Herbal Hike & Recipe: Valerian Tincture

Hiking tip: discover wild herbs and medicinal plants in Puch Urstein

by Silja / 29. Juli 2021 / Nature
Baldrian - Kräuterwanderung Puch © Silja Parke - Wildemöhre.at

Open eyes! Discover nature and wild herbs in Puch

Puch has a lot to offer in terms of nature. In Tennengau, between Elsbethen and Oberalm, the Salzach and Ebenau, you will find mixed beech forests, flower and orchard meadows as well as beautiful banks along the Salzach and along streams, ponds and the Wiestal reservoir. These places not only have a high recreational value, if you keep your eyes open you can also discover all kinds of animals and plants in Puch. Many of the wild plants can be used for culinary purposes, are ancient and effective medicinal plants or simply have an interesting history.

Would you like to find out more about it? Then I"ll take you on a little tour to Puch Urstein and the Salzach today. Maybe we"ll see each other on one of my herb hikes.

Wildkräuter in Puch © Silja Parke - Wildemöhre.at

A wealth of animals and plants around the campus of the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences

We start at the community car park in Puch and walk along the Salzachuferweg to Urstein. Urstein Castle, approx. 1 km from the town center, is located above the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences. The area is very inviting and is home to some tall and old trees, including beautiful groups of oak and beech trees. Embedded in such a beautiful landscape, I would also have liked to study, I"ve often thought to myself on my forays into the area.

Click here for the tour map, where you can find all hiking trails - such as the Salzachuferweg!

A path, the Schlossallee, runs north of the college and the parking lot. The diurnal and nimble squirrel lives in the oaks. There is plenty of food here and it is common. Behind, in the floodplains and ponds, amphibians, from the tree frog to brown frogs, to common toads and around 20 different dragonfly species feel at home. From spring to early summer you can hear the loud "croaking concert" of the courting frogs. The tiny animals sometimes reach a higher volume than a leaf blower.

Valerian: Ancient medicinal plant for those suffering from stress

Valerian blooms profusely here on the Schlossallee and along the banks of the Salzach from June to August. A bewitching scent wafts over from the white, delicate inflorescences on warm summer days. It"s worth poking your nose in and letting yourself drift away for a moment.

It is the real valerian (Valeriana officinalis). Hardly anyone notices, perhaps, but by the wayside there is a medicinal plant that was used in ancient times and is one of our most important herbal remedies when it comes to nervousness, insomnia and restlessness. Even those who suffer from exam anxiety could find gentle support with valerian, because it calms you down and ensures improved concentration, while it does not make you tired. Valerian is available in pharmacies as a tea plant and as an ingredient in a wide variety of mixtures and elixirs. The Arnika pharmacy in Puch is well stocked and offers comprehensive and competent advice (unpaid advertising).

Resourceful collectors get the valerian themselves from nature or cultivate it in their own garden. As a rule, the root is used, which is dug up in the second year in autumn after flowering and dried for processing into tinctures and elixirs or for tea and scent mixtures (e.g. herbal pillows, smoked herbs). In addition to the roots, dried valerian flowers can also be added to the fragrance mixtures. And another tip! Fill a bag with dried valerian root, give it to your cat to play with and see what happens. :-D

Recipe: valerian tincture for nervousness

Baldriantinktur © Silja Parke - Wildemöhre.at

  • Dried valerian root
  • High-percentage alcohol, for example grain, vodka or alcohol (38-50 vol.%)

  • 1 screw jar
  • 1 fine sieve or a fine filter
  • Brown dropper bottle (pharmacy)
  • If necessary a filter or a fine sieve

  • Chop the dried valerian root well.
  • Fill a screw jar 1/5 with the dried valerian root.
  • Pour the high percentage alcohol over the valerian root, close the jar and swirl it daily.
  • Filter off after 1-2 weeks, fill into the dropper bottle and store in a cool, dry place.


Against nervousness, take 10 to 30 drops with water up to 3 times a day, depending on body weight and constitution.

Herbal hike in Puch Urstein

After the recipe tip, the hike continues. The path by the Alte Meierei is lined with hedges. If you take a look behind it, you will find wild garlic in spring and wild strawberries in early summer.

From the Alte Meierei the path leads down to the Salzach, which is lined with birch trees, elderberries and nettles. At the top left you can see Urstein Castle on a rock terrace. The castle is surrounded by beautiful trees, for example tall pines with an interesting bark structure, and beeches "with pointed mouths" and "tree elephants" can be found.

Today the castle is an education and seminar center. All sorts of wild herbs and bushes grow on the meadow and around it, as well as plenty of food for birds and insects.

Heimische Waldrebe in Puch Urstein © Silja Parke - Wildemöhre.at

Do you know the Lianenschik?

Below Urstein Castle, next to the Tauern Cycle Path, in front of the rock face, wild lianas climb up the trees and form impressive formations. Its branches hang down like ropes. Yes, you read that correctly, “lianas” ... one of these is our native clematis (Clematis vitalba). Its enchanting white flowers later form wig-like-looking fruit clusters, which, together with the branches, are great for tying a wreath and are very decorative in general.

