Perhaps you’re someone who delights in collecting petals and leaves and then putting them in charming glass jars. Or you could be someone who loves reading herbal books and comfortable working with mortars and pestles. If you are, then you have the potential to become a herbalist!
But how can you become one?
What are the things you need to get started?
Asking these questions is exactly the reason why you need to learn how to set up a home apothecary. Here’s some helpful information to help you.
What is an Apothecary?
Apothecary refers to either a person or a shop. It is a study of the different ways to produce, dose, and compound different types of plant-based medicines. Apothecaries are skilled individuals who sell medicines & treat injuries, imbalances, and illnesses. In the early days, there were doctors and pharmacists.
The job of an apothecary is not easy. Besides learning a wide variety of medicines, they also need to identify medicinal herbs, harvest them properly, make preparations and correct dosages, and continue to make research to further expand their knowledge.
Just like other medical professions, Apothecaries take pride in their work, especially in serving the unwell. Unfortunately, the modern medical system often views them as less qualified or fraud.
On the other hand, apothecaries are also referred to as a shop – a place that sells medicinal products. They are like the pharmacies of today. They sell various types of medicines, herbs, natural remedies, and even cosmetics.
What is Herbalism?
Otherwise known as botanical medicine, herbalism refers to the study of herbs and their medicinal properties. They are one of the earliest forms of medicine. Ancient people used herbal remedies to prescribe and treat various health problems.
People who study and practice herbalism may be licensed or unlicensed. Because it is a proven fact that herbs contain healing properties, more research has been conducted by medical doctors, scientists, and pharmaceutical companies. Though herbalism started many years ago, it is still being widely practiced now.
Benefits of Building a Home Apothecary
If you have unused space in your home and you wish to utilize it properly, then might as well turn it into a home apothecary. Just like what most apothecaries have experienced, building one at home allows you to enjoy its benefits.
One of the main benefits of setting up a home apothecary is having easy & quick access to herbal medicines, especially during emergency situations. It helps in alleviating symptoms and prevents the immediate occurrence of critical conditions while preparing to move to a nearby medical facility. Keep in mind, though that some stored medicinal herbs may spoil over a certain period of time. It is best to label each herbal preparation, & also to plan and prepare ahead of time.
Saves time and money
Pharmaceutical medicines are expensive. Especially if you are diagnosed with a certain illness that requires maintenance meds, your bank accounts could be exhausted. If herbs can provide the same effects, then I wouldn’t bother wasting any more money! As cheap alternatives to expensive medicines, a home apothecary can help you save money and time!
Safe for the body
Generally, plant-based medicines are considered safe and effective. They are believed to contain medicinal properties that do not cause undesirable side effects. However, some herbs may not be combined with other preparations. It is best to consult your doctor first.
A home apothecary could change your lifestyle for the better. The knowledge and skills you gained may have a great impact on the choices you make pertaining to health and wellness.
Fun & Interesting
The whole process of setting up a home apothecary is fun and interesting. You will learn a lot of things, identify potential herbs, make dosages and different preparations, experiment, and explore! It is a continuous study that one never gets to become familiar with!
Related Post: Practicing Yoga For Self-Care
Home Apothecary Supplies You'll Want
With all the benefits you get from setting up a home apothecary, it is hard not to be enticed right away. Here are the things you need:
Glass Canning Jars
You will use this to store herbal brews, extracts, and potions. Some of these mixtures need to be refrigerated and monitored for expiration. That is why I recommend using clear canning jars. Wide-mouth canning jars are also preferred for easy pouring and cleaning. Don’t use glass canning jars with metal lids as they rust easily. I recommend using plastic lids instead.
This is used when transferring finished extracts from one container to another. Small funnels are suitable for narrow-mouth containers, like amber glass bottles. If you have a large container, I suggest using a strainer instead.
It is a necessary tool that is commonly used for draining off infused oils, teas, and extracts. It is mostly suitable for wide-mouth canning jars or large containers. Some mesh strainers have wire handles, which I don’t recommend because they cause discomfort sometimes.
There are different types of spatulas, but I prefer using silicone spatulas because they don’t scratch surfaces. They are lightweight, very handy, and are easy to clean. You will need this for stirring mixtures. If you don’t have a silicone spatula, you can use wooden spoons as an alternative.
A tea kettle is mostly used for boiling water. When purchasing one, I suggest going for a sturdy, stainless steel type as they have better quality compared with plastic which breaks easily.
This item is commonly used when preparing decoctions, herbal steams, and tisanes. I actually prefer this to metal pots because they are handy and easy to clean. Generally, they don't react with herbal preparations, so they maintain the quality of the result.
Setting up a home apothecary is fulfilling and satisfying. It will teach you a lot of things about health and wellness and will help you develop simple yet effective self-care. Make sure to enjoy the journey and continue to delight in the healing properties of medicinal herbs.
Getting Started With Herbs & Herbalism for Beginners
Now that you know how to set up a home apothecary, it's time to start diving into the realm of using herbs and the wonders of herbalism.
Click the banner below to learn more about Herbal Academy's Introductory Herbal Course.