach. It’s also packed with Beta-carotene, which the body converts to Vitamin A for healthy skin and eyes.
Watercress (nasturtium officinale) belongs to the Cruciferea family, also known as the crucifers; the mustard and cabbage vegetables. It is one of the oldest known green vegetables and has a peppery flavor similar to cress and mustard. It is an aquatic plant, meaning, it grows well in water, and the best watercress is grown in pure, fast flowing slightly alkaline water. This avoids the risk of contamination from pollution.
Watercress contains significant amounts of iron, calcium and folic acid, in addition to vitamins A and C. The deep green leaves are also fantastic sources of the phytochemicals (plant chemicals) lutein and zeaxanthin, which act as antioxidants and can mop up potentially damaging free radicals. Quercetin, a type of flavonoid and a powerful antioxidant, is also found in greater quantities in watercress than broccoli and tomatoes.
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