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Herbs for Bruises and Sprains and An Explanation of Swedish Bitters

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Herbs for Bruises and Sprains and An Explanation of Swedish Bitters

From Herbal Medicine for Preppers, Homesteaders and Permaculture People:

To some extent, we can include broken bones and dislocations under this heading as well.  Obviously though, there is no real herbal first aid for broken bones or dislocations.  But, we can use herbs to help heal the soft tissue that is usually damaged in such an injury.

Just as Comfrey is for healing wounds (and bruises), there is a primary herb for all soft tissue injuries - Arnica.  Arnica (Arnica montana) is absolutely essential to have on hand in your herbal first aid kit.  Arnica should not be used internally except as a homeopathic remedy.  The homeopathic Arnica should be taken in any case of injury or trauma, especially if it may cause shock.  Arnica, used either as an infused oil, liniment, wash/soak or just as a fresh plant poultice is the most powerful and effective treatment for any soft tissue injury.  Arnica disperses blood, reduces, swelling, eases pain and speeds healing.

How powerful is Arnica?  In a recent interview for my podcast with herbalist and homeopath, Torey Lee, she recounted the following story.  A snowboarder fell on the sharp stump of a small tree, traveling at a high speed - hit in the lower abdomen and groin.  There was very deep bruising and likely some internal bleeding.  On her advice, the person covered the injured area as best he could with Arnica oil.  By the next morning, the black and red, severely injured soft tissue had faded to a light yellow.  The pain and swelling had reduced by at least 90%!  In fact finger prints of healed bruising were visible where injured areas had been missed with the oil.  A second application took care of the rest.

Fr. Künzle wrote:

Arnica (arnica montana) is recommended by all herbalists, especially by Pastor Kneipp himself for wounds, it prevents suppuration and bleeding and accelerates healing. It also works wonderfully on sprains, dislocations and swellings that result from them. Preparation: Arnica flowers are put in alcohol, exposed to the sun or otherwise to the warmth for 10 days, then strained, and the tincture is ready. In the case of open wounds, this tincture must be diluted with water so that you take three tablespoons per liter of water. It can be used unmixed for sprains.

Next among the herbal remedies to which I would turn first is Swedish Bitters.  Swedish Bitters are a very old formula based on ancient remedies for poisoning.  In its current form, there are two Swedish Bitters formulas, the Large or Great Swedish Bitters and the Small Swedish Bitters.  The official formula for Swedish Bitters was very likely created by "Paracelsus" born Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, was a physician, alchemist, lay theologian, and philosopher of the German Renaissance.  He lived in the early 1500s, and is famous for using toxic substances as medicine in small doses.  He is considered to be the father of toxicology.

Maria Treben tells us of the Small Swedish Bitters:

Small Swedish Bitters

10 grams Aloe

5 grams Myrrh.

2 grams Saffron

10 gram Senna leaves

10 grams Camphor

10 grams Rhubarb roots

10 grams Zedoary roots (turmeric)

10 grams Manna

10 grams Theriac Venezian

5 grams carline Thistle roots

10 grams Angelica root

(instead of aloe gentian root or Wormwood powder may be used only natural camphor should be used)

This mixture is put into a wide necked two liter bottle and one half a liter of 38 to 40% rye or fruit spirit or poured over it the bottle is left standing in the sun or near the stove for 14 days and shaken daily the liquid is then strained and put into small bottles well stoppered and stored in a cool place. This way it can be kept for many years. The longer it stands the more effective it becomes! Shake well before use. Alternatively some of the liquid can be strained into a small bottle and left in the bottle into a required.

This recipe was found among the writings of the well known Swedish physician rector of medicine doctor Samst. He died in his 104th year in a riding accident. His parents and grandparents all reached a patriarch old age.

It sounds almost like a fairy story, but it is true. As a refugee from the German speaking area of Czechoslovakia, I became ill with typhoid fever in a camp in Bavaria, caused by contaminated meat and through it came jaundice and obstruction of the intestines. I spent more than six months in hospital and when my husband got my mother, my mother-in-law, our child and myself to Austria, I was a young but sick woman. At night I was hit by terrible pain that shot through my body like a sword in these moments I could neither sit nor stand, walk nor lie down; At the same time, I vomited and had diarrhea. I was a helpless bundle of misery. These were afterpains of typhoid fever which sometimes can go on for years, as the doctor said. One day a woman brought me a small bottle containing a dark round, strong smelling liquid. She had heard of my illness and wanted to help. The Swedish bitters had relieved her of a serious complaint. Accompanying it was a transcript of a quote "old manuscript” in which was explained, in 46 points, how these drops heal every illness. The recipe came from the writings of a well known Swedish physician. As stated, all members of his family had reached an unusual old age. These drops, according to point 43, "heal plague boils and swellings even if already in the throat”. I put the bottle in the medicine chest. I just did not believe that these modest drops could give me back my health, since the doctor could not even help me. Soon I changed my mind. As I sat in front of a large basket of ripe pears which needed to be used up straight away I had another attack. As I had been told that these Swedish drops could be used externally as well, I did not hesitate for long and applied them as a compress on the abdomen, put a small plastic bag over the compress and then my girdle and continued my work period a wonderful warm feeling spread through my body and, suddenly, it felt as if with one movement of the hand, everything morbid in my body was pulled out. I assure you that with this single compress which I had on the whole day, all complaints at the preceding months disappeared, never to return.

