Amalux Products

Paracelsus Elixir – The Original Swedish Bitters Formula

Paracelsus Elixir is the original Swedish bitters formula. Paracelsus Elixir is not the Maria Treben nor is it Dr. Samst’s formula for Swedish Bitters. It is the Original Swedish Bitters Formula that had been lost for centuries. Swedish bitters are also called Schwedenbitter in German.

Swedish Bitters were originally formulated by Paracelsus just prior to 1538 AD. Paracelsus Elixir is his original complete formula for Swedish bitters or Schwedenbitter. We do not know what Paracelsus called this formula but, it is quite certain that having been Swiss, he would not have named it Swedish bitters. In homage to Paracelsus; giving him full credit for this marvelous and ingenious world renowned formulation, we have respectfully called it Paracelsus Elixir rather than just marketing it as ordinary Swedish Bitters or Schwedenbitter.

“Without exaggeration; this Swedish Bitters is an excellent product. Once tried, it will always be kept close at hand; making even a skeptic into a “believer!” 

swedish bitters, Paracelsus Elixir, Swedish, bitters, Schwedenbitter, Paracelsus, dr. samst, maria trebenAureolus Philippus
Born 1493 – Died 1541
swedish bitters, Paracelsus Elixir, Swedish, bitters, Schwedenbitter, Paracelsus, dr. samst, maria treben

Paracelsus Elixir

100 grams
Cost: $52.95
swedish bitters, Paracelsus Elixir, Swedish, bitters, Schwedenbitter, Paracelsus, dr. samst, maria treben

When you are buying Paracelsus Elixir you are not buying what is commonly being sold as Swedish Bitters. What is commonly being sold as Swedish Bitters or Schwedenbitter is known as the “Maria Treben formula.” That herbal combination for Swedish bitters was not formulated by Maria Treben herself. It is a very abbreviated version of the original which has many variations and which is not commonly sold probably because of expense and the bother of having to market a new formula. this is the only formula for Swedish Bitters we have ever used and sold for over 35 -40 years.

Our Paracelsus Elixir formula is over 460 years old. Why anyone would ever arbitrarily change it and still market it as Swedish bitters is a little confusing. It certainly would not improve it. In fact, by altering it is no longer Swedish bitters. The ingredients and their proportions of Paracelsus Elixir do not resemble any other Swedish Bitters formula commonly being sold as Swedish bitters. In Herbalism the proportions of herbs in any formula are a very delicate matter. If altered, it is basically a different formula with different effects.

None of the herbs used are GMO or farmed – everything is hand picked in the wild and some of our ingredients are quite expensive while our cost ounce per ounce or, per capsule is comparable or, even less than what is currently on the market as Swedish Bitters. (The current cost of buying just one ingredient is as high as $15,000 per pound.) However, the effect of the complete Paracelsus Elixir formula is “the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”

While being the original and complete formula for what has come to be known as Swedish Bitters, it is understandable that the term Paracelsus Elixir is completely unknown to most people. We have therefore used the term Swedish Bitters beside the term Paracelsus Elixir in this article to give our Paracelsus Elixir context. What you are buying is indeed Swedish Bitters, only a superior version of it.

Product Description

The Paracelsus Elixir Product

Paracelsus Elixir is a classic “life elixir”(Elixir Vitae) out of the 16th century that harmonizes all of the major internal organ functions benefiting the whole body. Many versions of this formula have been shorted and frequently called Swedish Bitters. However, Paracelsus only had one formula for this “life Elixir” and in honor of Paracelsus we have called it Paracelsus Elixir.” Being a life elixir does not make it a cure all. That would be completely absurd and ridiculous. To refer to the original version of Swedish bitters as an Elixir Ad Longam Vitam (Elixir for a Long Life) would be completely inaccurate when you consider that physically our body only does two things; digest and eliminate – right down to the cellular level. This is all Paracelsus Elixir ( Swedish bitters ) really supports without acting as a purgative. You will find a more elaborate explanation of this principle a little further down the page. Paracelsus Elixir is about 460 years old and variations of it have been in continuous use throughout the world ever since.

The Paracelsus Elixir is currently not available in a prepared liquid form. It must be prepared in order to be useable as an elixir. Making the Paracelsus Elixir is very simple as well as economical. To find the preparation instructions open the Elixir Preparation Tab.


Ingredients: Licorice, Nutmeg, Aloe, Turkish Rhubarb, Calamus, Myrrh, Theriac Venetian, Zedoary root, Dittany, Gentian, Angelica Root, Kaolin, Carline thistle, Camphor, Tormentilla, Mace, Senna, Saffron – all in very specific, calculated and non-uniform proportion.

These ingredients combine to produce the complete “Paracelsus Elixir – Swedish Bitters effect.” A formula that does not contain these ingredients is not the Paracelsus formula. Also, the full benefits of the Paracelsus Elixir compared to the commonly known and available Swedish Bitters will produce a significantly more noticeable and complete effect.

The Maria Treben Formula (the commonly known Sweden bitters formula) is as follows: Aloe, Myrrh, Saffron, Senna, Camphor, Rhubarb, Zedoary, Manna, Theriac Venetian, Carline Thistle, Angelica Root. Although this is a great stomach bitter it is not the original and complete Paracelsus formula.

Suggested Use


swedish bitters, Paracelsus Elixir, Swedish, bitters, Schwedenbitter, Paracelsus, dr. samst, maria treben 1 teaspoon in 4 to 8 ounces of water after meals three times per day for about 4 to 6 weeks.
swedish bitters, Paracelsus Elixir, Swedish, bitters, Schwedenbitter, Paracelsus, dr. samst, maria treben 1 teaspoon in 4 to 8 ounces of water after meals once a day for life as a tonic.
swedish bitters, Paracelsus Elixir, Swedish, bitters, Schwedenbitter, Paracelsus, dr. samst, maria treben 1/2 teaspoon in 4 to 8 ounces of water after meals one to three times per day as a starting dose for those who are really sick. In time can be increased to 1 teaspoon.
swedish bitters, Paracelsus Elixir, Swedish, bitters, Schwedenbitter, Paracelsus, dr. samst, maria treben 1 teaspoon in a favorite tea to make the tea more effective.
swedish bitters, Paracelsus Elixir, Swedish, bitters, Schwedenbitter, Paracelsus, dr. samst, maria treben Some use it in acute situations as follows: 1/2 tspn. every 15 minutes for about one hour. (5-7 doses)
swedish bitters, Paracelsus Elixir, Swedish, bitters, Schwedenbitter, Paracelsus, dr. samst, maria treben We have found that the 1/2 tspn. dose in 4-8 oz. of water to be the most effective does away from food. When used on a full stomach even a one ounce (shot) can be taken.

