Striking a Balance in Health: Between Traditional and Conventional Medicine for Chronic Illnesses

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Why I post health articles on my site?

In answer to a few enquiries I’ve received as to why I post health articles on my site, then I offer the following clarification:

Imaam Adh-Dhahabee (died 748 AH rahimahullaah) stated:

“It is compulsory upon every Muslim to seek nearness to Allaah, the Most High, by way of every means he is able to muster. He must exert himself in fulfilling the commands and the acts of obedience to Allaah. And after the affair of fulfilling the commands and keeping away from the forbidden matters, the most beneficial means and most successful path of nearness to Allaah for a person is to maintain good health and treat his illnesses. That is because good health is something that one seeks in the legislated supplications and acts of worship.” (At-Tibb an-Nabawiyy, p.18)

Maintaining good health and treating illnesses is from the most important affairs. Ibn al-Qayyim (died 752 AH rahimahullaah) stated:

“Health is one of the most precious favours Allaah has bestowed upon His servants, the most generous of gifts, the most plentiful of His bounties. Rather, even more, [good] health is the most precious of favours without exception, so it is fitting that whoever is granted a portion of this fortune that he cherishes it, preserves it and guards it against harm…” (Zaad al-Ma`aad, 4/196)

Ibn al-Qayyim stated:

“Material illnesses arise from an increase of matter which comes to a point of excess in the body whereby it harms its natural functions – and these are the most common illnesses. They are caused by consuming more food before the previous meal has been properly digested; by eating in excess of the amount needed by the body; by consuming food which is of little nutritional value and is slow to digest; and by eating different foods which are complex in their composition. So when a person fills his belly with these foods and it becomes a habit, they cause him various diseases…” At-Tibb An-Nabawī p.20; Medicine of the Prophet, ITS, p13.

After reading several authorships from the Salaf in the arena of health, I found that much of what is offered by modern medicine actually brings about more harm, pain and suffering than benefit. Drug-focussed chemical concoctions produced by pharmaceutical companies do not give any importance to nutrition and natural food-based remedies and cures, let alone Prophetic medicine.

I must say in fairness, that I have met several intelligent qualified physicians and pharmacists in various countries who agree with this analysis and have (after much personal research and analysis) changed their views, and now take a more traditional (and sensible) approach to medicine – and do not simply agree with every chemical drug they are encouraged to prescribe. Some doctors live in fear (and guilt) because they are bound by medical convection to prescribe drugs to patients which they know to be harmful – drugs, whose side effects are so bad that they cause more misery and pain than the original illness they were “designed” to mask – and these are regularly prescribed to patients.

Then why choose alternative remedies? Well, firstly these are not merely “old wives tales” (even though, in reality, there is far more merit in these “stories” than they are given credit for). Raw natural food, green juicing, vitamin and nutritional therapies are proven cures through scientific research, and through individual experiences, anecdotal and analytical. These are not concocted findings, but real life stories that have changed thousands of lives without the terrible side-effects of modern medicine that (in the case of chronic illnesses) cause people to “lose the will to live.” Furthermore, Ibn al-Qayyim himself said: “Physicians are agreed that when treatment is possible through diet, there should be no recourse to medicine.” He also said, “It is said: Whenever it is possible to heal an illness by diet and precautions, there should be no attempt to heal it with medicines.” (Medicine of the Prophet, ITS, p13) And remember, the “medicines” Ibn al-Qayyim is talking of here are nowhere near as toxic and poisonous as many of the modern-day prescription drugs, yet he still advocates avoidance of drugs in favour of diet and precaution.

“Why use speech and research from non-Muslim physicians in your articles?”

Because this is not something new or strange in the books of the scholars who spoke in this field. For example, Ibn al-Qayyim said (p. 28 At-Tibb, Medicine of the Prophet, ITS, p.19): “That most excellent physician, Galen, recognised that cold water is beneficial in fever. He says in chapter ten of his work, ‘The Stratagem of Healing’ that if a patient is a young man, of sound body, well-covered, and if this is in the noon heat, and when the fever nears its end, and if he has no inflammation in the intestines, he should bathe or swim..” This Galen (died 201CE) was a famous Greek physician of his times several centuries before the advent of our noble Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam). Ibn al-Qayyim has no qualms in quoting useful and skilled physicians, both Muslims and non-Muslims, whose theories are strong and based upon tangible results.

