Herbs are items used to make potions with the Herblore skill. There are many herbs, each of which have a "clean" and "grimy" state. Herbs must be clean to be used in potions. Players can clean grimy herbs, provided that they have the minimum required Herblore level (see below).
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.
Cleaning grimy herbs
Players will normally obtain herbs as grimy (except when buying clean herbs from other players or at the Grand Exchange). 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. 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.
Herbs yield an average of 6.8 leaves per plot with optimum tools. The following are the results of a study planting 728 seeds 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. In reality, odds become extremely small for every harvest over 25 herbs per patch. This was explained in a Runescape Mythbuster livestream.
The following table shows the effectiveness of ultracompost. Herb runs were done including all patches except Harmony Island along with the Hard Diary boost for the Catherby patch (+10%). A total of 2793 seeds were planted, 129 were diseased or dead upon return which is a 4.62% disease rate. The average yield of a standard patch (Falador, Ardougne, Canifis) was 8.56 herbs, and the average that grew to harvest was 9.01 herbs. The lowest harvest was 6 and the highest was 20. A regularly updated Google Sheets with more details about each patch's yields can be found here.
|Number of patches:||101 (3.62%)||217 (7.77%)||465 (16.65%||529 (18.94%)||495 (17.72%)||373 (13.35%)||259 (9.27%)||172 (6.16%)||79 (2.83%)||53 (1.90%)||22 (0.79%)||28 (1.00%)|
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
Some herbs can only be cleaned after a player starts the Jungle Potion quest. They are not tradeable.
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 sinister chest, or as a reward from the Pest Control and Temple Trekking minigames.
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. No monsters except the Tree spirit and Prison Pete random events will drop toadflax, snapdragon or torstol; these herbs are obtained from either the Brimhaven agility arena (toadflax and snapdragon), or the herb chest in the Yanille Agility dungeon. Looting a nature impling jar may give the player a snapdragon.
- Men and women drop a surprising variety of herbs including high level herbs. They are only level 2 and are found all over Gielinor.
- Chaos druids are only level 13, and drop a lot of herbs. Players can find them in the Taverley Dungeon, Edgeville Dungeon, in a tower north of East Ardougne, and in the Yanille Agility 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 61 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, are aggressive to all levels, 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.
From the sinister chest
Players can also kill Salarin the twisted for the Sinister Key, which opens the sinister chest. Players will receive two harralanders, three ranarr weeds, one irit leaf, one kwuarm, and one torstol. Both Salarin the twisted and the Sinister chest are found in the Yanille Agility dungeon, and players need an Agility level of 67 to reach him. Salarin the twisted, the Chaos Fanatic, 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.
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.
From the Miscellania kingdom
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
Player can obtain clean 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.