When my son was six years old, he was attacked by an Alsatian and terribly mauled in the face. Dark red scars covered his face from the nose upward. In the old manuscript point 33 states that "this tincture takes away all scars, wounds and cuts, even if very old, if moistened up to 40 times". Therefore our son scars were now moistened daily. Very soon they disappeared, even the ones deep in the nose.

With these experiences I came to our town in 1953. During a visit to a farmhouse I met the farmer's wife, a mother of two small children, milking the cows. Instead of a word of greeting she said: "if you stood me against the wall I would let you shoot me.” For weeks she had suffered from terrible headaches and she was supposed to go for X rays. The same evening I sent my son with a small bottle Swedish bitters to her, so that she might find relief, at least for the night. How surprised I was when at 7:00 o'clock in the morning, the farmer came to me saying "What did you send my wife? Within a short time, after applying it to the head the headaches had gone. And in the morning two dark brown clots of the thickness of a little finger came down her throat.” This woman swears by a Swedish bitters even today and was able to help her little daughter who suffered from pneumonia years ago.  Never is she without this household remedy

For months, a woman suffered from frontal sinusitis. She could not breathe through her nose and was plagued by terrible headaches. Despite antibiotics and radiation treatment her condition did not improve. Then she applied Swedish bitters as a compress over her forehead, eyes and nose and already after the first year she felt relief period three nightly treatments later, large amounts of pus came through her nose and she was able to breathe normally again.

From sight I knew a young woman who after the birth of her sixth child became a shadow of herself. I spoke to her and learned that at this time she was unable to eat anything and was also unable to keep the children with her. I recommended Swedish bitters to her. About three weeks later I saw her as a healthy young woman who was able to eat normally and had the children with her again. Her mother had been in the hospital with a swollen foot for a long time and it only been able to walk with a stick. Despite 75 injections there was no improvement. Therefore this young woman sent the recipe of the Swedish bitters to her mother, advising her to try them now her mother's foot is back to normal and the stick is unnecessary.

One day I received a letter from Germany in which it acquaintance asked me to look after her niece who was taking a cure in Gallspach. When the young woman came to see me for the first time, I got a shock. She was lifted out of the car, crutches were put under her arms and it took her, despite help, more than an hour to come up into my flat on the first floor. The joints of both feet were deformed, the fingers crippled and unable to hold anything. When walking, the body was thrown forward and the legs pulled after. I stood at the door, my hands pressed against my heart, unable to say anything except: "How does a young woman like you have such a terrible illness?" "Over night after my fourth child," she replied. Quite suddenly, almost overnight, this young woman lay crippled in her bed. She was taken from doctor to doctor, nobody could help her.Twice a year she came to Gallspach to Dr. Zeileis who had to tell her that he could not cure her, only ease the trouble. I recommended Swedish bitters and told her to put faith in it. This was in February, 1964. In September I received a telephone call from the young woman, asking if I could meet her at the bus stop. I was baffled, then surprised, when a smiling young woman, still leaning a stick, descended the bus. The stiffness and crippling of the hands was gone, as well as some of the deformation of the legs. Only on the left foot, the knee and ankle were still swollen. But on August 3rd 1965, a year later, this two had disappeared completely and she came without a stick, healthy woman to take the cure for the last time. She had put one tablespoon of Swedish bitters three times daily into a small amount of lukewarm water and sipped it before and after each meal.

I would like to give a few more examples of the wonderful effect of Swedish bitters.  From my sister who lives in Germany I learned that a mutual acquaintance from Leipzig had been confined to a wheelchair for 15 years.  She had spent the war in Prague and in 1945 -as was the fate of many - had to stay for weeks in a cellar without straw or any other bedding. Later she came to Leipzig with her husband. Soon she soon she suffered from terrible deformations of the joints and then came life in a wheelchair. I only learned her difficult fate when her husband suddenly died and the poor crippled woman had to leave the flat and moved into a furnished room.  The sending of herbs or medicines from Austria to East Germany is not allowed, therefore I had to send her the herb mixture from a border town in Bavaria every second month. Soon I received encouraging letters. She took one tablespoon of Swedish bitters in a small amount of water and drank half, a half hour before and half of it after each meal. She did this three times a day. Slowly the deformations receded, and she was able to move her joints slightly. We prayed, she in Leipzig, we in Austria. After nine months, this woman who had been tied to a wheelchair for 15 years, could leave her flat for the first time. Slowly she improved and was soon able to do her daily work which helpful people had done so had so far done for her.

