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Angostura is not only the old name of the city now known as Ciudad Bolívar, it is also a plant. But the angostura tree is no ordinary plant, the tree is rather a medicinal plant. The German doctor Johan Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert had already noticed this at the beginning of the 19th century.

In the angostura tree test 2023 we show you everything you need to know about this plant. The angostura tree is known under the names Cusparia angostura, Galipea febrifuga, Angostura vera, Cusparia trifoliata and Bonplandia angostura. In this article you will learn how the herb has also proven its worth.


  • Originally, the drink that comes from angostura bark should have been used only in medicine, as a cure for diseases, especially tropical diseases.
  • The medicinal herb has made a breakthrough in the alcohol industry. But it is also often used as a seasoning.
  • Native plants such as basil, camomile or motherwort can replace the functions of angostura bark.

The Best Angostura: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for Angostura products

At the beginning of the 19th century, the German doctor Johann Siegert developed a remedy for tropical diseases from parts of the angostura tree. Unfortunately, the pink-coloured remedy did not catch on. In alcoholic beverages, however, Angostura was successful and was able to establish itself.

When buying Angostura in general, you can pay attention to several aspects, such as:

Parts of the plant have an antipyretic, laxative, antiflatulent, anti-nausea, digestive and stomachic effect. The plant is also considered stimulating and is used as a stimulant. It is considered invigorating and strengthening. We will gladly introduce you to each of the topics step by step.


The angostura tree grows in northern Brazil, in Colombia, in Venezuela and on the West Indies. Only the bark is used for the production of various products. Angostura is contained in various products in a wide variety of forms. The bark of the tree is used for the production of the well-known bitter liqueur Angostura. Originally, this liqueur was a medicine against tropical diseases.

The Angostura bitters contain 30 grams of Angostura bark.

In addition to about 30 grams of angostura bark, the angostura bitters also contains chamomile flowers, cardamom seeds, cinnamon bark, orange peels, sultanas and very high-proof alcohol.

Historians are not 100% in agreement about which ingredients were used in the original Angostura Bitter. Therefore, we will assume the most common recipe here.

The bitter liqueur is part of some well-known drinks, such as the Manhattan cocktail. Otherwise, the spiced liqueur is used in desserts or in sauces for fish and meat.


Angosturin is extracted from the bark to make the drinks. The colourless substance is dissolved in water and alcohol. Angostura bark also contains essential oils.

However, the angostura tree also contains toxic substances, namely poisonous alkaloids such as galipine, cusparine, galipidine, cusparidine and cuspareine. They are also used as quinine substitutes.

The toxins are important because quinine is used to reduce fever and to treat malaria. This is what the medicinal drink should have been used for originally. In those days, the angostura bark was used in powder form as a remedy. The powder was infused or boiled.

The bark also consists of bitter substances, essential oil, gallipëin, cusparin and angosturin. These allow the production of oils, smoke and drops from the angostura bark.


The genuine angostura bark has been proven to be effective against certain diseases and especially stomach and intestinal complaints. To get the best out of the plant, the following procedure is recommended:

  • Place 20 g of coarsely crushed bark in ¼ litre of good Rhine wine.
  • Pour this over several times afterwards
  • After a few days, pour off the lager that has been produced.

Depending on the disease or complaint, it is recommended to take one tablespoon once a day or even several times a day. If the healing potion is prepared in a more concentrated way, a few drops of it every 5 to 10 minutes are sufficient to combat the illness.


Angostura liqueur is an alcoholic drink with a very high percentage of alcohol. Therefore, this drink is not at all suitable for children and pregnant women.

However, if the liqueur is mixed into desserts or sauces, the alcohol evaporates and thus the meal becomes tolerable for everyone.

The bark is particularly well tolerated when processed. It was once used medicinally and helps with all kinds of stomach complaints. This part of the plant also has a positive effect on fever, nausea and flatulence.

Intended use

The origin of angostura bark lies in its medicinal use. At the beginning of the 19th century, the German doctor Johan Siegert used angostura bark in powder form to cure tropical diseases in what is now the Venezuelan city of Bolívar, which was once called Angostura. The doctor recorded his findings in a book.

