The goal at KIPOS Botanicals® is to make handcrafted herbal products in the traditional, time-honored way using simple formulas and the highest quality ingredients.  

The KIPOS Botanicals™ calendula salves proved remarkably healing to patients going through radiation treatment which can cause dermatitis, itching and drying and I found them to be well tolerated by people of all skin types. I like that they contain minimal ingredients with no additives, have a high concentration of calendula, contain no alcohol that can sting sensitive skin and that they are locally made, with care and attention to high quality .
— Dr. Robert Hong, Arlington Radiation Oncology

About Me & Herbs

Kipos \'keepos\: noun; from Greek, garden.

Herbal: noun; a book that describes herbs and their medicinal properties.

Simple: noun; from Latin simplus, 16th century origin meaning a medicine made from one plant.  Also refers to a medicinal herb.

My life can be described as one long herbal infusion.  Possessing a Greek heritage, I was taught by example and now instinctively reach for herbs in all culinary and simple medicinal pursuits.  I began reading about herbs as a teenager and was excited to learn there was more out there than wild mountain sage for a sore throat; chamomile for an upset stomach or as a compress for irritated eyes; oregano for roast chicken; dandelions for greens; and other such simples and edibles. My horizons expanded further in my twenties, when I designed and planted my first herb garden, wove the history of garden design into my studies for my Masters in Art History and joined the Herb Society of America’s Potomac Unit.  This active Unit continues to be a valuable source for expanding & sharing my knowledge of herbs.

Two pivotal events occurred at that time. The first revealed what I like to think of as the origin of my passion.  One day my mother compared my perpetual desire to learn about herbs to that of our now-deceased cousin on her native island of Syros, Greece. She stated that his similar love had led him to write an herbal on plants native to the island and to a life of teaching herbalism and botany.  I was so delighted to have discovered a familial kindred spirit!  It felt as though my roots had now become firmly established and the endeavor to steep my life in learning about gardens and herbs took on greater meaning.

The second was discovering and then working for many years at the one-and-only herb garden nursery in Arlington, Virginia: “Earthworks,” which is famously known today as DeBaggio Herb Farm and Nursery. Thomas DeBaggio was my employer, teacher, mentor and friend.  The years I worked at the nursery remain some of my fondest. His untimely passing left all of us who loved and worked with him feeling hollow.  His business however was left in the care of another adept green thumb, that of his son Francesco, who carries on the tradition of providing gardeners in the D.C. area with the exceptional quality “herbs from DeBaggio’s.”

Many gardening seasons have allowed me to experiment with herbs in a multitude of ways and to share what I learned with my family and friends.  I was especially satisfied when my father, a physician, would use an herbal product and afterwards happily announce: “My patients would love this!”  

Going Public with KIPOS Botanicals®

Two years ago, my friend Michele had to go through 60 days of radiation treatment for cancer.  Her physician, Dr. Robert Hong, warned that given her pale complexion, her skin would likely get even more irritated than normal from the radiation’s side effects.  I gave her a tin of my calendula salve with lavender and suggested she use it daily, hoping it would bring comfort.  During her treatment Dr. Hong commented on how good her skin looked and asked what she was using.  He was surprised and delighted to learn of my salve!  HIs dermatology background and thorough research, including numerous questions for me, led him to excitedly share it with other patients.  At the end of her therapy, I was delighted to read Michele's words: "I used this amazing KIPOS Botanicals™ calendula salve during medical treatments that could have affected my skin terribly, but instead I escaped with little to no skin effects. My doctor was beyond thrilled with the results!  I would highly recommend this product to anyone, it was truly a lifesaver." --Michele Foust, RN, BSN, Oncology Certified Nurse.   

Having lost my father to cancer, the thought that I can contribute even in a modest way, by helping to soothe those going through this disease, brought more meaning to sharing my salve. Dr. Hong’s steadfast enthusiasm and encouragement, along with my love and fascination with herbs, have motivated and inspired me to create KIPOS Botanicals®.   

I hope you too will find pleasure and comfort from our products and share in the garden’s beauty and power.

Konstantina A. Zaras

 photo by jim moore

photo by jim moore


The herbal information provided is for educational use only.  It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.