Starting your own home apothecary is a beneficial and fulfilling way to start taking your health into your own hands. Not only is it motivation to keep learning more about holistic health, it’s a wonderful way to feel empowered in your own health choices. Keeping your own medicines and remedies on hand means you can adapt to caring for and managing common illnesses and supplement your health.
It doesn’t have to be overwhelming either. Maintaining a small kitchen cabinet for medicinal herbs, teas, and medications is all it takes to get started. I love lists that offer easy to follow tips and ideas, so I’ve created my own list of three simple ways to get started building your own home apothecary. I hope to help inspire and motivate you to begin your own natural health care!
The first step in starting your own home apothecary is to dedicate a space just for it. Whether it’s a kitchen cabinet or a shelf in the hall closet, you’ll need a space solely for storing your medicines, materials, and supplies. For now, focus on getting that space clean and ready for your apothecary. I will be discussing different items that will ultimately be stored in your apothecary space in another post, but the first task is to make the space for one. This should be a spot that can fit your needs as your home apothecary grows in size, but a cabinet with a shelf or two is a great start. Clean the area, make it fresh, think of it as a brand new addition to your home. Take pride in this space, because the way you keep it organized and stocked will determine how frequently you utilize it.
Take the time to organize medicines and first aid items. So you have this catch-all where you collect medicines–maybe cold/flu medicines, Tylenol or Ibuprofen, or prescription medicines. Maybe you have random first aid stuff packed in all of that somewhere. The best thing to do is organize all that jazz into your home apothecary. I’m guilty of this one; I was always terrible about letting things pile up in my bathroom cabinet: gauze, bandaids, swabs, 4-year-old eye wash for heaven’s sake! It takes some time, but these items are absolutely wonderful to add to your home apothecary. After all, illness isn’t just one health concern–bug bites, sprains, cuts and scrapes do happen, especially if you happen to have kids. So organize your medicines and first aid items already on hand. Throw out any expired medicines (yeah I know, this is obvious, but again, guilty as charged!). Keep your prescription meds in an easily accessible spot within your apothecary. Once this is all organized and accounted for, it becomes a much simpler task to add new items in the future.
Start saving all those glass food jars. Oh yes, the biggest tool that I use in my own practice is the common glass jar. I’ll take any size, any shape! One of the biggest obstacles I come across is whether I have enough jars or not. Apothecaries will use jars [and other containers] for almost everything: storing, mixing, melding, you name it, every apothecary utilizes the glass jar. So this is a critical step in setting up your home apothecary. The most affordable method of collecting jars for your apothecary is to simply clean and reuse glass food jars. Common items like pasta sauce, pickles, jam, peanut butter, etc come in glass jars. You know you use this stuff! Why not save the jar? Once you’ve used the product, simply clean that sucker out and add it to your apothecary supplies. If you become strapped for time or need resources before you use up the rest of that funky queso dip, you can usually find glass jars sold in packs, at affordable prices. But it seems more satisfying, don’t you think, to reuse and reduce waste.
Completing these three simple steps in setting up your home apothecary will hopefully inspire you to develop a beginning collection of tools, medicines and first aid items, as well as organizing it into an accessible space. Stay tuned for more tips on setting up your first home apothecary, items and tools of the trade, and resources for growing your home apothecary. As always, if you have something you would like to add to this list, or something that’s helped you build your home apothecary, feel free to leave a comment below.