Finding the Herb in Chalabre

December 14, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

It is not uncommon for vacationers, regardless of the destination, to find the change in diet does not agree with them. All the bread and meat began to wreak havoc on my Father’s digestive system.

At home, he has a herbal tea that he drinks to soothe his belly. With the help of our hostess we look up the translations of the herbs in his usual brew and get the address of a local herbologist in a nearby town.

We were soon off to Chalabre to find out if we can get a small town herbal hook-up. The drive from Calvayrac to Chalabre took us through some interesting scenery.

The vineyards and sunflowers of Languedoc have inspired many an artist, including Vincent Van Gogh. In August of 1888 he painted sunflowers when they were in bloom. As we drove past field upon field of dry, dead sunflower carcasses, the scene was more somber than Van Gogh’s bright depictions. However, the vineyards, with their plump black grapes just waiting for harvest, were a happy sight.

Upon our arrival in Chalabre, we found almost the entire town was closed. We’d arrived just after noon and our herbologist was closed until 1:30, as lunch is religion in France. This gave us a chance to wander around the charming little town and we found ourselves in a quaint restaurant for our own lunch.

Once lunch was finished, we returned to the Herboristerie and found it opened. The Herbologist had hair that could have inspired Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Apparently his natural remedies were working wonders on his dark glossy coiffe. In addition to being stunningly well-groomed, his store was immaculately organized. Each herb had its own bag, drawer or box and there were even more shelves in the back!

He was able to quickly throw together two weeks of herbs for my father’s “tummy tea” for a cost of about €6.50 (C$10-ish). It worked wonders and Chalabre was such a neat little place that we may never have visited if it hadn’t been for an upset stomach.