In the summer we often went swimming in a lake. One day the large piece of wood that we used to sit on was leaning against the fence. I had my bag next to it and was bending over to gather up some things, when all of a sudden I felt this terrific blow in my leg. The large piece of timber had fallen over and struck me on the right leg. In no time, from the knee downward, it was dark blue to purple and two large swellings, about the size of a fist appeared. I was carried to the car and then up to my room. My husband went to send for the doctor, but I asked him to apply Swedish bitters as a compress to my leg. Half an hour later I was able to walk down the stairs to the dining room without help. The next day my leg was smooth, there were no more swellings and the discoloration had cleared up as well.

Another accident happened near this lake. A four year old girl was stung by a Hornet and her arm swelled up. I fetched Swedish bitters and before the parents had closed the girl, I was ready with the compress and applied it while the girl was carried to the car.  On arrival of the car, about 3 minutes later, the swelling had subsided and the doctor was no longer necessary.

While gathering raspberries, I was stung by a poisonous insect in the thumb. Overnight the thumb swelled up and while shopping a woman said to me: "You had better go directly to the hospital, such an infection could cause your death.” Overnight I applied Swedish bitters as a compress and the next day my thumb was back to normal size.

One time I had an accident in the laundry it was at the time in washing machines washed but did not rinse.  The heavily entangled pieces had to be lifted out of the very hot water with wooden tongs. I tend to do everything quickly and with great energy. The tongue slipped and hit me in the eye. Stunned with pain and half blind I walked upstairs. As soon as I had applied Swedish bitters, the terrible pain eased. A little while later I looked in the mirror and saw that I had given myself a black eye. I was back in the laundry 1/4 of an hour later with a piece of cotton wool moistened with Swedish bitters covering the eye, a small piece of plastic over it and the whole lot tied up with a folded scarf. For a few days I kept applying these compresses overnight, then so it was no chance of anything developing behind the eye.

As I do every year, I was taking a Kneipp spa in Muhllacken and when the head nurse came into my room with a woman doubled up with pain. She suffered from gallbladder attacks and the doctor had advised her to have an operation. I applied Swedish bitters as a compress to the area of the gallbladder (first calendula ointment or lard has to be applied otherwise the alcohol would dry out the skin, then a piece of cotton wool is moistened by a Swedish bitters, applied to the painful area, a piece of dry cotton wool and a piece of plastic and put over to keep it warm period everything is now bandaged with a piece of cloth). I was just about to pull up her girdle which she sat up with a cry: "The pain is gone!” She continued to apply the compress and she took the Swedish bitters drops, internally, three times a day, one teaspoon in a little water or tea and the attacks never occur.

For years I looked out for a woman who was all alone. Communicating with her was somewhat difficult, as she was hard of hearing. In the old manuscript it says they bring back lost hearing. Therefore, she had to moisten the acoustic ducks frequently with Swedish bitters. The index finger, moistened with Swedish bitters is put into the ear. Do not forget to put a drop of oil into the ear from time to time, to avoid itching. At the same time this woman moistened her temples, her forehead and the area around the eyes.  Now we can communicate normally, and her face has a much fresher look. One day, as she was getting out of the bus, a car knocked her down and she fell on her face. Again, Swedish bitters helped her blue, red face to get back to its normal color. On February 1st, she celebrated her 89th birthday. How often have people who come to my talks told me that they are able to hear again, and it packed away their hearing aids thanks to Swedish bitters. These drops relieve pain internally or externally, anywhere in the body, because the blood supply to the affected areas increased. Therefore, it is appropriate to apply Swedish bitters as a compress to the back of the head of people who suffer from epileptic fits. The cause of these attacks lies often in the past; maybe a fall in the head or a shock in childhood.

During a talk I gave, a man came up to me and told me that he received a double fracture at the base of the skull in a very bad car accident. After this he had healed after this had healed, he started to get a few epileptic fits a day. I recommended Swedish bitters applied as a compress to the back of the head, and four cups of stinging nettle tea, to which two tablespoons of Swedish bitters were added, daily. Stinging nettle tea is necessary for severe epileptic fits. Several months later he passed by my house to tell me that the fits had stopped.

Meningitis, head injuries caused by a fall or a blow, stuttering and speech disorders are treated effectively with Swedish bitters applied as a compress to the back of the head. These compresses are also beneficial for Bursitis. I have to emphasize again that for all severe illnesses a doctor has to be consulted first!  On long trips. Often away from home, the food is disappointing, and the need arises to stimulate digestion and to shake off the weariness and tiredness. In these cases, Swedish bitters is a true elixir. A sip, watered down is taken internally and externally, some drops are brushed on the temples, forehead, eyes and the areas behind the ears. In no time the beneficial effect is felt.

For a cold, with all its accompanying symptoms such as weariness, tiredness, pressures in the head and heaviness of the stomach, a cotton ball is moistened with Swedish bitters and held on the nose, while breathing in deeply. Immediately the head feels lighter. If the cold has already affected the bronchial tubes, the moisten cotton ball is held in front of the open mouth and breathing in is done with the mouth. Here, too, relief will be felt. During times of influenza, one teaspoon, sometimes one tablespoon, diluted with a little water, is taken daily. In this way one is protected from the influenza. Wherever there is pain, Swedish bitters is always beneficial, taken internally as drops, applied as a compress, or used as a rub or massage.

