Completed Herblore 4

Gemma makes some pills and salves

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Herblore 4

Postby Gemma Parker on February 27th, 2019, 4:25 am

Winter 78th, 518 AV

Gemma shook her head with a grin as she thought back to the first time that she and her dad had made these pills. She was older now, and she liked to think wiser. But she would always look back with fondness on those times when she could learn from her old man. Of course, he could still tell her about plants and such, and she thanked him for it, but he could no longer teach her. It made her sad. He had even admitted to her that her herbalism skills were better than his, which was surprising. She was very focused, and he was proud of her.

It brought a smile to her face that couldn't go away. As she put the plants through their process, she kept thinking back to when her dad had explained each part of the process, and followed the instructions he had given her, but this time she was better at it. Much better.

She grabbed the dried rose petals and thought back to her dad's instruction on their value and use.

"Rose petals are for more than just good looks." Miles said, holding up a hand full of rose petals, dried.

"They relax the body, detoxify it, reduce stress, and give the skin a healthy glow." He said.


She thought back on the memory with a light heart as she hummed and prepared the rose petals, putting them under a smaller grinding stone and grinding with skill until they were a powder like she wanted. Her dad was always such a help to her, and it was sad for her that she was outgrowing his teaching, but she was excited to enter the academy in the Spring, which was right around the corner.

She put the rose petal powder into a bowl by sweeping it off the stone with her hand, and then put the sifter over another small bowl. She dumped the first bowl into the sifter as she had done so many times before, and tapped on the sifter until it only small flecks of bigger rose petal were left. Gemma noticed that there were fewer big pieces now than there had been the first time her dad had helped her make this blend.

She then took the next item, a stick of dried cinnamon. She was getting fast enough that she would probably be able to finish grinding this as well without her arms getting tired. As she ground the cinnamon into powder, she thought back to another lesson her father had taught her about the benefits of cinnamon.

"Apart from being a tasty spice, cinnamon has a few cool properties and benefits you should know about." He said. "It helps lower stress and give the body more energy. It also helps against aging if taken properly." He explained. "Supposedly, it also helps you keep your mind longer, but I don't know if that's true. But we do know that it's good to help against bacteria and infections."

She finished grinding the cinnamon and measured out the part that she needed after sifting the powder. She moved on to the next herb.
Last edited by Gemma Parker on March 2nd, 2019, 8:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Herblore 4

Postby Gemma Parker on February 27th, 2019, 4:26 am

"Next is ginger root." Her father said. "Ginger root, as I'm sure you know by now, has loads of uses and benefits. To name a few, it helps with stomach pain and problems like nausea, sea sickness, and pain. It can also help with newly pregnant women who have morning sickness." He had explained.

"To find it, look for this tall grass like stalk with upward facing thin leaves." He showed her what to look for. "Then dig around the base to get the whole root. Always be sure not to take all of a single plant so that nature can regrow."

Gemma smiled at the thought. That was her dad. She put the well known ginger root onto the bigger grinding stone and began to turn, continuing to reminisce as she did so. It was now an almost therapeutic process for her. She thought maybe one day she would be able to do the whole thing without really thinking. But maybe that was what she was doing now.

She took the stone off of the top of the ginger powder and set it to the side with a small grunt. It was still heavy, even if she was stronger than she had been six years ago.

She put a collecting bowl close to the bottom stone and swept the ginger powder into the bowl, stifling a sneeze as she did so. Sometimes when she went too fast, the powder could get in the air and she had to be careful. It wasn't harmful, but it could be bad if she sneezed all over her work. Not very sanitary.

She shook the collecting bowl a little bit as she set up the sifter over another bowl. She poured the collecting bowl into the sifter and tapped it until only the waste was left on top. She then tossed the rest of the garbage into the waste basket and measured out a half tablespoon of the powder, just as her father had told her.

She was almost ready to get started adding the honey, but first she had to get all the ingredients together. She took a bigger bowl and dumped all the powders she had measured into the bowl and began to shake and stir the powders together. This part was important, she remembered, because it impacted the consistency of the pills in the end. She used her hands and a spoon to make sure that the powder mixture was completely uniform, or at least as uniform as it could be without more advanced tools.

She then took her honey and poured it in, using her hands to mix and mash together the powder until she had a uniform looking paste. It left her hands very sticky, but this was the best way for her to make sure the paste felt good. If she used a spoon, she might miss a pocket of dry powder and it would mess up the batch. With that done, it was time for the final steps!

---

"Now at this step, if you want it to be an electuary that you eat like nut butter, you can add more honey to make it thinner. You can also mix it into tea like that. You'll also notice that it will become dry over time, just like normal honey. That's normal. Just add more honey." Her father said. "But if you want to make pills, you'll want less honey. It's all about the texture you're looking for." He said.

