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Benefits of kuhl (kohl) for eyes

Original black hijazi ithmid kohl

The use of kuhl (kohl), also known as kajal or surma, for eyes has a long history in various cultures, especially the Arabic region where it was used for thousands of years.

The original Arabic kuhl (ithmid kuhl), also spelled as kohl, is extracted from natural stone that is found naturally in the environment, where it is smashed and turned into a powder that is used for the eyes and eyelashes. This powder was used as eye makeup, particularly to enhance the eyes and darken the eyelashes. Ithmid kuhl was also believed to have various benefits for eye health, such as improving vision, protecting the eyes from the sun and preventing eye infections.

Ithmid Kuhl

Kuhl or kohl is an arabic word used to describe any eyeliner applied on the eyes. There are many different traditional ways of making kuhl using different ingredients. For example some palestinian women make kuhl for eyes from burning olive oil and a ntural cloth together and turning them into an ash to be used as kuhl for the eyes. And in other cultures kuhl is made from other ingredients.

Modern commercial kuhl products found in beauty stores such as kuhl eyeliners or pencils differ significantly from the traditional Arabic kohl. These products are made from synthetic ingredients and are highly processed. They are kuhl in the sense of being an eyeliner but are not the kind of traditional kuhl that is associated with the word kuhl. Also many products which claim to be authentic traditional kuhl are actually made from harmful ingredients and not from the natural kuhl stone. Many of these products may contain ingredients like lead, heavy metals, or other harmful substances, which can be dangerous when applied near the eyes.

Ithmid Kuhl is a specific type of kuhl that comes from a specific stone (ithmid stone). This was the type mostly used by the arabs in Arabia for its eye benefits in preislamic era. Later on prophet Muhammad (May Allah`s peace and blessing be upon him) confirmed its benefits and recommended the use of ithmid kuhl for eyes.

Several hadith narrations on the benefits of ithmid kuhl for eyes has been reported from the prophet ( may Allah`s peace and blessings be upon him).

Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) narrated that the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم ) said : “Indeed, the Ithmid is among the best of your kuhl. It certainly clears the vision and grows hair”
Narrated by Al-Nasaa’i and Ahmed. Classed Saheeh by Al-Albaani.

Ibn Abbas also narrated that the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم ) said : “Use Ithmid as kuhl for indeed it clears the vision and grows hair”
Narrated by Al-Tirmidi and Classed Saheeh by Al-Albaani.

If you are interested in using kuhl for your eyes, it is advisable to opt for products from reputable sellers or dealers that know their supply chain or where their kuhl comes from. has been selling authentic kuhl for eyes powders since 2017 with thousands of satisfied customers. The website stocks different types of hand made ithmid kuhls of the highest quality.

How to apply kuhl on eyes

For medicinal purposes, apply ithmid kuhl as close as possible to the eye. To do this, pass the kuhl applicator along the bottom waterline from one corner of your eye to the opposite one. Close your eyelashes as you do this. For cosmetic purposes, you can use ithmid kuhl just like any non-liquid eyeliner.

Follow these steps to apply ithmid kuhl safely and effectively:

  • Just dip the applicator in the bottle and then remove it.
  • Apply whatever little comes within between the eyelashes or waterline.
  • Dip it again and repeat the same process.
  • Do that 3 times on each eye.

You can also apply it on the eyebrows if you want to increase hair volume and growth there too or outline it (with the black kuhl).

Very little powder will stick to the applicator the first time. That is fine. Just apply whatever little comes with it.

After that, the moisture from the eyes will slightly wet it, and a bit more will stick to it for the 2nd and 3rd applications.

Don’t be tempted to wet the applicator to get more kuhl powder to stick.

You could end up with lumps of it in your eyes, which can be very irritating and cause a lot of redness in the eyes.

If this happens, just wash your eyes out, and the symptoms will settle down in a few hours, insha’Allah.

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What is ithmid kohl/surma chemically ?

The black type of ithmid kohl is thought to be a form of antimony tri-sulfide whereas the red type is thought to be some form of antimony penta-sulfide. However it might not any type of or antimony tri-sulfide or antimony penta-sulfide is suitable to be used as an ithmid eyeliner as rocks can vary significantly in their chemical makeup even though the name is exactly the same.

Many customers have been asking about what mineral ithmid kohl is chemically. This post discusses this but before going straight into answering question it is important to make a little bit of introduction and background information.

Ithmid kohl is a kohl made from ithmid rocks which are formed naturally by the reaction of various elements over many many years.
Rocks from the same family of ithmid can be found in many places around the world. However, these rocks , although chemically similar, are not exactly the same.

This is very important to note : Not all rocks with the same name are exactly the same chemically. There can be differences even though the name is same.

