Last Modified on Mar 16, 2016
Swedish Bitters have a long tradition as a home remedy for an impressive array of ailments, with this herbal tonic strongly promoted by famed herbalist Maria Treben. This alcoholic concoction of natural herbs goes back to the 18th century and is a common health tonic in many European countries.
While it is available in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic forms, as well as from a number of providers in differing formulations, Swedish Bitters are traditionally flavored with aloe, saffron, rhubarb, myrrh, angelica, camphor, gentian, and a few other traditionally therapeutic herbs. As with other bitters, Swedish Bitters are foremost known as a digestive aid.
Home Remedies: Swedish Bitters have been recommended for bloating, indigestion, hemorrhoids, allergies, and skin conditions.
Remedies for Swedish Bitters
The Popularity of Swedish Bitters Remedies - Full List
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Swedish bitters have, in my experience, been unbeatable for the relief of bloating, gas and constipation.
The intial recipe for bitters was attributed to Paracelsus in the 15th century. It was then revived by Jonathan Samst in the 18th century and later made popular by Maria Treben.
The Swedish Bitters elixir's benefits are numerous. It promotes biliary, pancreatic and gastric secretion, disinfects the intestinal track, relieves bloating, flatulence, cramps and nausea, encourages toxin elimination and is a gentle laxative. A teaspoon in the morning and evening diluted in water greatly improved my digestive health following a long episode of bloating.
Replied by Juliana
Posted by Anon (Anon) on 01/18/2012
Take a teaspoon or two of swedish bitters shortly after you eat.
Posted by Mary (Los Angeles, Ca) on 04/19/2009
For about a month now I have been taking Swedish Bitters. For the last 2 years I have had vertigo and don't know if it had to do with a brain surgery I had 8 years ago. Since taking the Swedish Bitters I have been feeling so much better and the dizzy spells are leaving me. It got to the point where I was afraid to sleep because when I put my head down on the pillow the dizzy spells would hit so hard I couldn't tell if I was up or down it worried me that I could fall out of bed.
Go to your health food store and see if they carry the bitters. It can be a bit pricy 28.00 for a 16 oz bottle but this is already prepared. There are some webites you can go to that sell the herbs a lot cheaper them selves and they give you directions on how to take them. I have the pdf of the OLD MANUSCRIPT BY PARACELSUS THE INVENTOR OF SWEDISH BITTERS IN 1541 and can give it to Earth Clinic and see how they want to send it out or you can email me for it. It doesn't sell anythng it just tells you how to apply the bitters to different illnesses. Love, love, love Earthclinic it has helped me so much!
EC: More about Swedish Bitters: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_bitters
Replied by Maria
Posted by Cris (Nz) on 08/30/2015
Could you please tell me know for how what period of time it is safe to be daily taking swedish bitters? I have heard from numerous sources that it's best taken for 4-6 weeks before giving it a break. I'd like to confirm whether that is true, and if so, how long the break should be, before we resume using it.
Moreover, could there be an exception for someone who's seriously ill (i.e. cancer)? A family member wishes to know whether they can take it for a longer period, if necessary.
Thank you for your kind help!
Replied by Juliana
Posted by Drlarry (San Francisco, Calif, Usa) on 10/23/2012
For those who want an alternative to swedish bitters, try fernet branca, a swedish apertif with the same plus more ingredients as the swedish bitters, costs about the same to. Can get it beverages and more. Formulated by a swedish doctor about the same time the bitter came on the scene if not before.
Posted by Graham (Adelaide, Australia) on 08/14/2011
I have had problems with sore and bleeding hemaroids for many years and I have almost instant relief using Swedish Bitters everytime they flare up.
I halve a cotton wool ball soak it in swedish bitters make into a bullet shape and wipe the affected area, then insert just slightly.. It really stings though but well worth it as within a minute or so all pain has gone.. I hope this helps someone.
Posted by Jan (Se Q'ld, Australia) on 05/20/2012
Hi, I notice you don't YET have a segment for SWEDISH BITTERS. I would like to see it as to me it is a medicine chest in a bottle as it helps so many ailments.
I've seen a person healed of pain in just 5 or 6minutes from Gallbladder stones pain attack. Amazing results after a tbspn of the Swedish Bitters brown liquid in a little water, swallowed and then the application of SB Compress over the pain area.
I've seen my husband's knee healed after an accident and application of compress on his knee for an hour or so, for a few days in a row. I've had a badly sprained ankle heal overnight with the application of a Swedish Bitters compress. I am never without it in my medicine cabinet, bathroom and kitchen.
Hope this can help someone.
