A new movement called “herbal magick” has taken root with witchy apothecaries of home-brewed potions popping up in Brooklyn, just in time for Halloween. These juices, oils and fragrances are all-natural concoctions crafted to meet every kind of ailment.
The New York Times visited Botica & Co. in Greenpoint (aka the neighborhood where Hannah lives on “Girls”), where ingredients come directly from the rainforests of Costa Rica, where herbalist Adriana Ayales learned the art of herbal distillation and healing from her grandmother, a medicine woman and shaman. Ayales sells cold pressed juice and coconut water in her bar-style apothecary, and hopes customers will confide in her like an old-school bartender.
One of her witchiest (and most popular) recipes is an aphrodisiac called “Eros,” crafted from ingredients like night-blooming jasmine, hibiscus, catuaba and muira puama. Another best seller is “Lucid Dreaming,” meant for anxiety and mixed from kava, ashwagandha, rose and passionflower.
For an actual witch sighting, head to Bushwick occult store and apothecary Catland, where local covens meet and anyone can partake in the homemade herbal blends. Should you seek a special spell this Halloween, Joseph Peterson creates custom oils and incense for his customers.
The custom supplements also include a candle, hand-carved with a deity to soothe your ailment by Peterson himself.Like ghosts and witches, herbal supplements and other non-medical remedies start taking root once you believe. Pieter Cohen, a professor of medicine at Harvard who studies herbal supplements, told the Times, “The placebo effect [herbs] have is powerful. If you believe a supplement is healthy, it can actually make you healthier.”
But hey, if fancy potions don’t cast a spell on your health, you can always reach for a good ol’ green smoothie.