This is well known concept in chemistry. The same element or mineral can exist in different forms (allotropy) and have different properties. Thus rocks of the same mineral can have different properties and act in a different ways chemically.

Because of this focusing too much on attaching a specific chemical name to ithmid can be very misleading. So even if one knows what mineral ithmid kohl is, not all rocks that correpsond to the chemical name of the ithmid kohl mineral will be fit for use as kohl and applied to the eyes. In fact some of the rocks that have the same mineral name as ithmid rock might be harmful.

Also the exact chemical make-up of any rock is massively influenced by the elements and the local environment. It is not entirely determined by its name.

The other big issue is that ithmid as an arabic word is somewhat loose term and is not tied exactly to just one substance. Trying to identify “the” ithmid can be misleading and wrong. It is a fact that ithmid can come in different colours and is found on several places on the world. So ithmid is not one specific mineral.

The most popular places for mining ithmid are Saudi Arabia, Iran, Morocco, Yemen and Levants. But it can exist at other places too. The ithmid from each place is unique and different at the micro level and sometimes at the physical level. Many properties like the colour, texture and effect on the eyes can vary, even between stones from the same country or region.

Red/Burgundy Hijazi Ithmid Kohl

In the Hijaz region of Saudi Arabia, red/burgundy and black ithmid types can be found. The isfahani ithmid from Iran also comes in red/burgundy.

This variations illustrate the fact that it wrong to think of ithmid as one specific mineral as all these types are considered as ithmid.

Pure black ithmid kohl
BLACK Hijazi Ithmid Kohl

Another issue is that when it comes to rocks and minerals, identification is not as a straighforward and clear cut process as many people imagine. There is families and subfamilies etc. It is easy to have a rock lab tested to find out the chemical elements and compounds it contains. But sticking a name on it is not as easy.

With that points in mind, the black type of ithmid is thought to be a form of Antimoy Tri-Sulfide , Sb2S3 , and the red types are a form of Antimoy Penta-Sulfide Sb2S5. Ithmid Kohl is not Galena as wrongly claimed by some articles on the internet.

Galena compunds contain significant amounts of lead but laboratory analysis of ithmid kohl show it has no detectable amounts of lead and those claiming ithmid kohl to be Galena are decieved by the similar looks of Galena rocks to ithmid rocks

Armed with this knowledge it is very tempting to try and order rocks or powders with with this chemical name from chemical substance sellers but this is not advisable as not any type of Antimoy Tri-Sulfide or Antimoy Penta-Sulfide rock will be suitable for use on the eyes.

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How to apply ithmid kohl ?

For medicinal purposes, apply ithmid kohl as close as possible to the eye. To do this pass the kohl applicator along the bottom waterline from one corner of your eye to the opposite one. Close your eyelashes as you do this. For cosmetic purposes, you can use ithmid kohl just like any non-liquid eyeliner.

Follow these steps to apply ithmid kohl safely and effectively:

1) just dip in the applicator in the bottle and then remove it

2) Apply whatever little comes with in between the eyelashes or waterline

3) Dip it again and repeat the same process

4) Do that 3 times in each eye

4) You can also apply it on the eyebrows if you want to increase hair volume and growth there too or outline it (with the black kohl)

Very little powder will stick to the applicator first time. That is fine. Just apply whatever little comes with it.

After that, the moisture from the eyes will slightly wet it and a bit more will stick to it for the 2nd and 3rd applications.

Don’t be tempted to wetting the applicator to get more kohl powder to stick.

You could end up with lumps of it in your eyes which can be very irritating and cause a lot of redness in the eyes.

If this happens, just wash your eyes out and the symptoms will settle down in few hours insha’Allah.

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How black seed can be a real cure-all as mentioned by the prophet

After over 1000 years  and hundreds of studies, science is bearing witness to the truthfulness and accuracy of what the prophet said about the black seed. 

The black seed has been used as a remedy and health- promoting food by people living in South East Asia, Middle East and the Far East for thousands of years. 

References to curative black cumin in the Bible are thought to be referring to black seed ( though black cumin can also refer to an entirely different plant and some experts frown upon the use of black cumin to refer to black seed).

Greek and Roman physicians such as Hippocrates, Dioscorides and Galen were also aware of the healing properties of the black seed and have both used and written about it. 

The Melanthion, as it is called in Greek, was used for a wide range of ailments including digestive problems, snake and scorpion stings, headache and toothache, to name but few. It was also used for strengthening the liver by hippocrates. 

Similarly, black seed’s healing abilities were known to ancient Egyptians. Presence of black seeds in King Tutankhamun’s tomb as one of the items worthy to be taken to the afterlife (so they believed) indicates how popular and treasured these seeds were to them. 

