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A Herbalist's Tools


To make herbal preparations, you need the right tools. Most of the tools you use can be found in your kitchen. I would be hesitant to suggest you use anything you use for herbal preparations for making dinner as they can be contaminated no matter how well you wash them. For safety sake, keep cooking implements separate. Low cost alternatives can be used so you don't need to bankrupt yourself either.




A strainer is a basic implement that you will need for virtually every type of remedy. It can be cloth or a metal but stay away from plastic. The width of the holes can differ depending on brand but I suggest if you buy a metal strainer to get one with small holes. A cheap alternative that I use when making multiple types of remedy is a bought dishcloth. These can be thrown out in the end or washed. The only draw back is that they don't strain out the super fine pieces of herb. For that you should use a cheese cloth or a finely woven cotton. These can be hemmed and washed.




Almost every herbalist will recommend that you use a double boiler instead of a saucepan. I agree but they are expensive and if you are careful, a thick bottomed saucepan will work. Use one that is slow to heat and won't burn what you are heating, easily. A good investment if you will be using a saucepan is an even heating cover for your hotplate. This will slow down the heating process and even out the heat.


Mortar and Pestle


For grinding and mixing herbs, a mortar and pestle work wonders. There are many different types and sizes. Buy one that suits you and will make the required amount. I do suggest that you stay away from the smaller sized mortars and pestles. They look cute but it takes a lot of work to grind a small amount of herbs or spices. Larger and heavier versions will take less effort.


Food Processor or Blender


These modern devices take out much of the effort of blending herbs. A draw back is the remedy won't have that personal touch. It is also sometimes difficult to judge how blended a mixture is. If you buy one, make sure you can see what is going on. Also get one with only a few settings. Although settings are fun, the more you have the more can go wrong. I would only recommend a blender or food processor if you plan to make large amounts of remedies.




Jars can be bought either from your grocery store or a specialist store. Some remedies need darkened glass but others won't. In general, I stick everything in darkened jars just to be safe. You can get away with not doing this if you keep the remedy or oil in a cool dark place. If you can't find darkened glass, then use cellophane wrapped around them. You might even paint them lightly with a blue or brown. Jars should also be cleaned and sterilized before you use them.


Knives or Scissors


All cutting implements should be clean, sharp and properly stored. Dull knives will mash rather than cut neatly. It will also be easier to chop herbs if scissors or knives are sharp. Cleanliness is important as you don't wish to contaminate your remedies. If cutting implements are carefully stored, then you will have fewer problems with sharpness. You will also know where they are when you need them!


Wooden and Metal Spoons


It would be easy in a rush to just grab the nearest spoon. Don't do it! It is easy to do but if a spoon, especially if it is wooden, it will be contaminated with the remedy. Have separate collections and set them out for easy grabbing before you start. You should also have a few of different sizes and shapes. A ladle is a good idea too.


Measuring Equipment


All measuring devices should be cleaned after use. This should be done even if herbs are dry. Don't mix or contaminate your herbs. A set of scales can be used for food if you package what you are weighing in a plastic bag. Measuring cups should be at least cleaned before using them for food. I would keep a separate collection just to be on the safe side.