The East Village still has plenty of hippie-dippy destinations for herbal healing (Flower Power celebrated 20 years in April) but what about the fine people of Greenpoint, who up until now haven’t had a go-to place for Brain Cocktails and diuretic cucumber juice? Meet Botica & Co., which may just be the neighborhood’s first “apothecary and juice bar” and is definitely the first one to offer herbal enemas.
For the past year and a half, Anima Mundi Herbals has been wholesaling its line of home remedies to places like People of 2morrow, Butcher’s Daughter and (they’re coming to Dimes in the next days). But now Greenpointers can stroll into the company’s first brick-and-mortar store – a partnership with the Pura Fruta raw juice club – and order cold-pressed juices or teas containing shots of homegrown elixirs.
The elixirs are formulated to help you detox, flush your kidneys, fight cancer, and even get your libido up. And if you won’t take owner Adriana Ayales’s word that they actually work, well then at least believe her when she says many of her herbs are sourced from Latin American farmers whose livelihoods are threatened by the destruction of rain forests.
Ayales says she first learned about alternative healing from her grandmother, a practitioner of the psychic arts, and then learned from medicine women in her native Costa Rica as well as at botanical school.
These days she lives in Greenpoint – “it’s a neighborhood that really needs it,” she says of offerings like mushroom coffee, brewed with powdered upstate mushrooms that Ayales says are a natural and delicious antibiotic.
Other drinks contain the company’s custom elixirs, which are naturally sweetened tonics created by macerating herbs, water and spirits and letting them sit for anywhere from a few weeks to a year. (There’s more to it than that, but we aren’t alchemists.)
Ayales recommends a juice consisting of cold-pressed pomegranate and concord grape, a teaspoon of her aphrodisiac elixir, and a shot of ginger and cold-pressed turmeric. It’s “highly medicinal and completely exquisite,” she promised.
But does stuff like Anima Mundi’s “dreaming potion” – which contains kava kava and the “African dream root” known as xhosa – actually work? “90 percent of people definitely have the effect of feeling it immediately,” Avales assured, though her knowledgable sales associates will probably tell you to take it on an empty stomach, without too much on your mind, while you’re feeling “peaceful and centered” and “affirming certain things” as you drift into REM.
For those who prefer uppers like natural caffeine, Botica & Co. will stay open till 10 p.m. on the weekends, so it can be your new go-to for a “healthy-cocktail pre-party,” complete with DJs. “I want it to be like a cocktail bar on the weekends,” Ayales said, “so you’re still ingesting medicine, you’re still getting the effect, you’re still getting high or whatever you’re looking for.” And then it’s off to Output to obliterate your liver all over again.
Here’s the menu. As for the cleanse programs and herbal enemas, you’ll have to inquire within.
Botica & Co., 607 Manhattan Ave., nr. Nassau Ave.