Swedish Bitters (also known as Swedish Herbs) (Schwedenbitter) have been around since the middle 1500’s! Originally used as a digestive supplement, Maria Treben, a well-known European herbalist of over 60-years healed all manner of ailments simply using her Swedish Bitters blend to correct liver, bile and digestive issues.
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
* Instead of Aloe, Genetian root or Wormwood powder may be used.
** Only natural Camphor should be used.
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 (Vodka). 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.
ALOE – Used as a laxative. Also for burns, sunburn, wounds and insect bites. Tonic for the female reproductive system. Helps expel worms.
MYRRH – Stimulates the production of white blood corpuscles and has a direct anti-microbial effect therefore helping the natural process of defence. Used for mouth infections eg. ulcers and gingivitis. Also for boils and wounds. Problems of the sinus, pharynx, larynx and respiratory system. Used in treatment of glandular fever and the common cold. Helps support the digestive system especially with flatulence.
SAFFRON – Sedative. Relieves flatulence and stimulates the appetite, regulates menstrual flow and uterine haemorrhaging.
SENNA LEAF – Mainly used in the treatment of constipation.
CAMPHOR – Respiratory stimulant and cardiac tonic. Calms the nerves and is used to counter rheumatism.
RHUBARB ROOT – Used to treat constipation. Its astringent effect cleanses the digestive tract, removing debris. Antiseptic.
ZEDOARY – Used for flatulence, colic and debility of the digestive organs.
MANNA – Gentle laxative and tonic.
THERIACA VENEZIAN – Used as an antidote for venomous bites.
CARLINE ROOT – Used to treat bronchitis, prostate problems and rheumatism. Is a diuretic, tonic, stomachic and antibiotic.
ANGELICA ROOT – Used for coughs and colds, pleurisy and bronchitis, influenza and fevers. Eases intestinal colic and flatulence. Has been used in anorexia nervosa. Helps ease rheumatic inflammations as well as cystitis. Helps the skin eliminate toxins.
The cream is in a base of sunflower oil and beeswax. The face scrub/mask is in a base of kaolin and glycerine and moistened with Swedish Bitters tincture.
TINCTURE: To make a tincture from the dried herbs, add herbs into Vodka.
Put herbs into a wide-necked 2 liter bottle and 1.5 liter of 38% to 40% spirit are poured over it (Vodka). 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.
It is important to shake the bottle at least once daily for at least a fortnight to achieve required strength.
TEA: For people who want alcohol-free Swedish Bitters make a tea by putting one teaspoon of dried herbs in a teapot and pouring in 3 cups of boiling water, stir frequently and when cool store in fridge. Two tablespoons of cooled tea may be added to a cup of boiling water and drunk two times daily.
CAUTION: As aloe stimulates uterine contraction it is recommended that pregnant women reduce the dose to 2.5ml (1/2 teaspoon) twice daily.
Often one dropper full before bed is sufficient to prevent nausea the next morning. Aloe is excreted in the mother’s milk and may cause diarrhoea in babies. Due to the purgative effect of herbs such as aloe and senna, low doses (eg 8 drops or less) 2 times daily are recommended to people suffering from diarrhoea or irritable bowel syndrome.
Internally: According to Maria Treben’s book ‘Health Through God’s Pharmacy’:
* “Prophylactics are taken according to the ‘old manuscript’ in the morning and evening. One teaspoon diluted with water. For indisposition of any kind, 3 tablespoons diluted with water can be taken. For serious diseases, 2 to 3 tablespoons are taken as follows: One tablespoon diluted with half a cup of herb tea, half of it is sipped half an hour before and the other half an hour after each meal”.
If only taking one dose a day the best time to have this is after the evening meal. For people who are very responsive to the dose, 4 to 5 drops morning and night is often all that is required. Signs of overdose are stomach tenderness or sleepiness. If these occur reduce the dose.
As a tonic once the desired results are achieved one dose every 4 days is a maintenance dose.
Externally: Dab directly onto the affected area and wait until it dries to avoid staining clothes. Or Make a compress by soaking a cotton, woollen or flannel cloth with the tincture and applying to the affected area.
Place plastic over the cloth to avoid staining clothes and secure with a bandage. Or Use the cream or Face Scrub/Mask.
According to Maria Treben “the bottle is well stopped and stored in a cool place. This way it can be kept for many years. The longer it stands the more effective it becomes! Shake well before use!”
CREAM spread thinly to cover the affected part. Frequent thin applications are more effective than single heavy applications.
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