Home Herbs How to Make Swedish Bitter at Home and 20 Health Benefits

How to Make Swedish Bitter at Home and 20 Health Benefits

by Andreea Laza

If you want to learn how to make Swedish bitter at home, following the original recipe from Paracelsus and Maria Treben, continue reading this article.

Swedish bitter is a panacea remedy from herbs created during the Middle Ages by famous scientist and alchemist Paracelsus, who wanted to create a mighty elixir from plants for longevity. For a long time, the original bitter’s recipe was forgotten, but it was brought back to life a few decades ago. Here is the full story short.

How to Make Swedish Bitter at Home and 20 Health Benefits

The History of the Swedish Bitter

The story goes that this tincture was invented in the Middle Ages by the legendary scientist and alchemist Theophrastus Bombastus Von Hohenheim, also known as Paracelsus, who wanted to create an elixir from plants to prolong life and youthfulness. After a resounding success, the miracle elixir fell into oblivion, the original recipe being preserved and passed from father to son only by a family of Swedish doctors named Samst.

How to Make Swedish Bitter at Home - Swedish Bitter Recipe Paracelsus

After the death of one of the last doctors from the family, the famous Swedish doctor Dr. Claus Samst who was the rector of the Faculty of Medicine in Uppsala, the original Swedish bitter recipe was discovered amongst his letters. Given the long life of Dr. Samst (who died at the age of 104, after falling from a horse) and those of his ancestors, it is presumed that the Swedish bitter is actually really effective.

Swedish bitter has once again been rediscovered four decades ago, alongside the publishing of the extraordinary book “Health from the God’s Pharmacy” by the Austrian herbalist Maria Treben. The experienced plant healer said that this herbal bitter can cure almost any disease. She has proven the efficiency of the Swedish bitter for an impressive range of diseases, from indigestion and migraines to cancer, and almost impossible to cure skin diseases.

Today, there were all kinds of versions of the Swedish bitter recipe, in addition to the original one which used 32 different plants. Some recipes use 16 plants, others 12 or 8 and some recipes even ask for 180 plants.

What Is Swedish Bitter?

It is a hydroalcoholic bitter herbal extract, in other words, a herbal tincture in a mixture of water and alcohol. Why use bitter herbs? Bitter remedies have a powerful cleansing action on the liver and gallbladder, stimulate the elimination processes by amplifying digestive peristalsis, and they activate digestion by increasing the secretion of the gastric juices.

In holistic medicine, bitter remedies have a very interesting psychological role in helping to eliminate false beliefs and ideas, in other words, clearing the mind from false, limiting beliefs that lead to disease. From a psychological point of view, the bitter taste is associated with disappointment – which translates to the discovery and release of delusion.

Basically, in natural medicine, there is no efficient and complete detoxification process in which the bitter herbs are not used. Swedish bitter contains mainly:

  • pure bitter plants (gentian, common centaury, artichoke)
  • aromatic bitters (wormwood, yarrow, bitter orange peel)
  • salty bitter herbs (chicory, dandelion)
  • mucilaginous bitters (Iceland moss)

For this reason, this bitter elixir is an extraordinary cleanser and detoxifier, which explains its healing effects for an extremely wide range of diseases.

How to Make Swedish Bitter at Home - Swedish Bitter Recipe

How to Make Swedish Bitter At Home – 12 Herb Recipe

Here is a slightly simpler Swedish bitter recipe, made from only 12 plants, that highlights very well the principles underlying the Swedish bitter tincture:


  • 2 tsp of powdered wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
  • 2 tsp of powdered artichoke (Cynara scolymus)
  • 2 tsp of powdered black locust flowers (Robinia pseudoacaccia)
  • 2 tsp of powdered bay leaves (Laurus nobilis)
  • 2 tsp of powdered knotweed (Polygonatum aviculare)
  • 2 tsp of powdered ash leaves (Fraxinus sp.)
  • 2 tsp of powdered angelica root (Angelica archangelica)
  • 2 tsp of powdered juniper berries (Juniperus communis)
  • 1 tsp of powdered fir tree resin (Abies salba)
  • 1 tsp of powdered fennel seeds (Foeniculum vulgare)
  • 1 tsp of powdered nettle root (Urtica dioica)
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder (Curcuma longa)


Put all the powdered herbs in a 2 l jar with an airtight lid. You can use a coffee grinder machine to turn the herbs and seeds into powder. Add 1.5 l of ethyl alcohol for tinctures (rakia or vodka) 100-120 proof alcohol, seal the jar, and leave to macerate for 2 weeks. Strain the bitter through gauze and store it in amber bottles in a dark and cool place.

How to Use

Internally, you can have 1-2 teaspoons of the Swedish bitter before main meals, diluted in plain water or tea. You can have 1 tsp in the morning and the other in the evening.

Simple Swedish Bitter Recipe

If it’s too complicated for you to gather all the herbs for the original Swedish bitter recipe, there is an even simpler way to make Swedish bitter at home, as follows.


  • 80 g Swedish bitter herb blend
  • 1.5 l of 38-40% (80° proof) ethyl alcohol for tinctures (rakia or vodka)
  • 1/2 l water
  • 30 ml Aloe Vera Barbadensis extract (food grade)

Put the plants in a 2 l ceramics or glass bowl. Pour the water over the herbs and then the alcohol, cover it, and leave it in a sunny or warm spot for 14 days. Stir 2-3 times a day during this time. After 14 days, strain and add the Aloe Vera extract. Pour in amber bottles and keep them in the fridge. 

How to Use

  • Internally – Have 1 tsp of Swedish Bitter 3 times/day, as is, or add it to your tea.
  • Topically – Apply in warm compress or poultices.

