The Bitters: NZ Bush or Swedish

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The Healing Lands 'New Zealand Bush Bitters Salve' and 'Swedish Bitters Salve' are both fantastic general purpose creams that you can put on anybody for anything. They do have points of difference and that is what I will discuss here. 

In the case of simple first aid you can use whichever of the 2 creams you have at hand but you will find that the NZ Bush Bitters Salve is more effective against any situation where itching is prevalent.


The mammalian body has 2 main organs of elimination - the liver and the kidneys and these are supported by the bowels, lungs and skin. When our body uses the skin as a means of elimination it can indicate that either the liver or the kidneys are dysfunctioning or overloaded. Skin conditions are a reflection of what is or has been happening internally. Quite often it is the bodies last resort for eliminating toxins. The presenting symptoms can give us the clues as to what the underlying problem is.

In 'conventional western' medicine a great deal of use is made of steroid based creams (e.g. hydrocortisone) which are anti-inflammatory. They ease the symptoms usually but do it by shutting down the bodies natural healing mechanisms. In contrast to this, products such as NZ Bush Bitters Salve and Swedish Bitters Salve are working to help the body in it's natural functioning. The ingredients will be absorbed through the dermal layers and into the blood stream where they will have an effect internally. In fact, I recommend using the salves on animals when you cannot get a remedy into them orally.

NZ Bush Bitters - supports kidney function. Looking at the kidney meridian and it's partner the bladder meridian we can see when this remedy is useful. The path of the bladder meridian is from the head down the spine and the back of leg to the little toe. Meridian disorders include headaches in the forehead, headaches associated with neck tension, lumbar pain, weak sore lower back, boils on buttocks, haemorrhoids, sciatica, hamstring pain, varicose veins, broken capillaries, lower calf cramp, weak ankles and feet, athlete's foot. The peripheral nerves all originate from the spinal column so any condition with nerve pain or itching will be helped. The kidney meridian runs from the base of the ball of the foot to the chest via the inside of the leg. Meridian disorders include lung congestion, eczema and fungus in groin area and genitals including nappy rash, thigh pain, skin problems along the meridian, varicose veins , broken capillaries, knee pain, phlebitis or inner calf and shinbone soreness, swollen weak inner ankles, eczema, fungus on soles of feet, burning, sweating painful soles.

Swedish Bitters - supports liver function. The same applies here if we look at the liver and gall bladder meridians. The liver meridian runs from the lateral side of the big toe up the inside of the leg to the chest. Meridian disorders include stomach problems, liver problems, digestive problems, genital problems eg herpes, candida and eczema, thigh pain, varicose veins, broken capillaries, eczema or psoriasis along the meridian, medial knee pain, shinbone sores and phlebitis on the inner side of the calf, dark pigmentation on the calf, problems in the big toe eg gout, ingrowing toenails, fungus especially on the inside of the foot. The gall bladder meridian runs from the head to toe 4 via the outside of the leg. Meridian disorders include temple headaches/migraines, jaw pain, neck tension, frozen shoulder, pain and tightness in the ribs and thorax, asthma, shingles, arthritis/ pain in the hip, posture problems, skin problems along the meridian, lateral knee pain, puffiness of the hip 'reflex' on the foot, corns, athlete's foot, fungus or hammertoe on the fourth toe.

If your constitution lends you to suffer from digestive type problems eg indigestion, heartburn, constipation, diarrhoea etc then you will find that Swedish Bitters salve will work better for you, no matter the skin condition you are using it for.

On the other hand, if you a 'nervy' type person eg suffer from anxiety or stress, are a worrier, have back(spinal) problems or skin reactions are of the hot, dry, itchy type such as eczema or psoriasis then NZ Bush Bitters is the one for you.

The Law of Five Elements

This traditional Chinese paradigm represents all aspects of the universe and natural cycles of the earth.

Movement Wood Fire Earth Metal Water
Colour Green Red Yellow Purple Blue
Shape Rectangular Triangle Square Round Curve
Material Wood, Plants, Flower Fire, Light Clay, Stone Gold, Silver Water, Mirror
Direction east south centre west north
Planet Jupiter Mars Saturn Venus Mercury
Energy Generative Expansive Stabilising Contracting Conserving
Season Spring Summer Change of season Autumn Winter
Climate Windy Hot Damp Dry Cold
Development Sprouting Blooming Ripening Withering Dormant
Livestock dog sheep/goat cattle chicken pig
Fruit plum apricot jujube peach chestnut
Grain wheat beans rice hemp millet
Mental Quality Sensitivity Creativity Clarity Intuition Spontaneity
Emotion anger, resentment joy,love, hate empathy, sympathy grief, guilt, regret fear, anxiety
Expression shouting laughing singing crying, deep sighing groaning 
yin organs liver heart/pericardium spleen/pancreas lung kidney
yang organs gall bladder small intestine/triple heater stomach large intestine bladder
sensory organ eye tongue mouth nose ears
Body Part Tendons Pulse Muscle Skin Bones
Body Fluid Tears Sweat Saliva Mucous Urine
Finger index middle thumb ring little
Sense sight speech taste smell hearing
Taste sour bitter sweet pungent salty
Smell rancid scorched fragrant rotten putrid
Life birth youth adulthood old age death