Posted by Takoda (Xeresa, Spain) on 05/20/2010
10 years of weekly migraines gone with Swedish bitters, a digestive complex and sublingual vit B12.
I take 2 tablespoons of Swedish bitters at the slightest hint of migraine- sometimes several times a day(I take a bottle wherever I go).
Also I take 30 drops of a digestive complex which has artichoke(cynara scolymus),fumaria (fumaria officinalis), boldo(peumus boldus Mol) bitter chamomile, rosemary and artimisia absinthium). These I take after any cooked meal.
And I take 2 sublingual vit B12 a day, double the recommended dose.
I would recommend a big lettuce based raw vegetable salad everyday as one main meal and I believe that all the above would cure any migraine that is digestion related. (I feel my whole chemistry has changed)
Posted by Maria (Australia) on 03/03/2016
Swedish Bitters are amazing. I had swollen legs and feet for a year and after just a few days on Swedish they are going down. Body less acidic, bowels more regular and I feel as though the liver is happy now. I take I teaspoon in a little water every morning before breakfast. It also helped my tooth. It felt like an abscess under the tooth so I held some diluted Swedish in my mouth, tilting my head so that the tooth and gum were bathed in it. All pain went after first time.
Posted by Betsy (Sydney, Nsw) on 07/12/2012
I have been douching with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and one drop of tea tree oil in two cups of warm water and it was instant relief for me... Got rid of the smell too.
Posted by Annie (Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada) on 02/08/2012
Are the swedish bitters still helping your pid??
Posted by Anon (Anon) on 01/20/2012
The dossage is upped to 2 teaspoons 3 times a day w/ food. Salad and fresh fruit seem best foods to take it with. Added raw beets 1 a day, and 2 or 3 garlic cloves. Been sick for years, finally after about 4 days much better. Always been run down, tired, achy, sugar issues, can't take milk or wheat, started getting lower leg pain and vericose veins, started getting sharp abdominal pain. That's when I started the bitters. I knew it was an infection because years ago on Azithromycin it was much better.
Posted by Anon (Anon) on 01/18/2012
Not sure if it's PID, but it seems to be. Swedish Bitters seems to be working best, haven't gone to the Dr. for it. 1 or 2 teaspoons with a meal, bottle says 1 or 2 teaspoons once per day.
Posted by Viv (Mnl, Philippines) on 02/21/2013
I was actually looking for an herbal remedy for my pid and I landed on this site, I read about swedish bitters so I tried it since I'm scared of taking antibiotics often coz I just took a course of antibiotics for my pid just a month ago. My entire reproductive organs are painful. Ive been taking a lot of vit c's and probiotics, include zinc and antioxidant juices. I got tired of taking all of them because pain persists. I tried swedish bitters though expensive in our place. After taking a teaspoon of it. I felt relieved after an hour. I'm taking it for already 5days now, pain has subsided. I just don't know if it will come back if I stopped taking it. I hope not. And I just dont know if it will totally eradicate my pid but im gonna have my test to c if I still have infection. Thanks earth clinic and to the people who have contributed their knowledge and what they know because they don't know how they have helped many people including me who is so thankful.
Posted by Mary (Arcadia, Ca) on 03/04/2016
Swedish Bitters Old Manuscript
This is kind of a long message, but contains a lot of useful information. Hope you can use it.
- * Small Swedish Bitters * -
- 10 gm. Aloe*
- 5 gm. Myrrh
- 2 gm. Saffron
- 10 gm. Senna leaves
- 10 gm. Camphor**
- 10 gm. Rhubarb roots
- 10 gm. Manna
- 10 gm. Theriac venezian
- 5 gm. Carline Thistle roots
- 10 gm. Angelica roots
- 10 gm. Zedoary roots
This mixture is put into a wide-necked 2 liter bottle and 1.5 liter of 38% to 40% rye or fruit spirit are poured over it. The bottle is left standing in the sun or near the stove for 14 days and shaken daily. The liquid is then strained and poured into small bottles, well stoppered and stored in cool place. This way it can be kept for many years. The longer it stands, the more effective it becomes! Shake well before use! Alternatively some of the liquid can be strained into a small bottle and the rest left in the bottle until required.
* Instead of Aloe, Genetial root or Wormwood powder may be used.
* * Only natural Camphor should be used.
