The Secret World of Herbs

Herbs are so fascinating, because they are such “all-rounders”: They are fragrant, tasty, and have healing properties. Since the beginning of human history, they have inspired individuals and cultures around the world, especially through their effects – in the kitchen, laboratory, or witch’s den.

In Europe, the secrets of herbal medicine were preserved for centuries in the seclusion of monastery walls, until the invention of the printing press put herbal primers into family households. Then, at the beginning of the twentieth century, modern medicine eclipsed the knowledge of herbal healing, a wisdom handed down for generations.

And today? Herbs are witnessing a revival: Cosmetics makers and pharmaceutical companies are experimenting with active ingredients from nature, while natural healing has regained its place alongside academic medicine. People increasingly rely on the gentle healing effect of herbs in their everyday lives.

The five-part mini-series “The Secret World of Herbs” undertakes a journey of discovery through eleven countries, exploring the intriguing cultural history surrounding the use of herbs – in the Provence, in the Alps, in the Balkans, in Latin America, and in India.

In the individual regions, we meet Ayurvedic doctors, natural healers, farmers, modern herbal fairies, and cooks – captivating story-tellers, all of them, equipped with a deep understanding of the world of herbs.

Elaborate aerial and time-lapse footage transports us to distant regions rich in herbs. With an avid eye, each film examines the complex processes involved in the making of tinctures, oils, and natural remedies. Whether herbs be exotic or domestic, they hold numerous stories – herbs being the seasonings of human culture.


1) The Secret World of Herbs – In the Provence

2) The Secret World of Herbs – In India

3) The Secret World of Herbs – In South America

4) The Secret World of Herbs – In the Alps

5) The Secret World of Herbs – In the Balkans


Length: 5 x 44:30 min., HD

Films by Ilka Franzmann, Rolf Lambert, Christian Stiefenhofer, Bärbel Jacks, and Sebastian Lindemann

Coproduction by Filmquadrat.doc GmbH for MDR, SWR, and ARTE; with financial support from FFF-Bayern

Die Filme:



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