Health tonics are an interesting and sometimes confusing phenomenon in the world of supplements. Often accompanied by vague promises to improve one’s overall health and well-being, these herbal concoctions tend to offer a dizzying mix of ingredients that are typically big on promise and short on supporting clinical evidence.
Below we take an in-depth look into the NatureWorks Swedish Bitters formula, to see whether it delivers on its promises or offers yet another bottle of bitter disappointment.
NatureWorks Swedish Bitters Pros
- Positive customer feedback
- Widely available
- Effective laxative
NatureWorks Swedish Bitters Cons
- Poor taste
- Proprietary formula
- No scientific evidence to back up claims
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What You Need To Know About NatureWorks Swedish Bitters
NatureWorks Swedish Bitters is a general health elixir that promises to improve the consumer’s, ‘overall health and well-being’. The supplement is manufactured by a company called Nature’s Way, and is available through a range of online retailers (including Amazon, iHerb and others).
The concept of Swedish Bitters dates back to the 18th century, with modern formulas offering slightly tweaked versions of the original mixture. The ingredients included within this mix in particular are likely to work as laxatives and painkillers, acting as pain relief for customers suffering with stomach or intestinal illnesses and complaints.
What Are The Side Effects Of NatureWorks Swedish Bitters?
The most common side effect of taking a laxative product is the obvious change in bowel habits. Some laxative users report increased bowel movements, whilst others report that their movements stop completely. Dehydration is a common and sometimes serious side effect; it can lead to headaches, constipation and complications for pregnant women or women using certain contraceptive methods.
Perhaps the most serious problem with using laxatives is that they can cause an electrolyte imbalance in the body. The body’s levels of calcium, chlorine, magnesium, phosphates, potassium, and sodium can decrease after using laxatives. The side effects that follow from this include muscle cramps, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, trembling, muscle weakness, and stiff or aching joints. In the most severe cases, more serious symptoms can occur, such as low blood pressure, tachycardia (rapid heart rate), sunken eyes, confusion or loss of consciousness for even a brief moment, and poor skin elasticity. If any of these occur, a medical professional should be consulted immediately.
Other ingredients in this product can cause other side effects, some of which are potentially life-threatening. Although unlikely, taking camphor orally has resulted in sudden death caused by an allergic reaction. Valerian root may also cause headaches or uneasiness in some people. Finally, black cohosh may cause headaches and weight gain, and some researchers believe that it may be associated with liver damage.
A full account of all of the potential side effects that could develop whilst taking NatureWorks Swedish Bitters is available below, under the Side Effects tab.
How Much Does NatureWorks Swedish Bitters Cost?
The price of NatureWorks Swedish Bitters varies between retailers and according to the various deals and pricing plans offered. It definitely does pay to shop around, looking at the prices of several retailers before deciding where to order from.
A 100 ml bottle of NatureWorks Swedish Bitters can be purchased for $11.16, and a 250 ml bottle will cost $19.24. A 500 ml bottle and 1000 ml bottle will cost $27.77 and $46.96 respectively. Delivery charges do apply, but Amazon offers free shipping on larger orders (generally over $46-$49 depending on the size of the bottles you’re purchasing).
Our Verdict On NatureWorks Swedish Bitters
Perhaps the most important thing to note about this product in particular is the high praise it receives in terms of online customer reviews. Most customers seem extremely satisfied with NatureWorks Swedish Bitters, claiming that it helps to relieve pain and discomfort for a number of digestive issues.
The ingredients contained within the formula have indeed been linked with a number of properties, most of which have not been proven in the scientific sense. Perhaps the only thing we can say for sure about Swedish Bitters is that it will act as an herbal laxative; useful for some, but not quite the cure-all some claim it to be. In fact, the sheer number of ailments that people claim Swedish Bitters can cure is reason for suspicion, making the whole effect seem like it could be a placebo.
The manufacturer sagely warns consumers to not use this product as a long-term, habit-forming solution, and this advice should certainly be taken. Long-term use of Swedish Bitters will likely result in a range of unpleasant side effects (see side effects section), some of which will take a genuine toll in the body.
For this reason (and partly due to the product’s exceptional poor taste), we cannot recommend NatureWorks Swedish Bitters to our readers. We would like to see more scientific research conducted into what is admittedly encouraging early indicators, in order to fully confirm whether this interesting tonic is a placebo or the real deal.
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NatureWorks Swedish Bitters Review
NatureWorks Swedish Bitters is a health tonic that promises to improve overall health and well-being. Supposedly inspired by bitter health tonics used by Paracelsus (a renowned 16th-century physician), more modern recipes for Swedish Bitters date back to the work of Swedish medics in the 18th century. A number of companies now produce and sell their own formulas, which tend to be similar concoctions with slightly unique additions.
This product in particular is manufactured by Nature’s Way, and is available to buy from a number of online and physical locations. The product comes in liquid form, and is essentially made up of a blend of herbs and traditional medicines, the majority of which are plant-based.
