The plateau of Aubrac is home to more than 2,000 species of plants, including such herbs as thyme, sage, chamomile and mugwort. One of these, called calaman (also known as AubracTea) is much appreciated for its mint-like aroma.
The herb cistre, which is the symbol of the restaurant Michel Bras, grows only at an altitude over 700 meters. Sometimes called alpine fennel because of its faint fennel-like aroma, it is well-known for its diuretic properties and has been used since the Middle Ages as a medicinal plant. Of a delicate nature it only flourishes in protected environments.
During the spring and summer months the plateau is covered with countless tiny flowers, such as the wild rose, narcissus and pansy. Many are edible and some have a medicinal use. Wild rose jam and elder flower liqueur are very familiar to the people in this area. Also, gentian is effective for a poor appetite and poor digestion, and the chamomile daisy is used to treat skin diseases and external injuries.
For Michel Bras collecting these herbs and flowers by hand for use in his cooking is an unending source of pleasure.