Clin Interv Aging, 2013;8:279-285. Epub 2013 Mar 6
Talbinah is a barley syrup cooked with milk and sweetened by honey. In his famous Hadith on Talbinah, the Prophet Mohammad (SAW) recommended it when sad events happen for its effect on soothing hearts and relieving sadness. This 3-week crossover designed, randomized clinical trial was conducted to determine the effect of Talbinah on mood and depression among institutionalized elderly people in Seremban. A sample of 30 depressed elderly subjects (21 men and 9 women) was selected from the long term care facility. Three different interview-based validated scales (Geriatric Depression Scale, Depression Anxiety Stress Scales, and Profile of Mood States) were used to determine mood, depression, stress, and anxiety at week 0, 3, 4, and 7. The nutritional value of Talbinah was examined using proximate food analysis, minerals content analysis, and differential amino acid analysis. The results indicated that Talbinah is a high carbohydrate food (86.4%) and has a high tryptophan: branch chain amino acids ratio (1:2).
A Wilcoxon nonparametric test showed that there was a statistically significant decrease on depression, stress, and mood disturbances scores among the intervention group (P < 0.05) for all parameters.
In conclusion, Talbinah has the potential to reduce depression and enhance mood among the subjects. Ingestion of functional foods such as Talbinah may provide a mental health benefit to elderly people.