A mortar and pestle is used to grind fresh herbs and spices. These freshly ground herbs and spices can be used in cooking or in home health remedies.
According to Deena Prichep of NPR, the mortar and pestle is one of the oldest kitchen tools in existence, and it is used in cultures all around the world.
To use the mortar and pestle, cooks pour a small amount of herbs or spices into the bowl, or mortar, and they use the club, or pestle, to grind the contents in a circular motion against the sides of the bowl. This brings out the juices and flavor of the herbs.