by Karimah bint Dawoud, muslim chaplain& well being writer

Spring I love it, the word itself has my spirit jumping up and down in blue bell woods, bouncing  around like Larry the lamb.

Spring is a taste of things to come inshallah, sporadic days of sunshine and rain, good days for reflective and sieving our lives  inside and out. Loads of green for cooling our eyes.

Start thinking more salads and less stodge, more smoothies and less lattes , grill or griddle meat and fish and more of those good carbohydrates like green and yellow veggies. Eat more fruit than you think you need and inshallah you are on your way to a better healthier you…


In the process of spring cleaning there will be a lot  to get rid of. Give to friend, acquaintance and to charity, locals schools can always do with access of your stationary or fabrics or tools. However in this process of clearing out the hibernated nest you will have to also buy a few new things like storage boxes and storage bags for those winter woolies that we soon won’t be needing in these more northern climes.

The month of Ramadhan has been aptly named the spring of the Qur’an. Some of us are already thinking , preparing planning for Ramadhan, we prepare again for another testing month through the hot summer months with our longer days,

Inshallah we will do our best here at Karimahs Cuisina to support the nutritional aspect and by starting to eat healthier fresher food now, it will begin your detox and make the fasting easier inshallah.

Start thinking smaller portion sizes, this in turn will help you loose weight  and shrink your stomach back to its natural size which should be the size of your fist.

May Allah make it easy for us all ameen.



Moroccan Milkshake

By Karimah bint Dawoud, Muslim chaplain and well being writer.

Alhamdulillah, all praise is due to The Creator, things are changing in a positive way.


Over 11 years ago when Allah guided me to Islam ,I took my shahada within a friendly Moroccan community. Like all communities have their positive and negative points  and one of those negative points that used to get me vexed , was the eating of fruit after the meal has finished. I pointed out to them, this was unhealthy, but who was I ? Just  one little mouthy revert to Islam, mashallah.

Many moons have passed and things have improved, maybe lots of mouthy reverts told them this was wrong or someone read the scientific take on this or maybe  there is somewhere in The Islamic Arab Scrolls, still untranslated something that says fruit first is best.

So now days when you go to nice houses and nice weddings, they serve these gorgeous smoothies as an appetitizer, packed with natural vitamins, they are great way to start your day , break your fast or start a meal.

Today we are having blue berry, strawberry and banana with a generous squeeze of lemon juice. There is no need for milk as the banana makes it creamy.

Wash all the fruitiness and the  bananas in their skins, well you never know where they have been, peel or cut green tops of strawberries and place in jug blender with juice of one lemon and put half to third of the height of the fruit with filtered or bottled water. Just blitz.


There you have it, the prospect of summer in a glass. The health benefits is its good for combating  allergies, full of  anti oxidants, good for your  heart, eyes, hair, skin and nails and giving you energy.

Superstar blueberries high in vitamin K, vitamin C and manganese 

Spring strawberries high in amazing amounts of vitamin C, also manganese which gives you energy  and combats tiredness, good for diabetes type 2 ,reduces sugar.

Bananas high in vitamin B 6, which is good for nerves, insomnia, irritability, skin hair and nails. bananas also contain vitamin C, manganese and potassium.  Potassium is an electrolyte mineral and is good for regulating acid and alkali in blood and body’s water levels.

Lush Lady Boy

by Karimah bint Dawoud, Muslim Chaplain and Well Being Writer.

As a massive fan of Lush natural cosmetics, I was over the moon to get a prize for the best frog jokes on the Lush Westfield page. After many weeks of procrastinating I finally manage to go and pick it up at Westfield.

My prize was made up of two lovely Lush soaps and two fragrances, Karma and Lady Boy.

lush lady boy

Lady Boy is crazy, the first funky banana top notes hit you in the face, when the boy stops screaming  and the fragrance calms, down you get  seaweed, violet, chamomile, labdanum, oak moss middle and  base notes.

A great fragrance for summer as you stroll along those Brazilian  beaches, well more like Jeddah in my case inshallah.

pickin up the prizes

The treatment I had was called The Spell…oooh spooky…not really it was more like counseling therapy with a great foot massage, reflexology thrown in. I had hot stones with aromatherapy oils on my temples and a head massage, all designed to de- tox me inside and out.

I threw my worries away for an hour at least and afterwards felt like I could face anything, including Friday lunchtime Kensington traffic  on the way home.