How to Take NatureWorks Swedish Bitters
Directions for use are as follows: Shake well before using. Take 1–2 teaspoons daily. Do not exceed recommended doses. Not for long-term use.
NatureWorks Swedish Bitters Concerns:
- No scientific evidence available to confirm whether it works as a health tonic
- Some consumers complain of the bitter taste
- Maybe damaging and may induce side effects over time
What Does NatureWorks Swedish Bitters Claim To Do?
Swedish Bitters have generally been linked with a range of beneficial effects over the years, and many customers on Amazon who have reviewed the product appear to be using the tonic as a means of recovering from illness or to improve their digestive system function.
Nature’s Way is far less bold in their proclamations, instead simply stating that their Swedish Bitters tonic helps to improve ‘overall health and well-being’ and that it ‘promotes regularity for healthy digestive function’. Perhaps with US law in mind, the company also insists on its Amazon product page that the tonic is ‘not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease’. We would ultimately guess that NatureWorks intends to leave it to the imagination of the customer what the tonic will actually do for them.
Does NatureWorks Swedish Bitters Work?
Most of the ingredients provided in Natureworks Swedish Bitters act as laxatives or digestion aids, with some others acting as natural painkillers or cures for insomnia. Many customers report the tonic helps with gas issues, bloating and other stomach or digestive upsets.
The more dramatic healing properties that are mentioned by many of its users cannot be confirmed by the existing body of scientific evidence, but the strong customer feedback and high-scoring reviews offered by customers suggest some potentially interesting properties. Whether these are the results of a placebo effect or an actual process in the body cannot be confirmed at the moment, due to a lack of clinical research.
What Are The Ingredients of NatureWorks Swedish Bitters?
The ingredients used in this Swedish Bitters formula are listed below. The manufacturer provides the ingredients list in the form of a ‘proprietary blend’ that fails to list any ingredient quantities. As always, a lack of information on the quantities of individual ingredients included make it difficult to estimate how effective they are. The quantity listed below is for 1 serving (2 teaspoons of liquid).
Proprietary Extract Blend 9.6g:
- Manna: Manna contains a chemical called mannitol, which is thought to work as a laxative.
- Fraxinus Ornus: This acts as another source of manna (see above).
- Angelica: Angelica is used to cure a range of ailments, including heartburn, intestinal gas, loss of appetite, circulatory problems, insomnia and more. Most of its supposed effects are unproven, although it has somewhat proven to be effective as a cure for erectile dysfunction issues and stomachache.
- Cape Aloe: Cape Aloe is an effective laxative that can also lower the body’s blood sugar level.
- Senna: Senna is a stimulant laxative; sennosides, the active ingredient in senna, are activated by natural bacteria in the large intestine. These then stimulate the nerve endings in the large intestine, causing the muscles in the intestinal wall to contract, encouraging movement through the bowels.
- Chinese Rhubarb: Long a feature of traditional Chinese medicine, taking rhubarb is thought to be a useful means of managing blood sugar levels and disorders of the kidney, scientific evidence backing up these properties is unfortunately lacking.
- Zedoary: Zedoary is used variably for indigestion, loss of appetite, anxiety, stress, fatigue and pain. Although there is some evidence to suggest that it has properties similar to an antibiotic, no studies have been conducted on humans to confirm this fully.
- Myrrh: This fragrant perfume has also been used as an antiseptic, a means of inducing menstruation, and a treatment for cancer or infectious diseases. There is no scientific evidence available to support these uses, although some studies suggest that myrrh can be used to treat specific illnesses related to parasitic worms.
- Carline Thistle: Carline Thistle acts as a diuretic and digestion aid. In larger doses, it can be used as a strong and effective purgative.
- Camphor: When taken orally, camphor can help with treating respiratory tract infections and gas. This practice is considered dangerous, as it could cause sudden death in some allergic users.
- Black Cohosh: This root contains a number of chemicals that affect the body, including serotonin (for the immune system). It also appears to act in the same way as the female hormone, oestrogen, making it an effective mean of treating menopause symptoms.
- Valerian: Valerian seems to act as a sedative and painkiller. Possibly effective as a cure for menopause symptoms and insomnia.
- Cinnamon: The oils found in cinnamon bark are thought to help with reducing gas, stimulating one’s appetite and lowering blood sugar. The tannins in cinnamon mark may also help to prevent diarrhoea.
- Cardomom: This spice contains chemicals that appear to increase the rate at which the body digests food, and which help to treat stomach and gas problems.
- Saffron (pistil): This expensive spice may be effective as a treatment for menstrual discomfort, depression and Alzheimer’s. It has also been put forward as a cure for intestinal gas, insomnia, and respiratory illnesses.
Does NatureWorks Swedish Bitters Have Any Side Effects?
Many of the expected side effects of using Swedish Bitters comes from the fact that many of its ingredients essentially act as laxatives.
