The Origins of Swedish Bitters - Schwedenbitter
Swedish Bitters may have been used as early as the middle ages, purifying blood, promoting sleep, and speeding the healing of wounds.
The Swedish Bitters name, at first seems likely that the ingredients come from the country of Sweden (Swedish), but this is not the case. The name derives from the Swedish physicians Dr. Claus (Klaus) Samst. The elixir is said to be the creation of Swiss physician, Dr. Phillipus Paracelsus, who practiced in the 1500s. However, it wasn’t until the 18th century that it was formally labelled Swedish Bitters by Swedish physicians – Dr. Claus (Klaus) Samst.
The mixture with the different medicinal herbs was already long known in the family of the Swedish health-care professionals, but forgotten.
The physicians, Dr. Claus (Klaus) and Dr. Urban Samst Hjärn found this in the 18 Century, returned and helped many people with different problems and illnesses.
It is believed that the formulation of a similar drug also belongs to the physician Philippus Theophrastus Bombast von Hohenheim Aureolus (short: Paracelsus), who lived in the 16th Century and suffered much of a criticism from pharmacists and doctors, despite his successes in Herbalism, it was considered as an alternative to traditional medicine.
Dr. Samst died at the age of 104 years in a riding accident. It is said that his ancestors lived a long life and have reached a biblical age.
A renaissance of Swedish Bitter herbs was done by Maria Treben that examined Samst’s “old manuscript” which detailed the efficacy of the bitters on over 40 medical conditions. Maria Treben published the recipe of the mixture in her book “Health from God’s Pharmacy”, which remarkably run out of over eight million copies. Her specialty was herbal medicine and alternative treatment methods (for the priest and Hydotherapeut Sebastian Kneipp).