What I cite in my articles is from experts in the field of natural healing, nutrition, raw food and other similar therapies.

Their therapies are backed up by many, many scientific research papers and proven recorded findings (anecdotally and analytically proven and available for those who care to research).

Pharmaceutically trained doctors can only but speculate over the efficacy of nutritional therapies since it is not their field of expertise. Those doctors who have “crossed over” to natural and nutritional therapy as a means of treating chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, morbid obesity, etc (and have become experts themselves) number in their thousands all over the world and their research, writings and lectures are openly available. This is not to say that experts in the field all agree with one another in every therapy, no. Some therapies work better than others, and some are less effective than others – but the cure is out there, inshaa’Allaah. I truly believe that Allaah has sent down a cure for every illness that He has created (other than death); that is what our Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) taught us.

I also believe that a true physician is one who from the outset follows the principles mentioned by Ibn Al-Qayyim that revolve around, diet, nutrition and precaution when dealing with illnesses. Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said:

“The Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) used to eat the fruit of the land when it was in season, and did not refrain from it. This too is from the greatest means of preserving health, for Allaah, praised be He, in His wisdom created in every land such varieties of fruit and crops as to give nourishment and benefit to the local inhabitants. When consumed at its season it brings health and maintains well-being, and makes unnecessary the use many medicines (concoctions).

Those who avoid eating the produce of their own land, for fear of illness, few of them escape from bodily illness and they are deprived of health and vigour.”

(At-Tibb, Medicine of the Prophet, ITS, p. 163)

Ibn Al-Qayyim also said (p. 159):

“Whoever reflects upon the guidance of the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) finds it the most excellent guidance whereby health can be preserved. Its preservation is dependent on good organisation of food and drink, clothing and dwelling, place, climate, sleep and waking, movement and rest, marriage, purging of substances (from the body) and the retention (of others). When these are managed according to suitable preparations appropriate to the body, environment, age, and habit, it is more likely to preserve health and well-being, throughout life, up to the end of the appointed time.”

So when I am asked the question: Should we really make a lifestyle change as it relates to preservation of health and well-being, and especially when afflicted by a chronic disease? I answer with the words of Ibn al-Qayyim above! Yes, make a lifestyle change! There are many qualified and expert nutritionists who are also physicians who can advise an afflicted person.

Modern-Day Treatments Often Add More Pain and Suffering to Cancer Patients

Drugs, surgery and radiation are typically the primary recommendations offered by conventional physicians to treat cancer, and upon receiving a cancer diagnosis most people are willing to do just about anything to get better. This includes taking outrageously expensive and dangerous medications that offer little, if any, benefit.

Chemo is another cancer treatment that frequently does more harm than good, although I doubt we’ll see recommendations changing on its use anytime soon. Despite its reputation as the gold-standard in cancer treatment, chemotherapy has an average 5-year survival success rate of just over 2 percent for all cancers, according to a study published in the journal Clinical Oncology.

Another study, The National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD), found that more than four in 10 patients who received chemotherapy toward the end of life experienced potentially fatal effects. And after reviewing data from over 600 cancer patients who died within 30 days of receiving treatment, it was found that chemotherapy hastened or caused death in 27 percent of those cases.

Chemotherapy drugs are, by their very nature, extremely toxic and typically do not work with your body to modulate and normalize its response to allow the cancer to resolve normally. And, they do absolutely nothing to address the cause of the cancer.

A typical, and potentially deadly, side effect of chemo is the destruction of the rapidly multiplying and dividing cells found in your:

  • Bone marrow, which produces blood
  • Digestive system
  • Reproductive system
  • Hair follicles

Natural approaches simply do not have the types of fatal side effects common with conventional cancer treatments because they work by optimizing your body’s own natural healing capacities. If you or a loved one is currently struggling with cancer, I strongly suggest you watch my recent interview with Dr. Nick Gonzalez, a physician focused on alternative cancer treatment using a three-pronged nutritional approach.

But remember it is exponentially easier to prevent cancers than it is to treat them.