Therefore, the  prophet () was not the first to point out the healing power and health benefits of black seed

But the prophet () was the first and the only one to pinpoint in a short and concise yet extraordinary and miraculous statement the health benefits of the Black seed: “… It is a cure for every disease except death”.

This statement is a good example of the unique ability Allah has given the prophet (May Allah`s peace and blessings be upon him) :conveying complex information with minimal wording.

With that very short statement, the prophet (May Allah`s peace and blessings be upon him) summed up all that could be said about the health benefits of the Black seed. 

What is also remarkable about this magnificent statement is its clarity and lack of vagueness. Because of this it lends itself to be proven wrong or right. 

After extensive research and hundreds of studies spanning over couple of decades, the scientific accuracy of the prophet’s statement cannot be disputed. It is now scientifically clear that black seeds have indeed the potential to cure any disease. 

The most abundant constituent of black seed, thymoquinone (TQ), is now greatly investigated by scientists for its therapeutic potential in a wide range of diseases. It is likely that drugs containing this substance will be developed in the near future, as recommended by many researchers.

A cure-all but… 

As the prophet () said and proven by research, black seed has the potential to cure any disease. 

However, just like any other treatment, results can vary on a case by case basis. From environment to diet and psychology, many factors influence the response of the body to a given treatment. Proven treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy for cancer, for example, all fail to yield desired results from time to time: some people respond to treatment better than others. 

Even though the black seed have the potential to remedy all diseases, the time taken for and the extent of recovery depends on other factors. Under optimal conditions the black seeds can single handedly cure any disease. On other times combining it with other remedies is required to achieve faster and more effective results

Seed is the best

Three options are available for those who want to improve their health with black seed : using the seeds themselves, the oil squeezed from the seeds or  powder extract of the seeds such that is found in supplements. 

Although you are bound to receive immense health benefits from using black seed oil or black seed powder extract, you have to be aware that using seeds has unique advantages over the other methods and is the best way to obtain maximum health benefits from this amazing herb.

First and foremost, the prophet (May Allah`s peace and blessings be upon him) praised and recommended black seeds, not its oil or any other derivative of the seeds. Strictly speaking, the prophetic guarantee of it being having a cure for every disease except death applies only when using seeds, and the sunnah can not be held accountable for lack of  good results when using other black seed products. 

The distinction between the original natural form of any food – be it fruits, vegetables, or seeds- and the products obtained from them through further processing is one recognised and established scientifically. It is also dictated by common sense and intuition : you would not expect drinking apple juice to be the same thing as eating an apple. This very much applies in the case of black seed. 

lack seeds contain many nutrients and chemicals that work synergistically (together) to deliver health and nourishment to the body. These nutrients exist in each seed in a specific concentrations and ratio. For instance, 30-40% of a seed is oil and so on.

Because of this balanced and natural mix of chemicals , seeds are much safer than the oil form and more effective than the extract.

Not only does some of the nutrients are lost In the process of obtaining black seed oil or powder extract, but also the original chemical makeup of the seeds is disrupted, with the end products having slight chemical differences to the seeds. 

This change in the original natural chemical makeup brings with it  problems, not so much with the powder extract as It is with black seed oil. 

Black seed oil is highly concentrated and should be used sparingly. It is a type of essential oil and can cause toxicity if used in large quantities. It is also more likely to provoke allergic reactions in first time users than seeds or powder extract. 

Having said that , Black seed oil is highly potent and powerful health enhancing substance. In fact, almost all the available studies showing black seeds health benefits used the oil form rather than the seeds as this was more convenient. Chemical analysis have shown that the oil is also rich in thymoquinone, which is thought to be the source of the health improvement abilities of the black seed. This clearly indicates that black seed oil retains most of the miraculous properties of black seed. 

Also using black seed oil or powder is often more convenient  and time-saving than using seeds. It is because of this reason that researchers often use black seed oil in studies, as experimental animals can just be injected with it, avoiding the need to devise a way to feed animals with the seeds. 

Most importantly, the oil can be used externally on the skin and hair. As well as being a remedy for many skin disorders, black seed oil is also renowned for nourishing skin and hair and keeping them look their best. As an added benefit, after application the oil gets absorbed into the stream yielding body-wide health benefits, albeit not as great as when taken orally. 

Nutritional powerhouse 

Research have demonstrated that black seed and its oil contain many important health promoting nutrients. Take a look at what is in this awesome nutritional powerhouse while keeping in mind that these little amazing seeds contain around 100 different compounds some of which ( around 30) are not even identified yet. 

  • At least 8 different types of essential unsaturated fatty acids Including Omega-6 , Omega-3 and oleic acid ( found also in olive oil). 

  • Protein in the form of 15 different amino acids including 9 essential ones. 

