Many aromatherapy and herbal healing books and websites tout the joys of making your own herbal products. Herbs can be placed into many products such as candles, potpourri, foods, drinks and cosmetics. But you just can’t throw a handful of dried or fresh herbs into many product recipes. The herbs need to be ground into a powder or a fine, rice-like texture in order to best blend with the other ingredients.
Avoid Used Herb Grinders
Although second-hand herb grinders may seem like a bargain, they are no bargain at all. Residue from all types of herbs – legal or otherwise – may remain on the grinder. If the grinder has been used for a long time, then it will dull. Whether it’s a mortar and pestle, a metal circular two-piece grinder or an electric food-processor type of grinder, avoid them all at garage sales, thrift shops and flea markets.
Also, you never know what the used herb grinder was used for. If the herb grinder was used for making products to place in soaps, massage oils or perfumes, then that grinder cannot be used for food products. No matter how often an herb grinder is washed, any taste of strong chemicals such as tea tree oil or tobacco will not be removed and will infect any ground herbs meant for food or beverages.
There is nothing wrong with shopping at an occult or Pagan store, no matter what your religion or personal beliefs. Since many magical spells require ground herbs, there many types of herb grinders on sale. But unless you want to make cosmetics, perfumes or perform magical spells, its best to leave those lovely grinders on the shelves.
This is because many occult stores will burn strong incense during their opening hours. This is something that their customers have come to expect, along with crystal balls and black robes. Occult shop owners know that the right scent can help relax a customer and may help them to poke around the store longer and make an impulse purchase. But the incense scent can coat an herb grinder and is very difficult to remove.
Gas Stations and Dollar Stores
Many small convenience shops selling a variety of products will sell metal or wooden herb grinders with logos emblazoned on them. These are often designed to appeal to marijuana smokers, who need to grind either the brown cake form or the dried buds in order to make joints or to sprinkle in bakery goods. Dollar stores (or pound shops in the UK) often sell small mortars and pestles in fancy colors.
Although these types of herb grinders are new, they often are cheaply made and either fall apart easily or are too flimsy to do much grinding on fresh herbs like nettles. The mortars and pestles are often purely decorative and are not strong enough to do much grinding at all.
New Is Best
Now that you know where not to go for herb grinders, where should you go? Online and real world cooking shops often have professional restaurant-quality herb grinders. These are larger and more expensive than used, but they will last longer and get the job done in a shorter amount of time.
Online and real world health food stores and natural healing shops are other good places to frequent for sturdy, long-lasting herb grinders. If you want to use herbs for making candles, cosmetics or other inedible products, get a separate herb grinder and label it. Otherwise, the strange tastes from previous strong herbs will ruin the flavors of your food and beverages.