Swedish bitters purportedly enhances digestion, promotes regular bowel function and heightens the user’s sense of well-being. Some claim that it reduces stress and inflammation, purifies the blood, and cleans the skin.
Swedish bitters is an herbal elixir made from 11 herbal extracts, including angelica root, carline thistle root, theriac venezian, manna and zedoary. It also includes rhubarb root, camphor and senna leaf. Saffron, myrrh and aloe are others herbs used in Swedish bitters.
First created by Swiss physician Phillipus Pacelsus in 1541, Austrian herbalist Maria Treban popularized the use of Swedish bitters in elixir form in the 20th century. In 2015, some companies also make Swedish bitters in cream form for external application.