Waris Ahluwalia’s debut of House of Waris Botanicals offers sips of slow medicine to soothe life’s frenetic pace.
"It is ingrained in us to look for the shortcut, to look for the magic pill,” offers Waris Ahluwalia. “Stress has become a part of our daily existence that we just accept. What if we allowed ourselves to slow down, to breathe, to build better habits?”
The House of Waris founder (and former Manhattan Man of Style) known for his roles in Wes Anderson and Spike Lee films believes the answer is to simply slow down and sip. His newly opened shop in Chelsea, House of Waris Botanicals, offers an assortment of functional teas targeting some of modern life’s common woes. Love Conquers All blends “heart-opening rose, rejuvenating shatavari, arousing damiana and spirit-lifting saffron,” while a sleep-inducing Night of Nights combines “calming chamomile, comforting linden blossom, grounding passion flower and nourishing jujube seed.” A trained herbalist crafts custom-blended herbs and teas to target specific issues in the lab while the Botanical Bar serves up zero-proof cocktails that are “functional-forward” thanks to the House of Waris botanicals.
“We want to show people that they have power over their well-being,” Ahluwalia explains of the remedies that are informed by practices like ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, which incorporate herbal remedies. “This is an exercise in slowing down. This is an exercise in taking control. Our innovation is to give access to the ancient sciences and reframing the knowledge to be applicable to our modern-day lives. To say to our community, ‘We’ve always had the answers.’”
Waris professes the wisdom of tea lies in that meditative moment. “The tea is a tool that helps me find that time. Ten minutes in my day that slows down for the water to boil and the tea to steep. A moment to breathe. A moment to slow down.” 463 W. 24th St., houseofwaris.com
Photography by: Courtesy of House of Waris Botanicals