Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook


Herbalism in the High Tatras

THE FLORA in the High Tatras was more than an object of admiration for past generations. It was also a source of healing compounds.

THE FLORA in the High Tatras was more than an object of admiration for past generations. It was also a source of healing compounds.

People living in towns and villages under the mountains believed that its plants held medicinal power beyond any others. Herbalists travelled to high altitudes to retrieve them, following a calendar of the best times for each plant to be picked.

The herbalists then processed their finds, or sold them to doctors, apothecaries and priests, who combined them to make various kinds of ointments.

The best-known treatment was the so-called Liptov Theriac, made from 70 different ingredients, which had universal healing effects. An assortment of herbs, as well as wine and bryndza (a type of Slovak sheep's cheese) were used as part of its preparation.

Another popular herb was Doronicum Clusii, which supposedly treated vertigo, so people took it when going to the mountains.

Although some of these potions seem very strange now, people once used curative plants to treat many illnesses.

But herbalism was a risky trade until as recently as the beginning of the 18th century. In 1717, for instance, Mária Gburková from Závadka was burnt at the stake for using herbs to treat illness in people and cattle.

The Tatras’ vegetation is pictured in this postcard from the beginning of the 20th century, when herbalism was still a common practice.

Top stories

Suspicious "rural entrepreneurs" involved with Smer emerge in Nitra

Successful businesspeople from the village of Babindol who have received subsidies from EU funds worth millions have connections to the ruling Smer party.

Competition in goulash cooking Guláš CUP 2015 in Babindol: Police President Tibor Gašpar(L), ex-minister of Agriculture Ľubomír Jahnátek (R) and Labour Minister Ján Richter (2L).

Slovak mixed relay was withdrawn from competition Photo

Paulína Fialková botched the shooting, thus thwarting the hopes of the Slovak Olympic mixed team of biathletes.

L-R Kuzmina and Fialková in the failed Slovak race.

Blog: Government Affairs in Slovakia – how did this profession develop and what is its future?

It is encouraging that more and more companies based in Slovakia are starting to realize that it is also possible to shape EU policies from a small country like Slovakia and use the services of government affairs…

Illustrative stock photo

Slovak ice hockey team goes home Photo

The United States defeated their rivals from Slovakia for the second time, ending their performance at the Olympics.