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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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