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Tips for Starting Your Own Herbal Apothecary

by Faye Sakellaridis

No two herbal apothecaries are exactly alike. Designing your own apothecary to suit your unique needs can be an exciting yet daunting process. As this Ginger Tonic Botanicals blog on creating your own home apothecary says, "herbal medicine is amazingly simple and also amazingly complex."

The blog goes on to suggest beginning your herbal collection by breaking down herbs by category and action, and deciding what your needs are from there.

Here are some suggested basic botanical herbal actions to pick and choose from:

Adaptogen (increases endurance and resistance to stress)
Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, Licorice, Milky Oat Tops, Nettle
Analgesics (Pain relieving)
Skullcap, ashwagandha
Antispasmodics (prevents and relieves spasms)
Chamomile, Peppermint, Skullcap, Yarrow, Wild Yam
Ashwagandha, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Holy Basil, Nettle, Turmeric, Yarrow
Chamomile, Elderberries, Yarrow, Ginger, Goldenseal
Chamomile, Gentian, Dandelion leaf
Carminative (soothes digestion, relieves gas & bloating)
Fennel, Cardamom, Chamomile
Demulcent (to soothe inflamed tissues)
Marshmallow, Slippery Elm bark
Expectorant (increases the elimination of excess mucus)
Mullein, Wild Cherry, Thyme
Hepatic (liver protecting)
Burdock, Dandelion root, Turmeric, Reishi
Immune Stimulant (to acutely increase immune activity)
Echinacea root, Elderberries
Immune Modulator (to balance and support the immune system)
Astragalus, Reishi, Elderberries, Turmeric 
Alfalfa, Nettle, Slippery Elm, Milky Oat, Reishi
Sedative/anxiolytic (calms the body and nervous system)
Chamomile, Ashwagandha, Skullcap, Passionflower, Valerian, Kava kava, Lemon balm
Stimulant (increases circulation and breaks through obstructions)
Ginger, Turmeric, Rosemary

For more great tips on creating your own apothecary, like how to store them and dried herbs to keep in stock, click here.