wormwood and gall

wormwood and gall

a source of bitter mortification and grief. literary
Gall is bile, a substance secreted by the liver and proverbial for its bitterness, while wormwood is an aromatic plant with a bitter taste. The expression originated in reference to various passages in the Bible, for example Lamentations 3:19: ‘Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall’.
See also: and, gall, wormwood