As an herbalist, you’ll need more than just herbs and oils to make herbal remedies.
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There’s a lot of equipment that is needed to make infused oils, salves, tinctures, and more. Some of these things are quite simple and even have more than one use. How many of these do you use?
It’s very important to have a scale when making and administering herbal remedies. Most homemade recipes are done in small batches so smaller scales that measure down to the smallest ounce are the best to use.
2. Mason Jars
What can’t you do with mason jars? Not only are they great for canning but they are excellent for storing herbs. You can infuse oils and tinctures in these jars. You can set aromatherapy candles and salves in them. There’s a world of possibilities with glass jars like Mason jars.
3. Double Boiler
If you ever plan on making candles, lotions, lip balms, or salves, a double boiler is a must. You can create a double boiler by setting a mason jar in a pot of water but actual double boilers are so much easier to work with. You don’t have to worry about hot glass and a double boiler pan is much easier to hold.
4. Tin Containers
Tin containers are great for so many things. You can store herbs and tea in them as well as using them to set candles, salves, lotions, and lip balms. They come in so many different sizes and styles.
5. Amber Glass Bottles
Amber or blue glass bottles are very important in protecting your herbal liquids, such as infused oils or tinctures. Amber bottles filter out the most sunlight which can affect or damage herbal liquids. It’s important to store your herbal ingredients in amber or dark places. Light damage can affect the potency and effectiveness of herbs and herbal liquids. Beer is bottled in amber bottles for the same reason.
6. Mortar and Pestle
Mortars and pestles have been used for centuries for grinding plants and making herbal mixtures. They are great for making poultices, bruising plants, and grinding up herbs and spices. I have used them not only in making herbal medicine but for grinding up egg shells and whole spices for cooking and baking.
There are two main strainers used in herbalism. Your standard food strainers and tea ball strainers. The food strainer is used in filtering out herbs in infused oils and tinctures. For a finer strain, you can also use cheesecloth. Tea balls are a great reusable option for brewing loose leaf herbal teas.
Cheesecloth is a loosely woven cloth made from cotton. It looks like gauze but was originally used in cheese making. Cheesecloth is great to use when straining out infused oils and tinctures to make sure even some of the smallest petals and plants get filtered out. Using a cheesecloth also allows you to squeeze out every last drop of your infusion.
9. Tincture Jars
What differs tincture jars from regular amber or glass jars is that it comes with a glass dropper. Most tinctures base their dosage on drops rather than teaspoons. Amber or blue tincture bottles are best as the tinted glass will protect the tincture.
One of the most important thing for an herbalist to have is a great library of resources! It’s good to have many reference materials and ways to study and identify plants. Here are some of my favorite books.
These ten items are staples in my house for making herbal medicine and more. What do you use to make your herbal creations?