  • At least 4 different types of carbohydrates including glucose, xylose, rhamnose and arabinose. 

  • Several important minerals including calcium, sodium, potassium and iron. 

  • Vitamins, particularly the B complex vitamins such as Thiamin (B1) Riboflavin (B2) and folic acid (B9) 

  • At least 7 different plant sterols including cholesterol and beta-sitosterol. 

  • Quinones, mostly thymoquinone (TQ) which is thought to be responsible for black seed’s health benefits. TQ is currently the object of much research by scientists, especially in its potential to be developed into a cancer drug. 

  • Fibre 

In short black seed contains the most essential nutrients to regenerate, strengthen and repair the building blocks of the human body, the cells. Through this, black seeds breathes vitality and resilience into the body, making it in a good position to ward off and recover from illnesses.

20 scientifically proven health benefits of black seed 

Combination of animal and human studies have shown that black seeds possess many therapeutic and pharmacological effects. In other words, black seeds do similar and often the same job as that of many medical drugs combined, but without any side effects.

All the following pharmacological effects have been demonstrated experimentally by scientists using either black seeds, black seed oil or thymoquinone on animal or human subjects.

These benefits can be obtained using black seeds themselves or black seed oil. In fact, most of the health benefits below were actually established experimentally using only thymoquinone extract, the main active constituent of black seed. Fortunately, black seed oil is also rich in thymoquinone.

Immune booster

Black seed extracts have been shown to strengthen the immune system and improve the ability of macrophages (a type of white blood cells) to attack invaders. Function of T and natural killer (NK) cells is also enhanced.

As the immune system is the body’s defence against illnesses, this effect alone would have explained how black seeds can cure all diseases. 

3 in 1 Antimicrobial

Studies have shown that thymoquinone prevents at least 11 different types of bacteria from forming bacterial biofilm, a necessary step for colonising and infecting the human body. Other studies have also shown black seed oil to be effective against the most stubborn and drug resistant bacteria including MRSA. 

On top of this ability, black seed is found to be effective against both the other two types of disease- causing microorganisms : viruses and fungi.


Black seed was shown to have antiparasitic activity with an ability to annihilate tapeworms and schistosomes ( the flatworm that causes bilharzia). 


This is one of the most well established benefits of black seed with evidence from many studies. 

Black seed plays significant role in the prevention of cancer. Animal experiments demonstrated that thymoquinone acts as an anti mutation agent with significant genoprotective effects.

DNA is the brain of cells and cancer can not take place without harmful DNA change (mutation) occurring first  as cancerous cells require different brain that gives independence to grow uncontrollably and harm other body cells. 

Many researchers recommend combining black seed extract, thymoquinone, with conventional chemotherapy for better treatment results and to reduce the toxicity of cancer drugs on the body. 


As well as preventing cancer in the first place, black seed is also able to deal with cancer once it has taken place. It shrinks existing tumours and prevents cancer spread and metastasis by inhibiting ability of cancer cells to grow blood vessels and increase their number in what is known as angiogenesis and proliferation respectively. 


Inflammation is a natural process that occurs constantly within our bodies. Some degree of inflammation is always present, even when we are not ill. However, keeping inflammation to a minimum is crucial for good health.

Asthma and rheumatoid arthritis are extreme examples of how inflammation can wreak havoc upon the body. But some degree of inflammation exists in all ailments including minor ones. Day to day life stresses also have inflammation associated with it.

Black seed and its oil are found to possess potent anti inflammatory properties. Asthma is one of the diseases where inflammation plays major role in. One clinical trial on 29 asthma sufferers observed a significant reduction in asthma symptoms and frequency of attacks following administration of black seed extract over 3 months period. Pulmonary (lung) function tests also showed significant improvements.

Research has shown that one way black seed fights inflammation is by suppressing proinflammation chemicals called prostaglandins and leukotrienes.

Antioxidants are known for their anti inflammatory effects. Black seed is rich in antioxidants and this is another way that black seed combats inflammation.


Not only does black seed strengthens the immune system, but it also modulates its activity. This means it either decreases or boosts its activity as needed.

The immune system is highly volatile system that can misjudge the degree of activity required. In extreme cases of overactivity, it attacks the body itself, causing a range of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes. Immune system overdrive is also thought to be involved to a smaller degree in less extreme illnesses such as asthma. The ability of black seed to suppress or promote immune system activity as required makes it a double action immune system remedy suitable for all individuals regardless of their level of immunity. 


Drugs used to control and prevent convulsions from epilepsy and seizures are referred to as anticonvulsant. These drugs are also often used for keeping some psychological disorders such as bipolar under control.

Black seed have been shown to exert calming effects on the brain. It normalises the nervous system signalling within the brain, making it good for preventing epileptic seizures and convulsions. One study found black seed to be more effective in this regard than valproate, the traditional anticonvulsant drug.