Warning: Consumption of the poisonous buttercup causes irritation of the gastrointestinal tract and the nervous system, which can manifest itself in paralysis, among other things. Therefore one should not confuse these with the tendrils of the hops, which taste delicious when young. The fresh parts of the clematis are irritating to the skin, the dried parts are no longer. There is a story that beggars used to rub themselves with the sap of the clematis to provoke blistering of the skin and thus arouse pity. The dried, hollow stems used to be lit and smoked. It was called "Lianentschik".

We continue to the banks of the Salzach

The banks of the Salzach are wonderful for walking and cycling. There are bridges at different points, so that different sections of the route are well suited as circular routes. If you turn right, you can take a wonderful walk along the Salzach between Ursteinsteg and the hydroelectric power station and see some interesting plants along the way. If you are lucky, you will encounter the beaver early in the morning or at dusk even on the river banks.

7 plants on the banks of the Salzach in Puch Urstein

Wild herbs such as daisies, dandelions, clover, brown elk, yarrow, ribwort, goldenrod and much more grow on the meadows in Puch. At the edges we find wild fruit as well as bushes and trees with healing powers, starting with the birch, over the blackberry, the elder, the horse chestnut and the linden, up to the hawthorn and the wild rose. You will find numerous plants along the banks of the Salzach, seven of which I would like to introduce to you in more detail:

1. The Wild Carrot

The wild carrot (Daucus carota) grows lush on the Salzach. From June to August it unfolds its enchanting flowers, which often have a single deep red to black-purple flower in the middle and whose sepals look a bit like lace doilies. In the English-speaking world, the plant is actually referred to as "Queen Anne’s Lace," that is, Queen Anne’s lace doily. This is said to have made lace doilies based on the model of the wild carrot.

The whole plant can be used, from the leaf to the root. The root pulp is helpful as a pad for inflamed areas of skin or sunburn, among other things. The roots can also be used in the kitchen as vegetables or roasted and ground as a coffee substitute, such as malt coffee. I particularly like to use the flowers and fruits. I bake the young inflorescences in beer batter, it"s a real delicacy! There is also a vegan mayonnaise.

After flowering, the wild carrot curves its rays towards the center and forms characteristic fruit clusters that are reminiscent of bird nests. When ripe, the fruits can simply be shaken off the fruit cluster and brewed as a tea that stimulates the metabolism and digestion, or used as an ingredient in spice mixtures and as a spice for bread.

But please only collect if you are sure! The umbelliferae, to which the wild carrot belongs, have very poisonous to deadly poisonous species.

Wilde Möhre © Silja Parke

2. Annual Fleabane

We also encounter this enchanting plant before we reach the hydroelectric power station. It is the annual fleabane (Erigeron annuus), also known as fine ray or witch"s herb ”. The name has nothing to do with the “profession” but with “to be called”. “Professional herbs” were supposed to protect against evil spells and bewitching in the earlier conception. Small children, who were even less able to defend themselves against it than adults, were therefore bathed in the decoction or small bouquets were placed in their cradles. The herb was also used for protective smoking. Since it has a strong astringent effect, it is an internally used remedy in folk medicine for severe diarrhea and an externally applied agent to support wound healing.

3. The Sweet Clover

The sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis) colonizes the banks of the Salzach and enchants with its delicate, grape-shaped inflorescences. Its rich supply of nectar and pollen attracts numerous insects. And not only that, we humans also like to stick our noses in and literally soak up the honey-like scent. Sweet clover is also known as honey clover because of its sweet scent. The typical “coumarin aroma” of the dried herb is characteristic. Coumarin smells like a freshly mown meadow and like woodruff. The scent is calming and so the dried herb can be used wonderfully for scented pillows and potpourris. Drinks can be flavored with sweet clover, and it is also used to strengthen the veins, for bruises and to stimulate lymph flow. On the banks of the Salzach we find not only the yellow flowering sweet clover but also the equally usable white sweet clover (Melilotus albus).

4. The Quendel

Around the hydropower plant we find, among other things, Quendel (Thymus pulegioides). The wild thyme is wonderfully suitable as a digestive spice and is a typical cough herb with its mucus-thickening, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Leaves and flowers are wonderfully suited for a herbal salt as well as for making cough syrup, cough sugar or an expectorant, alcoholic tincture.

5. The Dost

The dost (Origanum vulgare) is our “wild marjoram”. Like garden herbs, it is well suited as a kitchen spice and can be wonderfully baked into dough. A tea made from dried herb (leaves and flowers) is used in folk medicine, among other things, for flatulence, cramps and diarrhea.

6. The Centaury

This very special herb also grows at the hydropower plant. The centaury (Centaurium erythraea) belongs to the gentian family and is one of our bitterest herbs. It is especially used nowadays for digestive problems. For the famous doctor Paracelsus it was one of the most important healing herbs and an essential part of his elixirs and wound potions. We should let the herb stand, however, as it only grows here in small stocks and is rarely found. Those who discover it in the meadow on the bank can be happy and experience a moment of pleasure just by looking at the delicate, star-shaped flowers.

