When Gloria Arvizu was a young girl growing up in southern Arizona, she remembers her mother reaching for rue—an aromatic and medicinal herb—to soothe the pain from her occasional earache.
At 72, Arvizu still believes in the healing power of the medicinal plants her mother and grandmother used throughout their lives. At her local botánica, she often finds something that can alleviate a minor cut or a tooth infection. “I have a lot of faith in herbs,” she tells Verywell.
Botánicas, also known as yerberías, are shops with a history of flourishing in Latinx communities selling a variety of herbs, as well as religious candles and other products meant for physical and spiritual healing. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the stores have seen an uptick in business as people turn to them for relief. If not necessarily for a COVID-19 cure, some people turn to botánicas for remedies that may keep the virus at bay.