Herbs are items used to make potions with the Herblore skill. There are many herbs, each of which have a "clean" and "grimy" form. Herbs must be clean to be used in potions. Players can clean grimy herbs, provided that they have the minimum required Herblore level. The required Herblore level to clean herbs varies from one type of herb to another.
When making potions, players must combine a herb with a vial of water (or coconut milk for a few high-level potions). They must then add a secondary ingredient. Some herbs can be used to make more than one type of potion.
History[edit | edit source]
Before the Herbal Remedies update on the 10 September 2007, herbs were divided into "unidentified" and "identified" instead of grimy and clean. Unidentified herbs could not be used in potions, and had to be identified (equivalent to cleaning in the current system) by a player with the requisite Herblore level.
Each type of herb, identified or not, was placed in a separate stack in the bank or inventory; for example, all unidentified ranarr weeds would be in one stack, and all unidentified tarromins would be in another. They all had the same name: "Herb" and the same icon, nonetheless by identifying one of the herbs of the stack, the player would know what the herb was in the stack.
This became a scamming issue, as player selling unidentified herbs could claim that the herbs were higher level (and therefore more valuable) than they actually were. At that time, the trade window did not give any indication at all of the value of items being traded; this was not introduced until the Trade and Drop Changes update of 10 December 2007. The "unids" as they were sometimes called were often sold at 1,000 coins, and sometimes up to 5,000 coins per herb.
The buyer could only determine which herb they were buying by identifying it themselves after they had bought it or by carrying a full inventory with one slot being filled with noted unids that they knew were of a certain type (and no other unids). This way, they could only accept the type of unids they needed. To remove this scam, Jagex replaced unidentified herbs with grimy herbs, and identified herbs with clean herbs. They also changed the herb graphics, providing a number of different shades of green and blue.
Clean versus grimy[edit | edit source]
- See the herb cleaning calculator for coins-per-experience-point analysis of herb-cleaning using live data from the Grand Exchange Market Watch.
Players will normally obtain herbs as grimy (except when buying clean herbs from other players). Players can clean grimy herbs by left-clicking on them, gaining a small amount of Herblore experience points, but each type of herb has a minimum Herblore level requirement that players must have to do so. Players who do not have the required Herblore level to clean a herb can take it to Zahur, the herbalist in Nardah, who will clean it for 200 coins. Alternatively, they can use the Assist System to borrow another player's Herblore level so they can clean the herb. However, if a player's Herblore level is high enough to use the herb in potions then it is high enough to clean the herb.
Players can buy and sell both clean and grimy herbs at the Grand Exchange. The graphical differences between them are fairly small. Against the inventory background, the herbs are somewhat more grey and there is a small shape change.
Grimy herbs were worth more on the Grand Exchange than clean herbs for a long while, especially lower-level herbs, although this seems to have changed. Players who are trying to grow them for money should check both grimy and clean prices if they have a high enough Herblore level to clean them.
Farming herbs[edit | edit source]
As of an update on the 7th November 2022, herb patches can never die, they can only become diseased which simply requires curing using Plant cure. The Farmer's Catalyst fragment (or combined version) acts as an infinite source of Plant cure and provides Shadow-infused herbs which can be cleaned for Herblore XP (but provide no resources) when curing the diseased Herb patch. In addition, you can now plant multiple seeds per patch (with Plant power upgrades from Sydekix's Shop of Balance), however to maximise yield, the player should always plant only a single seed in the patch.
Prior to this update, a study was conducted showing that herb patches yield an average of 6.8 leaves (8.2 leaves, ignoring dead patches) per plot with optimum tools. The following are the results of a study planting 728 seeds (1 seed per patch) in 5 herb patches (including the disease-free patch at the Troll Stronghold) and using Supercompost and Magic Secateurs:
|Number of patches:||77 (10.58%)||86 (11.81%)||120 (16.48%)||149 (20.47%)||125 (17.17%)||66 (9.07%)||44 (6.04%)||22 (3.02%)||19 (2.61%)||13 (1.79%)||2 (0.27%)||5 (0.69%)|
The average yield, including the dead patches (0 yield), was 6.8 herbs. The average yield of patches that grew to harvest was 8.2 herbs. The minimum and maximum yield of patches that grew to harvest was 5 leaves and 23 leaves, respectively. Theoretically infinite herbs can be harvested from a single patch since the total amount is luck based. However, the odds drop off dramatically, and it is almost impossible to harvest more than 25 herbs from a single patch. This was explained in a Runescape Mythbuster livestream.
