Casco Viejo, Panama, Casco Antiguo
For a month, the commercial space at the corner of 4th and A Avenue in Casco Viejo had been under construction. Casco`s first fully suplied pharmacy was about to open. Yesterday, I couldn´t take it anymore and plastered my face against the glass and asked: when????. Ana Cristina, the owner, smiled while opening the door: “Tomorrow, we are still working, but tomorrow”.
Pharmacies in Panama are a bizarre mix between a department store and a drugstore. Some go as far as selling home decoration and kitchen appliances. One of these days I`m sure I`ll be able to buy everything I need for my living room, including all electronic devices.
El Boticario will not sell you furniture. They are an old style pharmacy, the type that used to blend herbs according to the doctor`s recipe and have jars full of eucalipto displayed at the door. They are the only ones that still do it in the city. It was born in Casco Viejo, more than 50 years ago, left town, grew to have several pharmacies in Panama City… and now is back! El Boticario will – no doubt! – become one of Casco`s landmarks.
So far, my favorite item in their shelves is something that sounds like the perfect office drug (humm… did I just say that?): Taraxacum Officinalis. If its scientific name puzzles you as a mix between taxes and an office, you might be thrown back by its “common” name: Diente de Leon or Lion`s Tooth. Wikipedia says it is the “Common Dandelion”. In another website I found that it is used for a bunch of stuff that goes from anemia to vision problems.
They also have all the other drugs, the ones that comes in pills and liquids. A small section of books and more coming! the owners are very sweet and if you live in Casco Viejo and let them know what you need for the month, they`ll get it for you.
Welcome El Boticario, Casco Viejo!