It took Cheryl Fragras getting very sick to learn how to be well. Now, she’s sharing what she learned on her journey to health at Infused Wellness in north Spokane.
Located in the Fairwood neighborhood, Infused Wellness is a plant-based wellness boutique offering bulk organic teas and herbs, plant-based wellness products, including jun and CBD products, and knowledgeable staff to help guide customers.
“Thirteen years ago, I had a health crisis,” Fragras said. “I was in my 50s, I had an enlarged liver, memory issues – I literally felt like I might be dying.”
She underwent a slew of medical tests from ultrasounds to endoscopy and was prescribed an expensive drug, not covered by her insurance. Her symptoms worsened.
“I was a big Splenda user, so I started investigating artificial sweeteners,” she said.
That led to more research, which ultimately resulted in her completely emptying her kitchen cupboards of all processed foods.
Then she looked at bath, body and laundry products wondering what kind of chemicals might affect not only her but also her five daughters.
“I logged 32,000 hours of research before I stopped keeping track in 2010,” Fragras recalled. “I ended up fixing all of my health issues.”
Her research led her to wonder why Americans weren’t healthier after all our advances in medicine.
“I asked myself if everyone was healthy, how many corporations and institutions would be out of business?”
She spread the word of the benefits of organic herbs and plant-based products through numerous speaking engagements. But instead of writing a book, she decided to explore a retail venue.
Fragras and her husband dipped their toes in farmers markets with their recipes for pain cream and wellness water and ultimately decided to launch Infused Wellness in Fairwood in 2019 as a store and community education center.
“We blend Western herbology and Chinese herbalism,” she said. “The goal is to help your body get to the point where it can heal itself.”
Glass jars filled with herbs like lemon balm, peppermint and milk thistle seed share space with their own blend of teas with names like “ManTea,” “Girl Power Tea” and “DeTox Me Tea.”
Their sister business Sky Bison Beverages offers jun on tap.
“Jun is similar to kombucha but less sweet and not as vinegary,” Fragras said.
Also on tap, their homemade root beer.
“We call it root tea. It’s very popular,” she said.
Everything offered in the store is certified organic, including lines of makeup, bath and body products and essential oils.
Books share shelf space with fermenting supplies for those who want to make their own kimchi or kombucha.
“I curate the best of what I would give to my family and friends, and I don’t carry competing companies,” Fragras said.
Infused Wellness offers all kinds of classes and workshops. One of Fragras’ daughters teaches the Chinese tea-brewing practice of Gong Fu Cha.
“She’s the ‘Tea Keeper,’ and we sell her specialty tea blends.”
Though they opened shortly before the pandemic, they were able to establish a loyal customer base, which has continued to grow.
“Nurses are one of our biggest customer bases,” Fragras said. “But we see everyone from teenagers to 80-year-olds. Health is a unifier between all of us.”
She often hears stories similar to her own.
“The stories I hear on a daily basis make me cry,” she said. “We want to live longer, not be dying longer.”
Those interactions motivate her to dispel myths about healthy living.
“We’re trying to change the conversation about health,” Fragras said. “I want people to walk out knowing something they didn’t know when they walked in.”