From this, these key points can be made:
- The Scroll of life will always return 10% of seeds from harvested plants, making each seed worth approximately 1.1111 seed in practice.
- Death can be prevented by checking every cycle and not planting seeds before a long logout (like overnight), however, this is extremely impractical.
- Alternatively, having the Pharm Ecology relic power from Archaeology active completely eliminates the chance of disease, though this comes at the opportunity cost of using another power that might benefit whatever you are doing while the herbs are growing. Note that using supercompost is still advised, as doing so will still increase the average yield compared to base values.
- The 6.8 and 8.2 "magic numbers" are useful for both money making and calculating Herblore costs. For example, if a player knows that a ranarr seed sells for 13,935 gp and the herbs sell for 4,337 gp, the expected profit (without using Pharm Ecology) would be 6.8 * 4,337 - 13,935 = 15556.6 gp per seed.
Herb table[edit | edit source]
Normal herbs[edit | edit source]
Goutweed is a rare herb that plays a role in the Dream Mentor and Eadgar's Ruse quests. Sanfew will exchange them for other random herbs at a 1:1 ratio. It requires 29 Farming to plant in a herb patch.
Jungle Potion herbs[edit | edit source]
Some herbs can only be cleaned after a player starts the Jungle Potion quest. They are not tradeable.
Dungeoneering herbs[edit | edit source]
Herblore Habitat herbs[edit | edit source]
These herbs are only able to be grown at Herblore Habitat. They are not tradeable.
Obtaining herbs[edit | edit source]
Players can obtain grimy herbs via several methods, perhaps most notably by growing seeds via the Farming skill and as drops from monsters. They may also receive herbs from the Sorceress's Garden minigame, from their kingdom on Miscellania and Etceteria, from the closed chest, or as a reward from the Pest Control and Temple Trekking minigames.
As drops[edit | edit source]
Grimy herbs are available as drops from various monsters, including very low-level opponents such as men in Lumbridge. Some monsters drop more herbs than others. Looting a nature impling jar may give the player a clean snapdragon. Using a macaw familiar will significantly improve the quality of herb drops from monsters.
- Men and women drop a surprising variety of herbs including high level herbs. They are only level 4 and are found all over Gielinor.
- Outlaws in the Bandit Camp next to the Grand Exchange always drop bones and usually drop rope or one of the cheaper herbs. This is a good moneymaker for people with somewhat high combat (80-120).
- Thugs within the Wilderness including Edgeville Dungeon's wilderness section drop a variety of herbs, including some high level herbs. While a lower combat level than Outlaws, Thugs are only found within the Wilderness where the player may be attacked and slain by other players.
- Chaos druids are only level 32, and drop a lot of herbs. Players can find them in the Taverley Dungeon, Edgeville Dungeon, in a tower north of East Ardougne, one of the resource dungeons in Edgeville Dungeon, and in the Yanille Dungeon.
- Cave crawlers are Slayer monsters that drop both herbs and ingredients, they are very poisonous, so an Antipoison is advised.
- Aberrant spectres are Slayer monsters that drop large numbers of herbs. They can be found in Morytania Slayer Tower and also in Pollnivneach Slayer Dungeon. Level 60 Slayer and a Nose peg or a Slayer helmet are required.
- Chaos Druid Warriors in the Yanille Agility dungeon drop a wide variety of second ingredients as well as herbs. However, being stronger than ordinary chaos druids, they take longer to kill, which makes them slower for herb gathering.