Several years ago, I suffered from renal cholic. The doctor came in the middle of his surgery hours. In the meantime I had applied Swedish bitters as a complex press on the kidney region and when the doctor arrived the pain had subsided. I was quite shamefaced because I had wasted his valuable time.  He wanted to know why the pain it's a sighted so quickly. When he heard that I had applied a compress he said: "Excellent, I do not have to give you an injection!” Swedish bitters had his approval. Whenever I came to his surgery, he would say "I will not prescribe you anything you have Swedish bitters.” It was he who brought me closer to herbs.

An elderly lady came see me. For years she could only walk with a stick, since arthritis had crippled her; Nothing helped and she could not take it any longer.  One teaspoon of Swedish bitters in stinging nettle and horsetail tea taken three times a day, made the difference in three weeks later I heard she was able to walk without a stick.

A member of our small church choir injured her knee while ice skating.  Since it was a small choir, she was missed badly. After church I met her in town. It was impossible for her to mount the steep stair case up to the choir. A few moments later I was at her place with the things required for a compress. As a doctor's wife she looked skeptically at my doings. This changed when she was able to bend her knee a few minutes later and the next day when she was able to mount the staircase. But unfortunately, another member was missing, due to a sprained ankle acquired while enjoying our so healthy winter sport. We knew that she was already at the casualty ward period now the lady who had only the day before had a stiff knee asked me to go and put the compress on the sprained ankle. I was reluctant to do it, because the woman had been treated at the hospital, but thinking I might find myself singing alone I changed my mind. I found her lying on a couch with a very swollen, painful ankle. In the hospital she was hold told just to keep her foot race. Swedish bitters applied as a compress bought brought her immediately summerly. The next day she came to the choir, although the roads were icy. She was without pain in her ankle was normal period

One day in a restaurant I saw a man who was in obvious pain. I got out my Swedish bitters and gave him a teaspoonful in a little bit of warm water. Color came back to his face, and he could not believe it when the pain subsided six months later, I came back the same place, I had already forgotten the incident, when a gentleman came up to me and thanked me profusely. He looked years younger. With the help of Swedish bitters, he had lost all complaints which acute gastritis and disorder the pancreas had caused him period since Swedish bitters clears up disorders of the pancreas, they are most beneficial for diabetes.

Warts, liver spots, corns, moles, hemorrhoids and even birthmarks and seborrhea would disappear, if they are moistened repeatedly with Swedish bitters. A piece of cotton wool moistened with Swedish bitters, put in the ear, will clear out buzzing and ringing. If the base of the scalp is moistened it will strengthen memory. Swedish bitters cleanses the blood, improves circulation, dispels flatulence, headaches, indigestion, stomach, gallbladder, liver and kidney disorders (even if alcohol is not allowed).

For phlebitis and thrombosis, calendula ointment is smeared thickly on the affected area and then Swedish bitters, as a compress, is applied. When healed, stinging nettle foot bass were taken to improve the circulation. These drops stimulate a sluggish intestine and dispelled dizziness and lameness. For all illnesses they are most beneficial, even for cancer. For acute attacks of pain, one tablespoon is taken in a little water of tea. If one teaspoon in a little water is taken three times daily, morning comment noon and evening, good health is kept till old age. Swedish bitters awakens vitality and strengthens the life force so needed in our time. Preserve through them your health, strength and joy for your family, work and fellow man.

During a visit at a farm I heard that the 12 year old son was to have an operation. Pus had formed behind the eardrum, due to inflammation. I was against an operation, since sometimes, in similar cases, deafness occurs. A small piece of cotton wool moistened with Swedish bitters was put in the boys ear. A lot of pus was discharged daily, the pain subsided in an operation was not necessary.

For intestinal cancer - it was a young mother of five and the doctor had given her only a few more days - I recommended compresses applied to the area of the intestines, at the same time calamus roots, which were steeped in cold water overnight one level teaspoon per cup of water; One sip before and after each meal, and a tea made from equal proportions of stinging nettle, calendula and yarrow. At least two liters of this tea have to be sipped throughout the day. Today this woman is so much better that there is hope of a complete recovery.

A woman from Heilbronn, West Germany wrote: "bout 10 months ago, my 41 year old nephew who lives in Sacramento CA wrote in his letter that he suffers from bleeding at the colon daily and the medical diagnosis is without a doubt cancer of the colon A side opening would be necessary. I sent him your book held through God's pharmacy Swedish bitters, calamus roots, calendula, Yarrow and stinging nettle. He followed the instructions in your book. Today my nephew was able to work again. After taking the mention herbs for four days the bleeding stopped. Tiredness and loss of weight were arrested slowly.”

A 52 year old man treated for 10 years for cardiac asthma, had to take eight tablets daily. For four years he could only sleep sitting up an, for every step he took, he had to throw up his arms to get some air. I was of the opinion that this was caused not by the heart but the liver. I applied Swedish bitters as a compress to the area of the liver. He had to drink one cup of common club Moss tea in which one teaspoon of Swedish bitters have been added in the morning and the same in the evening, daily. How right I was shown the first night when he was able to sleep lying down. Swedish bitters and common club mostly brought about a swift and good improvements so that, three days later, he who had not stepped out of the house for years was able to walk around his little garden twice during the day. Slowly he is recovering.

A wound which would not heal after an operation closed overnight, after the patient had taken a large sip of the bottle of Swedish bitters. This single sip caused the wood to close at which had been open for three years and had to be dressed several times a day.

A lady from Burgenland Australia told me that her 23 year old nice had an auditory defect since birth. She was told that operation her case would be without success then ask her needs to try Swedish bitters. They were very surprised when 14 days later her niece was able to hear normally. My dear readers, I do not want to withhold a letter from Graz Styria: "By chance or maybe Providence, I had a talk with a 74 year old man in the bus. This man got back his hearing which had been lost during the war when receiving a head when receiving head and brain injuries. Only three times had he put a piece of cotton wool moisten with Swedish bitters in his ears.” Letters provided the proof of such accounts a gentleman from Bavaria reports: "through an accident I injured my right arm. Swedish bitters soon alleviate the terrible pain. After almost ten years of deafness in one year, I was able to hear the ticking of the alarm clock again. Only twice did I put Swedish bitters into my ear.” How many deaf people could be held this way exclamation even only even if only a single one could get his hearing back.

After a talk I gave, I learned from a listener that, for two years, she's suffered from a weak anus muscle. The doctor said it was irreparable. Swedish bitters together with shepherds purse, finely cut, macerated rye whiskey or vodka and kept in a warm place for 10 days, heals muscular atrophy in serious muscular disorder; Four cups of ladies mantle tea and six cups of calamus root tea a day remedied it.

In a telephone call from Vienna I heard a female voice say: "Thank you so much for Swedish bitters.” When 12 years old, during a school hike in the mountains, this woman was inadvertently hit in the face by the girl in front of her by her climbing boot.  For 40 years, off and on, she suffered from a festering jaw and undergone 16 operations and several punctures. She had to break off her studies, was unable to take the profession she wanted man plagued by continuous pain, she looked after a household. When 52 years old she read about Swedish bitters, and apply it as a compress on the jaw and finally was freed from all pain. Again and again I have received inquiries, is Swedish bitters can be used, when alcohol is prohibited. According to credible laboratory tests, the herbs drowned the alcohol and are considered his medicine. Therefore they can be taken without detriment in such a case, first of all commence with one teaspoon a day and a compress should be applied near the kidneys and liver.

The old manuscript

(Transcript of the Swedish bitters curative power)

1. They are frequently breathed in or sniffed, at the base of the skull moisten or a moistened cloth applied to the head, they dispel pain and dizziness and strengthen the brain and memory.

2. They help dim eyes and take away redness and all pain, even if the eyes are inflamed. They rid them of spots and cataracts, if the corners are moistened in time or a moistened piece of cloth is applied to the closed lids.

3. Pustulas and eczema of all kind, as scabs in the nose or elsewhere on the body are healed, if they are often well moistened

4. For toothache a tablespoon of these drops is taken a little water and kept in the mouth for a little while or the aching tooth is moistened. The pain soon eases and the purification disappears.

5. Blisters on the tongue or other infirmities of the tongue are frequently moistened with the drops and healing soon occurs.

6. If the throat is hotter inflamed, so that food is only swallowed with difficulty, these drops were swallowed slowly, morning, noon and evening they take away the heat and heal the throat.

7. For stomach cramps, one tablespoon is full is taken.

8. For colic, 3 tablespoons full are taken slowly one after the other and relief will soon be felt.

9. They rid the body of wind (gas) and cool the liver, eliminating all trouble the intestines and stomach and help Constipation.

10. An excellent remedy for stomach disorders, if the digestion is faulty or food cannot be kept down. They are beneficial.

11. They are beneficial for pain in the gallbladder. One tablespoon full daily in the morning and evening, and at night, compresses and soon all pain with disappear

12. For dropsy one tablespoon white wine is taken in the morning an evening for six weeks.

13. for pain and buzzing in the ear a piece of cotton wool is moistened and put into the ear. Is very beneficial and brings back loss hearing.

14, For morning sickness, one tablespoon of the drops in red wine is given in the morning for three days, half an hour later a walk is taken, then breakfast, but no milk. These drops should not be taken after drinking milk.

15. In the last 14 days of pregnancy if one tablespoon of the drops is taken mornings any evenings, it promotes birth. For easy expelling of the after birth, a teaspoonful is given every two hours, until the afterbirth is expelled without pain.

16. If after a birth, the milk dries up, and inflammation develops, it quickly subsides if a moisten piece of cloth is applied.

17, They expel worms, even tape worms, in children and adults, the amount taken by children being according to age. A piece of cloth moistened with the drops is applied to the navel and kept moist.

18. They rid children of pustulas. The children are given these drops according to age, diluted with water. If the pustulas start to dry up they're moisten frequently with these drops and no scars will appear.

19. For jaundice very soon all complaints disappear, if one tablespoon of these drops is taken three times daily and compresses are applied to the swollen liver.