Product Application

The following information has been published in the best selling book: Health Through God’s Pharmacy by Maria Treben. It is interesting to note that although this publication is a very valuable work much of it’s contents are translated out of a classic European herbal compendium known in Europe as Tabernaemontanus of 1731. It’s contents are excellent as well as very useful. Further testimony to the very rich herbal tradition of the Western world.

Compresses: 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 larger piece of plastic is put over it to prevent the clothes from getting stained. Then a cloth is wound around or a bandage is used.

The compress can be left on, depending on illness, for 2 to 4 hours. If tolerated, the compress can stay on overnight. After removal the skin is powdered. Should people with sensitive skin still develop a rash, the compresses have to be used for a shorter period only or omitted for a time. People who are allergic to plastic should leave it off. Never forget to grease the skin beforehand. If an itching rash has already developed it can be treated with Calendula ointment.

The Paracelsus Elixir – Swedish Bitters can be taken internally and also applied externally.

Internally: Prophylactics are taken according to the “Old Manuscript ” in the morning and evening, 1 teaspoonful diluted with water. For indisposition of any kind, 3 tablespoons diluted with water can be taken. For serious diseases, 2 to 3 tablespoons are taken as follows: 1 tablespoon diluted with half a cup of a specific herbal tea, half of it is sipped half an hour before and the other half an hour after each meal.

The following information are the famous “46 points” out of the “Old Manuscript” describing the uses of Paracelsus Elixir i.e. Swedish Bitters found among the personal papers and writings of the well-known Swedish physician, rector of medicine, Dr. Samst.

(transcript of Swedish Bitters’ curative power out of Health Through God’s Pharmacy by Maria Treben)

1. If they are frequently breathed in or sniffed, the base of the skull is moistened 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 kinds, as scabs in the nose or elsewhere on the body, are healed, if they often and well moistened.
4. For toothache a tablespoon of these drops is taken with a little water and kept in the mouth for a little while or the aching tooth is moistened. The pain soon eases and the putrefaction 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 hot or inflamed, so that food is swallowed with difficulty, these drops are swallowed slowly, morning, noon and evening and they take away the heat and heal the throat.
7. For stomach cramps , 1 tablespoon 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 and cool the liver, eliminate all troubles of 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.
11. They are beneficial for pain in the gall bladder. 1 tablespoonful daily in the morning and evening and at night, compresses and soon all pain will disappear.
12. For dropsy , 1 tablespoonful in white wine is taken in the morning and evening for 6 weeks.
13. For pain and buzzing in the ear a piece of cotton wool is moistened and put into the ear. It is very beneficial and brings back lost hearing.
14. For morning sickness, 1 tablespoon of the drops in red wine is given in the morning for 3 days, half an hour later a walk is taken, then breakfast, but no milk.
15. In the last 14 days of pregnancy if 1 tablespoon of the drops is taken mornings and evenings, it promotes the birth. For easy expelling of the afterbirth, a teaspoonful is given every 2 hours, until the afterbirth is expelled without pain.
16. If, after a birth when the milk dries up, inflammation develops, it quickly subsides if a moistened piece of cloth is applied.
17. They expel worms, even tapeworms, in children and adults, the amount taken by children being according to age. A piece of cloth moistened with 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 are moistened frequently with these drops and no scars will develop.
19. For jaundice very soon all complaints disappear, if 1 tablespoon of these drops is taken 3 times daily and compresses are applied to the swollen liver.
20. They open all hemorrhoids, heal the kidneys, rid the body 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, they are moistened frequently and if the drops are taken internally, especially before going to bed, they soften the hemorrhoids. Externally, a cotton ball moistened with the drops is applied. It makes the remaining blood flow and relieves the burning.
22. If someone has fainted, open his mouth if required, give him 1 tablespoon of the drops and he will come to.
23. This remedy rids you of the pain of spasm (cramps) so that it will cease in time.
24. For consumption take them daily in the morning on an empty stomach and continue the treatment for 6 weeks.
25. If the menstrual flow ceases for a woman or is too heavy, she takes these drops 3 days and repeats it 20 times. They will, what is too much, quieten and, what is too little, even out.
26. This remedy also helps cure “whites”.
27. If someone is afflicted with epilepsy, he has to be given these drops on the spot and he should then take this remedy exclusively, since it strengthens the affected nerves as well as the body and rids it of all sickness.
28. They heal lameness and rid you of dizziness and indisposition.
29. They heal also hot pustulas and erysipelas.
30. If someone has fever, be it hot or cold, and is very weak, he is given 1 tablespoonful of the drops and the patient, if he is not 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 pock marks, warts and chapped hands. If the wound is old or festering or proud flesh has developed, everything is washed 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 are moistened frequently. A piece of cloth is taken, moistened with the drops and the wounds covered therewith. They take away the pain in a short time, permit no blemish or putrefication and heal also old wounds which are caused by a shot. If there are holes, the drops are sprinkled into the wound which need not necessarily be cleaned beforehand. Through repeated applying of the moistened cloth healing occurs in a short time.
33. They take away scars, even if very old, wounds and cuts if moistened up to 40 times with them. All the wounds heal and leave no scars.
34. They heal all fistulas, even if they seem incurable, be they as old as 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 blisters form, 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 a fall.
37. If someone cannot eat with appetite, they bring back the lost taste.
38. In anaemia 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 pains in the limbs are eased if the drops are taken morning and evening and a moistened cloth is applied to the aching parts.
40. They heal frost bitten hands and feet, even if there are open parts, if a moistened cloth is applied as often as possible, but especially at night.
41. For corns, a cotton ball, moistened with the 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 it is well to take them repeatedly since they heal plague boils and swellings even if already in the throat.
44. He who cannot sleep at night takes these drops before 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 tablespoonfuls.
46. He who takes these drops mornings and evenings daily needs no further medication, since they strengthen the body, tone up the nerves and 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 should be taken diluted with herb tea or water. When applying compresses, always apply Marigold ointment first.

