San Francisco

Apothecary now: Nob Hill Herb Company opens

A natural apothecary that carries remedies and gifts has opened on Nob Hill in a long-vacant space that once housed Fumi's Art Embroidery (1528 California St. between Polk and Larkin).

Nob Hill Herb Company is owned by married couple Nelson Jang and Jade Moon, who said they became interested in natural medicines and herbal healing after Moon became ill a couple of years ago. 

"We didn't really want to try hardcore pharmaceuticals" as a treatment option, Jang told Hoodline via telephone. Instead, the pair decided to integrate medicinal herbs into their their lifestyles, along with exercise and eating healthily.

"We started by mainly drinking a lot of mushroom teas, and [my wife's] health really improved — all of the symptoms were gone," he said. "And there were no side effects" that often come with traditional pharmaceuticals, he said.

Photo: Nelson Jang

After their experience, the duo began working towards opening the business with the goal of building a community around natural approaches to healthy living.

"There aren't any other supplement stores in the area," said Jang, who grew up nearby in Russian Hill. And while shopping on the web might be convenient, "there aren't any personal supplement advisors on the internet."

Additionally, "Nob Hill was a natural choice for a location because the people who live there are very health conscious and have to travel very far to find these products," he said.

A nearby Whole Foods and Trader Joe's "doesn't carry the same type of products that we do," he added. 

The shop features dried medicinal herbs sold in bulk, balms and creams, and culinary herbs and teas. There's also essential oils, natural personal care products, a selection of incense and candles, and ceramics imported from Japan. 

Photo: Nelson Jang

"We are very interested in a healthy holistic approach to living and we believe that our products are a very important component of maintaining a healthy lifestyle," Jang said. 

So far, neighbors have been supportive, he said, with some even asking the shop to carry specific supplements as it builds up its inventory.

The store also lends supplement guides to customers interested in learning more about a particular product. Because bulk herbs are one of the shop's staples, "we can sell customers a small amount and really guide them through the process," Jang said. 

"I've always been into supplements, but before, it was kind of a mystery to me," he said. "Now there are so many resources. We're really trying to provide a good service for the neighborhood." 

Thanks to Andrea M. for the tip!

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