What’s In Jagermeister? Does it Have Medicinal Uses? 23

Ah, Jagermeister, commonly known simply as Jager, this deep green, syrup-like spirit has become an acquired taste of much of the US after being popularized by the Jager-bomb, a mixture of the Jagermeister and the energy drink Rockstar. The majority of drinkers either love Jagermeister with cult follower-like devotion or hate it with a passion, but does the licorice-anise flavored liquor offer medicinal uses?jagermeister ingredients medical uses

The first question to ask when moving towards an answer, would be what’s in Jagermeister, and how is it made?

Sadly, Jagermeister’s ingredient list is actually top secret. Despite the original recipe being drawn-up way back in 1934, only sixteen verifiable ingredients could be found of the 56 herbs, spices, and berries that give the drink its flavor.

Known ingredients in Jagermeister include:
Cinnamon bark, star anise, cloves, ginger root, saffron, coriander, bitter orange skin, chamomile flowers, licorice root, lavender, rose hips, poppy seeds, juniper berries, ginseng, red sandalwood, and blueberries.

These and forty other mystery herb, berry, or spice ingredients are measured, ground, combined and then reduced to extracts by being seeped in cold water and alcohol for a few days. The result is then strained and stored away in oak barrels for a minimum of one year. Afterwards, the liquid is strained again, and then mixed with caramel, liquid sugar (beet and cane), alcohol (often suggested to be rum), and water. The mixture is then filtered yet again before being placed in that iconic green bottle.

Contrary to popular myth, Jagermeister does not contain blood of any species as secret recipe or not, blood would not allow this brewing method to work properly. Many fans have also suggested the drink may contain wormwood, one of the herbs from which absinthe is made. There is no evidence to support or disprove this suggestion. Those who have tried wormwood are aware that the flavor would lend nicely to Jagermeister being similar to licorice in flavor. However, in the US at least, thujone, the chemical present in wormwood suggested in the past to cause hallucination is strictly regulated by the FDA. Even if Jagermeister does contain wormwood, it would have to be strictly for flavor to be sold in the US. It should also be noted that suggestions that thujone causes hallucinations or a “high” are inaccurate anyway.

The history of Jagermeister:

Next, you have to consider the history of Jagermeister when guessing at whether it has medicinal uses. Jagermeister, as a company was founded in 1878 by a German named Wilhlem Mast. Wilhelm created the secret formula in 1934, and it was marketed to the German people shortly after in 1935. Coincidentally, it was indeed marketed as medicinal liquor boasted as a digestive aid and cough suppressant. It wasn’t until 1970 that Jager was imported by other countries and became popular to simply get drunk. Even today, Jagermeister is still used in some German homes for medicinal purposes.

But does Jagermeister really aid in digestion and suppress a cough?

The fact is something being marketed to do something doesn’t mean it does it. However, even the mere sixteen ingredients that could be found do have medicinal uses.
Cinnamon bark has been shown to reduce gas, prevent diarrhea, and stimulate appetite.
Star Anise has been shown to improve liver health as well as acts as an anti-viral.
Cloves have been shown to reduce fevers, act as an anti-inflammatory, and prevent intestinal cancer.
Ginger Root reduces nausea, inflammation, and has been shown to cure mild indigestion.
Saffron has been shown to prevent cancer, vascular and visual disorders, as well as reduce symptoms of depression and ADD.
Coriander prevents gas, is an antispasmodic and stomachic (herb that improves stomach muscle health.)
Bitter Orange Skin is suggested (studies are limited) to be an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, relaxant, anti-fungal and antibacterial.
Chamomile Flowers reduce gas, cramping, and overall indigestion while aiding in relaxation.
Licorice Root may suppress cough and cure digestive ailments including peptic ulcers, however, studies have had mixed results.
Lavender is used to treat insomnia, stress, and anxiety. It’s also an anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal.
Rose Hips promote healthy tissue in the stomach lining as well as prevent diarrhea.
Poppy Seed has long been known to improve digestion and reduce cough.
Juniper Berries are a diuretic, but also have been shown to help treat bronchitis.
Ginseng increases immune system strength, has been proven to reduce the duration of colds, and helps prevent cancer.
Red Sandalwood is suggested to reduce anxiety and increase alertness.
Blueberries are extremely high in antioxidants and fiber, which aids in healthy digestion.

Even this small sampling of known ingredients in Jagermeister show the drink may have medicinal uses, particularly to treat cough and digestive upset. However, it should be noted, as a full recipe can’t be obtained, Jagermeister may pose an allergy risk. This could explain why some can’t tolerate drinking the unique liquor whether they like the taste or not.

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Calvin McDuffie

Great Frickken article, next time I have inflammation, I’ll take advantage of the ginger. The only downside is I’m a wellness coach, and I lost 50 bucks because I thought it had deer blood in it. A guy in my fraternity told me that years ago.


You finish by saying there’s no other alcohol quite like Jagermeister, but last year we discovered Appenzeller when traveling in Switzerland. It’s similar, as in made with many herbs and spices, but really earthy. Very hard to get in Australia, so the Jager is the close alternative.


That’s nice Marty. It’s not called Appenzeller, it’s called Appenzeller Alpenbitter. And unlike Jagermeister which lists the ingredients that it uses it is more like pulling teeth to find what herbs Appenzeller Alpenbitter uses. It appears to be little more than a cheap impersonation of Jagermeister. More so in how Appenzeller Alpenbitter is crafted like any liquor and Jagermeister is crafted a bit differently.


damn right


“or just to get drunk, the fact remains there is no other alcohol quite like Jagermeister.”

false there is something bettter called killepitch see http://www.liquorsnob.com/archives/2006/03/killepitsch_herbal_liqueur_review.php and its older than jager and got more herb and is tasties (similar taste but better imho)


It’s called killepitsch, not killepitch, and really it has no medical benefit like Jagermeister. In fact it tastes disgustingly sweet – one review refers to it as a cherry cola taste which to me is one of the most disgusting colas ever concocted – to some what with the prunes, raisins and what not you’d typically not think of added to it. It is, in many ways, like a all-but-the-kitchen-sink soup made into a liquor. Nothing to write home about.

Michael C Cain

my girlfriend came and spent the weekend with me and brought a bottle of Jager with her.. I had never had it before and had heard mixed reviews about it.. after very little coaxing I tried it.. I am now a believer.. I love it.. the buzz you get is nothing like drinking whiskey or other hard liquors.. or even beer.. it’s mellow.. and I had no hangover even thought we drank the whole bottle before bed.. I now have a new favorite beverage..