The wonderful healing power of this herb mixture is shown in 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 of benefit, or at least is effective as a basis for every treatment.

Here is a small youtube video on the Maria Treben Swedish Bitters Formula. It is from a rival competitor but, as our Paracelsus Elixir formula is the original, you can expect that much more out of it.

Elixir Preparation

How to prepare Paracelsus Elixir

Ingredients: 100 Gr. Paracelsus Elixir powders
1.5 Liter Alcohol (40% per cent)

The best alcohol is alcohol derived from fruit (fruit spirit) – Brandy, Cognac, Grappa. Fruit derived alcohols are best, grape derived alcohols are preferable.

There are two popular methods to prepare Paracelsus Elixir – Swedish Bitters one method is faster, the other slower. Both methods are good, but there is one very important thing that cannot be overlooked and this is the final color of the liquid. The finished Paracelsus Elixir – Swedish Bitters is dark brown in color, like strong coffee.

In general the directions call for the Swedish bitters powders and alcohol to sit for at least 21 – 28 days; this is just a guideline. In order for the Paracelsus Elixir to be ready in that length of time, the conditions have to be ideal, such as temperatures and sunshine, otherwise it may take considerably longer, especially in the winter time, it can take up to two months.

Important: Always remember that the color of the Paracelsus Elixir has to be dark brown like strong coffee; otherwise it is not ready for use.

Preparation Method No. 1

Take 100 grams of the Paracelsus Elixir powder and .75 liter (750 ml) alcohol. Mix the two ingredients in a large mouthed resealable jar and shake it a few times every day, expose to daylight on a window sill or sunshine at room temperature for 14 days. Or, until the color is a dark-coffee-brown. Then filter it through clean cloth and keep the now moist powders. Place this liquid in an amber bottle sealed in a dark place. Then add the other .75 liter of alcohol to the Paracelsus Elixir powders for and additional 4 to 7 days and expose it to daylight or sunshine, shake it well every day. The second tincturing may not be as dark as the first. Then filter this mixture. Add this liquid to the first liquid. Now, you have your Paracelsus Elixir – Swedish Bitters.

Preparation Method No. 2

Take 100 grams Paracelsus Elixir powders and 1.5 liter alcohol. Mix it well and shake it every day, expose this mixture to daylight on a window sill and or sunshine for 28 days (a Lunar month) should by then, the color of the liquid not be as expected (dark brown) leave it, until it has the right color. Then filter it well, if necessary, two or even three times. Fill it up in amber bottles and store in a dark place.


Surprise Testimonial

Here is a surprise mention that appeared from a very satisfied customer in the Weston A Price – Wise Traditions Newsletter:


I have been taking Swedish bitters for many years as was recommended by Dr. Thomas Cowan. One of the things he suggested when I was chronically ill over ten years ago was to consume nourishing traditional foods in rhythmical eating rituals. In addition he suggested I take Swedish bitters after every meal. and he suggested that I use the original formula from a company called – I was amazed at the difference! When you open the jar and smell the herbs you breathe in a meadow in a jar! To save on cost, you mix the herbs and brandy, which makes this less expensive compared to what is found in stores.

The Austrian couple that provides this version of Swedish bitters did extensive historical research to discover the original complete formula from the actual medical writings of the individual who first formulated this elixir, the legendary Swiss physician Paracelsus who lived in the 15th century. Swedish Bitters is not originally from Sweden. It was rediscovered in Sweden by Frau Maria Treben, who called the elixir “the short formula” or “the Maria Treben formula.” Her source of information was the notes and manuscripts of the Swedish physician, Dr. Samst, who had reduced the number of herbs to half.

Elizabeth B., Chapter Leader
Rochester, New York

Herbal Philosophy And Theoretical Workings Of A Life Elixir

Theoretical Information On What Life Elixirs Are and Why Paracelsus Elixirs and Swedish Bitters are Related to Them.

The concept of Life Elixirs is a very old one indeed. It is rooted in the Medieval world but not limited to Europe. Surely, even the ancients Egyptians had Life Elixirs the composition of which is lost to time and the Oriental, Persian and Arabic worlds have produced their own. The origin of the Life Elixirs of the Caucasian peoples is Christian mysticism and reflect a slightly different approach to healing from those of other cultures.

The entire concept of Life Elixirs, as the name implies, is to restore or maintain life and health. Among these are also legendary remedies that restore youth but these, in general, have psychic consequences. Do not expect to easily find these let alone be able to prepare them.

Life Elixirs, healing and for as much as some would not like to admit it, even medicine have their origin in Mysticism. These arts have always held a place of high prestige and in search of this prestige, many have sought to acquire them through force. But study alone will neither mature nor ennoble the Spirit adequately enough to acquire a finer comprehend of things. In today’s world the quantity of knowledge seems to matter more than the quality of that knowledge as the nobility of spirit as a component of that knowledge is made irrelevant as people put more faith in inanimate machines than in their own God given senses and the capacities.

