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Mortar and pestle

A mortar and pestle are two tools used with each other to grind and mix substances.

The mortar is a bowl-like vessel used to contain a substance. Mortars have smooth, rounded bottoms and wide mouths. The pestle is the pounding and grinding instrument. The mortar and the head of the pestle are usually made of porcelain, while the handle of the pestle is made of wood.

Mortar and pestles were traditionally used in pharmacies to crush various ingredients prior to preparing an extemporaneous prescription. The mortar and pestle is the most common icon associated with pharmacies.

They are also used in cooking to prepare ingredients, grinding fresh herbs into a powder form.