All Manner of Household Remedies

On Herbs, Ointments and Forgotten Healing Tradition


Curated by: Michaela Steinböck-Köhler

About the exhibition

In former times, the rural population put its trust almost entirely in folk medicine, for in those days a trip to the doctor was a long and overly expensive undertaking for farmers. For less serious illnesses, people turned rather to the farmers’ doctor or to a local woman dispensing herbs. Rural healers could be paid with natural produce or by carrying out certain jobs for them.

Another reason was that these people came likewise from farmers’ homes and so belonged to the same social class as those asking for or visiting them. There were no social and linguistic barriers, thus enabling more trust to develop towards them and the treatment methods they used. The isolated location of many farms required the greatest possible self-sufficiency and so initially, the attempt was made to cure oneself.

At every farm and smallholding, there was in earlier days a garden with vegetables, flowers, aromatic herbs and medicinal plants, which were also brought to the farmers by the monasteries. Every farm was involved with the efficacy of the herbs in its vicinity so as to make teas, ointments or tinctures out of them, which derived from ancient experiences on the part of ancestors. Within the family it was the women who possessed the knowledge of healing. Such know-how was passed on from generation to generation, from the grandmother to the mother in each case.

The special exhibition ranges from so-called farmer doctors and ‘all manner of healing knowledge’ to forgotten household remedies, farmers’ medicinal traditions and intended purposes typical of the region. Old knowledge of household remedies and folk medicine-based healing methods accompany the events and educational programmes, too, offering in this way a highly varied annual programme.


Austrian Open-Air Museum Stübing

Enzenbach 32
8114 Stübing, Österreich
T +43-3124/53700
F +43-3124/53700-18


Opening Hours

31 March to 31 October Mon-Sun, public holidays 9am - 6pm
Admission until 5pm