Paracelsus Elixir, swedish bitters, schwedenbitter, paracelsusswedish bitters, paracelsus elixirStill, the remnants of what would be the qualitative concepts of healing remain. The universal symbol of modern medicine is still the Caduceus of Hermes Trismagistus. The winged staff with intertwined serpents represents the Hermetic Sciences of which healing has always been a part. Together with the cross, another mystical symbol, these have remained the universal symbols of aid and wisdom – medical or otherwise, in spite of a general lack of a deeper present day spiritual understanding of them. These are not medical symbols at all, they are mystical symbols borrowed from the Alchemists of antiquity. (Paracelsus, Nostradamus, Nicholas Flamel, Robert Fludd, Franz Bardon were known alchemists.)

On The Premise That A Transcendent Life Force Exists . . .

Admittedly, a proposition based on spiritual concepts in a largely materialistic world is not likely to be given much credibility at first glance. Whether disputed or not, it does not alter the possibility or perhaps even the fact behind the concepts. Like anything, it is a matter of where one chooses to place the emphasis of their reason.

In our times we have been conditioned to generally only accept things proven through a scientific process, which is fine, as long as you also keep in mind that science is valid only when unbiased, unadulterated and confined to things physically measurable. That said, when science can explain life and existence itself in definitive terms, it can also negate what ever it pleases; at present, it still cannot and therefore should not. Until then, all other possible possibilities that are philosophically sound and reasonable or, at least of long standing and not disproved should at least be respectfully considered as viable or plausible even if there is no current technology to explain them. That lack of official acknowledgement does not make them invalid. Many such concepts are treated as fact and used with precise and predictable outcome, especially in the natural healing arts.

Specific spiritual beliefs have also been the enemy of spiritual concepts outside of their scope. A concept like “Life Force” as an extension of Spirit was shocking, heathenistic and even heretical to conservatives of the West at one time; to some it still is. This type of selective prejudice is based on narrow minded ignorance that for a time was also against science and reason itself – education notwithstanding.

The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane. Nikola Tesla

A belief based on selective or adulterated science or, dogmatic spiritual views have always gotten in the way of technical advancement and personal/spiritual enlightenment. By the same token, having a view of life that is limited to the existential is like being a fish in water; without it recognizing that it is living in water, not understanding the nature of that water or even realizing what the very wetness it is surrounded by is or, be interested in understanding it. In light of such short sighted mindsets abounding, it is therefore not unreasonable to leave room for possibilities because we cannot know or draw conclusions from what we may have never perceived or experienced.

Be that as it may, upon observing the many, many living organisms all around us and being witness to the fact that they are all obviously very much alive, seemingly self-determining and all busy doing something; the question is, what is animating them and how and, towards what purpose? Those who only see random biology in this, should pursue that biology to it’s limits. They will soon discover that there is no limit to be found.

Energy As Part Of Life

swedish bitters teslaGiven that all our machines would not operate without an energy source and the fact that electromagnetic activity has been measured in living things; it should not come as a complete surprise that life would not be possible without an energy source – albeit a much finer or transcendent type of energy – to drive it. This has traditionally been attributed to Divinity or “Spirit,” that through an intimate connection to all things grants life to all that exists.

Transference is achieved by connection through an interface; a point of interaction for the sake of sharing or communication. That interface between what is Divine and all other living things is a medium that has traditionally been called Aether, the Akasha, the Quintessence or simply God – that is to say, the “God Substance” or the “materiality” of God. This is not to be confused with the “God Particle” that physicists are now concerning themselves with. This medium occupies the space between all spaces within which all that is, exists and is sustained by. It would be impossible to be any more intimately interfaced or connected to anything by any other means. It is through this principle that Divinity exercises It’s omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience over all things and achieves the phenomenon we know as life. As you might expect, this interfacing medium remains unmeasurable and physically undetectable even though physicists recognize that it must exist. Another, metaphysical concept finding scientific validation.

On that note, consider for a moment that a receiver, in order to be of any use at all, must be receptive to something being transmitted by a sender. Otherwise it would have no reason for being and no one would have any reason to bother building it. Anyone who has ever used a telephone or TV is working with a technology designed to receive information. In order to work and be useful, it must be in harmony with the technology that is transmitting the information, it’s usefulness being tied to that harmonious relationship. Biblically, it states that man is made in the image of God, meaning that the compatibility between the Divine and the human already exists as does the capacity for mutual transference. Not understanding how either the technology or the spiritual mechanisms work does not get in the way of either being operative to their user. We don’t need to know how to build a phone to be able to use one!

As a further proof of concept, Nikola Tesla demonstrated the wireless transmission of electrical impulses, electrical energy, voice and remote control. People seem to not realize that they communicate using the same principles all the time. When we speak, the air, an invisible medium, carries our vocal vibrations to the ears of another person for them to interpret. People can communicate with a simple glance or even transmit their feelings and thoughts to one another at a distance. If Quantum theory suggests that matter is aware of being observed offering no plausible explanation for it, why then should it not be possible to receive purpose, inspiration, Life Energy and perhaps even comfort from interfacing through a medium that permeates everything right down to our atomic structure with something Higher? Historically this has been called “Spirit” or God? Again, not being able to measure does not equate to non-existence.

Divinity being Spirit by definition and nature as a manifestation or extension of what some would call Divine Will – all living things are therefore receptive to what is being emitted by Spirit as a Life Force and therefore all that is alive must have a spiritually receptive component within them, placed there by and from that Source as it’s own signature to be compatible with It, to be receptive to It and to be enlivened by It. All Traditional belief systems contain this concept and call it spirit.

This is the scope of mind needed to understand healing and any type of remedy natural or otherwise, including a life elixir.

Medieval Concepts In Modern Context

A discussion on Life Elixirs is meaningless unless there is a workable philosophical foundation of the mechanics of life and what life itself is. The maintenance of what is “natural” as life is both simple and very difficult to explain to everyone’s satisfaction. A simple but far reaching explanation would require a Hermetic explanation that certainly did exist long ago and in medieval times among the few who dared to venture into what may have been considered heresy in those days.