Anti-anxiety and antidepressant

Tests on the brains of rats fed with black seed oil showed increased levels of serotonin. A type of natural chemical messengers produced by the body, serotonin promotes positive mood and feelings of calmness and stability.

Elevated plus maze and forced swimming tests are two standard tests used by researchers to investigate effects of different substances on anxiety and depression using animals as subjects.

Animals given a daily dose of black seed oil for four weeks performed well in both tests, indicating the anxiolytic (anti anxiety) properties of black seed.

In agreement with modern research findings, the pioneering Muslim physician whose book “Canon of medicine” remained the main medical text in Europe until the 17th century, Ibn Sina (Avericia as he was known in the West) stated that black seed stimulates the body’s energy and helps in recovery from fatigue and dispiritedness.


Neurons are the cells that make up the nervous system. Concentrated in the brain and spinal cord mainly, they are the functional units of the nervous system responsible for processing and storing the information that makes us alive.

Experiments using black seed oil and thymoquinone showed that black seed protects neurons from degeneration and even promotes formation of new neurons in a what is known as neurogenesis.

This makes it effective against the natural degradation of brain neurons as part of the aging process and the diseases that accompany it such as Parkinson’s and dementia. 

Protects and improves memory

Specific neurons in the brain facilitate learning and other cognitive skills such as memory. Therefore, any substance with neuroprotective properties would be beneficial for improving all brain functions including memory. 

But as well as its neuroprotective activities, research shows black seed enhances memory and thinking in other ways. 

Black seed is rich in flavonoids. Studies show that flavonoids are able to induce improvements in thinking, learning and memory. 

Neurotransmitters are chemicals used by the nervous system to trigger certain activities in the brain and relay messages in other parts of the nervous system. The neurotransmitter Acetylcholine is used to promote memory, learning, thinking as well as positive mood. Neurotransmitters are short lived molecules and are destroyed by enzymes soon after they do their initial job.

Studies have shown that several of the chemicals present in black seed such as thymoquinone, thymol and carvacrol inhibit the process which  leads to the destruction of Acetylcholine. This means there would be more acetylcholine molecules in the brain with more lifespan to trigger changes that enhance memory and thinking abilities. 

Negative emotions are known to be detrimental to mental clarity and good memory. Black seed’s anti anxiety and calming properties further improve memory and thinking abilities. 


Research shows black seed lowers blood pressure. One human study on people suffering from mild hypertension showed that administering black seed extract for 2 months reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressures. 


Histamines are chemicals that trigger immune system reactions to help the body rid itself of allergens. Histamines are involved in almost all allergies and allergic reaction type diseases such as asthma.

Black seed is proven to counteract effects of histamine overdrive, the root cause of allergies.


Black seed keeps blood sugar levels stable and prevents it from spiking up by reducing glucose absorption at the intestines, stimulating insulin release from the pancreas and making muscle and liver cells more sensitive to insulin so they use up more glucose. These effects are also likely to help with weight loss, as an added bonus.

Reduces cholesterol and fat

Experiments with black seed oil and thymoquinone have shown that black seed reduces amounts of Low Density Cholesterol (LDL), the bad type, while increasing amounts of High Density Cholesterol (HDL), the good type.

Alongside other potentially harmful lipids, levels of triglyceride (TG) , the main component of fatty tissue in humans, were also found to drop down.

These effects are beneficial for the health of the body as a whole but more so for heart and circulatory system. 


As well as indirectly combating obesity via a number of different mechanisms such as promoting a better uptake of glucose by muscles and reducing cholesterol and fat levels, black seed is found to decrease food intake, the root cause of obesity. 

In one experiment, 25% decrease in food intake for rats fed with black seed oil for four weeks was observed. Another study reported significant decreases in body weight of diabetic rats following treatment with 300mg of black seed extract per day for 30 days.

One of the limited human studies on the topic used 50 obese men as subjects. Reduced waist and hip sizes as well as overall body weight was observed after consuming 3 grams of black seed powder everyday for three months. 


Atherosclerosis occurs when arteries become narrowed due to buildup of a plaques, a mixture of fatty substances such as cholesterol and other cellular debris inside them. 

As well as combating the major risk factors for atherosclerosis such as diabetes and obesity, black seeds also prevent the formation of plaques. 

One study reported black seed oil to be better than aspirin in preventing platelets, a type of blood cells responsible for clotting, from sticking together and forming a clot in what is known as platelet aggregation. This reduces the risk for diseases such as stroke, heart attack and pulmonary embolism (PE), which  all occur when a blood clot interrupts normal blood flow.

