Since my teens, I have had an interest in how the plants and trees that grow around us can help our health. My initial learning started off with essential oils and aromatherapy. As I have grown older and become a mother, learning about herbal remedies and curating my own home herbal apothecary.
Before we delve into starting your own home herbal apothecary, we need to think about safety. Just because something is natural doesn’t mean that it is safe. I have been learning about herbalism and natural remedies for a few years now, and I will continue to learn every time I create or explore a new plant, tincture or poultice.
Research and education are so important when using herbal remedies, especially with so much misinformation available on the internet.
What you will need for your own home herbal apothecary
So you want to start your own home apothecary, here are some of the items you may want to purchase before you start.
Herbs will be a big part of your home herbal apothecary, whether you grow your own or buy them in is up to you. Check out your local herb shop, spice shop, or tea shop or alternatively, you can buy them online.
Glass Canning Jars
One of the first items you will want to buy when thinking about starting your apothecary is some glass jars. You can reuse airtight glass jars you already have as long as you sterilise them first. Glass jars are convenient for mixing herbal infusions, elixirs and tinctures. They can also be used to store dried herbs as long as they are kept in a dark place.
Glass Jugs & Bottles
These are another of the staple items you will need. They are perfect for storing liquid herbal preparations such as tinctures, syrups, essential oils, etc. They come in a range of sizes and tops including dropper, spray and screw top.
Fine Mesh Strainer
When straining teas and infused oils you will need a sieve or strainer. They can come in a range of sizes but I tend to use the middle and smaller sized ones.
Cheesecloth + Muslin Bags
Cheesecloth is perfect for straining herbal preparations ready for bottling. Another handy item is Muslim bags, these can be washed and reused after each use. They are great for herbal baths and foot soaks.
Storing your salves and balms, herb mixes and teas when you want to take them with you can be difficult in glass jars, Having a range of metal tins will help you out with this. You can get a range of sizes from 1oz, 4oz and 8oz.
A set of kitchen scales will make weighing larger quantities of dry ingredients a lot easier.
Mortar and Pestle + Spice Grinder
To grind dried herbs and crush fresh ones, a pestle and mortar or spice grinder will help.
Adding essential oils into my herbal blends is the perfect combination of my two passions. Finding good quality oils is half the battle.
Wax and Butters
For the production of topical preparations such as salves, balms, butters and creams, you will want to have:
These are the ingredients you use to suspend or blend with your herbs when making tinctures, syrups and infused oils. Here are some you may want to have to hand: