Bitter-tasting herbs were once an important part of Native American, European and Chinese diets. The actual formula for Swedish Bitters recipe is traced to Dr. Phillipus Paracelsus, a Swiss Physician who lived in the mid 1500′s. Swedish Bitters are well-known in alternative healing practice as a herbal formula that Dr. Samst rediscovered in the 18th century. Maria Treben, an Austrian herbalist who, while fleeing with her family to Austria, contracted typhoid fever in a refugee camp, attributed her survival solely to Swedish bitters and recorded this in her articles: ”Health Through God’s Pharmacy” and “The Long Life Elixir”. Medicines made from bitter herbs are used as digestive aid and benefit the intestinal tract. The recipe has a long list of herbal ingredients, including: Aloe, Myrrh, Rhubarb root, Saffron, Senna leaves, Camphor, Angelica root, Zedoary root, Manna ash, Theriac venezian, Carline Thistle root, Fennel, Black cohosh, Valerian, Cinnamon, Cardamom and Licorice. Aloe, rhubarb root, and senna all have laxative properties. Aloe stimulates gallbladder function. Rhubarb root counteracts digestive tract inflammation. Angelica, Zedoary root and Myrrh stimulate appetite and the flow of digestive juices. Fennel relieves flatulence and bloating. Angelica root helps alleviate, muscle spasms, intestinal tract inflammation and indigestion. Licorice promotes mucous secretion, protecting the stomach from acid. Swedish bitters is primarily used for digestive complaints such as bloat, flatulence, and constipation. Swedish Bitters is an effective antiseptic that speeds the healing process by assisting in closing wounds. It keeps the affected area dry and combats infection. People suffering from haemorrhoids and gumboils/mouth ulcers are helped by Swedish bitters. It improves liver function, heals tongue blisters and soothes toothaches (applying a cotton wad soaked in Swedish bitters directly to the tooth). Swedish bitters used as a gargle can help relieve stubborn throat infections or minimize hoarseness (gargle with 1 tbsp. of Swedish bitters diluted in 1/2 glass of water). Acidity, reflux, gas, and bloating may all be combated by Swedish Bitters. In cases of insomnia, taken before bedtime, it can assist restful sleep.
DOSE – A typical and safe oral dose of Swedish Bitters is to take
5 ml combined with 5 ml water on waking and before bed (twice p/day only, maximum daily dose is 10 ml). Swedish bitters are not to be taken long-term. Prolonged use of Swedish bitters may cause serious bowel problems.
CAUTION – Consult your doctor before using Swedish bitters. The mixture is herbal and must be used with caution. Swedish bitters should not be taken by children under 12 or in cases of gastric/duodenal ulcers. If pregnant or breast-feeding consult your doctor before taking Swedish bitters. Keeping strictly to the recommended dose is unlikely to produce any side effects, unless you are allergic to an ingredient.
SIDE EFFECTS – dehydration, allergy, rashes or cramps. Do not use if abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting are present, or if you have/develop diarrhoea. Remember to drink plenty of water when dosing with Swedish Bitters.
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irish blessings to all
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