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Inspiration and the Skill of Formulation

Written by Meghan Rhodes MCPP MAPA


Space is a precious commodity in my apothecary. One of the things I prioritise, however, is having my tinctures accessible and on display. The reasoning is one part function and one part inspiration. I need easy access to dispense bespoke remedies, but also when I'm creating something - whether for a client or my family - I often stand and skim my row of amber bottles and let them speak to me.


It's like gathering your nearest and dearest and asking their advice on a matter, then deciding which wise words you want to implement.


brass mortar and pestle on an open book on a table in front of antique apothecary bottles

I typically go in with a few key herbs in mind, as well as with a clear idea of the actions and energetics I need the final remedy to have. I'm quite visual, so I pull out those bottles, and then I get into conversation.


I may pull out far more herbs than I'll include so I can look at them all together. I have two with similar actions but different energetics, for example - which fits best in the context of the whole formula? Which will best match the individual's needs?


Oftentimes a herb I hadn't had in mind will catch my eye. It may be just the thing to bring the remedy together.


Formulating in this way requires deep knowledge of the plants, the functions and energetics of the human body, listening to the individual you're supporting and a dash of intuition - all of which take time, dedication and experience to cultivate.


It's something you can develop, but you cannot perfect a skill until you begin to learn it. If the art and science of creating herbal remedies for yourself and your loved ones is one you'd like to cultivate, explore our workshops and events and book on to the starting point that suits you.






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