Story: Ticino, land of herbs and spices

Discovering Ticino’s medicinal herbs

A local business is committed to the cultivation, production and sale of medicinal herbal products throughout Ticino.

Passion, creativity and an extensive network of local organic and farm-to-table producers: in just a short time, Simone Galli, director of Erbe Ticino, has revived the cultivation of medical herbs in the canton.


Simone Galli, director of Erbe Ticino

Simone Galli, director of Erbe Ticino
Tobacco used to be grown in Ticino in the past, whereas wine dominates today. Erbe Ticino focuses on medicinal herbs.

Raise your hand if you haven’t tried a Tisana Olivone or a refreshing cold herbal infusion? If you’re in Ticino, it’s very likely that the drink you’re savouring comes from one of the many Erbe Ticino-branded medicinal herb cultivations dotted throughout the region. 

Tea bags, like many other herb-based products, conceal a whole world of different processing steps involving an extensive network of partners. This complex project is headed by Simone Galli, a young entrepreneur who has revitalised the medicinal and aromatic herbs of his region in just a few years. 

Everything began in 2015 during a dinner with a group of investors. When chatting between one mouthful and the next, a decision was made to take over the Cooperativa Cofit based in the Blenio Valley, a local business specialising in the cultivation, production and sale of herbal products that was in danger of disappearing. This led to the foundation of SA, and Simone was put in charge of relaunching it under the Erbe Ticino brand.  



Simone set to work straight away and developed – alongside the already well-established collaboration with Caritas Ticino – a fundamental synergy with the Istituto Agrario Cantonale in Mezzana, and with the Fondazione San Gottardo (“Orto il Gelso”, vegetable garden) in Melano.  

But how does a medicinal herb supply chain work? And, above all, where do the herbs end up? 


The first step is sowing the seedlings. This is something that takes place in Pollegio thanks to Caritas Ticino. Once ready, the seedlings are dispatched around the region. In greater detail, they are transported to the various project growers and partners. Once they have grown, they are then cut. Thanks to the local climate, this takes place between 3 and 5 times during the season.

At this point the herbs are sent to the Fondazione San Gottardo, where they are dried for 2 or 3 days at 45°C. After drying, the herbs are ready to be delivered to the various partners that transform them into the end product. Alternatively, they are sold as raw ingredients to customers.

In addition to growing herbs, chilli peppers have also been grown at the Istituto Agrario Cantonale in Mezzana since 2018. Initially, it wasn’t easy to establish the right balance of potting soil, greenhouse climate and the whole drying process too. However, perseverance paid off.


Today chillies account for a good part of Erbe Ticino’s production, with around 10 different varieties in total.  

Erbe Ticino wants to associate the world of herbs with wellbeing and health.

A herbal tea, Tisana Monte Generoso, was born out of the collaboration between the Azienda Agricola Bianchi in Arogno and the Ferrovia del Monte Generoso (FMG). The idea was to create a tisane for guests visiting the peak that also grows directly on the slopes of the popular excursion mountain. The blend contains edelweiss, an emblem of Switzerland that is also rich in beneficial properties.


In the Mendrisiotto a growing number of small local businesses are taking an interest in Erbe Ticino and have decided to create an herb garden for private use. The Masseria La Tana in Rancate is a good example. This event venue grows different varieties of herbs in its grounds, which can be used by its chef in its menu as required. 

Pro tip
As well as being Bio Suisse Bud certified, Erbe Ticino raw materials are part of the Ticino regio.garantie quality mark.
Erbe Ticino's products are 100% organic such as the more than ½ million tea bags produced in one year.
Did you know that the edelweiss contained in the Monte Generoso herbal tea is cultivated by Azienda Bianchi right on the slopes of this mountain?

"I love my job because I do a bit of everything. You can’t ask more of your work."