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A natural pharmacy in the garden

Long ago, there were no pills such as today for ailments. People had to rely on the power of medicinal plants. Herb gardens were cultivated by monks in monasteries, and for medieval castles they were something of a home pharmacy during times of siege. We are now returning back to the realisation that nature can be as powerful as it once was.

St. Hildegard, doctor and herbalist

More than nine hundred years ago, a girl named Hildegard was born in Bermersheim in Germany. From a young age, she was different to others. Perhaps this is why her devout parents offered their tenth child as an oblate, dedicated to God’s service. It is also perhaps why she was gifted with miraculous abilities. Through her visions and deep knowledge of science, she understood both plants and people. Her writings, in which she employed her knowledge of both, were known far and wide in the Middle Ages and the content is still valid today. If you would like to know more about this extraordinary woman and her art, there is no better recipe for your curiosity than to visit the Herbal Garden of St. Hildegard at Sonnentor in Čejkovice. There, they can show you that herbal tea in a blooming and fragrant environment is even more beneficial. The name of the saint was also given to one of the gardens of Zwettl Abbey, an environment which provides the right balm for the troubled soul. To learn more about traditional European healing arts, visit the Krauterkraftwerk in Steinakirchenu am Forst. As with the charming herb garden of Tiree Chmelar in Valtice, many other gardens in Southern Moravia and Lower Austria follow ecological principles without using chemicals, as indicated by the award Natural Garden (Natur im Garten).


Learning traditional medicines of the West and East

The mysterious mandrake, known from the Harry Potter books, does not only grow in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This strange plant can also be found in Brno, at the Centre of Medicinal Plants of Masaryk University, which presents to visitors the largest collection of medicinal products in this country. Apart from local plants, there are also many foreign species that will appeal to lovers of exotic kinds. People of such tastes will also appreciate plants used in traditional Chinese medicine such as goji, mulberry or Chinese dates, which are grown in Sparkassenparku St. Pölten.

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