- Basilisks are Slayer monsters which drop herbs very often. They have a combat level of 77 and are located in the Fremennik Slayer Dungeon. A mirror shield and a Slayer level of 40 are required to kill them. As with chaos druid warriors, while their drop rate is good, their higher combat makes them take longer to kill than other herb droppers.
- Flesh Crawlers in the level 2 Stronghold of Security drop herbs frequently, and can be slain relatively quickly, which makes them ideal for gathering herbs. They hit relatively low for their level, but their attacks are fast, and can be very accurate. In addition, they are frequently crowded on most worlds.
- Banshees in the Slayer Tower drop fewer herbs than chaos druids, but also drop large quantities of noted pure essence. Level 15 Slayer and earmuffs or a Slayer helmet are required.
- Croesus, which technically a skilling boss instead of a combat encounter, drops large quantities of high-level herbs, particularly ones useful for making high-end PvM supplies like Dwarf Weed. It’s recommended you have at least 80 Woodcutting, Mining, Fishing, and Hunter before attempting it, however, the more the better. Completion of City of Senntisten is also recommended for access to the Pontifex shadow ring.
From the closed chest[edit | edit source]
Players can also kill Salarin the Twisted for the Sinister Key, which opens the closed chest. Players will receive two harralanders, three ranarr weeds, one irit leaf, one kwuarm, and one torstol. Both Salarin the Twisted and the closed chest are found in the Yanille Agility dungeon, and players need an Agility level of 67 to reach him. He and the Magpie Impling are currently the only non-player characters that drop the Sinister Key.
Salarin the Twisted can only be injured by one of the four elemental strike spells: Wind Strike, Water Strike, Earth Strike, or Fire Strike. Chaos druids and Chaos Druid Warriors are also found in this area.
Via Farming[edit | edit source]
Players can also grow their own herbs from seeds via the Farming skill. They need to obtain the correct seeds for the type of herb they wish to grow, and plant them in a herb patch. At high Farming levels this can be a very effective method of obtaining experience in both the Herblore and Farming skills.
The herb patch used during My Arm's Big Adventure can be useful, as herbs grown in it cannot become diseased. Players can also use the Pharm Ecology relic power to render all herb patches immune to disease. This requires level 81 Archaeology, as well as completion of A Fairy Tale III - Battle at Ork's Rift.
From the Miscellania kingdom[edit | edit source]
Players who have completed the Throne of Miscellania quest can receive grimy herbs from Miscellania (see Managing Miscellania). Players pay an average of 800 coins per herb collected using this method, and receive up to 80 grimy herbs per day, all tarromin or above, if they have enough money in the coffers and have herb-gathering set to maximum.
From Sorceress's Garden[edit | edit source]
Player can obtain herbs from the Sorceress's Garden minigame, in which players work their way through a maze to reach a herb patch. Having reached the end, players can pick two random herbs before being teleported back to the beginning of the maze. This takes approximately 50 seconds. It was often crowded with bots because of the easy access and high profit of this minigame.
The lowest garden (Winter) can only yield herbs up to harralanders. The highest garden (Summer) can yield all herbs given normally as a drop besides Snapdragon and Torstol.
Update history[edit | edit source]
- patch 4 December 2012 (Update):
- Grimy herbs will now be correctly named in the feedback message seen when cleaning them.
- update 10 September 2007 (Update):
- The Herbalist felt 'identifying' herbs was not the difficult part of Herblore - it's cleaning! So, your unidentified herbs have been replaced with 'grimy' herbs. You will now see grimy ranarrs, grimy marrentills and other mucky herbs. These require cleaning and a certain Herblore level to do so; the same Herblore level that was required to originally identify them. With no more identifying to be done, you will know exactly what herbs you are receiving from the very start.
- Your efforts in herb Farming will also produce grimy herbs - giving you a small increase in Herblore experience as you clean them!
- The Herbalist in Nardah is more than willing to clean up any grimy herbs for you - for a price of course. He has also, for no extra price, trawled through your herbs, identifying and sorting them into 'clean' and 'grimy' batches. Clean herbs are ready for use, whether in potions, in salamanders or anything else you could do with a herb.
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