Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

Local healing knowledge in the Pinzgau region

Applicant: TEH Verein, Obfrau Theresia Harrer, GF Mag. Karin Buchart
Province: Salzburg
Domain: Practices concerning nature
Year of inclusion: 2010

The accumulated knowledge of cures and their practical application in Pinzgau (Salzburg) was first documented in writing in the course of a 2005 survey. A specific list holds details of the indications and effects of 106 different cures. Remedies such as pitch, arnica or amber are available locally and constitute an important element of the region’s cultural context. The healing knowledge of Pinzgauer men and women has traditionally been handed down as oral know-how and comprises a variety of cures, indications, effects and active ingredients, which are passed on according to the “master-pupil principle”. For a recipe to be passed down, its effectiveness must have proven successful over centuries.

When hygiene, durability and product safety requirements were raised over the last centuries, a variety of ingredients, such as animal fat, were replaced by mineral substances with a longer shelf life.