I am curious as to how far herbalism kits can be pushed.
In the PHB (p. 153), it says about the 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 any potion of healing.
In XGE (p. 82), it says about the herbalism kit:
Arcana. Your knowledge of the nature and herbs can add insight on your magical studies that deal with plants and your attempt to
Investigation. When you investigate an area overgrown with plants, your proficiency can help you pick out details others might miss.
Nature and Survival. When you travel in the wild, your skills make it easier to identify plants […]
Identify Plants. You can identify most plants with a quick inspection of their appearance and smell.
This is great when you're looking to make antitoxins and potions of healing/penicilin and all the good stuff, but I am curious to know about the other side of herbology; such as identify poisonous berries, mushrooms, herbs and all the other remedies that herbalists need to know about to avoid making a poison by mistake…. wouldn't proficiency in herbology not help in that way too?
More specifically, given that nature itself is a two-sided coin, with medicinal plants offering hallucinogens, paralysis, poison, inflammatories, etc, wouldn't a PC who is proficient with herbalism kits also be able to create plant/nature-based poisons and potions of special effects much like one proficient with poisoner's kits?
As a player, this can give some interesting options, such as mixing potions of healing with potions of sleep applied to a large gaping wound to help prevent the wound from reopening right away or using potions based on mushrooms to coat your weapon/ammunition and cause the enemy to trip out and cast/swing wildly, or even numb their bodies so they can no longer fight and/or talk…
Though I agree that these would have to be plant-based, and thus most likely would not consider wasp farming or toad slime, I'm wondering why the PHB and XGE only focus on the positive benefits of herbology in this matter…