The powder is also said to be effective against caries. For this, the powder must be boiled and used as a mouthwash.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about the angostura tree answered in detail

We report here on a natural product that has almost fallen into oblivion, the angostura tree. You have already heard about it, but would like to know what the medicinal plant has to offer, or you are interested in the background of the famous Angostura Bitters. Here we reveal the hottest questions about the Angostura tree.

What is an angostura tree and how does it work?

The angostura tree is a tree native to South America. To be precise, the tree grows in Venezuela, where the healing herbal mixture originated. It only grows 7 metres high and hides its active ingredients in the bark. (7) Products of the angostura tree have a very positive effect on our health. Angostura is effective against: Diarrhoea, fever, stomach weakness, strengthening of the immune system, nausea and helps against digestive weakness.

Effect: stomach and intestinal complaints

It is widely believed that bitter substances stimulate digestion. Already at the first touch of the tongue, our body reacts and produces substances such as bile, gastric juices and insulin.

We tend not to like bitter foods.

Bitter substances stimulate the stomach, the liver, the gall bladder and also the pancreas. The liver is stimulated and starts its detoxification function. The qiuntesence behind this is that bitter substances can replace acid blockers.

Bitter substances are no longer particularly tasty for the human mouth. But herbal bitters are still popular for stomach complaints. Angostura bitters also help with stomach and intestinal complaints.

Effect: stomachic

You don’t have to use Angostura when a problem has already arisen. The spiced liqueur can be used to strengthen the digestion. The bark of the angostura tree tastes very bitter and is therefore ideal for making spiced liqueurs.

Angostura is very good against diarrhoea. The active ingredients from the bark get to the root of the problem and do not start working in the intestines but in the stomach. The stomach is cleansed and strengthened, which has a positive effect on the intestinal tract.

Effect: Antipyretic

The angostura tree originated in South America. The inhabitants of its native Venezuela use the medicinal herb against fever. (8) As early as the 19th century, it was proven that the drink made from angostura bark was used against fever and even against seasickness.

Of course, the fever-reducing medicinal herb should not be drunk in masses, as it is high-proof alcohol and can have side effects on an empty stomach.

When and for whom is it useful to take Angostura products?

Angostura is used to make liqueurs, cocktails, medicinal drinks, ointments, drops and spice mixtures.

  • Angostura in medicine: Dr. Johann Siegert came to Venezuela at the beginning of the 19th century where there was a war and he practised as a doctor. He invented a healing drink and used it to treat the soldiers. His medicine even cured tropical diseases. Unfortunately, the remedy did not enjoy lasting success in medicine.
  • Angostura in naturopathy: Many naturopaths took up the findings of Dr. Johan Siegert. Angostura as galipea is a rue plant and is considered the true angostura tree. Furthermore, the angostura bark is considered a remedy for fever, stomach complaints and various diseases. The bark also has a diaphoretic and diuretic effect.
  • Angostura in the bar: Angostura reached the bars in the middle of the 19th century when the inventor of Angostura Bitters, Dr. Siegert, accidentally mixed his drink into a cocktail after the war. The export of the drink to England, the USA and other parts of the world began.
  • Angostura in the kitchen: Angostura bitters get into the sauce after the last roasting step of the meat. The meat is removed from the pan and then the meat sauce is seasoned with Angostura bitters. Then simmer briefly and pour the sauce over the meat.

Although the Angostura tree is nowadays rather seen as a drink and fun in drinks, the bark of the tree has a positive effect on our body.

Besides the health benefits, Angostura tastes great in cocktails, so it’s hard to imagine bars without it. (Image source: Ash Edmonds / unsplash)

Similar to other herbal liqueurs, Angostura can be used in masses for weakness, stomach and intestinal upset and fever.

What parts of the plant are processed from the angostura tree and what does it make?

To make a product from the angostura tree, the bark of the tree is harvested. This is then cut into small pieces and processed further. The bark can also be bought separately and then you can process it yourself. The internet offers recipes for this.

Besides cocktails, the bark of the angostura tree is also used to make oils, essential oils and drops. Processed bark can also be smoked.

Various products can be made from angostura bark. One of them is oils. Angostura bark contains essential oils in it. (Image source: Christin Hume / unsplash)

The most common is Angostura bitters. This is made from the bark and a few other ingredients. Drops made from the bark are also available. On the other hand, the powder can be bought, which is infused or boiled and can be used, for example, against fever and stomach and intestinal complaints.

