Partner Profile | Ambrosia Elixir
Ambrosia Elixir Lounge is an immersive experience to nurture inner harmony and creativity by developing a connection with the secret wisdom of our planet’s diverse flora. Ambrosia relays traditional worldwide folk medicine by crafting and sharing medicinal concoctions curated from a mastery of cultural traditions. Their herbal apothecary offers a comprehensive assortment of alchemical potions and live high vibration tonics. All of their own infusions, extractions, spagyrics, and probiotics are handcrafted to promote wellness and vitality. Ambrosia works with small-scale farming communities directly to cultivate ingredients from all over the world in a sustainable manner.
We had the chance to interview Valeria De La Pava of Ambrosia Elixirs about wellness, ceremony and cacao below:
Tell us a bit about Ambrosia Elixir. How did your company come about?
In ancient mythology, ambrosia was the nectar of the gods that granted them immortality. Man’s primordial quest for these nectars is one common thread all over the world. Weaving these worlds, we travel to the most magical places to find such incarnations that have kept cultures thriving, evolving, and connecting. We seek to create ecological alchemical spaces that make headway for the awakening of a new renaissance for modern culture by redefining the essence of our states of consciousness and habits of connection.
Ambrosia Elixirs was inspired by shamanic lineages, afternoons in the garden with grandmothers, and arbitrarily divine moments of clarity in the jungles throughout Latin America. From these experiences Ambrosia Elixirs was created in New York City in order to provide diverse options to our community that are not so easily accessible within the current constructs of the nightlife scene. Ambrosia Elixirs presents everyday people with the opportunity to seek inner truth and balance with the assistance and guidance of nature’s ultimate gift to humanity: plants, herbs and flowers from all over the world.
Our objective is to build relationships with small-scale farming communities directly to cultivate ingredients from all over the world. We have been wildcrafting plants all winter in Oregon while working with medicine women in the area to establish medicine gardens from which we will be crafting elixirs, infusions, extractions, spagyrics, and probiotics to promote wellness and vitality. We continue making alliances all over the world and in particular in Latin America in order to offer a comprehensive assortment of alchemical potions and live high vibration tonics.
We also have a very special mission with bees. Honey has a long medicinal history and is considered one of nature’s best all-around remedies for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. We use honey with many of our herbal preparations to enhance the medicinal qualities of those preparations. Honey also helps the herbs properties to reach deep tissues within the body.
We hope to activate various spaces by creating community centers that serve as “Transcultural Beehives” where individuals can empower themselves with information and knowledge regarding the importance of plants, bees and ancestral technologies.
How did your heritage influence your vision of wellness?
We always hold a deep reverence to the territories and their people who have passed on traditions and knowledge; they have all played a role in our current frame of reference. While we are greatly influenced by the territories where we were born, North, Central and South America, the most valuable tool for our vision of wellness is direct experience. The notion of really, truly feeling what works for you is the only compass you can trust. It is the deeper ancestral heritage of our interconnectedness with nature that offers an amazing context for experimentation with our equilibrium of happiness and health.
It is said that herbs can enhance our moods. Can you elaborate on the science behind this statement and the type of herbs that Ambrosia Elixir Bar works with?
Enhance, modify, create…. Plants have an amazing ability to change our body’s chemistry when their chemical constituents become integrated with ours, these chemical qualities are felt cohesively to enhance our mood. Some compounds modify our brain chemistry by interacting with neurotransmitter receptor sites, some cause the production of neurotransmitters directly in the gut, others act indirectly in the bloodstream or lymphatic system.
Ambrosia Elixirs works with an extensive variety of roots, flowers, seeds, barks, and fruits. They all have their unique place as anxiolytics, stimulants, euphoriants, immune boosters, adaptogens, etc. Our team has been working with plant alchemy for a very long time and are constantly searching the world for novel preparations and mind states. We love to share what works best for us in curating our elixir lounge experience.
Can you share some herb life hacks that will help us busy New Yorkers in our daily routines?
Adaptogens, probiotics and cacao!
An emphasis in our work is sharing heart medicines from all around the world with people in cosmopolitan environments. We know that by introducing certain plants that target healing the heart and reducing stress, people will be more able to create an inner balance that allows them to deal with the stress that can sometimes be encountered in city life.
Adaptogens help our body adjust to stressors and maintain a healthy equilibrium. They help the adrenal system regulate hormones and are your best bet for every day energy, stamina, and mental clarity. Many people are still not aware of the incredible properties adaptogens possess and it is so important for such plants to be implemented into our society. If people started to integrate adaptogens more regularly instead of coffee etc then people’s everyday interactions would naturally start to shift and evolve.
The stomach houses an independent nervous system with more neurons than the spinal column and it is directly regulated by the flora of bacteria in your gut. The greatest concentration of serotonin is actually produced in the stomach, not the brain. Ingesting probiotics, ferments, and healthy bacterias is one of the best ways to support brain health.
Let's talk about cacao. For people who are not familiar with cacao, what are the health benefits of this seed?
Cacao is a powerful heart opener that paves the way to transformation through self-love. Due to certain active ingredients that help release ‘feel good’ emotions, cacao is considered a heart opener. Creating feelings of emotional intimacy and pleasure, it has long been considered a luxurious delicacy, especially with the addition of honey and spices to suit modern palates.
It’s thought cacao was first used as a health elixir and ceremonial medicine as far back as 1900 BC by the ancestors of Central America, the Olmec people, before becoming a ritualistic medicine used by the Aztec and Mayan cultures.
Cacao is an amazing superfood with a deep lineage in our lives, and we highly recommend diving into the complexity of fine flavor cacaos and exploring cacao ceremonies. Cacao contains one of the highest concentration of antioxidants found in any food in the world, and is one of the highest sources of iron, magnesium, and chromium.
Where can we find Cacao?
The beans of the Theobroma Cacao tree contain quite a few unique chemicals that work to promote health and longevity. The molecule theobromine is an alkaloid related to caffeine and acts as a powerful stimulant but has far less negative impact on the nervous system. The flavonoids of cacao help maintain energy for extended periods without a crash and have benefits on cardiovascular activity. The endorphin anandamide and a chemical called phenylethyamine work to modulate the stress response and act as natural mood lifters.
We could keep going, but it is important to note that cacao farmers are some of the most exploited in all classes of workers. Direct sourcing is important. We are working and supporting ventures in Colombia with farmers and tribes that work with high quality cacao genetics and act primarily as social benefit organizations. You can find Ancestral, our cacao project which uses such Colombian heirloom cacao, at our bar. Keep up to date pending our new website launch on cacao options for smoothie additions, artisan bars, and best of all- heart opening ceremonies.
What is a cacao ceremony?
A cacao ceremony is an opportunity to connect to yourself and open your heart. Because of cacao’s ability to increase your connection to your inner self and your heart chakra, it aids in any transformational shift you are working towards, whether you are looking to deepen your understanding of who you are, release old patterns and traumas, or move into a more self-confident space.
What we can expect at Ambrosia Elixir bar at The Sonic Jungle?
A unique sensorial experience that provides a space where people can bask and be inspired by medicine cultures from all over the world. We are creating an environment where people can cultivate their own dreams and inspirations using guidance from plants. We want to bring our vision of “transcultural beehives” to Sonic Jungle because we recognize the importance in activating community centers all over the world to create an atmosphere for new values that emerge from community building.