Nature’s cure Hulool is an alternative traditional Emirati Medicine, made from plants or herbs with healing properties were widely used to treat problems of digestion.
The medicinal properties of honey, for example, were mentioned in the Holy Quran. Honey was effective in the treatment of diseases affecting the lungs, liver, and digestive system. It was also useful in helping to clean or sterilize wounds.
The people of the Emirates had a wide variety of natural ingredients with which to make homemade remedies, due to the botanical richness of the UAE and the varying terrain involving mountains, plains and deserts.
Some commonly used herbs include saffron, anise, sandalwood and musk. Extracts from tree leaves and branches were also used in traditional medicine. These included ingredients such as: Alsider, Alghaf and Alharmal.
Plant seed extracts included sesame, flax seed and linseed. Fruits such as dates, watermelons, nutmeg and ginger were also common ingredients for cures.
Cupping, cauterisation, splinting and hulool are some of the oldest methods used by UAE inhabitants to treat disease and infection.
Cupping and cauterisation are effective techniques for dealing with a variety of ailments, in particular back pain. The theory behind these techniques is that cleansing blood and toxins from the body will allow good blood to circulate, encouraging healing and stimulating the body’s immune system.
Cupping is an ancient tradition which dates back to the time of the Prophet Mohammad.
A practitioner orders a patient to turn on his stomach. He then heats the cups before applying them to specific parts of the patient’s back, where they stick like leaches. Gradually, the hot cups begin to draw the bad blood from the patient’s back and to stimulate his circulation.
The main difference between cauterisation and cupping is that cauterisation targets veins whilst cupping focuses on the muscles. Cupping was regarded as a less extreme technique and therefore was more commonly used.
It was used to treat various ailments including gum disease, tooth pain and conjunctivitis. It is still commonly practiced today, particularly in the Far East.
Another ancient medical technique which is still practiced in the UAE is Arabian splinting.
This practice is used in the treatment of fractures and misplaced joints. The orthopaedist would apply a special pomade on to the fracture and join the bones tightly together with a splint.