How to Treat Headache Using the Prophet’s Medicine via narrated by Ahmed Abdi Abdulahi

Headache is one of the most common ailments people suffer from frequently. There are hundreds of causes of headache and according to a medical report, 75 of them are major causes. Like its causes there are many remedies and treatments. Among the medical treatments few works while others don’t. Most of them just kill the pain rather than treating the root cause.

It has been narrated in several ahadith that the Prophet (peace be upon him) suffered from headache on many occasions. There is also some guidance on how the Prophet (peace be upon him) dealt with headache or advised others.

Treatment of Headache with Henna

The Prophet (peace be upon him) liked henna and recommended it to use it as a treatment for several health issues. It is narrated in Abu Dawud Book 22, the Book of Medicine, Hadith Number 3849 the meaning of which is that if anyone complained to the Prophet (peace be upon him) of a headache “but he told him to get himself cupped, or of a pain in his legs but he told him to dye them with henna.”

Imam Ibn Qayyim Al-Jauziyah (May Allah have mercy upon him) in his “Healing with the Medicines of the Prophet” mentions that Henna is beneficial to treat certain sorts of headache. The Imam further states that if Henna leaves are crushed and mixed in vinegar, it effectively relieves nerves pain. It does not treat all kinds of headache. It treats headache caused by heat, fever, sun etc.

Modern Scientific Evidence of Henna Treatment

According to a study conducted by O.A Habbal, A.A. Al-Jabri and A.G. El-Hag in 2007 and published in the Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism, the researchers found that Henna had a wide spectrum of antimicrobial activity. The researchers even suggested Henna was a naturally available and potential alternative to Synthesised antibiotics.

In Another study conducted by Bashir et al (1995), it was found that the plant had significant anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and analgesic effect in rats. It is useful to use it on cramping muscles and apply it to head for health benefits.

Cupping as a Treatment of Headache

Cupping is one of the most frequently used treatments in the Prophet’s medicine. It is narrated by Ibn Abbas in Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 007, Book 71, Hadith Number 602 that:

“The Prophet (peace be upon him) was cupped on his head for an ailment he was suffering from while he was in a state of ihram, at a water place called Lahl Jamal. Ibn Abbas further said: ‘ Allah’s Apostle was cupped on his head for unilateral headache while he was in a state of Ihram.”

Medical Testimony of Cupping for Migraine (headache on one side)

In his wonderful book, Abd al-Qaadir Yahya, quoted several clinical reports that how cupping was effective in treating various diseases including migraine (a type of headache). The book also mentions the testimonials of the Syrian medical team who participated in the research on cupping.

Bandaging the Head

It is narrated by Ibn Abbas and transmitted by Bukhari that the once the Prophet (Peace be upon him) came out of his house to the masjid and his head was tied around (bound) with a piece of cloth because of severe headache. As-Suyuti mentions that the Prophet (sallalahu aalyhe wassallam) used to tie his head tightly with a cloth to fortify it and so alleviate the pain.

The scientific explanation for the tying around the head with a cloth tightly is that it puts pressure on area around the head. It reduces the pressure of blood in the scalp and help ease the pain in the swollen blood vessels. The Reader’s Digest, in its 1001 Home Remedies, advises bandaging of head to relieve the pain. The following is excerpt taken from the 1001 Home Remedies published by Readers’ Digest.

“Tie a headband, scarf or tie around your forehead, then tighten it just to the point where you can feel pressure all around head. Reducing the flow of blood to your scalp can help to relieve the pain caused by swollen blood vessels. You might try soaking the headband in vinegar, a traditional headache remedy.”


Abdullah, Abdul Rahman., and Imam Ibn Qayyim Al-Jauziyah. Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet. 2010 ed. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia ;Houston, TX: Darussalam, 2010. Print.

A. Qaadir, Yahah, al-Dawa’ al-‘Ajeeb alladi shafa min Marad al-Qalb al-Qaatil wa’l-Shalal wa’l-Shaqeeqah wa’l-‘Uqum wa’l-Sarataan wa Marad al-Naa’oor al-Waraathi al-Haemophilia (The Amazing Cure that may heal fatal heart disease, paralysis, migraine, infertility, cancer and the genetic disease haemophilia)

Ali, B. H., A. K. Bashir, et al. (1995). Anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, and analgesic effects of lawsonia inermis L. (henna) in rats. Pharmacology Basel 51(6): 356-363. {a} P.O. Box 17777, Al Ain, United Arab, United Arab Emirates.

As-Suyuti, Jalaludding Abdur Rahman. Medicine of the Prophet. 1994 ed. London: Ta-ha, 2009. Print.

Bukhari, Muhammad Ibn Ismaail, and Muhammad Muhsin. Khan. Saahih Al-Bukhari: The Translation of the Meanings of Sahih Al-Bukhari : Arabic-English. Riyadh-Saudi Arabia: Darussalam Pub. & Distr., 1997. Print.

H. S. Muhammad and S. Muhammad. (2005) The use of lawsonia inermis linn. (henna) in the management of burn wound infections African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 4 (9), pp. 934-937.

O.A. Habbal, A.A. Al-Jabri, A.G. El-Hag. (2007) antimicrobial properties of Lawsonia inermis: a review. Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism.

Reader’s Digest 1001 Home Remedies, Reader’s Digest Association Inc, USA, 2008.



Posted on

August 5, 2018



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