The most known story for the use and discovery of the Swedish Bitters tells that in the 16th century one Swiss physician named Phillipus Paracelsus discovered Swedish Bitters herbs and its ability to aid digestion.
There are two types of traditionally known Swedish Bitters on the market:
Big Swedish Bitters – the recipe has 22 herbs/ingredients.
The Small Swedish Bitters recipe mix has a composition of 11 ingredients/herbs in its collection.
Here is the list of the herbs/ingredients used in a Small Swedish Bitters:
Wermut (Artemisіa absinthium) – wormwood. It improves the function of the gastrointestinal tract. Helps with gastritis, diseases of the bladder, liver, kidneys. It helps with insomnia, rheumatism, headaches, diarrhea, colitis. Also it helps with bad breath.
Angelikawurzel (Archangelica officinalis Hoffm) – angelica. It is used in the treatment of intestinal diseases, colic in the stomach and intestines, loss of appetite, gastritis, diarrhea, flatulence. Can be used in alternative medicine as a tonic, sedative. Can also help with insomnia.
Manna – dried sap from the trunk of ash mannogo. It has laxative properties. Can be helpful to relieve symptoms experienced during constipation.
Zitwerwurzel (Curcuma zedoaria) – turmeric. It is a very common herb in oriental medicine. It is used for blood cleanse, to improve blood circulation, can help to reduce colic in the stomach. Can be used to reduce the level of leukocytes in the blood as a result of medical procedures. Used to cleanse the body in whole. About three thousand years ago in India, turmeric was used to treat obesity. It has the properties of suppressing the accumulation of body fat in the body, can also lower cholesterol if used consistently.
Sennesblatter (senna leaf). It is widely used to remove toxins and harmful waste products from the organs of the human body. It helps with bowel obstruction. It relieves the symptoms of constipation.
Rhabarberwurzel – rhubarb root. Copes with disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, cleanses the body of toxins, can help during constipation.
Eberwurzel (Carlina acaulis) – kolyuchnik acaulescent. It has a pronounced and mild antispasmodic, antipyretic, diuretic, carminative properties. If used in high doses can be emetic and purgative. The use is very common in folk medicine for chronic bronchitis, dropsy. It is used in the form of tea. In the form of compresses can be used for acne, dermatological disorders, eczema. It is an excellent antiseptic. In some European countries being used to treat disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and liver.
Myrre – Myrrh (resin) an aromatic resin. The essential oil of myrrh tree has strong antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-viral properties. Being used if suffering from sleep disorders or depression. Widely used in dermatology and cosmetology as an agent for treatment and prevention of fungal diseases, alopecia, dermatitis. Its essential oil improves blood circulation, reduces rehabilitation after injuries, serious illnesses and surgical interventions. It also has painkiller properties.
Natur-Kampfer – natural camphor. Its made from resin or camphor laurel wood (Indonesia, China or Japan). The main function – to improve cardiac function. It strengthens the heart muscle, improves metabolism, increases the sensitivity of “the sympathetic nerves.” It improves the microcirculation.
Safran – saffron. It has a soothing, calming properties. It helps with flatulence: helps to excess gas from the stomach and intestines, and improves appetite.
Theriak – Theriak venezian (o. Meereszwiebel). Developed remedy, which was used in the Middle Ages as a universal remedy for many diseases and ailments.
Instruction on HOW TO MAKE alcohol based Small Swedish Bitters:
Place the dry herbal Swedish Bitters content into a glass container and pour 1.4 liters (47 fluid ounce) of vodka with 38% to 40% alcohol.
Store it from 2 (two) to 3 (three) weeks in warm and dark place. Shake or stir the Swedish Bitters Mix content daily. Once Swedish Bitters balm is ready, strain and store the Swedish Bitters infusion in the refrigerator.
Some say that Shelf life of the Swedish Bitters is up to 3 years, others say that the shelf life of the Swedish Bitters mix is unlimited and the longer it’s stored – the better it gets.
Video how to make big swedish bitters:
INSTRUCTION ON How to Make Swedish Bitters TEA Tonic:
For those who is intolerant to alcohol, there is an alternative way, you can make Swedish Bitters Tea tonic. The process of making a Swedish Bitters tea is a very similar way of how you would make a tea.
Here are some tips how to make a perfect Swedish Bitters Tea:
Bring a fresh cold water to a boil in a kettle
When water is at a gentle boil, remove from heat and pour hot water into a teapot. Add 1 to 3 tablespoons of Swedish Bitters herbs for each one cup (235 ml / 8 fl oz) of water and stir.
Allow Swedish Bitters Tea to cool down to the proper temperature, strain into another teapot and store in the refrigerator after it cools.
Take from 2 to 4 teaspoons of Swedish Bitters Tea 30 minutes before each meal.
Video how to make Swedish bitters tea from Big Swedish Bitters herbs combination:
More important tips on Swedish Bitters Tea making:
For the best result, it’s important to use fresh purified or spring water. Try to avoid using distilled water. Since distilled water lacks minerals it will have the Swedish Bitters tea tasting even more unpleasant. Avoid using pre-heated water from the faucet, this kind of water typically gets overheated and has very little to no oxygen, as well it will usually pick up harmful substances from the water pipes.
Having the right water temperature is very important when making good Swedish Bitters tea. Bring the water to a gentle boil, the water should be heated until we see the steady stream of air bubbles rise to the top of the surface.
Duration OF Infusion
Generally, Swedish Bitters herbs need to be brewed for about 20 minutes, or until the water cools down to a slightly warm temperature, and then strain the Swedish Bitters Tea.