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How Many Herbs Do You Really Need In Your Apothecary?

Shalom family, today we're going to discuss the number of herbs you truly need for your apothecary. The exact quantity varies based on your specific requirements.

Firstly, let's define an apothecary. In my perspective, it encompasses various dried herbs, spices, seeds, as well as herbal preparations such as capsules, tinctures, salves, and oils. It expands beyond the biblical definition, which primarily referred to perfumes, oils, and spices.

When considering your apothecary, it is crucial to have more than just spices and herbs. It's important to be prepared with ready-made remedies, capsules, tinctures, salves, oils, and other elements. These items collectively form your apothecary. Having such preparations readily available allows you to easily access and utilize them when needed. Therefore, all these elements should be included in your apothecary.


Before determining the number of herbs you require, you must consider your level of expertise and your desired role as an herbalist. Are you a family herbalist, a community herbalist, or a clinical herbalist? Each role necessitates a different quantity of herbs. Let's start with the family herbalist. This role involves primarily using herbs for your own household, including immediate family members and potentially extended family. To determine the herbs you need, consider selecting three different herbs for each person in your household. Choose herbs based on your specific needs, nutritional gaps, and health concerns. Starting small with three herbs allows for cost-efficiency and avoids accumulating herbs without proper knowledge or usage. Begin with kitchen herbs and gradually expand to backyard herbs, following the four-step journey I previously discussed.


If you aspire to be a community herbalist, you will need a slightly larger variety of herbs. This role involves working with the community, responding to seasonal needs, and accommodating a broader range of individuals. You may need additional herbs to address seasonal issues. It is important to consider the safety of remedies for children, pregnant women, and other specific demographics. Having remedies suitable for these categories is essential. For community herbalists, the number of herbs required will be higher than that of family herbalists, as you will be serving a larger group of people. Consider the different needs of your community and ensure you have remedies for longevity, quality of life, first aid, and general healing.

Transitioning to a clinical herbalist role requires an even larger apothecary. Clinical herbalists often work digitally and cater to a diverse range of people with complex chronic conditions. Their apothecaries must be comprehensive, covering various seasons, climates, and demographic needs. Chronic disease management becomes a primary focus, requiring herbs for specific organs and systems. Organize your herbs by categorizing them based on bodily systems. This helps ensure you have remedies for each system and a comprehensive approach to healing. Being a clinical herbalist necessitates extensive knowledge, including the specific affinities and contraindications of herbs. It also requires understanding of human biology, anatomy, and the impact of medications on herbal formulations.

Some crucial bodily systems to consider for a comprehensive apothecary include the cardiovascular system, kidneys, pancreas (for diabetes), reproductive health (both women's and men's), thyroid, adrenals, and digestive health. These areas often require attention and will likely be the focus of many clients. You can choose to specialize in certain areas based on your interests and target audience. Digestive health, for example, is a commonly discussed topic.


In summary, the number of herbs needed for your apothecary depends on your level of expertise and your desired role as an herbalist. Remember, as your apothecary grows, so should your knowledge. Stay up-to-date with the latest research, continue learning about the human body, its systems, and how herbs interact with them. Building a comprehensive apothecary requires a holistic approach to health and wellness.