20. They open all hemorrhoids, heal the kidneys, rid the bodies of all unnecessary liquids without further treatment, taking away melancholy and depression and improve appetite and digestion.

21. Hemorrhoids are reduced if in the beginning there moisten frequently and if the drops were taken internally, especially before going to bed, so they soften the hemorrhoids. Externally a cotton ball moistened with the drops is applied. It makes the remaining blood flow and relieve some burning.

22. If someone has fainted, open his mouth if required, give him one tablespoon of the drops and he will come to.

23. This remedy reads you have pain of the pain of spasms or cramps so that will see some time.

24. For consumption take them daily in the mornings on an empty stomach and continue the treatment for six weeks.

25. If the menstrual flow ceases for a woman or is it too heavy, she takes these drops three days and repeats it 20 times. They will, what is too much, quiet and an what is too little, even out.

26. This remedy also helps cure the whites (white vaginal discharge).

27. If someone is affected afflicted with epilepsy, he has to be given these drops on the spot and he should take this remedy exclusively, since it strengthens the affected nerves as the body as well as the body and rid of all sickness.

28. They heal lameness and rid you of dizziness an indisposition.

29. They heal also the hot pustulas and erysipelas.

30. If someone has a fever, be it hot or cold and is very weak he is given one tablespoon full of the drops and the patient, if he is not too overloaded with other medications, will in a short time come to, the pulse will start to beat again and the fever no matter how high it was, will pass and the patient will soon be better.

31. the drops also heal old cancer, old pockmarks, warts and chapped hands. If the wound is older festering a proud flesh is developed, everything is wash well with white wine and a piece of cloth moistened with the drops is laid upon it.

32. They heal, without danger, all wounds, be they from a stab or a hit, if they're moisten frequently. A piece of cloth is taken, moisten with the drops in the wounds covered therewith. They take away the pain as short time, permit no blemish or putrification and heal also old wounds which were caused by a short. If there are holes, the drops are sprinkled in the wound which need not necessarily be cleaned before hand. Through a peated applicant applying of the moisten cloth healing occurs in a short time period

33. They take away scars, even if very old, wounds and cuts if moistened up to 40 times with them. All wounds heal and leave no scars.

34 They heal fistulas, even if they seem incurable, be they as old as they may be.

35. They heal all burns and scalds, be they caused by fire, hot water or fat, if the injuries are moistened frequently. No blister forms, the heat is taken out and even festering blisters are healed.

36. They serve against swellings and bruises be they caused by a blow or fall.

37. If someone cannot eat with appetite, they bring back the last taste.

38. In anemia they bring back the lost color, if taken for a period in the morning. They cleanse the blood and form new blood and promote circulation.

39. Rheumatic pain in the limbs are eased if the drops are taking morning an evening a moistened cloth is applied to the aching parts.

40. They heal frostbitten hands and feet, even if they are open parts, if a moistened cloth is applied there's often as possible, but especially at night.

41. For corns a cotton ball moistened with drops is applied and kept moist. After three days the corns fall out or can be removed painlessly.

42. They heal too, bites of mad dogs and other animals, if taken internally, since they heal and destroy all poison. A moistened cloth is laid upon the wounds.

43. For plague and other infectious diseases as well, take them repeatedly since they heal plague boils and swellings even if they are in the throat.

44. He who cannot sleep at night takes these drops for going to bed. For nervous sleeplessness a piece of cloth moistened with diluted drops is laid upon the heart.

45. A drunk can be sober on the spot with two tablespoons two tablespoonfuls.

46 he who takes these drops in the morning and evenings daily needs no further medication, since they strengthen the body, tone the nerves in the blood, take away the trembling of the hands and feet. In short, they take away all illness. The body stays supple, the face young and beautiful.

Important: All stated amounts of Swedish bitters could be taken diluted with herb tea or water.

The wonderful healing power of this herb mixture is showing the above text of the old manuscript. It can be said, and rightly so, that there is hardly any illness where Swedish bitters is not a benefit or at least is effective as a basis for every treatment


Internally: Prophylactics are taken according to the old manuscript in the morning in the evening, one tablespoon full diluted with water. For in disposition of any kind, 3 tablespoons diluted with water can be taken. For serious illness and disease, 2 to 3 tablespoons are taken as follows: one tablespoon diluted with half a cup of herb tea, half of it is sipped half an hour before and the other half an hour after each meal.

Compress: according to area, a piece of cotton wool or gauze is moistened with Swedish bitters and applied to the affected area which has been well covered with lard or calendula ointment. A slightly large piece of plastic is put over it to prevent close from getting stained. Then a cloth is wound around or a bandage is used. The compress can be left on, depending on illness, from two to four hours. If tolerated, the compress could stay on overnight period after removal the skin is powdered. Some people with sensitive skin still develop a rash, the compress the compresses have to be used for shorter period time or omitted for a time. People who are allergic to plastic should leave it off. Never forget degrees the skin beforehand. If an itching rash is already developed it can be treated with calendula ointment.

