Healing without healthcare: A guide to Brooklyn’s botanicas

Before the powers that be turn off the spigot of healthcare for millions of helpless Americans, be sure to consult with your local botanica, a popular apothecary selling alternative and herbal healthcare used by families for centuries. The botanica, otherwise known as a Botica or Hierberia, has been the go-to remedy store for those who a) can’t afford healthcare, b) don’t trust healthcare, and c) like to cover their bases.

Primarily found in Hispanic communities (usually with Caribbean lineage, privy Santeria), a botanica is a general store full of oils, incense, herbs, candles and other holy bric-a-brac; each object designated for a distinctive purpose – from curing common illnesses such as sore gums to more precarious problems like casting off curses from other people.


Photo by Monica H. via Yelp
Photo by Monica H. via Yelp

(Note: Botanica’s do provide curse-breaking amulets, oils, and other accoutrement, and conveniently sell curse-bringing amulets – designed to punish those that have cursed you.)

For toothaches pick up some Aspen Bark and apply liberally to the gums; for trouble breathing, try a pouch of Camphor Wax and wear it around your neck while you sleep. Be sure to consult with your local apothecary for proper dosage. There are scorpions encased in resin that bring luck and pyramid shapes inside glass globes that summon money for the staunch believer. Protective sage is a quick fix for paranormal houseguests, and there are essential oils that can return passion back to the bedroom.

Consult our comprehensive list of Brooklyn botanicas below. There’s no telling what the future of American healthcare will be. Choose your own healthcare adventure at your local botanica.


Fulton Cultural Center
Fulton Cultural & Spiritual

Botanica San Miguel
1129 Myrtle Ave., Bed-Stuy
(347) 554-8300

Fulton Cultural & Spiritual
1304 Fulton St., Bed-Stuy
(718) 783-8889

Botanica Altagracia
66 Belmont Ave., Brownsville
(718) 498-8300

Botanica Orisha Locumi
893 Broadway, Bushwick
(718) 443-5151

Elias Botanical Religious
1252 Myrtle Ave., Bushwick

Bocanica Las Mercedes
219 Irving Ave., Bushwick
(347) 750-7429

Botanica Obatalá Oshun Y Eleggua
347 Linden St., Bushwick
(718) 387-0581

Botanica Angel
437 Wilson Ave., Bushwick
(718) 418-5569

Botanica La Milagrosa Inc
537 Court St., Carroll Gardens
(718) 834-8506

Botanica Inc
1060 Liberty Ave., Cypress Hills
(718) 484-2120

C & G Botanical Inc
1467 Nostrand Ave., East Flatbush
(718) 282-9022

Botanica du Roi Salomon
3310 Church Ave., East Flatbush
(718) 284-2633

Botanica Santa Barbara
96 Moore St., East Williamsburg
(718) 782-2647

Grand Drap Pere Love Botanica
3009 Beverley Rd., Ditmas Park
(718) 940-1491

Tonalli Botanica Corporation
1327 Flatbush Ave., Flatbush
(718) 434-0903

Jackie’s Variety & Religious Store
1740 Flatbush Ave., Flatlands
(718) 951-0400

Ortiz Botanica
645 5th Ave., Park Slope
(718) 965-1153

Universal Botanica
376 5th Ave., Park Slope
(718) 832-3606

Feraille Botanica
616 Flatbush Ave., Prospect Lefferts Gardens
(718) 282-6018

Botanica El Phoenix
224 Columbia St., Red Hook
(718) 422-0300

Botanica San Miguel Y Anaisa
511 46th St., Sunset Park
(718) 369-6051

Botanica San Miguel
6120 4th Ave., Sunset Park
(718) 492-5173

Did we miss one? Let us know in the comments

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This article has been edited and updated, originally published in 2017.

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