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About Benjamin & Ingrid

Formulating and creating together, we have worked as a team for 12 years.

 

We integrate Western medical science and practice with clinical herbalism from Chinese, European and North American botanical healing traditions.


 

Why Paeonia?

 
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Gardeners from Asia to Europe have treasured peonies for centuries.

The peony is the national flower of China, representing wealth, beauty, and honor. It symbolizes spring, female reproduction, as well as peace. Widely cultivated throughout China and Japan for thousands of years, they became popular in Europe by the middle ages.

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Europeans planted peonies where they settled in the Americas.

Passed down to my grandmother who brought her mother’s peonies from Nebraska to Pennsylvania, my mother has replanted peonies in her gardens from upstate New York to Massachusetts.

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My mother drank many pots of thick bitter tea in her attempts to conceive.

My mother visited a renowned Chinese herbalist in Boston who practiced out of his incense-infused living room, bringing home paper-wrapped packets of blood-building and hormone-regulating herbs, including peony, that facilitated three successful pregnancies after years of infertility.


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California peonies dot the landscape of the Central and Southern coastlines.

They are finicky to cultivate and not widely available in nurseries nor are they grown in mass production, unlike Paeonia lactiflora and the other medicinal species widely utilized in Chinese medicine. The California Native Plant Society has information about growing California Peony and where to see it in the wild, or ask your local botanical garden if they have California Peony in their collection.


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Peony root (Bai Shao) is one of the most commonly used herbs in Chinese medicine

It nourishes Blood and retains Yin, subdues Yang, and regulates the menses. It moderates and tempers the dispersing effect of cool acrid herbs that relieve the exterior, to protect and nourish the fluids in the body. It is a key herb in many formulas for gynecologic conditions ranging from irregular cycles, menstrual pain, fibroids, and infertility. It is also used to treat abdominal pain, liver and gallbladder diseases, spasmodic conditions, and various manifestations of anxiety and depression.