Whether or not you come from a Latin American cultural background, you may be wondering, what is a botanica? What does botanica mean? 

The short answer to the question “What is a botanica?” is that a botanica is a type of drug store or pharmacy that sells a combination of products that are used in Western medicine and traditional products that have health as well as spiritual significance in Latin American cultures. 

A slightly longer answer to What is a botanica?” is that a botanica is a store that sells herbal, or plant-based, products that include over-the-counter herbal medicines that customers can buy without a prescription. Botanica’s literal meaning is “plant store,” but botanicas do much, much more than provide a place for people to purchase the herbs, flowers, roots, and plants used in traditional medicine and religious ceremonies. “What does botanica mean?” can no longer be answered with the simple expression “herbal medicine store.”

At El Viejo Lazaro Botanica, we specialize in more than 4,000 health care and spiritual care products for members of the community who practice Lucumi and Yoruba Santeria. We also carry a wide variety of Roman Catholic goods. If you’re looking for a botanica store near me in Miami, Florida, know that you don’t have to practice any of these particular religions to shop at our botanica.

In some Latin cultures, “What is a botanica?” might be phrased slightly differently - a botanica (or botánica) is also called a hierbería or a botica. When we talk about “Latin cultures,” we include all the peoples of North, Central, and South America, including the Caribbean, where the primary languages are Spanish, Portuguese, and French (or Haitian Creole). El Viejo Lazaro Botanica knows that we are a large and extremely diverse community. We pride ourselves on our ability to meet the various spiritual, health, and physical needs of this diverse group of people. 

To those of us at El Viejo Lazaro Botanica, “What does botanica mean?” can’t be answered without saying that the botanica means a community space where Latin American people can come together and practice our traditional religions and cultural practices in a supportive community setting. 

What does botanica mean? Botanica means that there is room at the table for all the diverse practices that make Latin American and Caribbean cultures what they are. 

Why Use and Buy Products in a Botanica?

The answer to the questions “What does botanica mean?” and “Why use a botanica?” vary from person to person. People use botanicas for all different kinds of reasons. They might include:

• I’m looking for a botanica store because I have health issues and can’t access Western medicine. 
• I’m looking for a botanica store because I’ve always used a botanica; it’s what I’m familiar with and used to.
• I’m looking for a botanica store near me because I want to stay connected to my community. 
• I’m looking for a botanica store near me because my curandero/a, espiritista, or santero gave me a list of supplies to buy 
• I’m looking for a botanica store near me because I need advice from someone who understands my background and needs. 
• I’m looking for a botanica store near me because I need support from others who come from a similar background. 
• I’m looking for a botanica store near me because I want to try to understand the world from a different perspective. 
• I’m looking for a botanica store near me because I’m interested in using complementary medicine in addition to the treatments my health care providers give me. 

There are almost as many answers to “What does botanica mean?” as there are individual people. The botanica store means something slightly different to everyone. The answer to “What does botanica mean?” is often a deeply spiritual one. At El Viejo Lazaro Botanica, our botanica store near me in Miami, Florida, provides products for people who practice candomblé, curanderismoespiritismomacumba, shamanism, magickal practices, and indigenous spiritual practices. 

A few of El Viejo Lazaro Botanica’s 4,000+ products include:

• African Statuettes
• Bead Products
• Books
• Bulk Beads
• Candles
• Catholic Statues
• Colognes and Scented Waters
• Ewe 
• Folk Medicine
• Herbs (Dried Herbs, Fresh Herbs, Pre-Packaged Herbs)
• Holy Water
• Ifa Products
• Mazo Necklaces
• Miscellaneous Botanica
• Necklaces and Ides Reg
• Oils
• Orisha Crowns
• Oshua Clothing
• Rosary Beads
• Santeria Jewelry
• Shells and Stones
• Spiritual Incense

...and much more. 

What Does Botanica Mean for Spiritual Readings?

What is a botanica used for when it comes to spiritual readings? At El Viejo Lazaro Botanica, a botanica store near me in Miami, Florida, we can schedule a wide variety of spiritual readings for you, whatever your particular needs are. 

Whether you’re experiencing a physical condition such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, hair loss, menstrual pain, or other conditions, or you want to treat or prevent a physical or spiritual condition, our individual readings can help you provide a complement to the treatments given to you by doctors, nurses, and other practitioners. These readings are designed to help you find insight and clarity inside yourself and, if you wish, with the guidance of ancestors, friends and family members who have passed on, guides, the angels, and other spiritual beings. 

Our spiritual reading services include:

• Astrology
• Birth Charts
• Dream Interpretations
• Energy Cleaning
• Fertility Charts
• Palm Readings
• Pets Charts
• Relocations Charts
• Solar Returns
• Tarot Readings
• Vocational Charts

At El Viejo Lazaro Botanica, we are sensitive to your needs and respect your wishes regarding your spiritual faith and the religion of your choice. You are among friends when you come for a spiritual reading at El Viejo Lazaro Botanica. We promise to respect your privacy and we never share any details about our clients that come up in our spiritual readings. 

What does botanica mean to El Viejo Lazaro Botanica? It means that you can expect us to be respectful, discreet, and professional 100% of the time. What is a botanica if not a trusted member of the Latino community?

If you want to know “What is a botanica?” in the Santeria community of Miami, we invite you to come and visit us at El Viejo Lazaro Botanica. What is a botanica? It is much, much more than a place to buy your botanical and medicinal herbs for complementary and alternative medicine and for spiritual practices. 

What is a botanica? It's us. We try to make El Viejo Lazaro Botanica a botanica store near me that feels like community, that feels like home.