The Islamic Post Blog

Remember to Whom Your Heart Belongs by Khalida
March 24, 2009, 11:30 am
Filed under: Hakimah's Corner, Magazine/ Culture, March Volume 2009 | Tags: ,

Hk. Razia A. Mumin
Islamic Post Staff Writer

National Heart Month just passed and we thought we would give a few updates and reminders about the heart. Heart disease is the number one killer in America. The biggest factors that cause or contribute to heart disease are: high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, smoking, sedentary life style, stress, eating too much, and many prescription and over the counter medicines. Scientists now believe that natural therapies are better at healing the heart rather than allopathic medicines. Diet, exercise and stress reduction are very helpful in preventing heart attack and heart disease. Heart disease doesn’t happen suddenly; it begins early in life. Over time, cholesterol is deposited on the walls of the heart’s blood vessels. The longer the cholesterol stays on the walls, the harder it becomes to get rid of it. Your body will naturally try to clear the passageways. However, if your diet and life style (which is high in cholesterol) do not change, the problem remains the same. Heart attacks are caused when the walls of your blood vessels are hardened due to excess cholesterol. Clots then form in the narrow openings of blood vessels, which block the blood flow entirely. Cholesterol isn’t necessarily the enemy. The body uses cholesterol for good. However, the increase of cholesterol-containing foods oversaturates our systems and causes harm. Our diet is very important in protecting our heart.
The heart is a very important part of our physical well being and also our spiritual health. It responds to both positive and negative stimuli. Our hearts respond to what we see and hear. The heart can also be described in terms as being dead or alive. Remember Allah says: “And do not obey anyone whose heart We have made forgetful in remembering Us.” (Holy Qur’an 18:28) Religious duties are very important in maintaining a healthy heart. Whoever is really concerned about the health and life of their hearts must also rid it of poisons both spiritually and physically. In order to be healthy you must think healthy thoughts and practice healthy habits.
Eating less is a very good start at fighting heart disease. Garlic is one of the best heart stimulants, and is also one of the best blood thinners and cholesterol fighters around. It decreases the level of fat in the blood. It is better to eat it raw. The less processing of it the stronger and better it is. It also lowers your blood pressure and calms your nerves to help with stress overload.
Other healthy heart herbs include: Hawthorn Berries (open the blood vessels), Gingko Biloba (increases oxygen to the heart and brain), Butchers Broom (contains two saponins which are similar to corticosteroids), and Witch Hazel (tones and strengthens veins). Herbs and foods that reduce inflammation and help repair membranes inside of the heart include: garlic, onions, red grapes, blackberries, blue berries, and raspberries. Tonic herbs that will boost your immune system are: pomegranate, asparagus roots, burdock, cayenne, and hawthorn. Blood nourishing herbs that will strengthen the heart are hawthorn and borage.
But the benefits of taking these will be defeated by eating processed foods every day. Foods containing preservatives and other chemicals wear down all systems in the body. Your body tries to help you; but most people don’t try to help their bodies and habitually eat bad foods knowingly.  Another bad habit is to re-use cooking oils. Some people save the fish grease for frying more fish. They save the chicken grease to fry everything. This is an unhealthy habit. Once a food is fried, a by-product called free radicals is formed. Free radicals damage cells. They also add fat to your blood stream, and damage the linings of blood vessel walls by adding plaque to them. This type of cooking was done during the great depression in the 1930’s. These types of survival skills we don’t need. Limit your fried foods from the start. Eat foods which are steamed, baked, or curried. Canola oil is not good for you! You can research this for yourself. The better oils to use are cow’s ghee, olive oil, butter, and coconut oil.
We must strive for the best of health so we can practice the best of worship. Eating small amounts of food helps the body to digest small amounts at a time. Al-Miqdam ibn Ma’d Yakrib said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say: ‘The son of Adam fills no vessel more displeasing to Allah than his stomach. A few morsels should be enough for him to preserve strength. If he must fill it, then he should allow a third for his food, a third for his drink, and a third empty for easy breathing.” Excessive eating induces many kinds of harms.
Good health and good worship go hand in hand. Your heart is a vessel that should be filled to the brim with the love of Allah Almighty and we sometimes forget that our hearts and our lives belong to Allah.
*A hakimah (m. hakim) is a natural health practitioner who has received certification in traditional Islamic medicine. Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended as medical advice; consult your health practitioner.


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