How to start a home herbal apothecary

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

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

Storing your vinegar, elixirs, cordials and teas in home brewing bottles or growler jugs is perfect.

amber bottles for your tinctures

Amber 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.

Metal Tins

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.

Measuring Utensils

You will need an array of measuring utensils from glass measuring cups, measuring spoons and dry measuring cups.

Scales

A set of kitchen scales will make weighing larger quantities of dry ingredients a lot easier.

pestle and mortor for grinding

Mortar and Pestle + Spice Grinder

To grind dried herbs and crush fresh ones, a pestle and mortar or spice grinder will help.

Essential Oils

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:

Solvents

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:

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22 comments on “How to start a home herbal apothecary

  • Sarah Stockley , Direct link to comment

    I love this idea so much. I collect old bottles and have them all on a shelf. Filling them would be amazing, thanks so much for this post!

  • Mandi Morrison , Direct link to comment

    These look great, fun to make too and a good selection. I have always liked the ides of making my own ointments and remedies.

    • Kizzy , Direct link to comment

      Me too which is why I’ve learnt more before I started to make sure I know what I’m doing!

  • Treasure Every Moment , Direct link to comment

    This is so interesting and something I’d not thought of doing before. I love the idea of a home herbal apothecary 🙂

    • Kizzy , Direct link to comment

      Thank you, a lot of people don’t really know or understand herbalism. Part of the reason I started this blog

  • Va Anne Rome , Direct link to comment

    Such a great and very detailed post, This could be a big help to start my own herbal apothecary.

  • Laura Dove , Direct link to comment

    Oh I love this idea! I am utterly clue;ess on this kind of thing but now I want to try it!

    • Kizzy , Direct link to comment

      There is so much information out there but make sure you really do your research too and have a go.

  • Laura Schwormstedt , Direct link to comment

    Ohh I’d love to get into this more and make more of my own things, just struggling with time at the moment but really enjoyed reading this
    Laura x

    • Kizzy , Direct link to comment

      Thanks, I know it does take time, hope you manage to find some time to have a go soon

  • Bella and Dawn at Dear Mummy Blog , Direct link to comment

    My mummy has always been interested in plant based remedies and this is such a useful post! One day she’ll potter around and discover this fully!

  • Jenni , Direct link to comment

    This is really interesting. I love everything like this and would love to start making my own products when we’ve moved house and settled

  • Stephanie , Direct link to comment

    I love the amber bottles, I would use everything for those if I could! Great advice, thank you

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