To read an accurate explanation of this life theory, it can be found well explained by a few authors and as you would expect, no scientific explanation being possible now or any time soon, that answer would be mystical. The short answer is found in Initiation Into Hermetics by Franz Bardon. A more elaborate explanation may be found in the writings of Jakob Lorber. One will quickly notice that the explanations are a combination of science and spiritual philosophy, comfortably overlapping between the physical and non-physical realms of existence. As you would expect, this type of explanation will draw some and repel others. But, this is to be found in any spiritual script expressed as a constant tension between dichotomies.

To accept that physical life depends on a spiritual force and guided influence is fundamental to understanding, not only life itself, but also what is working in pure natural remedies and the fundamentally very simple mechanisms that makes them work. There are chemical explanations to be sure but, they do not completely explain why certain reactions happen. The properties of the elements of chemistry only partially explain their behavior which is different when dealing a purely natural compound having all of it’s sometimes unquantifiable ingredients versus a chemical copy of it lacking them. Some will dispute this but, the results speak for themselves. (the vitamin C in some lemon juice is known to cure scurvy, while vitamin C in pill form only treats it) People acting as god have a hard time accepting that they have limits and refuse to give credit to what they cannot materially quantify.

Application Of Principle

Western Life Elixirs work by feeding and enlivening the forces of life within us which intern, by their newly acquired strength, displace what is antagonistic to the life processes – i.e. the toxins – Biblically referred to in this context as swedish bitters“unclean spirits.” These are forced out of the body through a naturally strengthened digestive process to be eliminated from the body by the body itself. This is the main modus operandi of a life elixir.

This is where a mystical source translates into an applicable principle. There have been many in science. (The Theory of Relativity is to be found in Heaven and Hell by Emanuel Swedenborg written in the late 1700’s to name one.) In the New Testament it states that Christ “casts out unclean spirits” in order to heal the sick. If we accept that as being factually true then, not being “gods” ourselves, how do we accomplish the same thing in principle to effect healing? In plague ravaged Europe it simply meant keeping sewage out of drinking water and in the middle ages it came down to the concept of purging. Same principle, different context.

As you would expect, those who do not fully understand something end up mimicking it artlessly. Mindless purgings were a case in point. It was mindlessly over done by the less talented, ego driven physicians of the day, who by dogmatically adhering to medical teachings they did not understand, would do more harm than good, only to justify their failure as the “will of God.” Much like today, physicians like Paracelsus, being very capable, would frequently embarrass the presumptuous with their simplicity of understanding to effect quick healing and were persecuted for it.

Although purging could produce brilliant results, the more gifted did not use it universally, only selectively. When used properly to best advantage, specific organs could be targeted to be nourished, balanced or gently purged. A well formulated Life elixir only does two things; A) improve digestion and B) elimination systemically – down to the cellular level.

To do this an understanding of the properties of plants, animals and minerals was needed. As that would be an exhaustive explanation, it is enough to say that the principle properties of healing substances was based on their heating or cooling natures. Being primal life principles, these living energies were attributable to “Spirit” as emanations out of Divinity that expressed themselves differently in the form of minerals, plants and animals, that would then draw very “specific” (specifica) substances out of nature to express through their external appearance the inborn properties that Divinity had destined for them. The properties were classified in general as being of the elemental energies of Fire, Air, Water or Earth as an expression of Divine Will.

These principles of life were noted and used by all major civilizations. In the East these are simply conceived as living forces of Nature. In the West they were, and are still directly attributed to Nature as fundamental properties of God. These primordial Elements are represented in the West as the Tetragrammaton – IHVH – to spell Jehovah.

These are examples of how spiritual concepts translate into physical applications. In this model of reality everything is regarded as spirit substance expressing itself as properties through the intelligence of their primary inborn specific ingredients to provoke a specific and predictable effect. Being cloaked in physical matter, the properties are only partially measurable as the chemistry found in minerals, plants, animals and human beings.

This is a very broad spectrum approach that covers a lot of ground. Based on this and much more, properly formulated natural remedies came into being through an intimate understanding of Nature. Not all herbal remedies purge. Some herbal formulas achieve similar effects focusing on balancing specific energies by either warming (Fire), restoring or supporting specific functions (Air), cooling (water) or helping to rebuild (Earth). Any semi-sensitive person will easily intuit these relationships and recognize them when active in Nature. Regardless, of what principle of action is being employed the remedies always work with energies which are by nature alive from their “spirit” properties.

If these effects are the result of a non-physical forces then, what is their mechanism of action?

These explanations too will seem completely odd to some, as in our times the term “spirit” gets tossed around rather loosely and consequently has acquired a rather vague, almost cliche meaning. When the term spirit or spirits is used in the context of Nature, the immortal spirits of human beings and God are not always intended. These, being above Nature, are subject to will which means they can potentially override anything natural. An open pit mine is human will overriding Nature as much as Anger is human will manifesting to alter the chemistry of the human body for the worst.

The forces of Nature never override Nature out of love for what guides them. In the folklore of all peoples of Earth, it was and, in some places still is an accepted fact, that in nature there are intelligent forces at play that act within the confines of Nature within all things natural under the guidance and management of Divine Providence. And, as Nature is generally regarded as being the source of life, then all things manifesting out of Her are regarded as being alive from the efforts and effects of these active forces. In this sense the Pagan view finds some legitimacy, albeit very a very limited one.

For some, this last chapter would be enough for them to stop reading altogether and call this entire discussion nonsensical but, if you ask yourself how does Nature build or assemble Her uncountable life forms, what would be your answer?

How does a rose collect and assemble what it needs to become a rose in a way that is different from, say . . . a daisy? How and from what does it gather what it needs to produce it’s fragrance when no such smell can be found immediately detected around it in either soil or air?

To attribute everything to DNA is rather thin. Something still has to gather all of the necessary ingredients for the roots, branches, leaves, thorns, petals and all their sub-parts to be formed out of and then be intelligently assembled into a rose. That an invisible assembly process is taking place in a way that is similar to any construction project is evident but unexplainable in purely physical or even scientific terms.