The most common side effect of taking a laxative product is a change in bowel habits. Some people may experience frequent loose stools and increased bowel movements, while others may find that their bowel movements stop completely. Dehydration is also a common side effect, as the body is expelling more water from increased bowel movements. Headaches and constipation are two side effects that may occur due to dehydration. Some people may experience diarrhoea, depending upon their own diet as well as the strength of the product they are using.
Over-reliance upon laxatives can also cause dependency, as the muscles in the colon become weaker. This is one of the main reasons why the product is listed as only for occasional or short-term use.
Perhaps the most serious problem with using laxatives is that they can cause an electrolyte imbalance in the body. Calcium, chlorine, magnesium, phosphate, potassium, and sodium are all obtained from fluids, supplements, and food, but increasing fluid output can decrease their levels in the body?–?even sweating due to exercise can significantly lower electrolyte levels. Side effects of low levels of electrolytes include muscle cramps, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, trembling, muscle weakness, and stiff or aching joints. In the most severe cases, more serious symptoms can occur, such as low blood pressure, tachycardia (rapid heart rate), sunken eyes, confusion or loss of consciousness for even a brief moment, and poor skin elasticity. If any of these occur, a medical professional should be consulted immediately.
Women who are taking the contraceptive pill should be aware that the use of laxatives can interfere with the absorption of the tablet, which could obviously reduce the effectiveness of the contraceptive. Other medications may also be affected by this problem.
Other ingredients in this product can cause other minor side effects. Angelica root may make you more sensitive to sunlight. Black cohosh may cause headaches and weight gain, and some researchers believe that it may be associated with liver damage. Valerian root may also cause headaches or uneasiness in some people. Although unlikely, taking camphor orally has resulted in sudden death caused by allergic reaction; without knowing the quantity of camphor used in this product, we cannot confirm whether it is safe.
Do not exceed recommended doses. This product contains senna leaves. This product is not intended for pregnant or nursing mothers or children under the age of 18. Do not use this product if you have abdominal pain, diarrhoea or loose stools. Rectal bleeding and/or failure to have a bowel movement after the use of a laxative formula may be an indication of a more serious condition. Should this occur, or if you have a known medical condition and are taking medication, consult your physician prior to taking this or any dietary supplement.
Are There Any Customer Reviews For NatureWorks Swedish Bitters?
One of the most notable things about the NatureWorks Swedish Bitters formula is the excellent feedback it has received from customers on Amazon and elsewhere. The vast majority of customers are heavy in their praise for the product, with around 90% or so giving high ratings.
Swedish Bitters is like a miracle! I have been suffering from severe back pain for about four months… After using it for four days, 3/4 of my pain was gone. I started feeling much more better. Despite the awful taste, I use it twice a day mixing it with orange juice. I strongly recommend it to everyone who is suffering from some kind of pain.
Taste takes a bit of getting used to. I describe the taste as ’kitchen cleaner like’. However, this product works very well as a digestive aid. It seems to eliminate the fullness and bloating within about 20 minutes. Recommend as a general health tonic as well. Old school formula with real benefits.
LOVE THIS STUFF! I have IBD and this is one of the ONLY things that helps with the pain, gas, etc. I have tried a few prescription medications and the side effects were unbearable. This has no side effects and starts working in 5 minutes.
This product did not help my digestive probs in fact it gave me huge bloat and cramping, a prob I did not have before. One size does not fit all apparently when it comes to digestive disease.
Does NatureWorks Swedish Bitters Offer a Money-Back Guarantee?
Nature’s Way does not appear to sell this product to customers directly, and so does not offer their own returns policy. Returns policies and money-back guarantees will therefore vary between third-party retailers. As always, we recommend finding one that offers you the right to return opened boxes for a full refund within 30 days.
Where Can I Buy NatureWorks Swedish Bitters?
NatureWorks Swedish Bitters is available from a number of 3rd party retailers, including Amazon, Vitacost, iHerb and others.
From Amazon, a 100 ml bottle of Natureworks Swedish Bitters can be purchased for $11.16, and a 250 ml bottle will cost $19.24. A 500 ml bottle and 1000 ml bottle will cost $27.77 and $46.96 respectively. Amazon offers free shipping on the larger orders (generally over $46-$49 depending on the sizes of the bottles you’re purchasing), but delivery charges will apply on smaller orders.
Vitamin Shoppe charge $21.99 for a 250 ml bottle, $36.79 for a 500 ml bottle, and finally charge $40.99 for a 1000 ml bottle. Delivery charges may also apply when ordering online, and the products may also be available in selected Vitamin Shoppe stores.
Vitacost offer a 1000 ml bottle of NatureWorks Swedish Bitters on their website for $42.99, plus delivery charges.
Lucky Vitamin sell a single bottle of NatureWorks Swedish Bitters containing 250 ml for $17.37, plus delivery charges.
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