Your Essential Supplies Guide to Starting a Plant Medicine Practice at Home
Starting a home plant medicine practice is easy! You probably already have most of the kitchen and storage supplies that you need. However, in the past 5 years that I have been making medicine for myself, my family, and my community, I have found that there are tools that make certain tasks much easier. Here is a supply list for you to check off as you begin or continue your healing path with plants!
Glass Jars - Any size, shape, color will do! You can purchase glass jars of all sizes or simply reuse salsa and spaghetti sauce jars. I do a bit of both and use different jars for different reasons. You can find a short video about other uses for jars in a recent IGTV video I created by clicking here!
Glass Measuring Cups - Perfect for measuring liquids and making infused oils and salves on the stove with a double boiler method. Click here to see how!
Large Mixing Bowl for mixing your herbal infusion (tea) blends. I prefer bowls made from wood, glass, ceramic, or you can use a crystal bowl for a little extra magic!
Cheese Cloth or Coffee Filters for straining herbs out of tinctures and infused oils. Cheesecloth will get out the bigger pieces of plant matter quicker and coffee filters will strain out even the smallest particles. Oil takes a lot longer to strain than vinegar or alcohol so give it time.
Mesh Strainer or Collander - Place the cheese cloth or coffee filter inside to make straining mush easier. Click here to watch me strain an infused oil using both methods.
Funnels for filling jars and bottles. A regular sized funnel is great for most uses and I find very small funnels necessary for putting tinctures in dropper bottles if you don't want to spill much of your precious medicine!
Small Scale - Many herb recipes are by weight so you need a scale that measures down to 1/2 oz. I know you have one hanging around from college, wink wink.
Crock Pot - My preferred method of making infused oils. and chili. and spiked spiced cider. Yum!
Masking Tape + Permanent Marker for labeling in detail all of your creations. You may think that you’ll remember, but speaking from experience, you won’t! Label each concoction with the date, ingredients, and any other relevant info you don't want to forget including where the plants are from and the moon phase when you made it.
Tea Strainer or Tea Bags to strain plant matter out of your infusions and decoctions. Learn what I use most often here.
Beeswax is what makes an infused oil a salve. It is used to harden oils so they're less messy and easier to store and apply. Beeswax also has powerful protecting and softening properties.
Alcohol is the most commonly used solvent for tinctures. It extracts potent plant constituents and lasts forever. Really, forever. I love to use tequila, vodka, and brandy. I decide which one to use by asking the plants! I know that's weird but I always have a very strong intuitive feeling as to which I should use.
Apple Cider Vinegar is also frequently used in plant medicine. It is used for non-alcoholic tinctures and seasonal tonics like Fire Cider in the fall and liver detoxifying blends in the spring. I like to use raw organic apple cider vinegar with the mother, which means its the least processed and includes beneficial enzymes and bacteria.
High Quality Oil - Some great options for infused oils and salves are Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil, Almond Oil, and Coconut Oil. Try to find the most organic, unrefined, and cold pressed option available. While all oils have different "weight" which affects why you might use one over the other, olive oil being heavy for eczema salve and sunflower being light for use on your face, more expensive doesn't necessarily mean better. When you're in the initial experimenting phase use what you've got!
Plants! Lots and lots of plants! Go outside and see what's growing in your backyard, connect with herbalists in your community or online, read books, watch youtube videos, do whatever feels right for you to connect with plant allies on your healing path. Plants love to co-create with humans, they are just waiting for you to discover their magic!
I hope this guide was helpful in gathering materials to concoct potent plant medicine! If possible clean out a cabinet in your kitchen to have a dedicated space to store your plant specific tools and supplies. This is also a great place to store dried herbs and jars of your potions. Have so much learning and growing with our vibrant friends in the plant world!
Want to learn more about identifying the plants in your own backyard? Click here!
How about harvesting and drying herbs? I've got a video for you right here.
Any questions or comments? Fill out the boxes below and I will get back to you shortly!
HI! I’M NICOLE
I’m a yoga teacher, meditation guide, and whole plant herbalist.
My love for the outdoors began at an early age by exploring my backyard, the coastline, and the woods with my family.
Plants have always been a big part of life starting with a pretty significant houseplant collection and evolving to a deep fascination and connection with the plants that grow around me.
I spend my time at home in Rhode Island taking care of my lively and hilarious 3 year old son, Lennox, tending to my overgrown gardens, and enjoying life outdoors in the coastal countryside with friends and family.
In my offerings there are no expectations and no judgments. I hold space for you to strengthen your intuition, commune with the earth, and connect with Source Energy. Whatever that looks like and feels like for you.
The light and the shadow in me honors the light and the shadow in you.