As you advance through the game of Terraria you will come across the need to brew potions. There are dozens of different potions from restoring your health and mana, to various buffs that can give you an advantage in boss fights. Potions can help you dish out an extra hundred or even a thousand damage points or keep you alive longer. Luckily getting potions setup is easy and can be done very early in the game.
You need a glass bottle to make an alchemy table. To make a glass bottle you will need two sand blocks and a furnace. Mine some stone and chop down some trees to get the materials you need for a furnace and a workbench. A workbench with a glass bottle on top is all you need to unlock potion recipes.
First craft a workbench. You can make a workbench by hand with 10 wood.
Place your workbench down and combine 20 stone blocks, 3 torches, and 4 wood to make a furnace. This furnace will allow you to turn sand into glass. Gather up some sand by wandering across the surface of your world. You should run into a desert, but if you have to you can gather some sand at the edge of your world at an ocean.
Place your furnace and open your inventory to make glass. Each piece of glass will make 2 glass bottles.
Turn your glass into glass bottles and place a glass bottle on top of your workbench.
It does not matter which side you place the glass bottle on. Once you have a workbench with a glass bottle on top you can make potions at this crafting station.
Almost every potion in the game starts with bottled water. The biggest exception to this rule would be lesser healing potions as these only require mushrooms, gel, and regular glass bottles. Gather a lot of sand to turn into glass bottles and if your goal is to make healing potions, combine 2 gel, a mushroom, and 2 glass bottles to make two lesser healing potion.
For beneficial potion buffs you will need a base of bottled water to begin. To make bottled water simply have glass bottles in your inventory and stand next to a water source.
You just need to stand near the water in order for the recipe to be unlocked. The size of the water does not matter and the water is not consumed upon making bottled water. With your bottled water made you now have the base for most potions. A recipe you may want to familiarize yourself with are regeneration potions. This potion will slowly heal your health bar and makes for a welcome addition whenever you are facing any bosses.
To make a regeneration potion you just need bottled water, a daybloom, and a mushroom at an alchemy table. If you want to learn how to make other potions simply place bottled water in the crafting option that the guide offers. He will show you the recipe for almost every potion in the game.
The most frequent potion I find myself brewing is the regeneration potion. Especially as this is one of the easiest potions to brew and its benefits last throughout the entire game. Most of the potions you brew will be for combatting bosses. With this in mind, the wrath potion and the lifeforce potion are strong candidates for the best potion in the game. As a 10% damage increase means you end boss fights faster, and a 20% max health increase means you can survive longer.
A lot of potion ingredients will have special requirements for you to harvest their seeds. While you can get the potion ingredient without the condition being filled, gathering seeds allows you to keep a large stock of your potion ingredients. Daybloom for example will only make seeds when harvested while it is daytime. Moonglow has the opposite condition where it has to be nighttime. You can make planter boxes with 6 clay to grow these seeds into their respective potion ingredients.
Lesser healing potions are made with 2 gel, 2 glass bottles, and a mushroom. They will heal 50 health points. To upgrade this potion you will need 2 lesser healing potions and a glowing mushroom to make a regular healing potion. Glowing mushrooms can be found underground by the cave layer. The next stage of healing potions requires 3 bottled water, 3 pixie dust, and a crystal shard. This potion is reserved for when you enter Hardmode as the ingredients can only be found once your world has entered Hardmode.