A pile of bricks do not assemble themselves into a house. To build a building requires a team of skilled specialists at their trade. Without them a building does not get built. Is it really that far fetched to presume that nature uses a similar army of specialized beings to construct plants, animals and humans through an assembly process that we recognize as normal growth? To insist that it is a random process or, that it somehow evolved according to it’s own will would be even more absurd and just as unprovable in strictly physical terms. In this context, the traceable chemical trails resulting from the process is just the effect of that unseen effort. No one is being asked to believe this but then again, no one should be asked to believe anything that does not have an explanation. So far, science can explain the stages of the process in fine detail but not how it’s done. DNA, amino acids, hormonal and enzymatic effects alone do not explain the entire process.

The spirit substance implied here as being present or as part of mineral, plant and animal life is in this context, a “physical spirit;” the kind spoken of in the popular book: Findhorn Garden: The Findhorn Garden: Pioneering a New Vision of Man and Nature in Cooperation. They are Nature spirits working with spirit substance like unseen worker bees; like invisible and innumerable construction crews that literally build plants and animals, metamorphosize the minerals as the spirit substances are gradually released and guided to become part of created life and evolve from species to species. Paracelsus referred to them as “spirit” (with a small “s”) and the material they work with as “specificum.” This is explained in the Earth and Moon by Jakob Lorber.

It is understood that, to some, this may seem like complete fantasy but, to anyone with any sensitivity from having spent a lot of time in Nature, working with plants, it won’t be. All indigenous people’s and country folk extending back millennia shared a very similar folklore that defined these concepts. Most people living strictly urban lives are incapable of living in the wild and have lost their finer sensitivities both to Nature and to themselves to have reduced these concepts and ideas to mere empty mythology. We now buy representations of them in the form of garden Gnomes, and as little trinkets to represent Pixies, Sprites, Elves, Undines, Salamanders, Sylphs and the like.

A “Life Elixir” Is By Definition A Liquid

There are many types of liquids. Which are the most appropriate for making a life elixir is based on a few philosophical principles that some might consider presumptuous. This is to be expected when straddling the line between science and mysticism. It is the sort of discussion that has left scientists to wonder how, by analogy alone, did people know to use a particular plant for a specific purpose thousands of year ahead of advanced chemistry to prove it’s validity? The fact is, It worked! So, the logic used was at least on par with scientific reasoning even if the process was clearly based on a mystical premise.

To start, the choice of a liquid carrier in the preparation of a Life elixir like Swedish bitters is predicated upon the belief that a human being is comprised of a physical body, an astral body (the soul), and a spiritual body. Again, being spiritual concepts, it is understood that to even suggest such a proposition in a world of nano technology, microcircuitry and sometimes advanced surgery, may sound antiquated, perhaps even superstitious. Yet, these concepts can be logically explained and their manifestation as part of human functions and faculty demonstrated.

Any sensitive person is fully capable of distinguishing the functions of their body from those of their soul and spirit. At the simplest possible level; if you’re walking, it is obviously a physical thing. If you’re feeling an emotion, you are experiencing it through your soul. If you’re preoccupied with a purely intellectual concern, your spirit is at work. Simple enough?

This principle has many analogies. Operating simultaneously, it is similar to how A) computer hardware is being driven by B) software while using a common C) energy source to power them. They each exist separately but can be made to come together to function as one towards a specific purpose. If separated, essential functions stop. In human terms, it means physical death.

The intellectual contortions that some will go through to redefine or give different labels to these functions because they refuse to accept the possibility that the traditional view might be correct or to take credit for a plausible explanation, no matter how convoluted, is astounding. In so doing, neither explains them better nor changes the mechanism of action that they manifest by. Trying to scientifically quantify what is scientifically unquantifiable for the purpose of gaining legitimacy is a sign of being insecure of the philosophical premise being put forth. Be that as it may, until it can be proven otherwise, these traditional concepts remain viable, workable and can be intelligently discussed and incorporated philosophically and practically as part of the totality of the being human.

Given the multidimensional nature of life it is possible to target one, two or all three bodies depending on how the remedy is being prepared to be taken because we can only have a problem that is physical, emotional (soul) or of a mental (spirit) nature. A computer is no different. The problem can only come from a hardware, software or an energy issue. A machine is not multidimensional so you have to deal with it’s parts separately. The human being with body, soul and spirit, being inseparable while alive, all must act as one, each affecting the other and therefore all must be considered.

Which Brings Us Back To Alcohol

Elixirs are prepared with alcohol. Based on what was said a little further back, alcohol is still referred to as “spirits” to this day. The idea was that by fermenting, that which was unclean was being released, leaving behind a progressively “cleaner” essence of what the plant held within it. Usually, the end product that had by now become partly alcoholic but still retaining some of the character of the juice flavor it had started out with.

According to classical thought, all physical substance was thought to consist of specific classes of substance that held it’s particular characteristics. These were the Salt, Sulfur and Mercury, to correspond to the physical body, the astral components and spirit. The Salt was that which was left behind after evaporation that made up the corporality of the substance, the Sulfur was an oily component that gave it its quality and scent and the Mercury was what gave it it’s life and needed to be distilled to be separated from that substance.

swedish bitters grape alcoholThe distilled alcohol from grapes fermented into wine is the Mercury or, the spirit of wine. Being alcohol, it is also pure Fire Element which is why Indians called it “fire water.” Through heat all things separate. The inherent “spirit” heat in alcohol separates and draws out the spirit of whatever is put into it and will hold it within itself until consumed or evaporated. If put into the body, it will also have a similar effect when it reaches the heart; creating a state of inebriation if it is too abundant. This is nothing more than an effect from a mild separation of soul from body that misaligns the two. This “loosening up” is what makes a person stagger or unable to walk a straight line – like a hand losing it’s precise dexterity when made to wear a glove that is too large for it.

The purpose of a carrying medium is to capture and hold onto the “spirit” of the substances infused into it. If you want to capture fish and artificially preserve their life outside of their natural environment you must create their environment in miniature to keep them. A tank filled with water like an aquarium is needed. The same thing is being done to keep natural spirit “essences” with alcohol. Alcohol is the ideal medium to carry the “spirits” of the plants infused in it because being a “spirit itself, it is compatible to the etheric nature of the soul and spirit to ultimately carry the remedy to them for them and intended for them to repair the physical body. The remedy passes through physical heart, as that is where all three interface.

