Herb walk at Brentenjoch

On the trail of herbs. Learn about and use herbs.

Colourful herbs on the Alpine meadows of Brentenjoch

Nature around the Kaiser Mountains is full of herbal treasures. On a herb walk you learn everything you need to know about the plants. Just like on my herb walk today at Brentenjoch. I was able to teach my little hiking group more about the world of plants, and give them an insight into how to use them.

Explore the Kaiser Mountains and their herbs with the chair lift

We headed off with 5 people, and enjoyed the ride with the Kaiserlift through the quiet forest, where there was nothing to be heard apart from the chirping of birds. The nostalgic but well renovated single-seat chair lift takes us directly up to Brentenjoch and the Kaiser Mountains nature reserve.

A great view of Kufstein and the Inn River running through Tyrol and neighbouring Bavaria

The healing power of plants

On arrival at Brentenjoch we gathered at a bench near the viewpoint. The first step was to enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding mountains. After the impressive view, with a clear sky, our eyes were drawn to the ground, where we also saw some bright blue - Veronica flowers. This little plant is rightly known as a "cure all", as it has many different uses, e.g. purifying the blood, lowering cholesterol, and clearing and sharpening the mind.

Another couple joined us, after our careful observation of the mountain plants aroused their interest. We found plenty more medicinal herbs on this little patch of earth, e.g. bird's-foot trefoil, yarrow, Alpine ribwort, little heal all, daisies, and much more.

A wonderful Alpine flower and medicinal plant - the devil's claw

The herb collection continues

We followed the trail toward the Weinbergerhaus, but were soon stopped by a red elder. We also found Solomon's seal, bugle, coltsfoot leaves, wild thyme, scented and meadow geraniums (storksbill) on the edge of the path. We were happy to welcome another woman into our group.

We wandered along, engrossed in discussion about medicinal herbs. Then it was the stinging nettle that demanded our attention. The lady's mantle protectively covered the Alpine meadow, as did the back-strengthening red clover. St. John's wort is probably the most important of the herbs, and at the summer solstice it is at its peak healing power. The mountain valerian was flowering, but its healing power is in the root, when the plant pulls back again in autumn. The water avens, the devil's claw, the orange hawksbeard and the granny's bonnet fascinated us with their beauty.

Edible herbal landscape

We were allowed to pick a few leaves of abundantly growing herbs (e.g. origanum, Good-King-Henry, dandelions etc.) for our lunch, as well as a few edible flowers as a garnish. We were all very hungry by the time we arrived at Brentenjoch Alm, and Leni the hostess has already prepared dough for us.

The pan was placed on the rustic wood stove. The assorted herbs were finely chopped and mixed into the dough, which was then poured into the hot oil, covered and baked until it was golden brown... after five minutes it was time to turn it over. The dough omelette was then torn into small pieces. As decoration we then sprinkled the colourful flowers over the top, and served up the herb "Miasl" in the pan. It was washed down with home-made elderflower juice.

The group enjoyed this simple and delicious meal in front of the wonderful backdrop of the Wilder Kaiser and the Steinberg Alpine meadows. Full of interesting impressions of the medicinal plants and wild herbs, we rode the Kaiserlift back down the valley toward Kufstein.

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