She did as her father had once instructed and blended the herbs together to make a dough, almost like when making bread. But the texture was totally different. She took a handful of the dough and pinched off the amount that she wanted, measuring about a teaspoon per pinch. She put it in front of her and rolled it until it was in the shape of a pill, then pinched a still powdered blend of cinnamon and licorice for taste. She sprinkled the dust over the pill she'd made and rolled it in the surrounding powder until it looked uniform. That was one. She still had many, many to go.

She took another pinch of the herb and as she rolled the dough out to get the right amount, she thought back to another time her father had taught her.

These pills are great for flu season and the cold. They keep the body strong and fit and healthy so that when the cold and flu try to get into the body, they can't, and they have to move on. Imagine if everyone in the city was taking these herbs!" Her father was always a visionary. She liked that about him. She never really felt that she needed to impress him. She just tried hard because she wanted to be more like him. And in many ways, she was more like him than she was like her mother.

"When you're done, store them in a cool, dry place, preferably in a cellar. That will keep them fresh longer. Then just pop one or two a day whenever you want, or consistently if you want to strengthen your body over time." He said, holding up one of the pills and putting it in his mouth before washing it down with a glass of water.

Gemma took another pill and sprinkled it with the herb seasoning for taste, rolling it for consistency and finally putting it with the small pile she had accumulated already.

"So what's the difference between a pill and a potion?" The young Gemma asked.

"Well a pill hasn't changed at all. It's still a blend. Philtering involves complex boiling and, well, filtering. This is really just a convenient way of taking the herbs that helps people think in terms of quantity so they take the right amount. It's easier to say "take one to two pills per day" than to try to make them remember which size spoon they need to use for their doses."


And with that memory and still a smile on her face, Gemma completed the batch of Electuary pills. It felt good to be done, but she still had energy, and she was thinking of what to do next.
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Herblore 4

Postby Gemma Parker on February 27th, 2019, 4:26 am

Gemma decided to go to another throw back, salves. She remembered one time she had helped her dad make an infused oil in preparation to make the salve. She had missed a nap because of that teaching, but she had learned a lot, as always with her dad.

She went into the cupboard and pulled out a similar infused oil, but this time she had made the whole thing herself. Her dad let her use the house as her own little herbalist's roost, while he did most of his work at his shop. She didn't mind. It was peaceful to be at home doing what she was good at.

She put the infused oil on the table and shook it before uncapping the jar and setting it to the side. She then took cheesecloth and stretched it over a bowl before pouring the infused oil through the rag, leaving the wilted and discolored flowers on top. She dumped those into the trash and began her work on the next part, the Calendula salve. As she began the preparations, she thought back to her dad's teaching about the flowered salve.

"Calendula is most often used for topical applications on wounds, rashes, burns, bites, and stings. It helps to clean the wound and reduce inflammation. There may even be more benefits we don't yet know about." He said. "Whatever else it does, it noticeably reduces the time it takes for a patient's wound to heal, making it super important for us as healers and herbalists." He said.

She put the jar into a pan and set that pan over the stove, filling it with water in a double boiler system like she had learned from her dad. She started the fire and before long, the water was boiling and the oil was heating up.

Now once the oil is hot, you can drop in the beeswax. The wax helps the oil to get thicker and take on that salve-y texture that you're looking for in a cream for skin application. Beeswax also doesn't melt at human body temperature, so this is perfect." He said.

She put in the wax and stirred it, feeling the blend get thicker and thicker, but still it was not as thick as it would be when it cooled down. That was how it would be packaged.

When she was done, she took the boiler off of the fire and put it to the side, taking the jar of oil with wax and pouring it into more smaller jars that could then be used individually and even given out as presents. She was sure to mark the smaller containers, and put them in the cupboards with the other herbal remedies she had made. She would take some of them to work the following day, but some of it would stay at home to be given away or consumed.

Just then, her dad walked in. "Uh-oh, I smell an herbalist at work!" He laughed and gave her a big hug, which she sank into.

"Thanks, dad. Thanks for everything."
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Herblore 4

Postby Gemma Parker on March 2nd, 2019, 6:05 am

"Hey Gems, while you're here and working on herbalism stuff, could you do me a favor?" Her dad asked.

"Yeah dad, what's up?" She asked.

"Well you know how the shop has been getting busier and busier, and well I just don't have time to keep up with all the requests I'm getting for creams and salves and such. Could you help your old man out and make me a few things?" He asked.

"Sure dad, what do you need?" She asked.

"Well I need a batch of Comfrey Salve. Do you know how to make that?" He asked.

"I'm sure you're about to tell me." She said with a smile.

"Well you know all the techniques. Basically you make infused oil with comfrey, which we have in the garden. When that's done, you add beeswax to thicken and make it harden at room temperature, and pour it into the containers. Pretty simple." He explained.

