Located in the heart of East Village is a shop that believes in the power of herbs. The small store has everything ranging from herbs, herbal teas, essential oils, tea blends, books, and shea butter to elixirs, “magical” oils, and crystals. These herbs are also known to treat all sorts of medical conditions.
Flower Power sells herbs which can be consumed through food, water, teas or applied physically. As soon as you enter the store you are welcomed by the calming smell of handmade soaps, herbs, and essential oils among other things. The store even holds workshops every week related to astrology and cooking nutritious foods at home even chocolates!
Lata Kennedy, the owner of the store, opened the franchise 28 years ago back in 1993. “I was not well often as a child and as a teenager” said Kennedy as she talked about the reason behind why she started relying on herbs to heal – “and nothing was working for me and then I decided to take my health in my own hands.”
And so began Kennedy’s discovery of the realm of herbs. After researching, she tried two herbs – red clovers and dandelion which fixed all her problems – “So it was like a light bulb moment for me, and I decided to pursue studying herbs.”
Kennedy calls herself a green witch, as she believes they are “connected with the earth.” Kennedy takes a positive take on the word “witch” as she believes these were the people who held all the knowledge in the olden times and were burned in trials because they were powerful women. After studying herbalogy her entire life, Kennedy is convinced there is nothing out there in nature which cannot cure any medical condition.
“I am Indian and I believe everything we eat has something medicinal,” says Kennedy as she talks about the advantages of herbs she consumed because of her culture growing up which include Holy Basil, andographis, turmeric and many more. Relying on her mother and grandmother’s teachings, Kennedy opened Flower Power.
Opening Her Shop
By the time Kennedy had to choose her career, she felt she had no other skills except her knowledge of herbs; unlike her family, Kennedy did not want to become a physician by choosing the conventional path. “Unless you are certified by the AMA, you cannot consult people,” said Kennedy as she talked about the primary reason for opening her shop.
One of Kennedy’s oldest friends who is now a doctor, professor, and a certified yogi came forward to help Kennedy during the pandemic. She also learned how to make shea butter from women in Africa, and has a popular line of shea butter products by combing them with herbs, which have a huge following in Japan, and are also displayed in Kennedy’s store.
“We are not legally allowed to consult people” says Kennedy as she discussed as she strongly believes that alopathy and pharmaceuticals are more harmful than helpful for us. “Asprin has so many side effects such as internal stomach bleeding but if you take meadowsweet, it gets rid of pain, nausea, and has no side effects,” said Kennedy as she discussed the negatives of consuming medicines. She believes that due to the lack of research and coverage in media, people do not realize the benefits of herbs which are not only for the human body but also the environment as flushing medicines down the drain directly add them into our water supply.
The shop has two primary locations, one in Piermont, NY which is mainly used for storage, and another one in the East Village on 9th Street between First and Avenue A. Kennedy opened up about how Flower Power, like every other small business, had a hard time staying afloat during the pandemic.
“We lost a lot of crew members, so we basically took orders online,” described Kennedy. There was a shortage of staff but every week the a store member stood outside the store to handout the pickup orders to customers. After a rough phase of unsteady business the shop was able to survive the pandemic due to the growing community of people who relied on naturally healing through herbs. The business in the store revived once people started coming out and is absolutely booming now.
“I used to feel so lonely, but now I look around and everyone is a herbalist,” said Kennedy as she talked about the growing community of people who rely on a sustainable form of medicine, and believe in the power of naturally healing.
To support Flower Power or become a member of the community, visit their website: https://www.flowerpower.net.