People have asked me to share my Apothecary recipes with them. “How do I make this?” “Where did you get your recipe?” “Can you share this recipe?” While I enjoy educating, answering questions, and encouraging others to make their own preparations, I won’t share my recipes.
One may wonder why, and the answer is this: because each product offered is of my own making, I create my own recipes and through trial and error perfect them, and I sell the finished product, not the instructions on how to make it. I have no problem sharing the general process on how to make a syrup, a tincture, a salve. But I won’t give out my recipe, the one I’ve put work into. I’ll teach someone how to make something, but I won’t give the measurements I use if I’m selling that finished product, because it’s the one I’ve spend time and research on, perfected by trial and error.
Herbalism is both an art and a science. If I just handed out a recipe to someone, they aren’t making art, they aren’t using their own creativity and knowledge, but are merely replicating what’s been handed to them, and aren’t putting their own love and labor into it. And if they use that recipe and begin to sell to their friends and greater public, they aren’t selling their original product, but capitalizing on the work of someone else. I do see this often, people selling an herbal good using a recipe they found online, usually people who want to DIY because it’s cheaper than what they can buy ready-made for and then they can profit on the excess.
In short, I want my work to be my own, and your work to be your own. There are tons of herbal syrups, warming pain relief salves, tinctures, glyercites, and tea blends in the world. Many are very similar, and many Herbalists will have very similarly stocked apothecaries. But each has their own recipes, their own particular goods they’re so proud of, the ones they put their heart and soul into. On this platform, I see dozens of goods similar to mine, each with their own beautiful twist, and think that’s what makes this field so beautiful. There is room for creative freedom in herbal medicine, we are constantly experimenting and formulating, and our formulas are all unique.
For those on the herbal path, I encourage you to do your own experimentation, and put your own heart and soul into your work, and see the beautiful things that result from your efforts. There is room for everyone at the table, and we should all bring something to it.