LUSH- the spa in kings road

We all need to treat ourselves pamper ourselves a bit more and what better way than a trip to Lush,

Bad Days

 Bad Days , by Karimah bint Dawoud, Muslim Chaplain & Well Being Writer

I would love to share with you a terrible day I had yesterday food wise, pain wise etc.


I woke up tired, very tired and was good , I had fruit juice and then everything went downhill from there.

I had 2 pieces of whole meal bread and a fried egg sandwich and then a coffee and piece of cake, that was kind of the pattern for the rest of the day. The most sensible thing I did was no dinner/supper and I went to bed early instead to catch up on my sleep. I noticed I was eating the junk carbohydrates to replenish my energy but in doing so , the wheat really made my arthritis worst so I was in pain and found it hard to sleep last night.

After some reflection I thought if I crave carbs have what’s good for me and that’s rice, so this morning inshallah I am going to have big breakfast , after my herbal tea and juice I am going to have cooked rice, grilled salmon and stir fried veggies, I had a tough day outside and  probably won’t eat anything  and then come home and binge if I don’t have something big now to keep me going.

I asked Allah to forgive me for not giving my body its rights, I was sabotaging  and abusing my body because I knew what I was eating was not good for me.

Big breakfast, take some fruit with me and soup later inshallah

I wanted to share that I sometimes get  really bad off days. All we have to do is reflect on why we are doing what we are doing and get back on the wagon the next day.

 Needless to say ,the leftover Swiss roll is going out the window for the birds!!!!


 Pineapple, Kiwi  And Cucumber Smoothie,


by Karimah bin Dawoud, Muslim Chaplain & Well Being Writer,

Pineapple, cucumber &kiwi juice

1 pineapple, 3 kiwis and 1 cucumber

makes about 750ml

wash all fruit and vegetable and take skin off pineapple, cut kiwi and cucumber long ways , makes it easier to get in juicer, cut pineapple into circular slices, then cut the slices into long 3cm wide strip, easy to get in the  juicer machine.

Juice all and stir, drink on an empty stomach for maximum health benefits, if your teeth are a bit fragile use a straw to avoid acid corrosion. Drink every morning during the pollen season normally later February to June and take vitamin c  1000mg tablets prolonged release 1 a day.

Pineapple is high in vitamin C and vitamin C is an antihistamine, which is what you need to fight pollen allergies.

 It’s great for arthritis and boosting your immune system. This fruit is high in a natural enzyme called bromelain , this is the key to this fruit’s health benefits .Bromelain is a protein digesting compound .

Bromelain is anti-inflammatory, effective at reducing swelling, so if you are suffering from hay fever at the moment, with swollen sinuses and sore throat, pineapple will help treat your condition but on an empty stomach, if you have it with food the bromelain will assist in the breakdown of protein in the food. It’s also good for arthritis and gout. High in vitamin C, inshallah will protect you against free radicals that attack healthy cells.

 Kiwis  have more vitamin C in them than oranges, more potassium and less calories than bananas and are a good source of beta carotene ,good for your immune system, your eyes, respiration and anti oxidants.

cucumbers are mentioned is Islamic medicine. the  cucumber is known as QITHTHA

From the Sunnah, narrated by Abd’ Allah bin Jaffar, it is related that the messenger of Allah salah ala alaihi wa salem used tom eat cucumber (qiththa) with dates(rutab) Tirmidhi At’ima – 37.

They are cold in the first degree and dry in the second. In Islamic medicine known to cool heat in the stomach, so good for ulcers.

 They are anti-oxidant and anti inflammatory. Cucumbers are now known to contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol–three lignans that have a strong history of research in connection with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease as well as several cancer types, including breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancers.

Disclaimer, I am not yet a qualified nutritionist but soon inshallah, so this advice is based on my own experience of what works for me, should you have any questions or doubts please consult a medical doctor.


Medicine Of The Prophet – KHOL

By Karimah Bint Dawoud, Muslim Chaplain &Well Being Writer


The reason decide to write this article is there is a particular cold virus going round right now where the eyes hurt and sting , like some sort of allergy, something like conjunctivitis. I have tried rosewater in my eyes for a few days but it has only made a slight improvement and then I remembered my khol pot, standing alone and unused for a few weeks. Last night I put khol in my eyes before bed and already I feel an improvement, this is something inshallah I’ll be doing for a few more nights.

Khol, khur, kohol, kajal,kahal is the black powder used by men and women of the Arabic peninsular to out line their eyes for  more than a beautifying purposes.