Maintains healthy heart

On top of maintaining heart health indirectly through the prevention of atherosclerosis, lowering bad cholesterol levels, protecting blood vessels from damage and combating diseases which can damage heart health such as diabetes and high blood pressure, black seed also protects the heart tissue itself from toxins. 

Cyclosporine A, used after transplant surgery and in treatment of autoimmune disorders and Cyclophosphamide, used in chemotherapy are two common drugs known to have toxic side effects on the heart. In two separate studies, researchers demonstrated that thymoquinone, not only protects the heart and limits toxic damage, but can also reverse any previous harmful changes that have occurred.

Additionally,  studies show that black seed affects the heart in a similar way that exercise does, increasing and enhancing its function. It moderately enlarges the heart and enhances its contractions. Researchers also believe it can improve heart energy production by improving the function of mitochondria, the cells’ power station where energy is produced.  All this effects makes the heart stronger and more resilient to demanding and stressful work loads. 

Excessive heart enlargement is unhealthy and hinders the heart from doing its job properly. This normally occurs after sustained periods of high heart rate and extra contractions due to disease or just extra workload on the heart. Miraculously, black seed also prevents this from happening. 

Different studies found black seed to inhibit unhealthy heart rate and contractions. Diltiazem is a drug used for controlling unhealthy heart rhythm in cases of heart attack and other heart disorders. Lab experiments on isolated hearts from Guinea pigs showed black seed to have a comparable or even higher effect than Diltiazem. 


Thymoquinone from black seed is shown to have strong and effective pain relief capabilities. It was shown to significantly reduce writhing in rats injected with acid and is seen by researchers as a promising pain reliever for arthritis, especially given its anti inflammatory properties. 


The liver is the body’s purification plant and works around the clock to clean and neutralise toxins and harmful substances. As it is on the front line of this battle, It is vulnerable to damage and injury, especially with an unhealthy lifestyle. 

Experiments on rats have shown that black seeds protect the liver tissue from damage and injury. Rats given thymoquinone were found to have less liver injury than others after both groups were made to consume toxic substances. 


Evidence from experiments shows that black seed protects the stomach and bowel lining from injury and damage which often subsequently leads to ulcers. 

Reduced acid secretion, one of the main causes of stomach ulcers, was observed with rats fed thymoquinone extract as well as less gastric surface erosions and ulcers. 

Histamine is involved in gastric ulcer formation after it is released following injury. On the contrary, antioxidants are known to help prevent ulcers and speed healing. Black seed is rich in antioxidants and is antihistamine, which makes it effective in speeding up the healing of any injuries and preventing it from developing into an ulcer. 

As well as alcohol (which isn’t a Muslim’s concern),  excessive consumption of spicy foods and pain killers are major factors which can aggravate gastric injuries and contribute to ulcer development. Stress and anxiety are also thought to do the same. 

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How to identify pure Ithmid kohl/surma/kajal?

Pure black ithmid kohl

With so many fake kohl powders being sold as a pure Ithmid Kohl, it’s very easy to fall a victim to this unscrupulous trade and buy a kohl product on the assumption that it is real and pure ithmid kohl when in reality it is not not only not what you think but potentially toxic and harmful.

In fact, the vast majority (over 90%) of the kohl powders on the market which their sellers claim to be 100% lead free and pure are anything but. A lot of these sellers are themselves unaware of what is in these products but they advertise it as pure and lead free nonetheless just to make sales without asking themselves if their claims are true or not.

However if they did a little bit of homework to ensure that what they are selling is actually pure Ithmid and lead free, many of them would have discontinued selling them.

So what homework can one do to investigate that the product they are buying is genuinely pure Ithmid kohl?

Check it’s not on the black list

The easiest and first thing you can do is to check if the product is not one already reported to be lead laden and potentially toxic by reliable sources.

The biggest brands or makes in the kohl market actually have been discredited by lab tests conducted by the Saudi Food and Drugs Agency. Ecowaste coalition and New South Wales government in Australia also discredited a major kohl brand as being potentially toxic.

Check the list of these brands and images of their widely available kohl products here as a first step of knowing whether your potential purchase (or already bought product) is actually pure kohl. If it’s there, then you just have saved yourself a lot of further checking as well as saving your money and health.

Can the stone be traced and provided if needed

Another indirect way of knowing whether the product is pure Ithmid kohl is to check with the seller if they are able to trace where the kohl came from and can provide you with a stone of the same type if needed.

Ithmid kohl like any other product is passed down a chain of producers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers before reaches you. But any seller who knows their trade well will be able to trace back when the Ithmid stone was crushed into a powder. They will know which of their suppliers did this and they can verify with them that nothing was added and the end product was completely pure Ithmid powder.

