Best of 2001: Best Herb Store

In Harmony Herbs & Spices
4808 Santa Monica Avenue,
Ocean Beach
619-223-8051

No other herb vendor in Southern California can match the variety of the products available in this herbal emporium. John Noble and Jodi Shagg started their business back in 1985 out of disgust at the dearth of high-quality, organic herbs available. After surviving a year at Kobey's Swap Meet, they settled into the tiny storefront on Santa Monica that they have occupied ever since. Customers come seeking herbs for cookery and healing and for use in soaps and lotions, but it's also worth a visit to see some of the startling substances crammed onto the shelves. You can find roasted dandelion root, Irish moss (powdered and dried), papaya leaf, frankincense tears, organic rue, wild cramp bark, wild cedar tips, wild sarsaparilla root, organic hops, and hibiscus. The shop also sells two lines of essential oil and a large variety of extracts. Aphrodisiac potions include Sicilian spice and Mediterranean mint "Lust Dust."

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