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Soft silver-green, deep pink or bright yellow – herbs and perennials are as varied in their appearance as they are in their effect. Let us take this opportunity to provide you with some background information, tips, planting advice and other interesting facts about these little green wonders.


Since the beginning of time

People have always used fragrant herbs and mushrooms for nutritional and medicinal purposes. As an example, on his glacier walk, Ötzi the Iceman took birch spores with him – mushrooms with an antibiotic effect. In ancient Babylon, medicinal herbs were cultivated on a large scale. Hippocrates, the most famous physician of antiquity, also embarked on a detailed study of the healing effects of plants. This included pepper, for instance, which had been imported from India. Peppercorns were used as medicine until the Middle Ages. The gardens of Wildegg Castle that dates back to the 13th century are still home to some 300 cultivated plants with special effects which visitors can discover on a guided tour. And today, we still use herbs in every conceivable form, whether it is for cooking or for teas – products from "Swiss Alpine Herbs" for example – and also for making medicines, in poultices, or simply as decorative plants in the garden or on the balcony.

Drops of bitterness

One plant which is ideal for home cultivation is the wormwood. With its gray-green, feathery leaves, the wormwood plant is native to our region, is exceptionally robust and has very many positive properties. The herb is an appetite stimulant, can help with stomach complaints, is reputed to stimulate liver function and is even known to keep moths away if its leaves are placed in the closet. Its aromatic leaves can also be used as a spice for fatty dishes. Take care, though: There is a good reason why wormwood has the nickname "drops of bitterness" in German. The plant is extremely bitter and contains thujone, known from the wormwood liqueur absinthe, and also called the "green fairy". Paracelsus’ principle therefore applies to wormwood just as it does to rosemary, lavender and yarrow: The poison depends on the dose. And the same can be said of medicine.

Herb-themed walks

You can really immerse yourself in the world of herbs on the botanical nature trail. On a hike from Diesse to Lamboing above Lake Biel, you will discover stories, legends and interesting facts all about the local flora. Flowers, herbs and perennials that grow at higher altitudes can be found on the Pilatus flower trail: Wild plants which appear in their full splendor in the spring adorn the edge of the path, while information boards provide information about rock flowers, silver root, liverwort and many other wonders of nature. In Beatenberg, in the canton of Bern, the poison, medicinal and dragon herb garden awaits you: plants with dazzling colors and curious shapes. A unique variety of plants also thrive in their natural environment in the botanical alpine garden on the plains of the Schynige Platte. 600 species, some two thirds of the Swiss alpine flora, grow and bloom in carefully tended beds above the tree line. Back at the lower altitudes, at the "EchinaPoint" center in Roggwil, visitors both young and old can see how echinacea (coneflower) is bottled and turned into the well-known herbal medicine product "Echinaforce".

An aromatic spring at home

As the flora of Switzerland awakens from its hibernation, there is much to see, whether it’s in the mountains, in the fields or, of course, in your own garden. Your seating area can be certain of being especially cozy with outdoor furniture from Swiss retailer "Lehner Versand" – and attractive discounts are available to celebrate the coming of spring. And to make everything in your home look great again, you can also benefit from a fresh spring clean with the products from "Batmaid". Relaxation is also a must: Sit back and enjoy a refreshing cup of tea with the herbs you’ve grown in your own garden, or those from "Sirocco".

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