Throughout history the different civilizations have moved around the plants, which are the living species that have most influenced humanity. In addition to providing food, the fact of saving the seeds was the basis of the invention of agriculture with the consequent disappearance of the nomadic lifestyle and the development of culture.
The search for new and different spices led to the discovery of the American continent and the emergence of colonialism. Looking for medicinal species and plants with narcotic or aphrodisiac properties has moved men to seek in the most remote locations, providing new knowledge and advances.
All around the planet all cultures - regardless of their level of development – used plants to cure diseases, ease pain and achieve certain states of consciousness. Modern medicine has profited from this ancient tradition, analyzing and discovering important principles that would not have been investigated without the use, traditional cultures from different continents gave to certain plants since immemorial times.
A good example is the “Aspirin”, nowadays the most widely used and sold analgesic. The bark of the white willow (Salix alba) was used in China already over 2500 years ago to reduce fever and to relieve pain. Also in the work of Hippocrates appear references about this plant. Modern medicine synthesized the derivative salicylic acid in 1835, but it was the traditional knowledge of the properties of the willow, which led to further scientific research and the final production of aspirin.
The components of the plants have a synergistic effect, i.e. they interact all at once and complement, enhance or neutralize each other to avoid adverse effects or to ensure effective cures. It was discovered that this set is in the majority of cases more effective than the isolated single chemical component, administered in its pure form.
In this workshop we will be seduced by the magical world of plants and rediscover knowledge and uses which for the wise men and shamans of ancient cultures, but also for our grandmothers’ were part of their daily life.
Depending on the season we will realize different kind of activities, which in summary will include a tour through the fields to learn more about the different plants and to study their characteristics and properties. Once back in the indoor facilities we discover more about their proper drying and storage to ensure that they do not lose their properties.
The workshop ends with a lesson about the extraction of essences in a copper still and the preparation and tasting of natural teas.
The whole activity takes about 4 hours and could be combined with a typical lunch and other workshops or activities in the area.