A clever blend of 59 different plants with digestive, depurative and stimulating properties, the Swede's elixir is an ancestral remedy from the Middle Ages following the recipe of Maria Treben, a famous phytotherapist. Want to know more ? Find out in this article.
The story of the Swedish Elixir
The origins of the Swede's elixir undoubtedly go back to Babylon and Egypt under the name of elixir of long life. History tells that during Antiquity, theriac, a preparation bringing together more than 70 plants, was used as a counterpoison. It was composed of plants but also viper flesh and even opium at one point in its evolution. Physicians of Roman emperors like Crito (doctor to Trajan) and Andromache the Elder (doctor to Nero) used this remedy and were also recognized for this reason.
Theriac is considered the ancestor of the Swedish elixir. The best known was the Venetian theriac because the Venetians of the time were renowned for their skill in concocting this preparation. From the 16th century, the preparation was shared with the colleges of pharmacists of Lyon and Paris, under supervision and in the presence of the city's notables.
The recipe spanned the ages and was then updated by the alchemist Paracelsus in the 16th century. It was then that Jonathan Samst, a 19th century doctor, created the recipe for the Swedish elixir for the King of Sweden and his guard so that they would never be tired!
It was ultimately Maria Treben, a famous Austrian phytotherapist, who revealed the complete recipe for this miracle elixir to the general public thanks to her work: “Health at the pharmacy of the good Lord” (1980). Elixir that would have saved his life! Back in Austria, after having stayed several months in a refugee camp in Bavaria where she contracted numerous illnesses, a woman brought Maria Treben a brownish and very odorous liquid as well as a copy of an ancient manuscript describing how this elixir miraculous could cure a large number of ailments. Saved by said elixir, she then published the recipe to in turn save other lives.
The benefits of the Swedish Elixir
Aloe, senna, angelica, rhubarb, manna, myrrh, saffron. All these plants have properties in the field of digestion. Aloe and senna act as a laxative. Angelica is effective against intestinal discomfort and stimulates the appetite. Rhubarb facilitates transit and is effective against constipation. Manna is useful against constipation in children. Myrrh is used in the prevention of ulcers. And saffron, for its part, is an excellent digestive and stimulates the liver.
Tones and stimulates
The Swede's elixir, thanks to the plants that make it up, has stimulating properties for the body and mind. Saffron helps against feelings of restlessness. Myrrh, camphor and angelica tone the nerves, the mind and the body's immune system. The elixir is recommended by Maria Treben herself to prevent the body and mind from winter colds, changes and upheavals. Still according to Maria Treben, the Swede's elixir would “disappear melancholy”, resolve “nervous insomnia” and stimulate memory and certain other brain functions.
Has depurative and anti-inflammatory power
The Swede's elixir acts on all the organs of the body responsible for eliminating toxins: the liver, kidneys, intestines, skin and lungs. The elixir eliminates poisons and toxins accumulated in these parts of the body. This acts on pimples, transit, headaches, joints, etc. The Swede's elixir also relieves the pain caused by these toxins. Certain plants in the mixture help calm inflammation and promote healing.
The recipe for the Swedish Elixir
Here is the recipe for Maria Treben's little Swedish liqueur, inspired by the writings of the Swedish doctor and rector of the Academy of Medicine, Dr. Samst:
- 10 g of aloe*;
- 5 g of myrrh;
- 0.2 g of saffron;
- 10 g of senna leaves;
- 10 g of camphor**;
- 10 g of rhubarb root;
- 10 g of zedoary root;
- 10 g of oak fruit (manna);
- 10 g of Venezian theriak;
- 5 g of carline root;
- 10 g of angelica root.
*Instead of aloe, it is also possible to use yellow gentian roots or wormwood powder.
**Regarding camphor, only natural camphor should be used.
Macerate the ''Herbes du Suédois'' in a liter and a half of grain brandy at 38 to 40%, or in another good brandy, in a two-liter wide bottle. neck, and let them rest for 14 days in the sun or near a stove. Stir daily, as well as before transferring into a small bottle and before use. Fill the liquid in small bottles that are closed well and kept cool. In this way, it is possible to keep this elixir for many years. The more it rests, the more effect it has.
Tips for using the Swedish Elixir
It is possible to take the Swedish elixir internally and externally.
- Internally: to benefit from the digestive, tonic or depurative properties, it is possible to take between 1 and 3 tablespoons per day depending on the needs you encounter. One spoon per day is effective for prevention and 3 spoons are effective for chronic inconveniences. It is recommended to dilute the elixir in water or herbal tea and to take it before or after meals.
- Externally: for joint pain, digestive pain, etc., you can combine internal intake with an external application as well. Wet a compress or cloth with the elixir and apply to the pain area to nourish the skin. Keep the fabric on the area for between 2 and 4 hours or even overnight if this is bearable.
Contraindications of the Swedish Elixir
Due to its alcohol content and its composition based on purgative plants, the elixir is not recommended for children and pregnant or breastfeeding women. It is also advisable to seek advice from a doctor.
For people who are more sensitive to taste and/or smells, there is an alternative to the elixir: infusions. Composed of 59 quality organic plants, the infusion stimulates digestive functions and contributes to good transit. Some of the 59 plants improve digestion (gentian and angelica), intestinal transit (senna and rhubarb), urinary elimination functions (rosemary and milk thistle) and resistance to fatigue (gentian ).