Great Swedish bitters despite repeated suggestions I could not bring myself to write the recipe of the great Swedish bitters in this book since all my successes have been achieved with the small Swedish bitters. This does not mean that the great Swedish bitter would be used less successfully.

INGREDIENTS (Large/Great Swedish Bitters)


1. Angelica archangelica (Angelikawurz in German) — commonly known as garden angelica, Holy Ghost, wild celery, and Norwegian angelica.


2. Aloe Vera — also know as Aloe Barbadensis.


3. Lycopodium (Bärlappe in German) — also known as ground pines or creeping cedar.


4. Pimpinella (Bibernelle in German) — is a plant genus in the family Apiaceae.


5. Carlina acaulis (Eberwurz in German) — is a perennial dicotyledonous flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to alpine regions of central and southern Europe.


6. Veronica officinalis (Ehrenpreiskraut in German) — is a species of Veronica, native to Europe and western Asia.


7. Althaea (Eibischwurz in German) — is a genus of 6−12 species of perennial herbs native to Europe and western Asia.


8. Gentiana lutea (Enzianwurz in German) — is a plant native to the mountains of central and southern Europe. Other names include ‘yellow gentian‘, ‘bitter root‘, ‘bitterwort‘, ‘centiyane‘ and ‘genciana‘.


9. Acorus calamus (Kalmus in German) — can also be called Sweet Flag or Calamus, among many other names. It’s a tall perennial wetland monocot of the Acoraceae family, in the genus Acorus.


10. Cinnamomum camphora (Kampfer in German) — most known as camphor tree, camphorwood or camphor laurel. Large evergreen tree, native to China south of the Yangtze River, Taiwan, southern Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.


11. Kandis — Rock Candy. If you are Diabetic, you can eliminate Kandis from your Swedish Bitters elixir mix.


12. Viscum album (Mistelkraut in German) — type of mistletoe, known as European mistletoe, common mistletoe or simply as mistletoe (Old English mistle). It is native to Europe and western and southern Asia.


13. Commiphora (Myrrhe in German) — is a species-rich genus of flowering plants in the frankincense and myrrh family.


14. Juglandaceae (Nusskaben in German) — known as the walnut family, is a family of trees.


15. Rhubarb (Rhabarberwurz in German) — also can be know as Rheum rhabarbarum and Rhei radix is a plant in the family Polygonaceae. Rhubarb is usually considered a vegetable.


16. Safflower (Saflor in German) — also can be know as Carthamus tinctorius. It’s a highly branched, herbaceous, thistle-like annual plant.


17. Senna (Sennesblätter in German) - Comes from Arabic name — sanā. Also knows as sennas. It’s a large flowering plants in the legume family of Fabaceae, and the sub family of Caesalpinioideae. Sennae folium is considered an herb, leaves and the fruit of the plant are used to make medicine. Senna is also FDA-approved nonprescription laxative.


18. Ginkgo (Gingoblätter in German) — Also know as Ginkgo biloba and known as the maidenhair tree. Many years ago, leaves from the Ginkgo biloba tree been used as a treatment in Chinese medicine. The ginkgo supplements helps to improve memory and sharpen thinking. Many people use Ginkgo to improves blood flow to the brain. Ginkgo can as well acts as an antioxidant.


19. Theriaca (Therriak in German) — also know as Theriac, Andromachi theriaca, it’s considered to be antidote against venom.


20. Potentilla erecta (Tormentil in German) — also know as Common Tormentil, Potentilla laeta, Potentilla tormentilla, tormentil or septfoil. It’s a herbaceousperennial plant that belon to the rose family. Potentilla erecta for a long time is known as a remedy in traditional medicine for the treatment of inflammations, wounds, and gastrointestinal disorders. Some people make a tea out of potentilla and use it as a tea for diarrhea. Women take it for premenstrual syndrome, know as (PMS) and for mildly painful menstrual periods.


21. Artemisia absinthium (Wermutkraut in German) — also know as absinthium, absinthe wormwood, wormwood, common wormwood, green ginger or grand wormwood, is a species of Artemisia, native to temperate regions of Eurasia and Northern Africa.


22. Curcuma zedoaria (Zitwerwurz in German) — also know as Zedoariae rhizoma, zedoary, white turmeric or kentjur, is a member of the genus Curcuma, family Zingiberaceae and is a native to India and Indonesia.

Source for ingredients:

Theriac Venezian, by the way is actually a combination of three herbs: Valerian Root, Cinnamon and Cardamom.

I take the Large Swedish Bitters daily.  That mix comprises the most expensive herbal formula or preparation that I buy, but I think it is well worth around $30 for 6 months' worth!  I am sure that Swedish Bitters is not a "cure all", but it comes closer to it than anything I have found.  It is an excellent cold and allergy remedy.  Applied as a compress, the Swedish Bitters are only second to Arnica oil in my rarely humble opinion.  Considering its many other uses, and that the alcohol content makes it an antiseptic for wounds, I consider it essential.  However, I think we should take Mrs. Treben's advice that the herbs neutralize the alcohol with a grain of salt, especially in regards to alcoholism.

