Swedish bitters is a traditional European herbal extract that includes myrrh, saffron, senna leaves, camphor, rhubarb roots, manna, theriac venezian, carline thistle roots, angelica roots, zedoary roots, and either Aloe vera, gentian or wormwood, according to a recipe on Swedishbitters.com. The bitter taste of this blend is one of its main healing qualities, as bitter taste prompts your digestive system to secrete different juices, such as hydrochloric acid and bile, that improve the digestion of your food, helping break down fat as well as nutrient absorption, which will commonly also help you lose weight, according to herbalist David Hoffmann in his book "The New Holistic Herbal."
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Prepare your Swedish bitters extract by combining your herbs inside a wide-mouth mason jar and add 50 oz. of vodka. Let the herbs soak in the sun for two weeks, shaking them every day to let air bubbles out and expose all of the plant material to the alcohol. Strain out the plant material using a cheesecloth and store your Swedish bitter extraction in a cool place. You can store it in separate small bottles to use them as you need them.
Pour a glass of filtered water and add two tbsp. of your Swedish bitters extract to dilute it. It is important to taste the bitter flavor of the extract, so you shouldn't dilute it too much. According to Simon Mills, in his book "The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism," the bitter taste promotes the secretion of digestive enzymes and bile. Bile is created by your liver and helps break down fats. They emulsify fats or lipids, increasing their surface area, which makes it possible for the enzyme lipases to digest them, according to Colorado State University.
Take diluted Swedish bitters each time you have a meal, so you are digesting well every time, supporting your weight loss goals.
- "The New Holistic Herbal"; David Hoffmann; 1990
- "The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism"; Simon Mills; 1985
- Colorado State University: Secretion of Bile and the Role of Bile Acids In Digestion