Even though distilled alcohols intended for ingestion are chemically identical as ethyl alcohol, they each carry some properties of their origins in them if they are carefully distilled at the correct temperature. Grape alcohol (brandy, cognac or grappa) is preferred because compared to grain or root alcohols, being of fruit origins, it is already of a more refined and “clean” nature. Grapes, having a natural affinity to blood as part of their signature, make their “spirit” (alcohol) ideal for preparing herbal remedies.

Remedies prepared in alcohol go quickly into the bloodstream, only needing to be taken in small quantities. Already being spirit, they need little digestion by the stomach. From the blood they go directly from the heart to the parts of the soul needing aid. The healing of the body parts is effected from there which would explain the sometimes extremely quick results from some natural remedies including homeopathics. Herbal substances compounded with honey will exhibit similarly quick actions for similar reasons. This is a very different concept from the strictly biochemical point of view. Yet, it is completely compatible with it, if one were to allow the full scope of both concepts to mesh.

The Anatomy Of A Remedy

It should be understood that every living thing and in this case herbs, are containers of accumulated material/spiritual substances gathered specifically by the inborn, guiding intelligence of that plant. This complexity is reflected in the nearly unending chemical analysis of all living things. In light of this, DNA is rendered quite inadequate in explaining why things grow as they do. This inborn intelligence differentiates itself from that of any other plant type which is why it forms and sustains itself as a distinct species.

swedish bitters, Paracelsus Elixir, Swedish, bitters, Schwedenbitter, Paracelsus, dr. samst, maria trebenAll plants have a main attribute and many sub-attributes; each representing an intelligence with purpose, which is what produces their ultimate effects. These intelligences that are ordained to be accumulated into a plant species are specific to that species. That order is maintained for the preservation and orderly progression of all species by higher powers.

The building blocks of plants only partially account for the plant chemistry. The intelligences remain active even after the plant is picked and dried. If they weren’t, picked dried plants would have no properties or exhibit them in such things as fragrance, color or taste. One or more spirit intelligences are gathered for fragrance, a few more for each color, more for each flavor, still for each part of the plant, for the structure, shape and geometry the plant is to have, and so on until the plant is complete. An accounting of materials is one thing but, those materials do not determine the often fanciful shapes and geometries of living things. These are living, conscious materials are gathered (primarily from the air – believe it or not) and intelligently compiled into an orderly structure, making the plant a living thing and identifiable as a species. It is these specific Intelligences, as attributes of the spirit substance of the plant, that are being drawn out of the plant when made into a tea, or infused in alcohol.

If you can accept this explanation, then it is not hard to see that every living thing is a container of accumulated material substances ordered into specific forms by higher spiritual intelligences by their unseen spiritual activity.

The total finished product be it plant, mineral or, animal, will have a specific geometry, color, fragrance, proportion that identify the characteristics of the intelligences that assembled them and the materials (and their content) they used. This finished form is consistent and identifiable with every species uniquely yielding what is called a “signature.” This signature is specific to the species and is the species, thereby, an apple tree can always be identified as such, a horse can always be recognized as a horse, a rose as a rose and so forth.

In Creation all things identify themselves externally. The external signature tells the person with the proper maturity what is contained within a specific external structure; whether it is clean or unclean, the purpose the form is serving within creation, for what it might be used and much more, provided a person is capable of reading it. On a simpler, more obvious note, a fish, a cow or an oak tree are each easily recognized and we know what to expect of them because their shape destinquishes them from anything else.

When plants, minerals, metals, or animal components are selected on this basis to be combined into remedies it is the living spiritual intelligences with their corresponding activities acting as properties that are being brought together. This is true whether you are assembling a team of people to do a specific task, in chopping up ingredients to make soup, or in chemically combining metallic elements to produce a specific kind of metal alloy. In Herbalism the outcome is generally always known before the application is made; Nature having already done all the assembly and experimenting in advance.

The material substance itself is merely the physical container or abode of the “spirit intelligence;” what they are physically bound to. Their individual activity and attributes do not change, but in combination they change the character of the overall combination. It’s like mixing colors. Once mixed, you loose the colors you started with and a totally new color is born and cannot easily be separated out. At times the combinations are sympathetic to one another and at times antagonistic; sometimes complimentary and at times not. Not understanding the nature of the ingredients sometimes makes them work against one another.

This is the anatomy of a remedy; good or bad. The art of successfully combining is partly a function of learning but is more born out of maturity through experience.

“These are qualities not quantities. Science does indeed measure quantities very accurately even if sometimes it does not always immediately understand the qualities it is in pursuit of. Often they are discovered quite by accident.”

Being able to perceive is a matter of maturity more than book learning. Although studying helps a great deal, the finer more subtle things of Nature are perceivable only to those who have earned it. This perception was termed, “the light of nature” by Paracelsus. Although it is latent in all, few develop it. It is an ingenious safeguard protecting against abuses far worse than those we now experience from blind greed through incomplete science.

“The light shineth into the darkness, but the darkness comprehendeth it not.”

It is difficult for the average person to imagine the unseen activities of the vital forces that govern life that for the most part, are not physical. In the past those who were capable of seeing this activity were called insane by the learned of the world; among these where the Alchemists. Many Alchemists were persecuted as they described a different world from a spiritual view; daring to talk of sound to those who could not hear, and light to those who could not see.

Modern science sees, measures and counts but often has as many explanations as presumptions as to why or to what purpose the actual activity of life and life substances is. They see only the gross materiality of things because that is all they believe exists. As a result they seldom guide or work with life processes. They work against them by forcing them in ways that are often dangerous. The result is unsettled spirit substance ie. a poison, pollution, disease etc. Because poisons are very reactive they are mistaken as remedies or forced into being used as remedies for profit.

