Bartanica featured in New Orleans Living magazine

The Power of Plants: Sometimes, being bitter is a good thing.

by Lianna Patch

Sharon Floyd, owner of Bartanica, began bartending after she moved to New Orleans in 2008. “I had the great fortune of being trained in mixology, which really means I was given the opportunity to taste a great variety of spirits, so the education was more sensory than simply rote memorization,” she says. “Already a student and teacher of yoga, I’m constantly deepening my exploration of plants and their healing capabilities by studying Ayurveda with renowned herbalists in the States and abroad.”

Inspired by her experience behind the bar, Floyd created Bartanica to translate her knowledge into products that capitalize on plants’ medicinal qualities. “My focus for product development is in two categories: smellables and edibles,” she says. One smellable is an aromatic vetiver room spray; another is a yoga-mat cleaner. “I aim to highlight the qualities of the raw materials themselves — plants — in brilliant combinations of flavor, aroma and uses,” she says.

Floyd bases her creations on doshas, or the three bodily humors of Ayurveda. “All of the formulations, with the exception of the mat cleaner, are root-y and earthy — perfect for soothing Vata dosha, the Ayurvedic body type that typically needs the most attention this time of year,” she says. “Next year, I will continue developing formulas for Pitta and Kapha doshas.”

Bartanica’s edible products currently include bitters made with turmeric and black pepper; a tamarind root-beer syrup is coming this month. “There’s still a pesky negative connotation to the word ‘bitter’ that persists in our society,” she says. “We are on the verge of realizing how beneficial this taste is to our diet, and the science is finally emerging to support that. Ayurveda has recognized this for centuries, and I’m happy to help renew the bitter taste’s reputation.” Stop by holiday markets at Reyn Studios on Dec. 4 from 6-8 pm and Balance Yoga Wellness on Dec. 13 to try Bartanica products.