Proficiency with a herbalism kit “lets you add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks you make to identify or apply herbs” (D&D Basic rules, p. 51). Do you “apply herbs” when attempting to stabilize a dying character with a Wisdom (Medicine) check (p. 76)? Or is Medicine proficiency the only way to get your proficiency bonus on a stabilization check?

Closely related: The Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure mentions the use of “healing kits” for this purpose, but they don’t seem to exist in the game as published. Were healing kits removed from the game entirely, or should I simply read that as “herbalism kit” and take it as evidence that herbalism helps with stabilization?


2 Answers 2


Healing kits are listed on pg 151 of the PHB/48 of BD&D (in the general equipment section, not the tools section) and it's text is as follows:

...The kit has 10 uses. As an Action, you can expend one use of this kit to stabilize a creature that has 0 hit points, without needing to make a Wisdom (medicine) check.

So yes, you could possibly use a Herbalism kit to gain proficiency on your medicine check if you don't otherwise have it (this would be up to your DM and available resources), or you can use a Healing Kit (And a use of said kit), to stabilize another creature.

There is also a feat that buffs this kit (The Healer feat)

Ultimately, what I think I would do, would be to allow proficiency with an Herbalism kit to allow for the creation of Healing Kits.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ XGtE added a new optional rule where if a player is proficient in both the tool and the skill, they would use their proficiency bonus for the ability check, and also roll with advantage. For example, stabilizing with medicine while using a herbalism kit if the player is proficient in both. \$\endgroup\$
    – ActiveNick
    Dec 19, 2018 at 19:36

The rules say

Herbalism Kit. This kit contains a variety of instruments such as clippers, mortar and pestle, and pouches and vials used by herbalists to create remedies and potions. Proficiency with this kit lets you add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks you make to identify or apply herbs. Also, proficiency with this kit is required to create antitoxin and potions of healing.


You can use your action to administer first aid to an unconscious creature and attempt to stabilize it, which requires a successful DC 10 Wisdom (Medicine) check.

So there is no direct link and my initial reaction was to say "no", however , the rules also say

  1. The players describe what they want to do.

If a player says "I stabalise using a poultice and smelling salts" I would be inclined to reward the inventiveness.

Of course, you can only get proficiency once so no point if you already have proficiency in medicine.


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