Herbalism dates back thousands of years; it is the study and practice of the medicinal and therapeutic uses of plants, and it is a blend of traditional wisdom and scientific knowledge. At its core, the philosophy of herbalism is the application of plants to assist the body to heal itself. Hikma embodies the essence of this great tradition and method of healing.
Herbal remedies are plant-based and made from differing combinations of plant parts (for example: leaves, flowers, or roots). Each part can have different uses and may require different extraction methods. Both fresh and dried plant matter are used, depending on the herb.
As formally-trained herbalists we are able to observe a patient’s overall health and treat a wide variety of conditions. Our focus is on treating the whole: personal-physical symptoms as well as emotional health. In addition to this, we can grow herbs, harvest them, prepare plant remedies, and teach.
The method of administration matters almost as much as the herb(s) being used. Each way serves a different purpose and aims to support various requirements.
Here are some of the mediums we employ at Hikma:
Oils (cold-pressed) infused with herbs. These are best for topical application and to remedy skin and musculoskeletal ailments.
Tinctures made by steeping herb material in a blend of water and glycerine. These allow for rapid absorption directly through the stomach lining and into the bloodstream.
Powders which are a pure form of plants where the whole herb is utilized rather than an extract. These are quick and easy to incorporate into foods and liquids and can be applied topically to remedy skin ailments.
Balms where a herbal oil is blended with beeswax or shea butter for a thicker consistency. This allows for precise, coating application on skin.
Teas—infusions and decoctions—where water is infused with the dried herbs. This is the most common application in herbal medicine as water is well-tolerated by all.
Our approach to producing tinctures results in powerful concentrated extracts of botanical material that employ the benefits of the plant as a whole.
We utilize multiple extraction techniques to maximize the potency of our tinctures, including:
Combining glycerin and water extracts in a specific ratio to ensure a wide array of phytochemicals make it from the plants into the product. This is to create ‘the entourage effect’* in the consumer.
Using heat extraction for the glycerites in order to draw out beneficial phytocompounds that cannot be extracted at room temperature.
Utilizing water extraction techniques that are tailored to each plant for the purpose of preserving essential oils and other volatile compounds.
*Herbalism views plants as containing a multitude of compounds that are more effective when employed as a whole rather than individually. Therefore, we believe that the combined effect of the different phytochemicals in a plant is greater than the effect of a singular phytochemical on its own. This botanical synergy is commonly referred to as ‘the entourage effect’.
Our approach to producing infused oils, rather than essential oils, results in benefits for both us and the earth. To make our oils, we infuse dried or fresh plants with a carrier oil (either organic sweet almond or organic jojoba oil) for a minimum of four weeks. We then strain the remaining precious oil now infused with the medicinal values of the plant and ready for application.
Infused oils provide a safe and gentle application as they are less concentrated than essential oils. They contain all of the constituents of the plant(s) they are derived from, which allows for deeper benefits than essential oils (which contain only about a third of the plants’ properties).
Because the amount of plant material needed to make infused oils is far less than the enormous amounts required for essential oil extraction, it is much more earth-conscious in terms of the overall natural resources utilized.