Ithmid is the name of a stone that the black khol powder is derived from and the best ithmid is from Asfahan in Iran but the black stone is also found in more Western areas,

The best type of ithmid is that which crumbles easily and so forms fine powder. It has shiny reflective properties and doesn’t not contain impurities. According to Imam Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah, in Medicine of The Prophet, khol, also known as antimony and  is cold and dry in its temperament .For this reason is good for inflamed eyes, it strengthens them and strengthens the eye nerve.

Ithmid is the best type of khol used for the eyes especially for old people who sight is weakening, it can be even mixed with a little musk and applied to the eyes though I don’t think I would do that unless I was shown by a more knowledgeable practioner.

Abu Dawud narrated in his sunan, from Abd al Rahman bin Al Nu’man bin Ma’bad bin Hawdha Al Ansari, from his father, from his grandfather, that the messenger of Allah, salah al alaihi wa salem, ordered scented antimony at the time of going to sleep, but said, “Let the one who is fasting avoid it”. Abu Ubayda said ‘scented (murawwah)’ means scented with musk.

In the sunan of Ibn Majah, documented that the Prophet salah la alaihi wa salem, had a khol container and he would apply khol  three times in each eye(haddith ibn Hanbal, musnad, 1.354)khol is to preserve the health of the eyes and strengthen  and cleanses the perceptive   faculty.

Abdullah ibn Umar y narrates that the Messenger r said, “You should use Kohl for it improves the eyesight and makes the eyelashes grow.” [Hasan, Sahih ibn Maajah 3495].

Khol is particular and best used before sleep as the eye rests from most movement and this is where the eyes absorbs the khol.

Ithmid can also be used  to dissolves access flesh around ulcers and, close the wound while cleansing the area around them .

Ibn Qayyim said, “Ithmid also relieves headache when it is blended with pure watery honey. When Ithmid is ground and mixed with tender fat and then used as a bandage over burns, it prevents blisters from appearing and also helps cure the skin damage that occurs in cases of burns by fire.”

These are accurate statement however, like haddith of Fiqh, they need explaining, all I can offer at this point is there are different types of fats, that have different temperaments, so something like olive is hot in temperament and would not be good for putting on burns, while something like coconut oil is cool and would be more appropriate as it has cooling properties especially for inflamed skin.

It is not clear from ibn Qayim if the honey and antimony is to be applied or drunk and until we find out more, best to err on the side of caution.

Sorrel- When You Feel A Cold Coming On

By Karimah bint Dawoud, Muslim Chaplain & Well Being Writer.

A left over from my Rasta days and still a friend in my store cupboard- dry sorrel flowers. When I feel a cold coming on, I make tea  with this flower. Hot water, a big pinch of dried flowers, brew, strain and a tea spoon of honey. Its full of vitamin C , virus hate vitamin C and you can’t over dose on it, as it will be excreted in your urine, loads of vitamin C saturate the cells and the virus hates it and leaves the body.


Symptoms of a cold coming on

  • dry lips
  • burning sensation roof of mouth/ nostrils
  • feeling like pepper up nostril
  • pressure headache
  • sinus pain
  • sore throat 

Sorrel/Hibiscus/ Jamaica sorrel/rosella/ soborodo (Zobo drink)/ Karkadi/ roselle/ and sour tea or less commonly known as Rose Mallow.

Sorrel is part of the mallow family. Sorrel is also known as Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is a small tree with big showy flowers , there are hundreds of species, found in a warm temperament, sub tropical or tropical climate.

 these flowers have a fruit that can be made into a drink. The plant has 5 petals and behind them is  a fry 5 lobed capsule. This capsule is the fruit which can be made into tea either fresh or dried.

This fruit is full of health benefits, some even say of cup of this a day keeps the doctor away. these fruits are rich in flavonoids, minerals, and other nutrients.

A 2008 USDA scientific studies have shown this tea

  • has diuretic properties
  • mildly dilates blood vessel
  • lowers blood pressure
  • good for the heart
  • hypertension
  • high amounts of vitamin C
  • high anti-oxidants that protection against free radicals. These free radicals causes, strokes, Alzheimer’s, premature aging and cancer.
  • deterrent against cancer
  • Sorrel also helps flush the prostate and maintains the proper functioning of the liver, kidney and bladder.

this tea is widely drunk in the Arab, Asian and African world, especially the Sahel, I have been told that in countries like Nigeria it is drunk every day and you will notice that blood pressure and heart disease in low.