Angostura contains 40% alcohol. The drink is so bitter that it is only used to flavour cocktails, sauces or desserts.

What types of angostura products are there?

The angostura tree has found its way into various hearts. Once the plant was of great importance in medicine, when it was added to alcoholic drinks and finally discovered in the kitchen. The variety of products is limited. Angostura is used for seasoning, mixed in cocktails and with it is practised in natural medicine.

Type Description
Angostura spice Used as a spice to flavour desserts and sauces
Angostura spirit a 40 per cent alcohol by volume drink or spice or herbal liqueur
Angostura drops Extracted from the bark of the tree
Angostura as a superfood Strengthens the stomach and digestion

Whether in modern times or in the early 19th century. The plant has unleashed its power and desires us with its various facets.

Bark of the angostura tree

The only thing that can really be harvested from the angostura tree is its bark. It is cut and processed or dried and sold as powder.

Angostura bark has a very bitter note and is therefore often mixed in tonic water and cocktails. The natural raw material of the angostura tree, which comes from South America, gives off a light pink hue and looks simply great in drinks.

However, the bitter should not be confused with the addition of angostura bark in soft drinks. The rum is infused with alcohol and stored in barrels for years. This gives it its smoky note and dark colour.

Angostura Spirit

After Dr. Johann Siegert failed to make a breakthrough with the elexir against diseases in medicine, he had real success with the drink brand. His rum was mixed in cocktails and used to flavour desserts and sauces.

The bitter liqueur is part of some well-known drinks, such as the Manhattan cocktail and the Old Fashioned. (Image source: Caglar Araz / unsplash)

Angostura bark is not only a component of alcoholic drinks, non-alcoholic drinks are also made with it. For example, a tonic water is made that gets a striking pink hue by mixing in angostura bark.

Angostura in natural medicine

Dr. Johann Siegert experimented with his healing drink for many years until it became a miracle weapon against diseases. Many people continue to put their trust in it. The angostura bark is very bitter and therefore a very necessary plant for our health.

Bitter substances stimulate not only the stomach, but also the liver, the gall bladder and also the pancreas. The liver is stimulated and starts its detoxification function. Bitter substances are so-called acid blocks and are therefore very important for our organism. Angostura also lowers fever and can be used for many other things.

What alternatives are there to the use of Angostura?

In naturopathy there are some plants that can do the same as the angostura tree. Especially since the bark comes from South America. Native plants like basil or camomile are very good for the stomach and intestinal tract. Motherwort, which grows in almost every garden, helps against fever.

It is said that the classic Angostura bitters do not contain angostura bark. Whether this is just a rumour or whether the rum was actually named after the town of the same name will probably not be known any time soon. Because the recipe for making the bitters is secret.

Image source: maewshooter/

References (8)

1. Was ist Angostura eigentlich?

2. Wirkung

3. Von der Medizin zum Getränk-Gewürz.

4. Inhaltsstoffe von Angostura Bitter


6. Alte Schriften von Arzt Siegert

7. A.Hacker, Der Angosturabaum, Jahr der Veröffentlichung, Publikation, in der die Studie veröffentlich wurde, Seiten und evtl. die DOI-Nummer.

8. Schuster Nicole, Gegen Fieber ist ein Kraut gewachsen. Traditionellen pflanzlichen Fiebermitteln auf der Spur. ISBN 978-3-8047-3627-6

Angostura Erklärung
Was ist Angostura eigentlich?
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Wirkung Angosturabaum
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Angosturabaum Getränke
Von der Medizin zum Getränk-Gewürz.
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Bar Vademecum
Inhaltsstoffe von Angostura Bitter
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über den Angosturabaum
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Alte Schriften von Arzt Siegert
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Artikel Botanik
A.Hacker, Der Angosturabaum, Jahr der Veröffentlichung, Publikation, in der die Studie veröffentlich wurde, Seiten und evtl. die DOI-Nummer.
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Botanisches Busch
Schuster Nicole, Gegen Fieber ist ein Kraut gewachsen. Traditionellen pflanzlichen Fiebermitteln auf der Spur. ISBN 978-3-8047-3627-6