THIS RECIPE was found among the writings of the well-known Swedish physician, rector of medicine, Dr. Samst. He died in his 104th year in a riding accident. His parents and grandparents all reached a patriarchal age. It sounds almost like a fairy story, but it is true. As a refugee from a German speaking area of Czechoslovakia, I became ill with TYPHOID FEVER in a camp in Bavaria, caused by contaminated meat and, through it, came JAUNDICE AND AN OBSTRUCTION IN THE INTESTINES. I spent more than 6 months in a hospital and when my husband got my mother, my mother-in-law, our child and myself to Austria, I was a young but sick woman. At night I was hit by terrible pain that shot through my body like a sword. In these moments I could neither sit nor stand, walk nor lie down; at the same time I VOMITED and had DIARRHEA. I was a helpless bundle of misery. These were AFTERPAINS OF THE TYPHOID fever which sometimes can go on for years, as the doctor said.
One day a woman brought me a small bottle containing a dark brown, strong smelling liquid. She had heard of my illness and wanted to help. The Swedish Bitters had relieved her of a serious complaint. Accompanying the small bottle, she gave me, was a transcript of an "OLD MANUSCRIPT" in which was explained, in 46 points, how these drops heal every illness. The recipe came from the writings of a wellknown Swedish physician. As I stated, all members of his family had reached an unusual old age. These drops, according to the 43 heal "plague boils and swellings, even if already in the throat". I put the bottle in the medicine chest. I just did not believe that these modest drops could give me back my health; since the doctor could not even help me. Soon I changed my mind. As I sat in front of a large basket of over ripe pears, which needed to be used up straight away, I had another attack. As I had been told that these Swedish drops could be used extremely as well, I did not hesitate for long and applied them as a compress on the abdomen, put a small plastic bag over the compress and then my girdle and continued my work. A wonderful feeling spread through my body and, suddenly, it felt as if with one movement of the hand, everything morbid in my body was pulled out. I assure you that with this single compress, which I had on the whole day, all of the preceding months disappeared, never to return.
"OLD MANUSCRIPT" (Transcript of the Swedish Bitters' curative power)
1. If they are frequently breathed in or sniffed, the base of the skull is moistened or a moistened cloth applied to the head, they dispel PAIN AND DIZZINESS and strengthen the brain and MEMORY.
2. They help dim eyes and take away redness and all pain, even if the EYES ARE INFLAMED. They rid them of SPOTS 37 AND CATARACTS, if the corners are moistened in time or a moistened piece of cloth is applied to the closed lids.
3. PUSTULAS AND ECZEMA of all kinds, as SCABS in the nose or elsewhere on the body, are healed, if they are often and well moistened.
4. For TOOTHACHE a tablespoon of these drops is taken with a little water and kept in the mouth for a little while or the aching tooth is moistened. The pain soon eases and the putrefaction disappears.
5. BLISTERS ON THE TONGUE or other infirmities of the tongue are frequently moistened with drops and healing soon
6. If the THROAT IS HOT OR INFLAMED, so that food is only SWALLOWED WITH DIFFICULTY, these drops are swallowed slowly, morning, noon and evening and they take away the heat and heal the
7. For STOMACH CRAMPS, 1 tablespoonful is taken.
8. For COLIC, 3 tablespoons are taken slowly, one after the other, and relief will soon be felt.
9. The rid the body of WIND (GAS) and cool the liver, eliminate all troubles of the intestines and stomach and help CONSTIPATION. 38
10. An excellent remedy for STOMACH DISORDERS, if the DIGESTION is faulty or food cannot be kept down.
11. They are beneficial for PAIN IN THE GALL BLADDER. 1 tablespoonful daily in the morning and evening, and at night compresses and soon all pain will disappear.
12. For DROPSY, 1 tablespoon in white wine is taken in the morning and evening for 6
13. For PAIN AND BUZZING IN THE EAR a piece of cotton wool is moistened and put into the ear. It is very beneficial and brings back LOST HEARING.
14. For MORNING SICKNESS, 1 tablespoon of the drops in red wine is given in the morning for 3 days, half an hour later a walk is taken. Then breakfast with no milk. These drops should not be taken after drinking milk.
15. In the last 14 days of PREGNANCY if 1 tablespoon of the drops is taken mornings and evenings, it PROMOTES THE BIRTH. For easy EXPELLING OF THE AFTERBIRTH, a coffeespoonful is given every 2 hours, until the afterbirth is expelled without pain.
16. If, after a birth when the MILD DRIES UP, inflammation develops, it quickly subsides if a moistened piece of cloth is
17. They Expel WORMS, even TAPEWORMS, in children and adults, the amount taken 39 by children being according to age. A piece of cloth moistened with drops is applied to the navel and kept moist.
18. They rid children of PUSTULAS. The children are given these drops according to age, diluted with water. If the pustules start to dry up they are moistened frequently with these drops and no scars will develop.
