A beginner’s guide to Miami botánicas

Buddha statues sit on a shelf at the Botanica M&N Variedades in Little Havana. MATIAS J. OCNER mocner@miamiherald.com

Well, hello there. And welcome to The Most Wonderful Time of Year™.

No, wait! That’s the season premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Because let’s face it, for every sparkling glass of bubbly you sip on this time of year, in Miami there’s a piping hot bowl of suck to chase it down. What we’re trying to say is: there’s a lot of #CacaEnergy (h/t the Chonga Girls) floating around Miami right about now. You know what we’re talking about. As does the cutthroat mom who stole that parking space from right under your blinker at Dolphin Mall last weekend.

Read More: How to live your best life in 2018, according to Walter Mercado

What’s one to do when faced with times of adversity and that yema-flavored turron no one likes?

Use a despojo, naturally. Yes, it’s the perfect time for a spiritual cleansing. But not for you. For the rest of the city. (Okay, maybe for you, too.) But obviously, you’re going to need to gather some serious supplies to get that done. Where? At none other than your friendly, neighborhood botánicas, of course.

Here is where you can stock up on everything you need to fix your energía.

Botánica 7 Mares

Botanica 7 Maresvia Facebook

Known as “The Macy’s of the Botánicas,” this place isn’t messing around. Can’t manage to drive west of the Palmetto? No problem. Shop to your heart’s content on their fully-stocked website. They’ve got over 6,000 items, from spiritual oils and fresh herbs to porcelain potiches and azabache—a stone known to ward off the evil eye. The actual storefront is spacious, with a friendly and knowledgeable staff. And while you’re there, schedule a spiritual consultation and get yourself hooked up with a love potion. Maybe your family will finally shut up about that significant other you have yet to bring around.

Botánica 7 Mares, 10921 SW 40 St., Miami; 305-270-0053 or https://botanica7mares.com/en/

10921 SW 40 St., Miami

La Negra Francisca Botánica

To find this botánica, you’re going to have to set your Waze coordinates for Calle Ocho. The web won’t help you here, but the owners will. They’ve got a pretty stellar reputation for helpfully guiding visitors through the well-organized stock inside this clean, bright space. Santeros are also known to frequent the shop for its collection of baskets, fruit, perfumes and candles. That’s how you know it’s legit.

Botánica Negra Francisca, 1323 SW Eighth St., Miami; 305-860-9328

1323 SW 8 St., Miami

Flow

Flow at the Sacred SpaceCourtesy of Flow

If alleged yoni ball enthusiast Gwyneth Paltrow owned a botánica, this would be it. Flow is nailing the whole Goop aesthetic, and truthfully, we’re digging it. Tucked into Wynwood zen mecca The Sacred Space, you’ll find a carefully curated selection of essential oils, tonics, elixirs and crystals aimed at clearing that negative energy that’s been building up all holiday season. If you’re looking to reset or cleanse your body after that open bar debacle on New Year’s Eve, the hard-to-keep-in-stock Moon Juice and Sun Potion brands have just the right blend of adaptogens—natural substances considered to help the body adapt to stress—to start you off on a more zen-like year. See that? We just did your co-workers a solid.

Flow at The Sacred Space, 105 NE 24 St., Miami; 786-621-5006 or http://thesacredspacemiami.com/flow

105 NE 24 St., Miami

Botánica Nena

Botanica Nenavia Facebook

Open for over 47 years, Botánica Nena is one Miami’s OG botánicas. So much so, Anthony Bourdain stopped by for a taping of “No Reservations.” In a town notorious for turnover, 47 years deserves a medal. But visiting this botanica, it’s clear why it has such staying power: they’ve got everything you could possibly think of for your next despojo. Incense, orisha tools, a collection of fresh plants and herbs out back, and yes—live chickens. Presumably for that DIY chicken coop project you’re working on.

Botánica Nena, 902 NW 27 Ave., Miami; 305-649-8078 or https://www.botanicanena.com/en/

902 NW 27 Ave., Miami

Botánica Yemaya & Chango

Yemaya & ChangoVia Facebook

Yemaya & Chango has been keeping Flagami stocked with amulets, shrines, incense and oils since 1989. This botánica has a good mix of things—both for Yoruba practitioners and people interested in general spiritual matters. You’ll find some rather interesting things on the shelves here, some of which you probably shouldn’t question. But hey—the palo santo and sage is a bargain. Point is: stock up. It’s your last hope for ridding the house of your in-laws.

Botánica Yemaya & Chango, 6111 SW Eighth St., Miami; 305-267-7858 or https://www.facebook.com/yemaya.y.chango/

6111 SW Eighth St., Miami

M&N Variedades Store


Owned by Peruvian born José Zevallos, this botánica is located in a nondescript Little Havana storefront. Inside, there is an altar to Babalu Ayé, known as San Lazaro to Catholics, with his purple mantle and crutches. Zevallos’ shop is always stocked with candles and bath salts with names like Leche de la mujer amada, or milk of a woman loved, Quita Calzón (Remove Panties) and Destrancadera, or Barrier Breaker, to clear the way for everything from love to money. Zevallos sells items used for the practice of Afro-Cuban religions, but has expanded his offerings to appeal to Miami’s changing demographics.

M&N Variedades Store, 1753 SW Eighth St., Miami; 786-547-5504 https://www.botanica8.com/

1753 SW Eighth St., Miami

Jackie Gutierrez-Jones

Jackie Gutierrez-Jones is a lifestyle writer, editor and professional toddler-wrangler who enjoys a well-made adult beverage and lifting heavy weights over her head. Not necessarily in that order.

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