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J Altern Complement Med. 2001 Oct;7(5):537-46.

The botánica as a culturally appropriate health care option for Latinos.

Author information

  • 1Health Research and Policy Center, The University of Illinois at Chicago, 60607, USA. agbz7@uic.edu



The purpose of this study was to make a preliminary assessment of the botánica as a culturally appropriate health care option for Latinos in the United States.


Closed-ended interviews were carried out using a questionnaire with 26 customers of a botánica located in a primarily urban Mexican American community in the United States.


Sample gender was predominantly female with an average age of 38 years and income in the range of $15,000-$29,999 per year. Most participants were married (16), had children (17), and most (22) had formal education. Products purchased at the botánica included herbs, religious amulets, and other products. Although botánicas are commonly believed to provide remedies only for folk illnesses, the participants in this study reported seeking remedies primarily for somatic illnesses.


The respondents used the services of conventional health care providers interchangeably with the botánica, making the botánica an important health care resource for Latinos in the United States. Further research should be carried out to better understand the role of botánicas in health care delivery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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