• Discovering Nature in the Ötztal Forests

    Austria's Herbs

    The forest and its flora offer a multitude of wonderful herbal remedies as well as delicious treats. Learn more about different herbs.

    1. Healing Herbs

    The forest is full of healing herbs. Precious ingredients can be found in the leaves, blossoms, barks, seeds, and roots of the trees. The forest supplies us with ingredients that can be used preventively or alongside conventional medicine. From larch blossom in spring to hawthorn in summer, pine cones in autumn and spruce needles in winter – every season has its own useful herbs.

    Old Knowledge, Rethought

    • The knowledge about the healing power of herbs is not new. Our ancestors were already using the resources of the forest as food, medicines, anaesthetics, cosmetics, and dyes centuries ago. Even Ötzi, the "Iceman", who lay frozen in the Ötztal Alps for more than 5,000 years, was found to be carrying precious medicinal herbs amongst other things.

    • Nowadays, herbal medicine is the foundation for many medications, together with the growing understanding of chemical mechanisms of action. That is why you will also find willow bark – or rather its salicylic acid – in headache medicines like Aspirin.

    Learn More About Austria's Healing Herbs

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      Beauty Secrets From the Forest

      Pharmacist Dr. Angelika Riffel reveals how the medicinal plants of the forest can help us achieve radiant skin and shiny hair.
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    2. Delicious Herbal Cuisine


    Since the ground ivy made it into the highest gourmet circles, nettles were celebrated as a salad and chickweed was elevated to an aromatic taste sensation, Austria’s foodies have had to confess: we are wild about wild herbs! Using the unassuming plants that grow on the edge of the path is probably the most authentic way of cooking – ideal for the natural and healthy cuisine that Austria has become known for in recent years. Herbs play an important role in this.

    Incidentally, wild herbs trump their cultivated counterparts in beds, greenhouses or pots when it comes to intensity and spice. This is because wild herbs have to hold their own in natural conditions and thus develop their resistance. The result is a particularly intense flavour, strong aroma and lavish wealth of vitamins. An additional bonus: seasonal cuisine comes naturally, harvesting and picking what is currently growing on the meadows, by the stream or in the forest. It goes without saying that good cooks know a lot about wild herbs.

    •                     Cheese noodles from Carinthia

      Carinthian Cheese Noodles

      Without the mild mint, "Kärntner Kasnudeln" would just be ravioli. It’s the famous herbs that make them authentic and deliciously spicy.
      Find the recipe here
    •                     Alpine kitchen: Dessert with white cheese and rasperies

      Sorrel Ice Cream – Really?

      Lemony sorrel lollies are a childhood memory for some, but Alpine cuisine goes a step further and transforms this herbaceous plant into delicious ice cream.
      Find the recipe here

    3. Herbs for Love Life, Immune System, and Other Surprising Uses

    • Kräuter
    • Nature photographs - Austria's flora
    • Nature photographs - Austria's flora
    • Brauerei Hofstetten Hopfendolden
    • Quendel (wild thyme) - Nature photographs - Austria's flora

    Herb Hikes in Austria

    Gone are the days when hikers were oblivious to the green stuff along the path – except those that were on a herb trail, of course. Be it on a guided walk or independent hike, anyone who dives into the world of herbs and learns to distinguish the enjoyable from the inedible will see nature with new eyes. And that is of benefit to both people and nature.

    Herb novices, please note: herbs are usually highly effective and must always be dosed correctly. Too high a herb content in tea, for example, can increase strain on the kidneys. Pregnant women should always consult their doctor if planning individual herbal treatments.

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