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Meet Us

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Benjamin Zappin, L.AC.

Co-founder of Five Flavors Herbs

Benjamin is one of the Bay Area's most respected and knowledgeable herbalists and a licensed acupuncturist. With over 20 years of experience, Benjamin has studied at Five Branches Institute in Santa Cruz, CA, and the Zhejiang College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Hangzhou, China. Additionally, he completed a four-year clinical apprenticeship with Michael Tierra.

To create effective herbal formulas and treat patients, Benjamin synthesizes his deep knowledge of Chinese and western herbal medicine with modern medical perspectives. This exceptional approach has been recognized industry-wide. He serves patients through Paeonia Integrative Medicine.

An esteemed educator, Benjamin regularly lectures at institutions and symposia nationwide. He has been on the faculty of Five Branches University, A.C.C.H.S., East/West School of Herbology, and American School of Herbalism. He has lectured at California School of Herbal Studies, UCSF, and many other institutions as a guest lecturer and has been involved in training physicians in natural medicine internationally.  

In addition to his work as an herbalist, Benjamin is on the board of directors of Integrative Medicine for the Underserved. He spends his free time cooking and studying music.

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Ingrid Bauer, MD, MS

Co-founder of Five Flavors Herbs

With experience that bridges Western and Eastern medicine, Ingrid brings rigorous scientific knowledge to Five Flavor Herbs. A graduate of the UC Berkeley/UCSF Joint Medical Program and the American School of Herbalism in Santa Cruz, CA, Ingrid integrates plant-based medicine into mainstream healthcare.

Ingrid is passionate about bringing holistic care to people from all walks of life. Her master’s research focused on Latino health beliefs and traditional medicine at a bilingual clinic in Oakland, CA, and she teaches workshops about herbal medicine at conferences and schools, including UC Berkeley.

Ingrid is an avid cook, yoga practitioner, gardener, and Spanish language enthusiast.

 
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Brian Longmire

Director of Quality

Part of Five Flavors Herbs since day one, Brian built out our lab and now manages Quality Control Operations. He works tirelessly to bring all products into compliance with the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practices. When not ensuring our herbal extracts are consistent, safe, and efficacious, Brian is on the heels of classical music, usually on a bicycle.

 
 
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Meghan Elizabeth

Operations Director

Meghan joined our team in 2018 to support us in refining our departments and organizing our systems. As a community herbalist with a degree in Operations, Meghan brings logistics to the big picture and supports our staff in understanding how to make it work. Her hands- on leadership style allows her to be the behind- the- scene mastermind or even the person to answer the phone and help you place an order. Meghan is a mother, a foodie, and a lover of hip hop.

 
 
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Vincent Frascello

Manufacturing Manager

Vincent is a chemical engineer who has a passion for the complex and varied diversity in the cultivation and wildcrafting of herbs throughout the world. He joined Five Flavors Herbs in 2019 and operates our sourcing, wholesale and private label programs, manages our sales and manages our manufacturing team.  When he isn't producing our products at Five Flavors Herbs, he enjoys spending his time gardening, hiking, traveling, mushroom harvesting, and drinking tea.

 
 
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Jules Benefico

Retail Buyer

Trained in Clinical Western Herbalism, Jules joined the team to bring on cutting edge natural health products, train the staff on supplements, vitamins, & herbal medicine. Not only does she take the lead in beautifying our shop, but is also big part of content development for our social media and marketing. She also works to offer a a handcrafted herbal skincare & aromatherapy line called Opal Elements Apothecary.