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The power of herbs: With the 'Zammer Kräuterhex' herb-woman in the Alps

Nature is the best healer.

Wise words from Sebastian Kneipp – and something we have known for a long time: the herbs and plants that thrive around us have immense healing powers. Many of their mechanisms have long been – or rather still make up – part of everyday knowledge: such as the calming effect that valerian and lavender have; or that chamomile is good for a sore throat because of its anti-inflammatory effects. However, given the roughly 13,000 plant species that thrive in the Alps, it quickly becomes clear how limited our knowledge actually is. Some plants can readily be used in place of synthetic medicines. This is where herbal experts like the ‘Zammer Kräuterhex‘ herb-woman score highly with their knowledge, which draws on the centuries-old wisdom of naturopathy. 

Which alpine herbs should you know about?

It’s no secret that medicine has made enormous leaps and bounds over the past 150 years, with a host medicines being developed to make people’s life easier. However, these developments led to a great deal of knowledge being lost about the healing powers of plants. Only in recent years has the interest in medicinal herbs picked up again. True to the motto of ‘back to nature’, many people are now looking for natural, herbal alternatives to conventional medicines. Instead of popping a pill, people turn to peppermint oil. And if your stomach is troubling you, lemon balm or sage is the go-to remedy.  

These five alpine herbs are particularly useful to know:


Effect? Stimulates the formation of saliva and gastric juices, slight antiviral effect 

Use? Relieves liver ailments and digestive complaints, stimulates the appetite 

Swiss Pine 

Effect? Relaxing, calming, antibacterial 

Use? Improves sleep, stabilises the circulation, relieves respiratory complaints. 


Effect? Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, appetising, stimulates urination 

Use? Helps with stomach and digestive problems, stimulates the appetite 


Effect? Drains fluids, promotes blood circulation 

Use? Detoxifies, stimulates urination and the metabolism 


Effect? Analgesic, anti-inflammatory 

Use? Helps against bruises, sprains, haematomas 

In the Alps with the 'Zammer Kräuterhex' herb-woman

Everyone knows the fairy tale about the woman with the magical powers who lives in the forest. She knows about the power of nature, can heal or put a curse on others and has psychic gifts. Well, the ‘Zammer Kräuterhex’ herb-woman isn’t interested in putting a curse on anyone. Nor does she have supernatural powers. Nonetheless, the knowledge she has accumulated over the years about the plants of our world is extraordinary.  

In reality the ‘Zammer Kräuterhex’ herb-woman is Michaela Thöni-Kohler, a full-time designer who works in the communications industry. Curiosity and personal interest have led the Tyrolean-born author to study medicinal plants in depth over the last few years. After completing her training as a certified FNL herbal expert, she wrote two non-fiction books in German: ‘Das Tiroler Kräuterbuch’ and ‘Räuchern in den Alpen’. She has also completed additional training courses on natural cosmetics and aroma care, incense, spagyric and monastic medicine.  

Today, as the ‘Zammer Kräuterhex’, she passes on her knowledge through courses and seminars.

More about the ‘Zammer Kräuterhex’ herb-woman can be found atäuterfreunde-tiroler-oberland 

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