Well, the apothecary is a fancy name for my kitchen, since this is where the magic happens! If you have seen Brave, you will remember the scene in which the Witch is in her "wood carving workshop" before leaving the house, closing the door, and then reentering, only for it to have turned into a spell making space. This is what I imagine happening for me when I start creating. I leave the kitchen, the space that feeds a hungry family of four, a space with muddy foot and paw prints on the floor, a place full of life and practicality, a place of purpose. And when I re-enter, it is my workspace for magic, whatever that might be.
Right now, the magic is creating remedies for pregnant people. So I want to tell you about what goes on behind these creations, and how I work towards the final product.
I like to think I follow a sort of "eco ladder" in life, and this passes through into the creations too. The vast majority of my ingredients are foraged. I strongly believe that if the Earth is providing these things near us, there must be a reason for it, so I like to pick and choose from what I have nearby. A lot I grow in my own garden, which is convenient but also magical in itself as I form a bond with each different plant. Stay with me, even if it is a bit out there! I have a favourite lavender for relaxation and a favourite for healing, a favourite thyme for mental clarity and a favourite one for throat issues. I believe this adds something extra to each remedy created.
If it hasn't grown in my garden, it has grown very close by. I like to forage what I can on our walks and have learnt a lot about the fascinating things the Earth provides us right on our doorsteps. I spend time picking things and delicately saving them in my kitchen (hence the nickname for it!) for use at a later date.
The rest of my ingredients, which tend to be the base oils, essential oils, and some raw ingredients, I do buy in because I am not so knowledgeable to know how to grow and maintain a coconut tree, nor how to make the oil from it! Also because sometimes, purchasing in bulk where I can't grow or forage, means I can keep my remedies accessible and affordable for all. When it comes to purchasing, I like to buy from local sources, or friends if they happen to sell. All the essential oils I use at the moment were hand made by a dear friend (and the woman I also call my Witch Mother, but I need another post entirely for that). The shea butter I use is from a small family company and I buy in bulk to avoid lots of deliveries.
All of the ingredients and remedies are cruelty free and vegan, and the packaging is reusable and easily recyclable and this is of upmost importance to me. Whatever we can do to care for our planet we will.