19. For JAUNDICE very soon all complaints disappear, if 1 tablespoon of these drops is taken 3 times daily and compresses are applied to the SWOLLEN LIVER.
20. They open all HEMORRHOIDS, and heal KIDNEYS, rid the body of all unnecessary liquids without further treatment, taking away MELANCHOLY AND DEPRESSION and improve appetite and digestion.
21. HEMORRHOIDS are reduced, if, in the beginning, they are moistened frequently and if the drops are taken internally, especially before going to bed, they soften the hemorrhoids.
22. If someone has FAINTED, open his mouth if required, give him 1 tablespoon of the drops and he will come to.
23. This remedy rids you of the pain of SPASM (cramps) so that it will cease in
24. For CONSUMPTION take them daily in the morning or on empty stomach and continue the treatment for 6 weeks.
25. If the MENSTRUAL FLOW CEASES for a 40 + woman or is too heavy, she takes these drops 3 days and repeats it 20 times. They will, what is too much, quiet and, what is too little, evenout.
26. This remedy also helps to cure "WHITES" (white vaginal discharge.)
27. If someone is afflicted with EPILEPSY, he has to be given these drops on the spot and he should then take this remedy exclusively, since it strengthens the affected nerves as well as body and rids it of all sickness.
28. They heal LAMENESS and rid you of DIZZINESS AND INDISPOSITION.
29. They heal also hot PUSTULAS AND
30. If someone has FEVER, be it hot or cold, and is very weak, he is given 1 tablespoon of the drops and the patient, if he is not overloaded with other medications, will in a short time come to, the pulse will start to beat again and the fever, no matter how high it was, will pass and the patient will soon be better.
31. The drops also heal CANCER, OLD POCK MARKS, WARTS AND CHAPPED HANDS. If the wound is OLD OR FESTERING OR PROUND FLESH has developed, everything is washed well with white wine and a piece of cloth moistened with the drops is laid upon it.
32. They heal, without danger, all WOUNDS, 41 be they from a stab or a hit, if they are moistened frequently. A piece of cloth is taken, moistened with the drops and the wounds covered therewith. They take away the pain in a short time, permit no BLEMISH OR PUTREFICATION and heal also old wounds which were caused by a SHOT. If there are holes, the drops are sprinkled into the wound which need not necessarily be cleaned beforehand. Through repeated applying of the moistened cloth healing occurs in a short time.
33. They take away SCARS, even if very old, WOUNDS AND CUTS, if moistened up to 40 times with them. All the wounds heal and leave no scars.
34. They heal all FISTULAS, even if they seem incurable, be they as old as may be.
35. They heal all BURNS AND SCALDS, be they caused by fire, hot water or fat, if the injuries are moistened frequently. No blisters form, the heat is taken out and even festering blisters are healed.
36. They serve against SWELLING AND URUISES, be they caused by a blow or a
37. If someone cannot eat with APPETITE, they bring back the lost taste.
38. In ANEMIA they bring back the lost color, if taken for a period in the mornings. They cleanse the blood and form new blood and promote circulation.
39. RHEUMATIC PAINS in the limbs are eased 42 if the drops are taken morning and evening and a moistened cloth is applied to the aching parts.
40. They heal FROST BITTEN HANDS AND FEET, even if there are open parts, if a moistened cloth is applied as often as possible, but especially at night.
41. For CORNS, a cotton ball, moistened with the drops, is applied and kept moist. After 3 days the corns fall out or can be removed painlessly.
42. They heal too BITES of mad dogs and other animals, if taken internally since they heal and destroy all poison. A moistened cloth is laid upon the wounds.
43. For PLAGUE and other INFECTIOUS DISEASES it is well to take them repeatedly since they heal PLAGUE BOILS AND SWELLINGS, even if already in the
44. He who cannot sleep at night takes these drops before going to bed. For nervous SLEEPNESSNESS a piece of cloth moistened with diluted drops is laid upon the
45. A DRUNK can be sobered on the spot with 2 tablespoonfuls.
46. He who takes these drops mornings or evenings daily needs no further medication, since they strengthen the body, tone up the nerves and the blood, take away the TREMBLING OF HANDS AND FEET. In short, they take away all illnesses. The 43 V body stays supple, the face young and
IMPORTANT: All stated amounts of Swedish Bitters should be taken diluted with herb tea or The wonderful healing power of this herb mixture is shown in the above text of the "old manuscript, " It can be said, and rightly so, that there is hardly any illness where Swedish Bitters is not of benefit, or at least is effective as a basis for every treatment.
(Excerpted from the writings of Maria Treben, Master Austrian Herbalist)