Life Elixirs were exclusively produced by the alchemists and some of their formulas still survive. Without having a clear view of the unseen spiritual activity around us, few could knowingly combine the ingredients to produce a true Life Elixir.


The “Quintessence” is as much a concept as a much finer part of a remedy. The “Quintessence” is much talked about among would be Alchemists yet these often offer a long winded explanation of this most sublime of substances while having no clear concept of it. The Quintessence is literally translated as the “Fifth Essence.” In Hermetic or Christian Mystical theory the Fifth Essence is preceded by the first, second, third and forth essences which are the element of Fire, the element of Water, the element of Air and the element of Earth respectively. The Fifth Element is the “Akasha” or, God Substance as already mentioned above out of which all things are born out of. When we focus our belief or impregnate foods or remedies with thoughts or desires in the same manner as when people say a prayer over their food before eating it we are unconsciously working with the Fifth Element of Akasha. With conscious effort this can be used to guide the unseen spiritual activity within all things, including remedies or foods, towards a predetermined or noble outcome; a prayer said at a very high level, if you will.

The Concept of “Clean” and “Unclean”

The concept of a thing being “clean or unclean” is a universal concept. In the West it is part of the Biblical Old Testament. An unclean spirit mentioned in the Old Testament is translated into today’s jargon as “poison.” “Clean” refers to spirit content more than physical appearance. Some plants, animals, minerals are considered unclean and therefore best avoided. Others are considered clean and therefore beneficial and life sustaining. Plants that are clean have a fresh and “clearing” quality about them. They do not smell bad either before ingestion or after digestion. They attract more of the quality of what they already contain. A Life Elixir begins with “clean” ingredients.

The basic preparation methods for life elixirs can be complex or simple. All that is needed is a few clean pots, sealable glass or glazed earthenware vessels, water, fruit alcohol, clean tightly woven cloth for filtering, a stove and an actively clean and pure mind/heart in the process are all that is needed. For the most part a much simpler process can be used requiring only a glass jar and some sunshine.

Life elixirs are used in very small quantities; usually by the teaspoonful, sometimes by the drop.

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5 thoughts on “Paracelsus Elixir – The Original Swedish Bitters Formula

  1. Mary Light, ND MH LMT

    As a Master Herbalist and educator of 20 years experience, I know that herbs have numerous substitutes, and it is possible for there to be a number of formulas for water based digestive bitters which all work equally well , resulting in the same actions. They do not necessarily have “different effects’ as you strive to make such a claim for. I am about to make a batch of bitters, and not with an intention to “arbitrarily change it” , but to utilize the actions and constituents provided by the primary herbs (some of which are certainly not “Swiss”), and carry forward the tradition of herbal therapeutics while helping others. I have found most commercial formulations of digestive bitters- Swedish bitters, if you will allow what has quite become the vernacular- to be similar in outcome.

    There is also no way that herbs gathered and used whole, or in select parts, can have the constancy and “delicate outcome” you claim, since growing seasons, soils, and regions all change the nature and composition of the herbs each year. I am sure this is probably a good quality product you are selling, but discrediting others who have advanced, modified, or otherwise used it to benefit seems to be picayune — not in support of herbal progress at best.

    1. Amadeus Post author

      Respectfully, your conclusions are rather thin; a MH and 20 years of teaching notwithstanding! You should know that;

      A) Herbs specifically for the stomach are generally, but not always bitter, depending on what you are trying to achieve. You will find them from all over the world, but some are definitely better than others. Anyone can make their own digestive stomach bitter from them as you are doing, even with minimal herbal training. Heck, even Sweet vermouth will suffice most of the time.
      B) The fact that Paracelsus availed himself of exotic herbs available not far from where he lived from the herb trade of Venice in his formulations rather than restricting himself to what was available only in Switzerland is quite immaterial. The main point being, that if he were formulating a simple digestive stomach bitter, all Paracelsus would have really needed was simple gentian root, wormwood and/or a few other very common herbs to his native Switzerland.
      C) The fact that he used about 19 other, more exotic herbs in addition, plus a very specific formulation of theriac ventian means that what he was formulating was more than just a digestive stomach bitter, which is why his formula can be used internally as well as externally very effectively to achieve very different ends that go far beyond merely aiding stomach functions – that is, if you understand what these herbs do in combination!
      D) There are many formulas from both East and West that have existed unchanged for hundreds or even thousands of years for good reason. They worked quite well just as they were in the hands of those who understood their purpose. They did not need changing! Arbitrarily changed well functioning formulas are generally from herbs deemed to be superfluous from a lack of awareness of their actual functions/effects are. What Dr. Sambst did in his modifications of the original Paracelsus formula was reduce it to a glorified stomach bitter from not understanding its full function as a life elixir. Pointing this out is not a cheap shot or to discredit. It is simply stating a fact to further herbal knowledge! No other intent was meant.

      These are the conclusions we have come to after 35 years of active herbal practice and teaching. Your experiences may vary from ours because you have likely been taught in a different way, which is fine. We follow herbalism as it has been taught for thousands of years. To the best of my understanding, the practice and what herbs do has changed little. If you have never used one herb for more than one purpose based on how it is being prepared, please know that it is basic knowledge. If you do not know this, it is not our fault, nor should you be critical of those who do. What is in the old herbal texts stands pretty much on its own merits. Modern science only substantiates what was already well known. What they cannot substantiate is likely from a lack of knowing how to prepare certain herbs. Paracelsus was correct in his observations and practices. The problem is that few are able to prepare remedies as he did and are able to replicate them and their effects.

    1. Amadeus Post author

      Hi Ron,

      As part of our move to Canada we have found ourselves in a bit of a dilemma. We were never a large company and seldom found ourselves with the resources to expand our production. We have always contracted out our milling and encapsulation. The Paracelsus Elixir however, was very much a custom made product that needed to be made in an FDA approved facility. Not having that type of facility at the moment means we are unable to produce it. We hope that in the near future we will be able to once more. It does sadden us that we are not able to do so at the moment as many are asking for it.


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