Though unpleasant to the taste, Swedish bitters may have an array of health benefits, including soothing eye strain and chicken pox to relieving allergies and improving liver function. Swedish bitters often contains angelica, rhubarb, myrrh, aloe, flowering ash and senna leaves, as well as other herbs. Consult your primary health-care practitioner before use, and do not use Swedish bitters if you are experiencing diarrhea or you are a pregnant or nursing mother.
Alleviating Digestive Concerns
You may be able to relieve the physical discomfort that can follow a meal, such as painful bloating or excessive fullness, by using Swedish bitters as a digestive aid. Mark Hyman and Mark Liponis, in “Ultraprevention: The 6-Week Plan That Will Make You Healthy for Life,” suggest using Swedish bitters as an elixir or a supplement before each meal to aid digestive concerns. They explain that Swedish bitters may help improve your body’s production of the digestive enzymes and stomach acid necessary for breaking down food.
Soothing Insect Bites
You might be able to soothe and disinfect insect bites by applying Swedish bitters directly to the skin. Barbara and Peter Theiss, in “The Family Herbal: A Guide to Natural Health Care for Yourself and Your Children from Europe’s Leading Herbalists,” say that Swedish bitters can be applied directly to the affected area or applied with a gentle compress to relieve the discomfort and irritation resulting from an insect bite. They recommend applying the Swedish bitters as soon after the bite as possible for the best results.
Improving Throat Infections
You may find that Swedish bitters used as a gargle can help relieve stubborn throat infections or minimize hoarseness. The Theisses suggest using 3 tbsp. of Swedish bitters diluted in a glass of water to help clear up throat concerns. If you prefer not to gargle, try adding ½ tsp. Swedish bitters to a cup of herbal tea and then drinking the tea 30 minutes before or after a meal. Drink as many as six 1/2-cups of tea with the added Swedish bitters daily to see an improvement in your throat.
Relieving Mouth Problems
You might be able to relieve tongue blisters or soothe toothaches through the use of Swedish bitters. Maria Treben, in her “Health from God’s Garden: Herbal Remedies for Glowing Health and Well-Being,” recommends using a mouthwash of 1 tbsp. of Swedish bitters diluted in a glass of water or herbal tea to relieve blisters on your tongue. To soothe toothaches, she suggests using the same mouthwash three times daily or applying a cotton wad soaked in Swedish bitters directly to the tooth.
- “Ultraprevention: The 6-Week Plan That Will Make You Healthy for Life”; Mark Hyman, Mark Liponis; 2003
- “The Family Herbal: A Guide to Natural Care for Yourself and Your Children from Europe’s Leading Herbalists”; Barbara Theiss, Peter Theiss; 1993
- “Health from God’s Garden: Herbal Remedies for Glowing Health and Well-Being”; Maria Treben; 1988