In the last 30 years the global cancer burden has doubled, and it will likely double again between 2000 and 2020, and nearly triple by 2030—unless people begin to take cancer prevention seriously. We CAN turn this trend around, but to do so the medical community must stop overlooking the methods that can actually have a significant impact.

What is The Gerson Therapy?

The Gerson Therapy, developed by Dr. Max Gerson in the 1920s, is focused on the concept that you have the power to heal yourself, and it uses non-toxic methods, including organic foods, juicing, detoxification and specialised supplements, to activate this healing potential.

As stated by the non-profit Gerson Institute:

“The Gerson Therapy is a powerful, natural treatment that boosts your body’s own immune system to heal cancer, arthritis, heart disease, allergies, and many other degenerative diseases. One aspect of the Gerson Therapy that sets it apart from most other treatment methods is its all-encompassing nature.

An abundance of nutrients from thirteen fresh, organic juices are consumed every day, providing your body with a superdose of enzymes, minerals and nutrients. These substances then break down diseased tissue in the body, while enemas aid in eliminating the lifelong buildup of toxins from the liver. With its whole-body approach to healing, the Gerson Therapy naturally reactivates your body’s magnificent ability to heal itself – with no damaging side-effects.”

The Gerson Research Organization maintains a collection of reports documenting the research behind the Gerson Therapy as well as the role of diet on cancer, and you can hear anecdotes from patients who have improved using the therapy in the video above, as well as read case studies here.

Many of the success stories include people whose conventional doctors gave no hope for recovery, who were able to overcome their disease against all odds using not toxic cancer drugs but natural fruits and vegetables.  The system is not a miracle cure for everyone, and even the Gerson Institute states that “No treatment works for everyone, every time” … but most conventional physicians offer only ONE route for cancer treatment — drugs, radiation and surgery — while ignoring or discounting alternative options such as this.

The Problem with Conventional Cancer Treatment

Unfortunately, the leading cancer treatments in the United States are notoriously toxic and come with devastating, including lethal, side effects. Conventional medicine is so desperate to give the illusion of fighting the good fight that many of these drugs are used despite the fact that they’re not really doing much to prolong or improve the quality of life of those diagnosed with cancer.

I strongly believe that cancer rates are escalating because modern medicine is in no way, shape or form addressing these underlying causes of most cancers. Instead, most of the research is directed toward expensive drugs that target late stages of the disease and greatly pad the drug companies’ wallets — but simply do not prevent or “cure” cancer.

Why Haven’t You Heard of the Gerson Therapy?

Some of you may have heard of the Gerson Therapy, but the vast majority have not. In fact, most alternative cancer treatments are belittled, discredited or completely ignored by the mainstream press and public health agencies.

Top Tips for Cancer Prevention

  1. Avoid Fructose and Sugar: It’s quite clear that if you want to avoid cancer, or are currently undergoing cancer treatment, you absolutely MUST avoid all forms of sugar — especially fructose — and this is largely due to its relation to insulin resistance.According to Lewis Cantley, director of the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School, as much as 80 percent of all cancers are “driven by either mutations or environmental factors that work to enhance or mimic the effect of insulin on the incipient tumor cells,” Gary Taubes reports. Some cancer centers, such as the Cancer Centers of America, have fully embraced this knowledge and place their patients on strict low-sugar, low-grain diets. But conventional medicine in general has been woefully lax when it comes to highlighting the health dangers of this additive.

  2. Optimize Vitamin D There’s overwhelming evidence pointing to the fact that vitamin D deficiency plays a crucial role in cancer development. Researchers within this field have estimated that about 30 percent of cancer deaths — which amounts to 2 million worldwide and 200,000 in the United States — could be prevented each year simply by optimizing the vitamin D levels in the general population. On a personal level, you can decrease your risk of cancer by MORE THAN HALF simply by optimizing your vitamin D levels with sun exposure. And if you are being treated for cancer it is likely that higher blood levels—probably around 80-90 ng/ml—would be beneficial. If the notion that sun exposure actually prevents cancer is still new to you, I highly recommend you watch my one-hour vitamin D lecture to clear up any confusion. It’s important to understand that the risk of skin cancer from the sun comesonly from excessive exposure.

