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The insider’s view of Downtown’s culture, food, drinks, and the people who shape it.


Farmacia y Botanica Million Dollar

Farmacia y Botanica Million Dollar

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Farmacia2
Farmacia2

At Broadway and 3rd you’ll spot a corner pharmacy that’s got one foot in Downtown and the other in the spiritual world. For nearly two decades Farmacia y Botanica Million Dollar has been the go-to for those looking to attract a little magic in their lives.

Your eyes are immediately drawn to the community of Catholic saints lining the windows. This is not your everyday pharmacy. This place fills out a different kind of prescription so keep an open mind. Botanicas, like this one, are dispensaries servicing a largely Latino clientele and specialize in feeding a spiritual diet through folk medicine, amulets for protection, candles for love or success, and statues of saints with various problem-solving powers.

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Farmacia1
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Farmacia8

Once you’re inside you’ll notice one saint in particular living in her own private shrine. Her name is La Santa Muerte, or “Holy Death,” a popular and widely followed folk saint in Mexico. Her skeletal figure is dressed to the nines with people coming in to pray for her protection and surrounding her with gifts of food and money. Behind the counter you’ll find Lizeth Venegas. She’s the one you want when it comes to navigating your needs. Venegas is what we’ll call a spiritual therapist. She carefully listens to those looking to resolve a problem like finding a job or someone to love. Then, based on that need, Lizeth prepares a specific “vela” or candle using fresh herbs like parsley to remedy money problems or lavender to open up a path in your life. Yes, she’s using pantry staples, but her preparation is what’s special. Lizeth, who was born in Mexico, has knowledge spanning generations guiding her every move as she cooks up a catered solution.

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Farmacia5
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Farmacia4

She believes her candles possess magic, but not the hocus-pocus reasons most people like to focus on. Instead, she insists properly prepared candles light the way for your intentions with the help of “buenas vibras” — good vibes.

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Farmacia3

And that’s exactly what this shop is in need of these days as it struggles to connect with a new Downtown. So if you ever find yourself out front, hesitating to enter – don’t. Give it a chance. You might just pick up a new ritual along the way.

Written by:
Linda Hosmer
Photographed by:
Oriana Koren

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