As a naturopath, businesswoman, and mother, Chris Alstat draws from a variety of experiences to serve in her new role as president of Eclectic Institute. We sat down with her to learn more about her background and her visions for the future of the company.
With the holiday season now upon us, many of us are racking our brains to come up with the perfect gifts for our loved ones. If you’re like me, you want your gifts to be somewhat unique, useful, and above all, something that will bring them joy.
You know what checks off all of those boxes? Homemade herbal liqueurs!
We have some good news for you kava lovers out there: for a limited time only, we’re offering 50% off on all our kava capsules!
Kava imports have been in very short supply in recent years due to a massive category 5 cyclone by the name of Pam that ripped through the Pacific Islands in March of 2015, devastating Vanuatu and taking out nearly a third of its kava crops (1). According to World Bank, Pam was the largest cyclone in recorded history to ever make landfall in the Pacific (2). Entire villages were swept away, infrastructure destroyed, and the economy left in shambles.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple decades, you’ve probably heard that berries are incredible for your health. And what makes them so great is their heavy load of antioxidants. Antioxidants play a crucial role in the body: they donate electrons to stabilize free radicals. Ideally, we want as many free radicals countered by antioxidants as possible. When these two things are out of balance -- specifically, when there are more free radicals than the antioxidants can handle -- the body undergoes what is called oxidative stress, which causes damage to tissues throughout the body. Among the berries, aronia, also known as chokeberries, stand out as antioxidant superstars. They have an ORAC value of 16,062 μ mol TE/100g, higher than that of elderberries, blueberries, blackberries, currants, red raspberries, strawberries, and cranberries.
Following two successful runs of our Sandy Herb Camp, a nature-based summer camp for kids, we are now gearing up for round 3!
This annual 5-day camp is organized and run by Eclectic’s owner, Chris Alstat, and her long-time friend Heather Sullivan. Both were inspired by making herbal crafts and remedies with their own children, and noticing the sense of wonder and joy it brings them to make magic out of plants. They share a goal of instilling interest in the world of healing plants in children, so that they may grow up with a heightened sense of respect and love for nature, as well as the confidence to take health and well-being into their own hands.
With summer just around the corner, Eclectic is busy preparing to launch its first-ever internship program! It will be a unique program that combines hands-on experience on the medicinal herb farm with classroom learning on a wide range of topics. With it, we hope to provide a strong platform for beginning herbalists to dive into the world of holistic health.
Let’s do an exercise. Imagine a salad full of bitter greens: radicchio, endive, dandelion greens, arugula. There’s no dressing on this salad. Now imagine taking a big bite of that salad and beginning to chew. Pay close attention to your tongue. As you chew on those bitter greens, is there a particular part of your tongue that feels more active than others? If you were to actually chew on one of these bitter greens, it might become more obvious that our bitter taste receptors reside on the back of the tongue. And when those become activated, a cascade of physiological responses takes place.
The traditional Thanksgiving feast typically includes lots of herbs which provide health benefits as well as flavor. Traditional stuffing and poultry herbs include sage, rosemary and thyme, pumpkin pie contains cinnamon and cloves, and cranberries are found in sauce and side dishes.These herbs were present in the original Thanksgiving feast, and were brought to America by settlers for use in both seasoning and supporting health.