  3. Exercise. If you are like most people, when you think of reducing your risk of cancer, exercise doesn’t immediately come to mind. However, there is some fairly compelling evidence that exercise can slash your risk of cancer. One of the primary ways exercise lowers your risk for cancer is by reducing elevated insulin levels, which creates a low sugar environment that discourages the growth and spread of cancer cells. For example, physically active adults experience about half the incidence of colon cancer as their sedentary counterparts, and women who exercise regularly may reduce their breast cancer risk by 20 to 30 percent compared to those who are inactive. It’s important to include a large variety of techniques in your exercise routine, such as strength training, aerobics, core-building activities, and stretching. Most important of all, however, is to make sure you include high-intensity, burst-type exercise, such as Peak 8. These exercises activate your super-fast twitch muscle fibers, which can increase your body’s natural production of human growth hormone. For detailed instructions, please see this previous article.

  4. Get appropriate amounts of high quality animal-based omega-3 fats.

  5.  Eat according to your nutritional type. The potent anti-cancer effects of this principle are very much underappreciated. When we treat cancer patients in our clinic this is one of the most powerful anti-cancer strategies we have.

  6. Only 25 percent of people eat enough vegetables, so by all means eat as many vegetables as you are comfortable with. Ideally, they should be fresh and organic. Cruciferous vegetables in particular have been identified as having potent anti-cancer properties. Remember that carb nutritional types may need up to 300 percent more vegetables than protein nutritional types.

  7. Maintain an ideal body weight.

  8. Get appropriate amounts of high-quality sleep.

  9. Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, household chemical cleaners, synthetic air fresheners and air pollution.

  10. Reduce your use of cell phones and other wireless technologies, and implement as many safety strategies as possible if/when you cannot avoid their use.

  11. Boil, poach or steam your foods, rather than frying or charbroiling them. Better yet eat as many of your foods raw as you can.


NOTE: As much as I would like to avoid usage of images of human faces, I am not responsible for informative external links that may include images.


  1. Maa shaa Allaah, some very important health information that most of us give little or no importance to.

    Health awareness within the Muslim Ummah is lacking tremendously.

    A lot of us need to realise that the food that Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’ala Allaah) has created in its natural form is perfect and beneficial for us as long as we consume it in the right way.

  2. جزاك الله خير , very beneficial article, indeed. May Allah reward brother Abu Khadeejah and raise his station (أمين )

  3. i have hardly ever read an informative article than this so far.. its extremely beneficial.. جزاك الله خيرا

  4. I am from Maldives. Alhamdhulillahi I got the opportunity to sit with brother Abu Khadheeja and to learn about these alternative therapies 3 years back in Madheena. After that I have done immense research on Orthomolecular medicine. Cancer/Heart Failure/Cirrhosis etc… are not death sentences as doctors claim it to be. By the will of Allah, with proper herbs/supplements a person can cure his illness and live a normal life. I learnt a very important usool. Don’t let the doctors take control of your health, instead take good advice from them and do your own research. Costus/Blackseed/Honey/Ginger/Vinegar/cinammon/fenugreek/barley/pomegranate etc… which have been mentioned in Tibb ul Nabawi have amazing healing powers by the will of Allah. Also Coq10 is renowned for it’s amazing benefits to heart failure patients and Alpha Lipoic Acid has many healing agents to cure cirrhosis and other terminal illnesses. Dr Bert Berkson has over 30 yrs experience in ALA and even now treats his patients in New Mexico/ USA. Jazakallah Khairan brother Abu Khadeeja for striving to spread salafi dawah among english speaking brothers and ur concern to inform us on healthy living. May Allah shower His Blessings on you and your family. Ruqyah series lectures given by our brother Abu Iyad is also extremely beneficial for a person who seeks good health.

  5. Assalaamu ‘alaikum. The various health related articles in this website is immensely beneficial and relevant in correlation to Qur’an and authentic sunnah.
    My personal experience with long term health issues is the realisation of the need of good health/diet and ibaadah. Maintaining good health and well-being helps you with ibaadah in shaa Allaah. BaarakAllaahu feek jami’aan (very much).

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