Talbina: A porridge prepared using barley & milk

Relaxation For the Heart of the Sick Person

Hijama Cure Centre


 Narrated 'Urwa (ra): Aishah (ra) used to recommend At Talbina (a kind of porridge prepared from milk, honey and white flour, etc.) for the sick and for the one grieving over a dead person. She used to say, "I heard Allaah's Messenger (pbuh) saying, 'At Talbina soothes the heart of the patient and makes it active, and relieves some of his sorrow and grief ." Saheeh Al Bukhaari - Vol 7, Hadith 5689

A porridge prepared using barley and milk


1 cup of milk

1 & 1/2 tablespoons of barley flour

Honey to sweeten


1. Put the milk in a pot on medium heat and throw in the barley flour. Use the finer particles of the flour.

2. Cook for about 10-15 minutes. Constantly stir to avoid lumpiness.

3. The mixture will thicken a bit.

4. Sweeten with honey and serve.


  • Add elachie powder for extra taste
  • 2-3 chopped dates per cup of milk can also be added
  • Raw honey tastes much better than normal honey in talbeenah

Following the Sunnah

Besides the immense health benefits outlined above, our greatest rewards really lie in following the Sunnah. Allah said to His Messenger (saw): ’Say (to mankind), if you love Allah, follow me – Allah will love you and forgive your sins’ (Qur’an 3:31).

The Prophetic Medicine

Talbina is a soothing broth made from ground barley that has many healing properties. It is mentioned by Ibn al-Qayyim in his great work on "The Prophetic Medicine" and there are many Ahadith on the merits of talbina for the sick and grieving person. Ibn al-Qayyim described talbina as a thin soup with the consistency of yoghurt (laban), from where it's name is derived.

He said that it was a broth made from barley flour together with the husks, and it is similar to barley water but the difference is that barley water is cooked with whole barley but talbina is cooked with ground barley. Therefore it is more beneficial because it can be digested easier and the nutrients are penetrated into the system quicker.

He also said that "it has relaxation for the heart of the sick person", it is nutritious and filling, and it warms and soothes the stomach, helping to lessens sorrows and to regain health. It can also be effective in maintaining bowel regularity.


 Aishah (RA) said that whenever one of her relatives died, the women assembled and then dispersed (returned to their houses) except her relatives and close friends. She (may Allaah be pleased with her) would order that a pot of talbina be cooked. Then Tharid (a dish prepared from meat and bread) would be prepared and the talbina would be poured over it. Aisha (may Allaah be pleased with her) would say (to the women), "Eat of it, for I heard the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) saying, 'The talbina soothes the heart of the patient and relieves him from some of his sadness.' " [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (5058)].

Talbina gives rest to the heart of the patient

The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) also said: "The talbina gives rest to the heart of the patient and makes it active and relieves some of his sorrow and grief." [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (5325)].

"It (talbina) soothes the grieving heart and cleanses the ailing heart just as one of you cleans dirt off his face with water." [Saheeh Sunan ibn Maajah (3445)].

"You should eat the beneficial thing that is unpleasant to eat (talbina), meaning broth. If any member of the Messenger of Allaah's family was sick, the cooking pot would remain on the fire until one of two things happened, either the person recovered or died." [Saheeh Sunan ibn Maajah (3446)].

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The Merits of barley

The key ingredient in talbina is barley. Barley is a member of the grass family called Poaceae.

Barley is a good source of insoluble and soluble fiber. The soluble fiber portion contains the richest source of beta-glucans compared to any other grain; these can aid immune function. Barley also contains B vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, copper, and is one of the richest sources of chromium, which is important in maintaining blood glucose levels. Barley is also rich in antioxidants and contains a high concentration of tocols and tocotrienols, oils that help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.

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Modern Research

Numerous studies have been conducted in modern research that demonstrates the effectiveness of barley in treating health problems like heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer and constipation.

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How to cook?

Talbina is made by adding 1-2 tablespoons of barley flour (must be 100% wholegrain barley flour) to one and a half cups of water or milk. Cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes. It can be sweetened with honey. This broth can be used as a stock for soups or stews or as a thickener.