Swedish Bitters can be a useful part of your Candida treatment. By increasing the production of digestive enzymes like hydrochloric acid, they improve your digestion and help to raise the acidity of your intestines.
The Candida yeast needs an alkaline environment to switch to its fungal form and spread around your body, so this extra acidity helps to re-balance your gut flora.
There are a variety of other benefits from taking Swedish Bitters, in particular the positive effects on your liver and immune system. You can take Swedish Bitters before, during and after your Candida diet. They are an excellent way to maintain a healthy digestive system.
How do Swedish Bitters help with Candida?
Swedish Bitters have a number of positive effects on the way that your body works. Not all of these are relevant to Candida, but they are all beneficial to the smooth and efficient running of your internal systems. Here are a few that you should be aware of.
Swedish Bitters regulate stomach acidity
By stimulating the production of digestive enzymes such as hydrochloric acid, Swedish Bitters help to maintain a healthy, acidic environment in your stomach. There is a lot of confusion among Candida sufferers over acidic or alkaline environments. Just remember that Candida thrives on alkalinity – increasing your stomach acid is one of the easiest ways to slow Candida growth and re-balance your gut flora.
Swedish Bitters manage blood sugar
Swedish Bitters help to regulate the production of insulin in your pancreas. This can help prevent the spikes in blood sugar that can cause changes in your mood and energy levels. Most importantly, those blood sugar spikes are what has actually been feeding your Candida, so stable blood sugar levels will slow down your Candida overgrowth.
Swedish Bitters support liver function
The liver is a vital part of your digestive function, and Swedish Bitters promote the efficient functioning and cleansing action of this important organ. The Bitters stimulate bile production, helping to metabolize fats and promoting smooth elimination, and they prepare the liver to process nutrients efficiently. This can be particularly useful during Candida die-off when large amounts of toxins are released.
Swedish Bitters reduce stress
Stress is actually a much more important factor in Candida overgrowth than many people realize. High levels of stress and adrenaline production weaken your adrenal glands, which in turn weaken your immune system. Bitters have a subtle, beneficial impact on your mood and in some cases can even have an antidepressant effect.
Swedish Bitters boost your immune system
Your immune system is very complicated and involves many different parts of your body. Swedish Bitters can help in at least a couple of these areas. Firstly, by reducing stress they allow your adrenals to function properly. Unhealthy adrenals weaken your immune system and your defenses against Candida. Secondly, bitters are supportive of your immune system because they help to repair the lining of your gut. This helps prevent Leaky Gut Syndrome, a disease whereby food from your intestine leaks into the blood stream and causes an immune response. A healthy gut lining leaves your immune system free to fight the Candida overgrowth.
Swedish Bitters aid digestion
Swedish Bitters stimulate peristalsis, the contractions that help push food along through your digestive system. So bitters can actually help with mild constipation too.
How do you take Swedish Bitters?
When you take bitters, what you’re really trying to do is stimulate the bitter receptors on your tongue. This is what triggers the production of the digestive enzymes. These bitter receptors are located towards the back of your tongue, so that’s exactly where the bitters need to go.
Be sure to read the instructions that come with your Swedish Bitters, but in general this is what you need to do. The Bitters will usually come with a dropper, so use this to place a few drops on the back of your tongue. Use between half a dropper and a full dropper. Take them before or immediately after a meal, followed by two glasses of water. Alternatively you can put the drops in water and drink them that way.
You can take Swedish Bitters before, during and after your Candida diet, but be careful not to take the bitters for too long. They contain berberine (present in Oregon Grape root and Goldenseal). This is a plant alkaloid that can potentially damage your intestinal lining if taken for too long. Another possible side effect is a depletion of your potassium levels, leading to high blood pressure. However, taken in small amounts for maybe 2 weeks at a time, bitters are fine.
How are Swedish Bitters different from Digestive Grape Bitters?
Swedish Bitters and Digestive Grape Bitters have a broadly similar effect – they both stimulate the production of digestive enzymes. However you need to make sure that you buy a brand that does not contain alcohol of any kind, as this can break down into sugars that will feed your Candida. Swedish Bitters rarely contain alcohol, but if you buy Digestive Grape Bitters make sure that you buy the non-alcohol version.
For lots more information on the symptoms, causes and treatment of Candida, take a look at my Ultimate Candida Diet treatment program.