Sellers who just bought a nicely packaged black substance advertised as pure Ithmid kohl from a random wholesaler will not be able to do any of these requirements. They have no history of the product, where it came from and how it is made except that which is written by the package or told to them by whoever they bought it off from (who in turn relies on the packaging info or what someone else said to them)

At we are 100% sure about the purity of our Ithmid kohl powder which is crushed into a stone using an electrical grinder. We know and can trace back the whole journey of our ithmid powders. The stones from which are our pure ithmid kohl powders are made from are available on request.

Does it look like and feel like a crushed stone

Pure ithmid kohl is obtained by crushing ithmid stone into a powder without adding any other ingredients. Imagine yourself doing this for a minute ? What image comes to your mind of the of kind of powder would you end up ? Something dusty with a slightly different shades of color ? Or something that is jet black and glossy without any traces of dust or variation in its color ?

Hopefully, you have picked the first option which is what represents a truly pure ithmid kohl. When you see and feel a pure ithmid kohl you will know feel confident to say that it must have come from a stone. A good pure ithmid kohl powder has this little shiny silverish grains in it (which look white flecks in the photo) and it is colour is more of a dark grey than that of black.

Also pure ithmid kohl has this soft texture to it that it easily compacts on itself under pressure and forms lumps in a similar way to a wet sand.

Pure black Hijazi ithmid kohl powder
Pure black Hjazi ithmid kohl powder : Notice the whitish spots ( Exagerated in this photo by the camera- in reality it is more subtle and is ony a hint of silver). Also notice the texture and how soft it looks. Also the colour is not jet black.

Does the seller sound knowledgeable

This is an indirect way of ascertaining whether what you are about to buy is actually pure and genuine ithmid kohl. Being knowledgeable about the topic of ithmid kohl is a distinguishing sign that marks good sellers who have done their research and homework and know what they are talking about from the others who due to their lack of expertise and knowledge on the topic do not know much about the products they are selling beyond what is written on the packaging and may be the hadiths on the benefits of ithmid kohl.

Some of the questions that you can ask the seller include :

Where does ithmid kohl come from ? Is pure ithmid kohl only a certain color ( for example black ) ? What other colours does pure ithmid kohl come from ? How many varieties of ithmid kohl exist ? What is the difference between them ? How is ithmid kohl made ? How to apply it ?

Sellers selling genuinely pure and authentic ithmid kohl will most definitely give you convincing answers on these questions as they themselves had gone through the same situation you are in when sourcing their products and through research and personal experience found out the answers.

Hope you found this article useful and it gave you a very important tips that you can use to steer away from fake ithmid kohl products and identify pure ithmid kohl.

If you have any questions or comments please leave a comment under the post ( I will reply to you insha`Allah) or get in touch by email at :

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Avoid at all costs : The black list of kohl products

The ithmid kohl market is saturated with brands claiming to offer genuine ithmid kohl products. Unfortunetaly the reality is that the vast majorities of these products are not genuine ithmid kohl. Laboratory results have shown that they contain toxic amounts of lead. Some of them were also found to be contaminated with bacteria, possibly due to unhygienic handling and processing.

Couple of brands seem to have made it big on the ithmid kohl trade. Their well presented products have flooded the markets all around the world and are the first thing someone looking for ithmid kohl encounters.

Most of these fake products have been confirmed by lab analysis to be unsuitable for human use due to containing toxic amounts of lead. Here you will find a list of these products. Anyone looking for genuine ithmid ( or cares about their health for that matter) should not be going anywhere near these products.

Brands tested by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority

Samples from nine common ithmid kohl products that were actively sold in markets were tested by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority. All nine were found to contain excessive amounts of lead ( 10 times the allowed limit for beauty products per the saudi standards ).

Additionally , seven samples were found to contain high amounts of bacteria that exceeds the maximum allowed limit for beauty products.

Below are the ithmid kohl products tested by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority.


Name : Ithmid kohl with rose and zamzam water
Country of manufacture : KSA



Name : Alharamain kohl
Country of manufacture : Not available



Name : Black ithmid kohl
Country of manufacture : Not available

Fake ithmid kohl 2


Name : Rani kajal kohl
Country of manufacture : Not available



Name : Hashmi black kohl
Country of manufacture : India



Name : Red ithmid kohl
Country of manufacture : Not available



Name : Hashmi Kajal
Country of manufacture : India



Name : Hatimi black kohl
Country of manufacture : India


Name : Hatimi black kohl
Country of manufacture : Not available

fake ithmid kohl 9

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Ithmid Kohl : A protection against CMV virus?

Cytomegalovirus, HCMV, is a herpes type virus carried by most people – like other viruses – without any symptoms.

Eyes can be seriously damaged by the HCMV virus. It can cause a condition called HCMV retinitis which as its worst could lead to blindness.

