A Herbalist’s Cornucopia of Tools

Merry Meet All,

This post is a continuation of the previous post. For those of you who may be new to herbs and herb magick. I have been talking about herbs and tools but bolines are not the only herbalist’s tool. There are more and you may own them in your home already.In addition to bolines, there are many more that are important. I will list them here.

Mortar and Pestle A mortar and pestle is a must in every witch’s kitchen. It aids you in grinding down herbs, spices, roots, resins, and even cinnamon bark. Mortar and pestles come in an array of shapes, sizes, and styles. They are available in ceramic or soapstone or even wood. You can use them to grind materials together for a ritual. Put your ingredients in the bowl and grind them with the pestle. This releases the essential oils from fresh herbs.

Measuring cups Measuring cups are obvious. But they are practical and important. Measure everything. Herbs must be used in moderation. Invest in nice measuring spoons too. If you make salves and other balms, then consider dedicating your tools to that use only. They are hard to clean.

Mason jars store herbs. Make absolute sure that the jars are bone dry. Herbs will mold in a damp jar and render your herbs useless. Throw them out if that happens, wash and dry the jar, and allow the jar to air dry. Herbs and spices will keep for along time if they are crisp and dry and the jars are air dry.

‘To make most herbal remedies, you’ll need a short list of supplies. It includes:

Big canning jars for storing herbs and making tinctures

Cheesecloth or muslin, for straining herbal preparations

A grater (for grating beeswax)

A large, double-mesh, stainless steel strainer

Measuring cups

Non-aluminum cooking pots with tight-fitting lids

You might want to set aside a coffee grinder to use for grinding the tough spices like licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) root and cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum, C. aromaticum) bark that you’ll use in your remedies. Just don’t use the same grinder that you use for coffee — neither your remedies nor your morning cup of Joe will benefit from that blending of flavors.

You should keep your pantry stocked with a few of the staples that are used in many herbal remedies. They include:

Aloe (Aloe vera) gel, for creams

Apricot (Prunus armeniaca), almond (Prunus dulcis), and grape (Vitis vinifera) seed oils, for facial creams

Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) butter, for infused oils and creams

Coconut (Cocos nucifera) oil, for infused oils and creams

Honey, for syrups

Lanolin, for creams

Natural beeswax, for ointments

Olive (Olea europaea) oil, for infused oils and ointments

Sesame (Sesamum indicum) oil, for infused oils

Here are a few things to keep in mind when making your own remedies:

Herbs and herbal preparations do best when they’re stored in airtight glass jars, out of direct light, in a cool area. Light, oxygen, and heat can degrade them.

Never use aluminum pots or containers — aluminum can react with the herbs. Stick to glass, ceramic, stainless steel, or cast iron. Use natural tools that have no chemicals in them such as lead, arsenic, or other harsh chemicals.’

Store all remedies and ingredients — especially essential oils and alcohol-based tinctures — out of children’s reach. Many essential oils are extremely toxic, even in very small doses. Never ingest essential oils.

The tools shown here can be found in your cupboards. I wish you the best in preparing herbal remedies and recipes for your rituals. Don’t forget the most important witch’s tool- the cauldron for burning the herb preparations!!

Blessings,
Lady Spiderwitch

* Courteousy of About.com

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