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Forum » Magical Discussion » Herbology » Tools of the Herbalist
Tools of the Herbalist
StarkissedDate: Saturday, 19-October-2013, 6:03 PM | Message # 1
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The tools required for herbalism are
items that you can buy in your local supermarket, they are simple to
use, usually very cost efficient and best of all, easy to find and
hide (for all you still in the broom closet).

Before we begin to list the
different types of tools and what they are used for, it is very
important to mention proper tool care, by means of thoroughly washing
your tools before and after usage. This will keep the different herbs
from contaminating each other and can also help keep you safe in the
cases of dealing with poisonous herbs. Failure to clean tools
appropriately after usage can result in your magickal workings not
going as planned, sickness, and in extreme cases death. I cannot
emphasize cleanliness enough. A spiritual cleansing of the tools is
important as well to prevent the transfer of negative energies into
your next workings.

Now onto the common tools for a
magickal herbalist:

A magickal diary or journal: This isa very important tool for witches even outside of herbalism. This
diary (can be your book of shadows if you keep one) is a place to
write down the basics, tools, safe practices, which herbs go well
together ect, for quick reference and to help keep you safe from
ingesting anything that could be toxic. A journal is also very
effective when used as a sort of “cook book”. Write down each
herb used, how much of each herb used, how long you cooked or dried
the herbs ect. It will be very useful in recreating a working, if it
is successful, in the future.

The mortar and pestle: This handytool is for grinding your herbs and extracting some of their natural
oils. Now, when choosing a mortar and pestle to buy, it can seem
rather daunting. The size of it doesn’t really matter (unless you
are making very large quantities) but how porous the mortar and
pestle is does matter. The more porous the mortar and pestle is, the
more friction it creates on the herb, which will result in much more
effective grinding. They may not be as pretty as the glazed ones, but
they are definitely more effective and will result in less work for
you.

Strainer: This is very important forgetting the nasty little bits of herb out of your tinctures and
brews. Most brews will need to be strained before they can be used.
There are a lot of items that can be used as a strainer (holes should
be small), a typical metal or plastic strainer, coffee filter
(unbleached so as not to contaminate your brew) or even cheese cloth.

Tea infuser: Now this one can seem alittle off to some, but a tea infuser does wonders when brewing up a
single dose of tincture. It enables the herbs to be infused in the
water safely and it strains them for you, so no worries about little
bits of herb floating around. Now, that being said, some loose tiny
particles may escape the infuser; if that happens, run the brew
through an additional strainer to make it more pure.

Scale: Now this tool is ratherself-explanatory. It is used for measuring the weight and quantity of
a particular herb being used. This tool is very important for dosage!
Incorrect dosage of a particular herb can lead to illness or death.
Be very precise when figuring out dosage, carelessness is not worth
it.

Bottles and jars: Once again, ratherself-explanatory in their usage. They are for containing your herbs
and tinctures. These containers should be glass (to prevent leaching)
and preferably tinted to keep out direct sunlight. Sunlight (as well
as metal) can change the chemical composition of your herbs,
rendering them ineffective. Once again I repeat, clean out your
bottles and jars after use!
Now, there are other items that areused, but not necessarily used in all containers. It would get a
little tedious mentioning all of these, so use common sense when
creating a brew. If you need an item, don’t be afraid to use it.

Alcohol: Having a high proof alcohol on hand is very good for cleaning materials (mainly disinfecting) and also making extractions of herbs. It's best to get the highest percentage alcohol possible for extractions. *note: do not make extractions unless if you are knowledgeable on the method of doing this and know the herb (and all chemicals/components of said herb) A quick Google of the herb is NOT enough knowledge to ensure your safety. Illness and death CAN occur if this is not researched properly*

On a side and ending note, for
tools, stone or glass tools are the best for the single reason that
plastics and metals can change the chemical composition of your herbs
and render them ineffective. If you have no other option, plastics
and metals can be used, but just keep in mind the brew may or may not
be as potent. Have fun, explore the tools, get comfortable with using
them.

 
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