Tools of the Trade, Part One: Mortar and Pestle

Nothing makes me feel more like a "true apothecary" than when I'm grinding something up in one of my collection of mortars and pestles. When I'm grinding herbs for cologne making (or cooking) or powdering resins to tincture I feel I connect with centuries of healers and craftsmen. The word mortar is Latin for "receptacle for pounding", and pestle for "pounder". The earliest use of them was found in 1550BC Egyptian papyrus.  The tools became the symbol of the pharmacy as they were originally used in apothecaries and then eventually pharmacies in the making of medicine.  The act of mixing or reducing materials to particle size is called trituration.

These are some that I covet:

This one is actually mine, grinding up benzoin absolute to tincture.