7. The Eyebright

The flower strip at the hydropower plant is very species-rich. Numerous herbs grow here, including an old ophthalmic medicinal plant, eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis). If you look closely, its flowers resemble eyes with long lashes. A hot infusion made from leaves and flowers can be cooled to lukewarm to relax the eyes. Soak a clean cloth in it, wring it out lightly and place it on the closed eyes for 10 to 15 minutes. Eyebright is also used on sore eyes. It is important to ensure that the eyes are absolutely clean and only use the fresh brew. The cooled infusion is also great as a clarifying and toning facial toner and can be used just like a conventional facial toner.

Augentrost in Puch Urstein © Silja Parke - Wildemöhre.at

From the Urstein hydropower plant to the Königseeache

Artenreicher Blühstreifen in Puch Urstein © Silja Parke - Wildemöhre.at

From the hydroelectric power station, where there is a species-rich strip of flowers, we cross the bridge to the Rifer shore. If we turn left, we are walking straight towards the Königsseeache, which rises in the Berchtesgadener Land, near the Königsee, through the confluence of two mountain streams and flows into the Salzach here.

We cross the Ache over the narrow footbridge and can catch a wonderful view of the Untersberg. If the weather is nice, you can take a bath on one of the beaches on both sides of the banks. We continue along the Salzach and pass the boathouse. We find another interesting herb on the jetty.

The Meadowsweet as a summer lemonade

Meadowsweet is our “wild aspirin” and is popularly referred to as “meadow queen” because the pretty creamy white inflorescences, which look like delicate clouds, majestically tower above the other herbs. The name meadowsweet may come from the fact that the honey-sweet herb was used to flavor mead (honey wine). Another approach is the derivation of the “mowing sweetness”, the scent that the herb gives off when it dries in the meadow after mowing.

It has anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and analgesic effects. The active ingredient of the pain reliever aspirin was previously isolated from meadowsweet, as well as from the willow, which we also find in abundance here on the banks. For pain, we can take the tea infusion, an alcoholic tincture or a syrup internally. However, the effect does not start immediately as with the drug, but with a time lag. That is why it is used in particular for chronic pain. The flowers are wonderfully suitable for flavoring milk, whipped cream and drinks.

If you like, you can simply take a few flowers of the meadowsweet home with you and put it in a good, sour, naturally cloudy apple juice. Be economical as the aroma is very intense! Finally, strain, add the juice of one lemon and sprinkle with mineral water. A wonderful summer lemonade is ready.

End of the herb hike on Ursteinsteg

We end the tour at Ursteinsteg and from here we can once again enjoy a particularly beautiful panorama with the Barmsteins and the Hagen Mountains in the background.

Video tip: watch the Sunrise over Puch Urstein!

Salzachblick Puch Urstein © Silja Parke - Wildemöhre.at

I am happy if you enjoyed our little tour. If you would like to find out more about our native wild herbs and their qualities, maybe we will meet up on one of my herb hikes or my courses. Maybe my book “Ganz schön wild” is also interesting for you.

Kräuterbuch: Ganz schön Wild von Silja Parke © Silja Parke - Wildemöhre.at

In the book, I have summarized many of the basics of collecting and using herbs. The basics are rounded off by three recipe parts with more than 120 ideas for medicine cabinet, beauty and enjoyment.

Sincerely yours 
Silja Parke

Disclaimer! If you collect wild plants yourself and use them, you have to be able to recognize the plant one hundred percent with certainty. If you are unsure, you should definitely refrain from using it! The information provided on this page has been carefully compiled and researched. However, the provider of this website does not accept any liability for the topicality, completeness and correctness of the pages and content provided. The home remedies and recipes presented are not a substitute for a visit to the doctor. Use in babies, toddlers, children, pregnant women and people with high blood pressure should always be carried out under medical supervision or only with prior clarification by a doctor. In the case of unclear, severe, acute and persistent health problems, home remedies are not enough and a doctor should be consulted. Copying the recipes and using the tips is at your own risk.
Disclaimer of liability! All information, plant descriptions and instructions have been created and researched to the best of our knowledge. The applications and recipes have been tried and tested. Wild herb recipes are knowledge that has been passed on and adapted in the people from generation to generation, which is not scientifically proven in every case. No guarantee can be given for the correctness of the information. Legal liability is excluded. Furthermore, no liability is accepted for incorrect preparation and use or for allergic reactions. Use at your own risk. Folk medicine treatments and other home recipes are not a substitute for medical advice, general and specialist medical treatment or check-ups. If you have any complaints, please contact your doctor or, if necessary, discuss the use of home remedies with him.

Hier geht`s nach Puch Urstein

By loading the map you accept the Google Privacy Policy.

Unlock Google Maps for Homepage

Write a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *.

Note: To get a profile picture for your comment, sign up at GRAVATAR.