Spelt-based fasting holidays, the Hildegard of Bingen way

Freedom from... and freedom for! Rejuvenating fasting holidays

Hildegard of Bingen’s spelt-based fasting weeks have a deep cleansing effect – a detox for body, mind and soul. Fountain of youth and new beginnings: fasting holidays at the Pirchner Hof in Reith in Tyrol’s Alpbach Valley.

Less is more!

Fasting means release. Release from physical and emotional burdens. And becoming open. Open to new aspects of ourselves – and to life. Take time out for peace and tranquillity, do yourself some good. The legendary healer, mystic and convent founder St Hildegard of Bingen recommended fasting as a remedy as far back as the 12th century. And still today – in our fast-paced, high-pressure world – fasting holidays are more vital and beneficial than ever. Hildegard of Bingen recommends at least one fast per year as one of her Six Golden Rules. The primary aim of this is to cleanse our ‘second brain’ – the gut – thereby clearing the whole body of toxins. Hildegard fasting holidays do not require full abstinence from food. Moderate spelt-based fasting is a gentle fasting plan, which also helps to release emotional burdens and stabilise mood. Many aspects of life become clearer: your priorities, needs and deep-rooted desires.


Fasting holidays – reducing to the essentials

What may at first glance seem like a contradiction is in fact the basic concept of spelt-based fasting the Hildegard of Bingen way. Here at the first dedicated Hildegard of Bingen hotel, the Pirchner Hof in Tyrol’s Albach Valley, fasting means abstaining without depriving yourself. In modern society, we are often caught between ‘too much’ and ‘too little’. We eat, drink and work too much. Yet we fail to devote enough time to resting, relaxing and sleeping. Spelt-based fasting at the Pirchner Hof health resort is a great way to treat your body to breathing space. Pause, switch off and refocus on what really matters in life. Strengthen your emotional wellbeing with discussions, talks and awareness-building.

Why choose a fasting holiday? Three experts explain!


‘Fasting adds new aspects to your life, because consciously choosing abstinence from the foods and things we don’t need creates space. “Finding the right measure” sensitises us so that we can easily embrace a healthier lifestyle.’

Christa Peer, host at the Pirchner Hof Hotel and Hildegard of Bingen fasting professional

‘What comes to mind when I think about fasting is not even a whole sentence, but simply: freedom from… and freedom for!’
Felicitas Karlinger, Hildegard physician, expert and ambassador

‘Lent is a good time to tend to the small things that bring us joy, it gives us an opportunity to revive talents and interests, and to be in touch with our true priorities.’
Brigitte Pregenzer, founder of the Hildegard Academy and best-selling author

Hildegard of Bingen: fasting is not going hungry!

Spelt-based fasting, the Hildegard of Bingen way, does not require full abstinence from food. The medieval saint understood that cutting out all meals would put huge strain on the body. Instead, Hildegard advises that we reduce our dietary intake and carefully select what we eat. Food should support our body in breaking down accumulated waste and toxins. Hildegard of Bingen's gentle spelt-based fasting consists of a moderate spelt-based reduction diet that includes fasting soup and spelt bread. Our menu is based on the ancient grain of spelt and Hildegard's healing herbs and spices. Galangal benefits poor circulation and strengthens the immune system; wild thyme stimulates the metabolism, purifies the blood and exerts a positive influence on the skin and the respiratory system. Pellitory improves digestion; and hyssop is a true mood enhancer as well as cleansing the liver and lungs. Fennel tea is another favourite during Hildegard of Bingen spelt fasts here in the Alpbach Valley. Fennel harmonises the acid-base balance and brightens the eyes. When blood pressure or blood sugar levels dip during fasting, we like to give Hildegard of Bingen’s ‘heart wine’ – made with parsley and honey, it works wonders as a pick-me-up.

Did you know…

Spelt, an ancient grain, and Hildegard’s healing herbs and spices strengthen the immune system, stimulate the metabolism and cleanse the blood, lungs, liver, kidneys, gut and skin.

At the 4-star Pirchner Hof Hotel in Tyrol’s Alpbach Valley, you will see first-hand that fasting is a good medicine for body, mind and soul – especially in combination with our programme of fitness and relaxation classes, ranging from meditation to gentle workouts and walks in the breathtaking Tyrolean mountains.

Fasting week routine

Our ‘gentle Hildegard fast’, which includes three small meals a day, can be followed by anyone. This kind of fast is enjoyable, effective, enlightening and exciting. It sharpens our perception, sensitises our body awareness, and helps us to feel lighter – physically and emotionally. Holistic fasting unburdens, eases and facilitates the journey within.

  • Fasting weeks always start on Sundays. After a meeting at 5pm we take our first fasting soup.
  • This is followed by five days of pure fasting according to the ‘gentle Hildegard fast’ method.
  • Fasting full board: spelt bread, fasting soup for lunch or, in spring, leaf salad with spelt grains, spelt semolina soup, heart wine, chestnut honey, galangal, pellitory, psyllium and fennel tea.
  • Daily DIY liver compress and foot bath
  • Daily baldmoney pear honey
  • Daily morning or evening meditation
  • The fasting group meets every day to share their experiences
  • Talks on a range of Hildegard topics
  • Daily exercise and regeneration programme (excluding Sundays)
  • Daily use of the Spa facilities including pool area
  • The fast is broken with a group lunch on Saturday.
  • The final day is for restoration, to gently prepare for the return to everyday life.

Tip: Book our special offer treatment package for your fasting holiday at the Pirchner Hof:

• 1 purifying body wrap
• 1 lymphatic drainage
• 1 copper bristle brush massage
Please note: our special offer treatment package is available as an add-on and only bookable when making a room reservation!