Swedish bitters

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Bottle Label

Swedish bitters is a Bitter and a traditional herbal tonic,[citation needed] that dates back to the 15th century.


Swedish bitters is said to have been formulated in a similar way to ancient bitters by Paracelsus and rediscovered by 18th century Swedish medics Dr. Klaus Samst and Dr. Urban Hjärne (which must be a mistake for his son Kristian Henrik Hjärne, who did invent a bitter).[1]

In modern times Swedish bitters has been popularised by Maria Treben, an Austrian herbalist.[1] The tonic is claimed to cure a large number of ailments and help digestion. However, these claims are presented with little in the way of scientific evidence to support them.


The alcoholic Swedish bitters is reported as having a similar flavour to Angostura bitters, though perhaps a little drier. Nowadays is more common to prepare Swedish bitters from a dry herbs mixture [2]


The following herbs are added to alcohol to make Swedish Bitters:

There are variations on this recipe and herbal shops supply alcoholic[3] and non-alcoholic versions of the drink.

Some Swedish Bitters that are sold might have up to 22 different ingredients. One of these Swedish Bitters is produced in Germany as a dry mix by Stefan Zwerenz, that consist of the following herbs:

1. Archangelica 2. Aloe Barbadensis 3. Lycopodiaceae 4. Pimpinella 5. Carlina acaulis 6. Veronicae herba 7. Althaea 8. Gentian lutea 9. Acorus calamus 10. Cinnamonum amphora 11. Kandis 12. Viscum album 13. Commiphora 14. Jugladaceae 15. Rhei radix 16. Carthamus tinctorius 17. Sennae folium 18. Ginkgo biloba 19. Theriaca 20. Potentilla erecta 21. Artemisia absinthium 22. Zedoariae rhizoma

More information and photos of these herbs can be found here Swedish Bitters by Stefan Zwerenz.


  1. ^ a b Origin of Swedish bitters "Herkunft des Schwedenbitters", german.
  2. ^ Swedish bitters mixture "Zioła szwedzkie", polish.
  3. ^ Ingredients of the original Swedish bitters ″Zusammensetzung des Original Schwedenbitters″, german.