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Companion Botanical Closeup: Chasteberry or Vitex agnus-castus

Chasteberry is the fruit of the chaste tree, an aromatic, flowering shrub native to the Mediterranean region and central Asia. It is also known as monk's pepper or by its Latin name, Vitex agnus-castus. It is a member of the Verbenaceae family which includes verbena and vervain. The dried fruits or berries resemble a peppercorn in both their size and their spicy aroma and flavor profiles. It became referred to as chasteberry and monk's pepper because of its reputation as an anaphrodisiac. In other words, it was believed to decrease libido, and monks utilized it to strengthen their practice. In traditional systems of herbal medicine, chasteberry is more widely known for its ability to regulate the activity of the female sex hormones, estrogen and...

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Companion Botanicals and CBD: Stocking Your Pantry with Immune-Boosting Foods

The COVID-19 pandemic has a lot of us thinking about how we can alter our daily routines in order to improve our baseline health and build immunity. Plants can be powerful allies in this process, both in our diets and in our medicines. If you are looking to herbal remedies for the first time, you can quickly feel overwhelmed by the amount of information available. There are so many herbs to choose from! Don’t be discouraged. Start with familiar foods and culinary herbs to get the ball rolling. Most may already be in your kitchen and if not, can be easily found at your grocery store or local co-op. Read on for more by Bridget Conry, Director of Brand Experience, resident herbalist and lead product developer at...

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Companion Botanical Closeup: Arnica

The next feature in our Companion Botanical series is Arnica montana. Arnica is a member of the Asteraceae family of plants, similar to Helichrysum and German Chamomile, and yet another herb formulated into our CVD 1:1 Salve and our Ceres Natural Remedies Hemp Infused Salve. This trio of asters (we like to refer to as the “three sisters”) form the foundation for anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in our salve recipes. Arnica has long been a remedy for external, local healing, and a specific for treatment of sprains, bruises, arthritis affecting the hands and knees, and inflammatory skin conditions. The primary active ingredient is helenalin, a sesquiterpene lactone, that research has shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. It is also a toxin when consumed internally in certain amounts, so care must be...

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Companion Botanical Closeup: Saint John's Wort

Hypericum perforatum, or common Saint John’s wort, is a member of the hypericaceae family. Its common name is based on the fact that it generally blooms at the beginning of summer on or around June 24th, which is the birthday of the biblical John the Baptist. It is native to Europe, Asia and North Africa, and is considered an invasive species in the United States.

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Companion Botanical Closeup: German (aka Blue) Chamomile

Companion Botanical Closeup: Blue Chamomile. Also known as true chamomile and the “star among medicinal species,” German Chamomile, or Matricaria chamomilla L., is a member of the Asteraceae family, just like Helichrysum, the focus of our first Companion Botanical Closeup. The essential oils of these two botanicals figure prominently in our base salve recipe which is used for both our Hemp Infused Salve and our dispensary's 1:1 Salve. On the label of these products, the chamomile oil is listed as blue chamomile…what’s the rub?...

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