Besides providing a source of nutrition, Nature offers myriad natural antidotes to many ailments, helping to overcome illness. Natural healing knowledge has long been sought after, as man endeavoured to unlock the secrets of the Plant Kingdom.
The first known writings linking herbs to medicinal use date from between 2,980 – 2,700 BC. As Nature’s secrets were gradually discovered and disseminated, ancient writings laid out the most varied kinds of plant-based therapies. In ancient India and China, the most advanced societies to develop this knowledge, the healing power of nature using physical manipulation and natural ointments, was well understood.1
In Europe, the inhabitants of the Alpine regions had developed their own approach to medicine, using the simplest healing methods based on a rich understanding of indigenous plants. This knowledge was destined to grow and flourish over the millennia.
The survival of many otherwise endangered medicinal plants was ensured thanks to the Stelvio National Park’s long-standing plant protection concept.
In much of the Stelvio National Park, picking indigenous plants, mushrooms and forest fruits is limited to personal use, and in the Natura 2000 area even stricter rules are in force. Species listed under the Habitats Directive, and under the Nature Conservation Act LG 6/2010 are protected throughout the territory of South Tyrol.
When it comes to wild herbs, sustainability is the watchword and respect for the environment remains the priority.
The most sustainable way to take advantage of the healing properties of plants, is to grow them in your garden. Not only does this benefit humans, but also allows the insects maintaining the ecosystem to exist. To safeguard indigenous flora, we offer some advice on growing these plants in your garden, at the same time enabling the species to propagate.
When in doubt as to the identity of a plant, seek expert advice!

1 „Pharmazeutische Technologie“; H. Czetsch-Lindenwald; Zweite Auflage 1953, Springer - Verlag