Fr. Kneipp recommended Colt's Foot (Tussilago farfara) for bruises and wounds:

The leaves are most effective against sore feet, when the spots look black and blue, and are srongly inflamed ; they take away the heat and the pains ; if laid on the sores repeatedly, they are an excellent remedy. Therefore the colt's foot is a superior remedy for inflamed wounds, erysipelas, and similar complaints.

Water Plantain (Alisma subcordatm) is called a "rubefacient".  It mildly irritates the skin in a way that warms the skin and increases blood flow to the area.  This has been used traditionally to help with bruising.

Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum biflorum) The root, used as a poultice or wash is useful for bruises, cuts and sores.  It has been used traditionally for hardened boils (carbuncles).

Pokeweed, Poke (Phytolacca americana) Poke is one of my favorite herbs but yes, it is poisonous. But, only if it is misused.  The old mountain folks consider Poke to be a blood purifier.  Poke is one of the first edible greens to appear in any quantity in the spring.  Tender, spring poke leaves are harvested before the purple color from the stem is seen in leaves.  Most folks I know cook them once in water, then drain them and fry them in pork fat.  Field guides and professional foragers say that the greens must be boiled in three changes of water before frying.  Frankly, I often eat the leaves raw in early spring.  But, it may well be that I have developed a tolerance for the toxicity and it does not affect me as it would others.  The toxic effect of eating poke leaves or berries is usually vomiting and diarrhea, so it resolves itself without lasting harm.  However, I must warn you that according to the late Herbalist, Michael Moore, the tinctured root can cause death if too much is taken internally.  For this reason, I never make Poke root tincture.  I use the root as a tea, which is much weaker.  If I begin to feel nauseous, I stop drinking it.  Poke is used in herbal medicine for "dispersing" and for moving lymph to help flush toxins and infection from the body. For bruising, a wash or poultice to disperse blood and swelling.

Cow Parsnip (Heracleum lanatum) was used by Native Americans as a poultice for sores, bruises and swellings.  Sweet Cicely (Ozmorhiza claytonii) was likewise used.  Care must be taken with all such plants though, that they not be confused with Poison Hemlock or Water Hemlock - correct ID is essential!

Dodder (Cuscuta sp.) The stems were used by the Cherokee for bruises.

Pale Indian Plantain (Cacalia atriplicifolia) is another plant with a history of use for bruises and cuts among Native Americans.

Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) has been used as a poultice for burns, sores, wounds and bruises.

Clintonia (Clintonia borealis) has been used for bruises, dog bites, burns, infections and sores.

Stoneroot (Collinsonia canadensis) was widely used in early America for many ailments, including bruises, sprains, burns, wounds and sores.

Wood Lily (Lilium Philadelphicum) has been found useful for bruises, sores and wounds as a wash or soak.

Butterflyweed or Pleurisy Root (Asclepias tuberosa)  This member of the milkweed family is a very useful herb, especially for lung issues.  A poultice of the root may also be used for bruises, swellings and arthritis.

Blue Flag (Iris versicolor) Traditional use includes using a root poultice for bruises, sores and rheumatism.

Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea) has been used externally for bruising.

Heal All or Self Heal (Prunella vulgaris)  The name indicates this plant's usefulness.  Externally, it is used for wounds, bruises, sores and ulcers.

Western Sagebrush (Artemesia caudata) and Wild/Russian Tarragon (Artemesia dracunculus)  These members of the Wormwood family may be used externally, as a poultice for wounds and bruises.

Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) Oil from the fruit is useful for bruises and arthritis.

Rattlesnake Fern (Botryichium virginianum) has been used by Native Americans as a poultice or salve for wounds, sores and bruises.  Many ferns are useful for joint and muscle pain, which would include bruising, but are not specifically indicated for bruising - more on ferns under the chapter on pain.

Other herbs, mentioned earlier are also useful for bruises:  Shepherd's Purse, Saint John's Wort, Indigo, Wild Indigo, Hops, Elderberry, Alder, Balsam Fir, Pine, Catalpa.

The above article is an excerpt from my new book Herbal Medicine for Preppers, Homesteaders and Permaculture People

You can read about and purchase Herbal Medicine for Preppers, Homesteaders and Permaculture People here:

Also available on Amazon: Herbal Medicine for Preppers, Homesteaders and Permaculture People: Carroll, Judson: 9798491252923: Books


The information on this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or condition. Nothing on this site has been evaluated or approved by the FDA. I am not a doctor. The US government does not recognize the practice of herbal medicine and their is no governing body regulating herbalists. Therefore, I'm just a guy who studies herbs. I am not offering any advice. I won't even claim that anything I write is accurate or true! I can tell you what herbs have "traditionally been used for." I can tell you my own experience and if I believe an herb helped me. I cannot, nor would I tell you to do the same. If you use any herb I, or anyone else, mentions you are treating yourself. You take full responsibility for your health. Humans are individuals and no two are identical. What works for me may not work for you. You may have an allergy, sensitivity or underlying condition that no one else shares and you don't even know about. Be careful with your health. By continuing to read my blog you agree to be responsible for yourself, do your own research, make your own choices and not to blame me for anything, ever.
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