The Gulf is a region famed for its history, dramatic landscapes, fascinating cultures and delicious cuisine. It is also home to a treasure trove of natural remedies which grow in the region and have ensured the wellbeing of people for centuries.They can also help to keep you healthy. The Gulf possesses so many natural remedies as a result of centuries of trade and exchange with people and cultures from across Europe, Asia, Africa and the rest of the Middle East.In this informative article, we list and describe the benefits of many traditional ingredients and how they can be used to improve your health.All of them should be available at your local shops or supermarkets, so track them down and start using these trusted methods to stay in good health. If you have to look further afield to find the item, your search will be worth it!As always, the best health advice is issued by doctors and qualified medical practitioners.The following list simply outlines how simple, readily accessible ingredients can be used daily to help you maintain your general wellbeing.A number of the ingredients may even be growing in your garden, which makes them even more helpful for bolstering your health.
Many of you will be familiar with the pleasant aroma of clove. That is why it is often used in perfumes and beauty products. In the Gulf region, however, it is also used as an additive for stews and in other traditional cuisines. Research indicates that it also has various health benefits. It is commonly added to mouthwash products, as it is thought to fight bacteria in the mouth and gums and improve general oral health. Besides, it may also kill certain forms of bacteria and regulate blood sugar levels. Studies are continuing into its ability to protect the body against certain types of cancer, possibly, and it is known to be rich in anti-oxidants.Many people like to add ground cloves to their cooking, and in The Gulf region, it has long been popular to add some cloves to hot water and enjoy soothing tea.
While on the topic of oral health, we should not forget Miswak. Miswak is how people in this area cleaned their teeth before toothbrushes, toothpaste and modern dental care products. It is essentially a fibrous stick found in the root of the arak tree, which is famed for its antiseptic and astringent properties that help clean the teeth and even protect the gums. The arak is a short tree that grows in arid regions of the Middle East and Africa. When searching for a good Miswak, look for one that is yellow or cream, has a strong, pungent smell and is moist and flexible.Miswak is used throughout the region even to this day and is said to have been promoted by the Prophet Mohammad himself as a way to sweeten the breath during fasting.Miswak is used in a similar way to a toothbrush. It is rubbed over the teeth vertically and horizontally. The tip of the stick is chewed off until it looks like the bristles of a toothbrush. Once a section of the Miswak is overused, simply chew off the tip gain and start anew.
Cumin seeds are regarded as a rich source of iron, and the warm spice is often added to a yogurt drink, which has been enjoyed for years in the region. You will also have come across the seasoning in Mexican cooking.The spice, known locally as ‘sannoot,’ could also reduce the damage from free radicals on our body. Why not try introducing some cumin to hot or cold drinks, before adding it to more of your dishes?
Garlic adds flavour to many dishes from many parts of the world. According to Hollywood, it might even ward off vampires. Without ever having confronted a vampire, we can’t say for sure whether garlic works, but we do know that it possesses other qualities.Research suggests that it can aid in reducing blood pressure and could protect the heart. It is thought to have some of the same benefits as antibiotics in fighting bacteria and may help to prevent intestinal illnesses.A popular type in the Gulf region is the Omani organic garlic, so search for this variety and add it to dishes which originate in the Middle East, or even those from India or Italy.Want a simple immune-boosting drink? Crush some garlic, add it to hot water with honey and lemon and take this daily.
Have you tried a turmeric latte? This variation of the traditional latte has found its way onto menus in cafes throughout the world, and the added ingredient is popular in the Gulf region. It can be found in many well-known dishes and has long been regarded as a spice with various health benefits.
Thyme is a very common additive to beverages in The Gulf, and the herb is always consumed in aromatic drinks at special gatherings such as weddings. Every kitchen in the region will have a ready supply of the herb, which is known as za’atarin Arabic.As a remedy, it is believed to cure sore throats when added to warm water. It also contains antimicrobial properties and is thus able to kill certain types of infectious bacteria. A variety of thyme, called mastic thyme, may also help to protect bodies against colon cancer, while other studies have suggested that thyme may be a less invasive way of treating acne.
Alum appears in stone form in many markets throughout the region, often sitting beside the powders of herbs and spices. For centuries, it has been used to control bleeding and to clean and heal wounds. Residents of the region have also used Shabba as a deodorant.
Many people will recognize the taste of anise from tea or licorice. Also known as aniseed, the tiny seed can be converted into various forms and utilized in many ways. It adds flavour to cooking, and the tiny seed contains a surprising amount of properties.It is both a stimulant and a relaxant, it is aromatic and stomachic, and has tonic, carminative and diaphoretic properties. For this reason, people throughout The Gulf have used it year after year to treat complaints such as coughs and headaches, menstrual cramps, colic, indigestion and abdominal pain, and to clean the urinary system and prevent inflammation.
“If it tastes this bad, it must be healthy” is a famous phrase among people who have been forced to take foul-tasting substances to cure some form of ailment. Asafoetida is no different. It is just as famous for its foul smell and taste as it is for thinning the blood, relieving pain, treating a cough or an upset stomach and aiding digestion.Admittedly, in The Gulf, it is known as a last resort treatment because of the foul taste. As a medicine, it is usually added to hot water to be drunk, but it is also added to dishes during cooking. Yes, that may sound surprising, but a small amount of asafoetida can improve the taste of a meal.
10- Black Seed
Black seed is used even to this day to treat complaints such as asthma, flatulence, abdominal pain, kidney stones and polio. It is usually consumed with either water or milk or sprinkled over bread. When burned with incense, it produces a distinct and pleasant aroma.
Everyone is undoubtedly familiar with camomile and camomile tea. Perhaps you drank one last night to help you sleep or to improve your digestion. People in The Gulf have been doing precisely that for hundreds and hundreds of years. Chamomile can also be used in perfumes and in soap and shampoo products as it is believed to add luster to blonde hair.
Myrrh is a hard, reddish-brown mass that comes from the stems of bushy shrubs that grow in The Gulf. Locals use it to alleviate inflammation, to reduce scars on burns and as a mouth wash for conditions such as mouth sores or blisters. It is also effective against a sore throat or a bronchial infection. It is commonly soaked in water for a few days, with the patient drinking the strained liquid, or eaten in small granules.
Last but not least
The Gulf region has given excellent world cuisine, unique architecture, textiles, folklore and fantastic stories, and it is also home to a multitude of natural remedies.Alongside advice from doctors and expert medical practitioners, everyday ingredients such as garlic, clove, thyme and cumin can help to strengthen your body and maintain your wellbeing. Add other items such as turmeric, alum, anis and Miswak, and you can compile a ready source of natural remedies to help you feel better and get more out of your day. 🙂