Ithmid Kohl has been traditionally used as an antimicrobial agent by ancient Arabs in the Middle East.

Therefore, it is very plausible that regular use of ithmid Kohl, as has been strongly recommended by prophet Muhammad ( May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), could protect the eyes against viral infections such as that caused by CMV.

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Is kohl eyeliner harmful or dangerous for eyes and health ?

Bad reputation and negative stigma is attached to kohl eyeliners as a result of findings that it contains harmful ingredients and toxic levels of lead.

This puts many people who are attracted to the potential cosmetic and health benefits of kohl eyeliners in a difficult situation ; wandering wether or not to use kohl and confused about its safety.

Many people face a dilemma between wanting to use kohl for its assumed benefits and the mainstream advice not to use it because of potential health problems.

So just how dangerous is kohl eyeliners and should you be avoiding them?

Lead laden

Unfortunately, the vast majority of kohl eyeliners (both traditional and commercial) contain unsafe levels of lead, which can lead to lead poisoning, particularly on children.

Excessive Lead can build up in different body tissues and can cause various adverse health effects.

Saudi Food and Drugs Agency (SFDA) reported that nine of the most popular commercial kohl brands on the market contained lead levels which are 10 times higher than permitted levels. Additionally, the samples were found to be contaminated with bacteria (very concerning as eyes have suppresses immunity) .

A large proportion of commercial kohl products are made using galena and minium which are lead based compounds containing high amounts of lead.

Many kohl products are full of toxic substances

But not all kohl is bad

According to one study, as much as three quarters of kohl products on the market do not contain lead as a major component.

Another study have shown that indeed a very small percentage (7 out of 21 samples) of kohl eyeliners on the market do not contain any lead at all (lead free).

Clearly not all kohl eyeliners are the same and the main stream blanket approach of warning against all kohl eyeliners and products is wrong.

Genuine and organic Ithmid (antimony) kohl poses no health risks or potential harmful effects to the eyes or health in general.

It is made by crushing natural rocks containing a mix of chemical elements such as Iron in a unique proportions. It is this combination of elements that give it is healing and vision improvement powers.

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Ithmid Kohl Might Kill Eyelash Mites

This might come as a surprise but your eyelashes and eyebrows are a favourite abode for a tiny microscopic mites.

Known commonly as eyelash mites (demodex scientifically) , they lurk around hair follicles and feed on dead skin cells.

The presence of these mites is thought to be normal and that small numbers exist on everybody’s body. The mites feed on dead skin cells and can be good in that way.

However, infestation of eyelash mites can cause various eye irritations such as redness and itchiness.

Eyelash mites have also been associated with skin disorders such as acne and rosacea.

Research on eyelash mites is still ongoing and it is likely more will be discovered about their nature and effect on health, especially eyes related conditions, in the future.

Ithmid kohl /surma might kill eyelash mites

Ithmid Kohl kills microbes

It has been known since ancient times that Ithmid kohl /Surma has antimicrobial properties.

While mentioning the benefits of Ithmid (Antimony) Kohl, Imam ibn al-Qayyim said :

“… And it (Ithmid) removes the extra (dead) flesh from wounds and makes it heal, and it cleans its dirt (pus etc) and purifies it.” [Zaad Al-Ma’aad]

Historically antimony compounds and antimony based medical drugs have been used as a treatment for a range of diseases caused by bacteria or parasites in humans and animals such as protozoan infection and schistosomiasis.

It is not far fetched to speculate that one of the benefits of Ithmid kohl/surma is to prevent unwanted outbreaks of eyelash mites which will have negative effects on eye health.

This can easily be scientifically tested in lab by seeing the effect of an original Ithmid kohl/surma powder sample on an isolated eyelash mites.

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Incentivising Putting On Kohl/ Surma For Women and Men

Question: Is putting on Kohl (Surma/Kajal) halal or haram for women?

All praises are due to Allah, and salutation and blessing is upon the messenger of Allah, his family and his companions.

Incentivising putting on kohl (Surma/Kajal) for women and men has been reported from the messenger of Allah ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ).

And al-Mundiree has titled a chapter in his book ‘al-Targheeb Watarheeb’: “The Targheeb (incentivisation) on putting on Ithmid kohl (surma/kajal) for women and men”, under which he narrated from ibn Majah from ibn Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) that the messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said :

“Utilise the Ithmid for it enhances vision and grows hair”

And in Sunan al-Tirmidi, from ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) that the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said :

“Utilise the Ithmid for it enhances vision and grows hair”

And he claimed that the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to have a Makhala (kohl holder) from which he used to take kohl and apply it three times in each eye every night.

For more benefit,refer to the Fatwas : 3354 and 3849.

Fatwa translated from