Swedish bitters, uses and preparation of the ancient (and controversial) herbal recipe

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Some consider it miraculous, others are skeptical ... let's see what are the multiple benefits of the Swedish bitter.

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Some consider it miraculous, others are skeptical, the fact is that the Swedish bitter is a valid natural remedy with multiple benefits for our health.

Have you heard of Swedish amaro but don't know exactly what it is for? In addition to the recipe, we will tell you about the benefits and the multiple daily uses of this herbal blend - a real mother tincture - rich in healing properties, effective in the prevention and treatment of various health ailments. It is no coincidence that it is very famous among people who prefer natural cures. (READ also: Fire cider: the recipe for the 'bomb' herbal tea that helps increase the immune system)


Origin of the ancient Swedish amaro recipe

According to some hypotheses, the history of Swedish amaro dates back to the sixteenth century, when Paracelsus - a great Swiss physician, alchemist and botanist - created an elixir based on aloe, myrrh and saffron. Subsequently, the recipe was "rediscovered" by the Swedish doctor Claus Samst in the eighteenth century who added more plants thus creating an even more effective remedy. It was the Austrian herbalist Maria Treben who later made it really popular, revealing her recipe in her book "Health from the Lord's Pharmacy" published for the first time in 1980.

Swedish amaro, a blend of herbs

In the preparation of the Swedish amaro there are several herbs, each of which has specific beneficial properties. The basic ingredients for its preparation are:

  • Aloe or aloe barbadensis: antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, gastro-protective and immunostimulating.
  • Myrrh or Commiphora myrrha: analgesic, antibacterial, healing, antispasmodic and expectorant.
  • Saffron or Crocus sativus: soothing, digestive, sedative and analgesic.
  • Cassia or Cassia angustifolia: natural laxative.
  • Camphor or Cinnamomum camphora: antibacterial, anesthetic, regulates pressure and acts against joint pain.
  • Rhubarb or Rheum palmatum: digestive, laxative, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory
  • Turmeric or Curcuma longa: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, pain reliever and antipyretic.
  • Manna or Fraxinus ornus: decongestant, healing and able to facilitate intestinal regularity.
  • Teriaca Veneziana: antacid, digestive and expectorant. It is composed of a set of herbs such as lavender, anise, juniper, gramigna, milk thistle, mint, gentian, hypericum, licorice and many others.
  • Carlina or Carlina vulgaris: healing, promotes sweating, diuretic, digestive and laxative.
  • Angelica or Angelica archangelica: digestive and anti-inflammatory, antacid and expectorant.

Recipe to prepare the Swedish amaro

Although Swedish amaro can be purchased from herbalist's shops or specialty stores, you may want to try making it yourself since its preparation is simple. Perhaps the most complicated part will be finding everything you need, so a well-stocked herbalist's shop will be of great help. In addition, there are already packaged herbal blends on the market for the preparation of Maria Treben's Swedish amaro. In this case it will be sufficient to macerate the contents in one and a half liters of brandy for 14 days and then filter.

We bring you the recipe of Small Swedish Amaro found in the notes of Dr. Claus Samst after his death at 104 while riding. Dr. Samst's longevity and evident good health was attributed to the very herbal preparation he used. You can find the recipe in Maria Treben's book “Health from the Lord's Pharmacy”.

Swedish bitter ingredients

  • 10 g of Aloe
  • 5 g of Myrrh
  • 0,2 g of saffron
  • 10 g of Cassia leaves
  • 10 g of natural Camphor
  • 10 g of Rhubarb root
  • 10 g of turmeric root
  • 10 g of manna
  • 10 g of Venetian Teriaca
  • 5 g of Carlina root
  • 10 g of Angelica root
  • 1 liter and a half of natural wheat or fruit brandy at 40 degrees
  • 1 wide-necked glass bottle with its respective stopper
  • Smaller dark glass bottles for herbal medicine with their caps

How to prepare the Swedish amaro

  1. Use the wide-necked glass bottle to steep the Swedish herbs in the brandy. Let the macerate rest for 15 days in the sun or near a heat source.
  2. During the maceration period, the container must be shaken once a day, every day.
  3. After 15 days, the contents are filtered with a narrow-mesh strainer and the liquid is poured into the bottles which must be hermetically sealed and stored in the refrigerator.
  4. Before using the content, you should always shake it vigorously.

Your Swedish amaro is ready and can be stored in the refrigerator for many years!

Uses of Swedish bitters

Swedish bitter can be used internally and externally. The doses and methods indicated are purely indicative and must always be compared with the opinion of your doctor expert in phytotherapy, the herbalist or the pharmacist.

Internal uses of Swedish amaro

  1. Improve Digestion: when taken before meals, the Swedish bitter helps improve the assimilation and processing of food and prevent the formation of digestive disorders. Take a tablespoon of Swedish bitter diluted in a glass of water.
  2. Sleep disorders: it could be very useful in cases of insomnia caused by digestive and liver problems. To use it, you need to take a teaspoon of the product dissolved in water before going to sleep. (READ also: Insomnia: 7 Holistic Techniques That Help You Relax and Get to Sleep)
  3. Flu symptoms: it can help relieve fever, sore throat and general malaise. In this case it can be used up to three times a day, a teaspoon dissolved in warm water or alternatively in an herbal tea before meals will be enough.
  4. Dysmenorrhea: proves to be an excellent natural remedy for relieving menstrual pains. It is recommended to dilute 30 to 40 drops of Swedish bitter in a glass of warm water two or three times a day. (READ also: Get rid of menstrual pains: alleviate them like this, with natural remedies)
  5. Worm infections: the bitter will help you get rid of intestinal parasites. You will need to drink a spoonful of Swedish bitter on a full stomach before going to sleep.

External uses of Swedish bitter

  1. Insect bites: to speed up the healing process apply a few drops to the affected area.
  2. Toothache: use Swedish bitter as a mouthwash. Dilute a spoon in a glass of water and use it to gargle.
  3. Mouth ulcers: canker sores can be treated in the same way as toothache. Dilute a spoonful in a glass of water and gargle.
  4. Warts and calluses: apply a cotton ball soaked in Swedish bitter to the affected area. Constantly moisten the callus spot as much as possible throughout the day. After a few days, the corns will come off on their own or can be easily removed.
  5. Sinusitis: to relieve the discomfort caused by sinusitis, Swedish bitter wraps can be made to be placed directly on the forehead and temples. Before application, grease the affected area with calendula cream.
  6. Breast pain: breast pains during menstruation or during breastfeeding can be alleviated by massaging the affected area with a warm cloth soaked in a few drops of Swedish bitter.

As you can see, the Swedish bitter can be used in different ways depending on the disorder. However, as Maria Treben advises and the Ancient Manuscript points out, its use is not limited only to this, it can also be used with a preventive purpose. In this case, just dilute a teaspoon in a glass of water morning and evening. If the preparation is to be taken by children, it is strongly recommended to evaporate the alcohol present in the bitter by boiling the necessary quantity in water.


Given that the Swedish bitter it cannot in any way replace the advice of a doctor, we point out the contraindications:

  • Given its alcoholic nature, its use during pregnancy or breastfeeding is strongly discouraged.
  • Avoid using it in case of hypersensitivity, allergies and stomach irritations such as gastritis, reflux esophagitis or ulcer.
  • If you have liver problems or alcohol problems, use it as an herbal tea.
  • If you take other medications, consult a doctor.
  • Avoid external use on the most delicate parts of the body such as genitals and eyes.

Source: Treben M., Health from the Lord's Pharmacy, ATHESIA

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