"That sounds doable. What kind of quantity are you looking for?" She asked.

"Just make it all. I can bring more comfrey in from the shop or buy more, but start with what we have." He said.

"Wow, this stuff must sell well." She said.

"It's nicknamed Heal All. I guess people want a cheap cream that heals their skin and such so they don't have to pay to visit you in the Catholicon." He smiled and so did she.

"Yeah, well you know this'll take a few cycles to finish since I have to make the oil from scratch. When do you need it by?" She asked.

"Just whenever it's ready. I know you'll do great." He smiled at her with pride.

"Sure thing. I'll get started now." She said. "Which one is Comfrey?" She asked.

"It's the one with the purple bell fruit on it. Big leaves." He said.

"Got it." She went outside and quickly found the plant she was looking for. It grew near the front of the garden, and was easy to spot since it was the only plant with purple bell shaped buds on it.

She harvested the comfrey at the base, being sure to leave enough of the plant that it could recover from the harvesting, and she went inside to get started with the oil.

To make an infused oil could take either 12 bells or 30 days. She knew which one her dad preferred, so that meant she would be monitoring the kitchen the whole time. Thankfully her mom wasn't home.

She prepared her jars, made sure they were clean and dry, and stuffed the comfrey into the jars. She used her philterer's scale to make sure the ratio was optimal, and then measured out her oil, pouring it over the comfrey in the jar. She couldn't really stir it since the comfrey was so big, but she was able to push the leaves down so the oil covered them.

She repeated this process with many different jars until she had used all the comfrey she had harvested, and she was ready for the next step.
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Herblore 4

Postby Gemma Parker on March 2nd, 2019, 6:05 am

She started the fire on the stove and prepared her double boiler system. Basically it was just a normal pan on the stove with about an inch of water. Then she added another pan on top of that so that the vapors from the first pan would heat the second pan. It was in that pan that she put her jars. She had to set up several double boilers, and even needed to run to her neighbor's house to borrow some more due to the volume she was making.

She got into the groove of tending the fire, adding more water, and eyeballing the temperature of the oil to make sure it didn't burn or scorch the herbs. It was a delicate process, but a few times her dad popped in for a break from his work and he was able to help her out as well. It was not a complicated process, but it was delicate. While she wished she could just snap her fingers and it would all be done, it didn't work like that. So while she waited for the oil to finish infusing, she got to work on writing notes in her ever expanding journal. Her dad had told her about a new recipe that she had never had a need for before, but apparently it was big in stores. Maybe she could make this kind of salve to give to patients that were sent home from the Catholicon. It was worth looking into.

Gemma knew a lot about herbs and processes, so it was not hard to guess the use of a salve. It used beeswax, so clearly it wasn't intended to be taken internally, but spread on the skin. The wax would harden within the oil at room temperature, similar to a lip balm. That made her wonder if a lip balm was a salve.

"Hey dad?" She called into the other room. "

"Yeah honey?" He called.

"What's the difference between a balm and a salve?" She asked, still watching the stove.

"Same thing. Also called an ointment." He called back. It was basic stuff, really, but she hadn't ever thought about it before. She worked hard, but much of her experience was in this very kitchen. Sure she mixed basic herbs at work, but her dad's projects were always more advanced and interesting. She just hadn't thought to ask about it before.

"Ok, thanks!" She called.

There was no answer, but that was fine. She got back to work and measured the water in each pan to make sure the water wouldn't boil out. At the beginning she liked to watch any process for a good fifteen chimes to make sure nothing obvious was wrong, then she would come back at intervals of about fifteen chimes each rotation to make sure everything was still working.

She sat down at her journal and began to update it, making two entries: one for salves, one for comfrey or Heal All. She hadn't asked much about it, but her dad had mentioned three key uses of the salve, and since the comfrey was the only active ingredient, she felt confident writing down at least those uses for now.
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Herblore 4

Postby Madeira Craven on March 14th, 2019, 6:00 pm

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Gemma Parker

Skills
  • Herbalism: 5xp
  • Observation: 1xp
  • Socialization: 2xp
  • Planning: 2xp

Lores
  • Lore of the medicinal uses of rose petals
  • Lore of the medicinal uses of cinnamon
  • Herbalism: cinnamon is antibacterial
  • Lore of the medicinal uses of ginger root
  • Herbalism: identifying ginger root
  • Herbalism: combining ingredients for pills
  • Herbalism: rolling electuary pills
  • Lore of the differences between herbalism and philtering
  • Herbalism: using beeswax to thicken oil
  • Herbalism: comfrey salve recipe
  • Comfrey Salve: nicknamed Heal All
  • Herbalism: identifying comfrey
  • Infused Oil: requires patience to make
  • herbalism: balm, salve and ointment are all the same thing

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Notes
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