20 Swedish Bitter Health Benefits & How to Use

1. Indigestion, bloating, biliary dyskinesia

Take one teaspoon of bitter, diluted in half a cup of water, four times a day before meals. In cases of indigestion, a higher dose of bitter – 2 teaspoons in a glass of water can be taken from the first symptoms.

2. Chronic liver disease

Bitter bitter plants have great action on liver health, they decongest and help regenerate the liver cells. Have one teaspoon, 3 times a day, in a cup of water (250 ml), on an empty stomach. Use in 2-3 weeks long cures, followed by a week of pause.

3. Anorexia, anorexia nervosa

For this, one can have 1-2 teaspoons of Swedish bitter in a cup of water, 3 times a day, 20 minutes before meals. From the first days of the Swedish bitter cure, a natural feeling of hunger is triggered, simultaneously with an unusually good mental tonus and will to live. This leads to a gradual normalization of body weight, due to the balancing of the digestive functions, as well as the emotional states.

4. Skin conditions

A one-month cure with Swedish bitters can be followed, by taking a teaspoon in a glass of water, 3 times a day, on an empty stomach. The effects are gradual but sure. This is a great remedy if you suffer from eczema or acne, as well fungal infections or bacteria causing skin problems. You can also use it topically by padding the skin with some bitter.

5. Allergies

For allergies, follow a 2-month cure with Swedish bitter. Have 1 tsp in a glass of water, 4 times a day. This tonic has a strong cleaning and detox effect on the main organs of the body (liver, kidneys, lungs). In time, it helps regulate of immune reactions of the body.

6. Menstrual problems

(irregular painful or abundant menstrual cycles)

Have 1 tsp three times a day, 4-5 days before menstruation. Then, in the first two days of the menstruation, you can take 1/2 teaspoon 5-6 times a day, diluted in a glass of water.

7. Cystitis, kidney infections

For these conditions, the bitter has the strongest healing properties. You can have 1 teaspoon four times a day in 250 ml of water (thus drink one liter of water with Swedish bitter daily). In acute situations, warm bitter compresses can be applied topically on the bladder or kidney areas, as appropriate.

8. Intestinal worms

In this situation, you can take a teaspoon of Swedish bitter, diluted in a glass of water, three times a day.

9. Catarrh, cold, and flu

Take 1/2 tsp in a glass of water every three hours, throughout the day. It gradually releases the airways, reduces inflammation and sore throat, helps easier breathing, and lowers body temperature in case of fever. It also has immune-stimulating effects.

10. Fever

It is recommended that the bitter be administered from the very beginning of the fever onset. In the first days, you can have a teaspoon in half a glass of water, every two hours. Your diet should be very light during this period, rich in vegetables, fruits, and fresh fruit drinks (fresh citrus juices or plain water). After the fever is diminished, you can continue having one teaspoon three times a day until full recovery.

11. Morning nausea, migraines

As prevention, you can take 1 tsp three times a day. In case the symptoms have already been installed, you can have 1 tsp every hour, but no more than 5 tsp a day.

12. Rheumatism, gout

Bitter has “long-lasting” effects on these diseases because it helps eliminate toxins from the whole body. You can use it in long-term cures (3 months), during which you can have a teaspoon four times a day with a cup of water, before eating. Pause for one month, and resume several times if needed.

13. Heart problems caused by high cholesterol

Swedish bitter reduces cholesterol levels, helps maintain the youthfulness and the flexibility of the blood vessels, and has tonic effects on the heart. You can take 3 tsp/day in cures of at least two months.

14. Pancreatic diseases, diabetes

Take 3-4 teaspoons of bitter a day, diluted in water. The bitter plants in their composition have tonic and anti-inflammatory effects on the pancreas.

15. Cancer adjuvant

Swedish bitter is especially recommended for stimulating appetite, reducing nausea, and possibly fever. In addition, it has immune-boosting effects, which is why it can be a valuable aid for cancer. In this instance, you can take a teaspoon of bitter diluted in half a glass of water before each meal.

16. Headaches, PTSD

Apply a compress with Swedish bitter on the back of the head, and keep it on for at least 30 minutes.

17. Wounds, persistent scars

Wash the wounds with a cotton pad soaked in bitter. Then squeeze the cotton pad soaked in Swedish bitter over the wounded area, so that a crust is formed on top.

18. Medium and mild burns

Pad Swedish bitter on the burnt skin areas.

19. Thrombophlebitis

Put compresses with Swedish bitter on the affected area.

20. Dislocations, sprains

Hold a compress soaked in bitter for two hours on the injured joint area. This also works well for insect bites. Clean the bite area and apply a bitter compress right away to fasten the healing.

Swedish Bitter Side-Effects & Contraindications

Due to the rather high concentration of alcohol in it, always dilute Swedish bitter in water or herbal tea before using it internally. Swedish bitter contains plants that induce abortion (wormwood, angelica), it is not recommended internally to pregnant women, only topically.

Externally, Swedish bitter can be used in compresses, after applying a protective layer of calendula salve on the portion of skin that will be treated. Also, after applying it to the skin, leave the area uncovered for at least 15 minutes, to dry out completely. If you experience burning sensations or other skin reactions, stop applying the bitter to your skin.

Now you know how to make Swedish bitter at home following the original Swedish bitter recipe, and a simpler version, and also how to use it internally and topically. In the hopes that you found this information useful, help us with a share on Facebook and Pinterest (and other places too). Stay healthy, naturally!

How to Make Swedish Bitter at Home - Swedish Bitter Health Benefits- MyNaturalTreatment.com

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More