"Thus we obtain an acid, aromatic medicine, of great use in the practice of physic; for when externally applied, it cleanses and heals putrid, sinuous, and fistulous old ulcers, defends the parts from putrefaction, and preserves them by a true embalming virtue; it also heals ulcers, and cures gangrenes in the lips, tongue, palate, and jaws. It has the same effects in the first passages, when used internally, as often as putrefied matter, corrupted bile, concreted phlegm, worms, and numberless distempers proceeding from these four causes, are lodged or seated therein. Again, it has nearly the same effects in the blood and viscera, as may easily appear from knowing the virtues of the three ingredients when dissolved in a subtile vinegar. It is to be taken in a morning upon an empty stomach, at least twelve hours after eating; it is given from a drachm to two or three for a dose in sweet wine or mead, or the like, walking after it, or having the belly gently rubbed. If taken in a larger dose, and with a somewhat cooler regimen, it always purges; if in a less dose, and often repeated, it cleanses the blood by secreting thick urine; and generally performs both these operations successively. But if taken plentifully, while the patient is in bed and the body well covered, it acts as an excellent sudorific; and afterward usually purges, and proves diuretic, and thus becomes very useful; whence I conceive that this is the best acid elixir proprietatis, good in numerous cases, and at the same time safe.

"Paracelsus declared that an elixir made of aloes, saffron, and myrrh would prove a vivifying and preserving balsam, able to continue health and long life to the utmost possible limits; and hence he calls it by a lofty title 'the elixir of propriety' to man, but concealed the preparation, in which Helmont asserts the alcahest is required."

Through the eighteenth century elixirs were numerous, and although their former alchemistic properties were cast aside, physicians seemed to attribute to them virtues scarcely less than those ascribed to the famous elixir vitae. They were also surrounded with mysteries, and their compositions were most carefully concealed. Prominent physicians individualized themselves by attaching their names to tinctures of herbs extracted with spirit of wine or with acid solutions, and these names have been handed down to us and are still in use. It must not be inferred, however, that these men gave their treasures openly to competitors, for we find that great care was employed to cover their processes and to conceal the constituents of these compounds, and at the present day we find it difficult to decide as to the authenticity of such as Daffey's Elixir, Helmont's Elixir, Mynsicht's Elixir, Vigani's Elixir, etc., etc. Indeed, many of the old works give several formulae for preparing a single elixir, and often all the processes were impracticable. Thus we find that with each revision of the older pharmacopoeias and dispensatories these formulae have been altered and simplified, and as the outcome we refer to some of our well known tinctures, which have sprung from and are modifications of ancient elixirs:

ELIXIR SALUTIS gave us Compound Tincture of Senna.

ELIXIR PAREGORICUM gave us Camphorated Tincture of Opium.

ELIXIR PROPRIETATIS gave us Compound Tincture of Aloes.

ELIXIR STOMACHICUM gave us Compound Tincture of Gentian.

ELIXIR SACRUM gave us Tincture of Rhubarb and Aloes.

With one exception the name elixir has become obsolete with the foregoing tinctures, and that one, paregoric, will doubtless, in a moderate period of time, exist as a relic of history.

The elixir of the period we have just considered was in reality a compound tincture, or a modification of what we call a compound tincture. Hooper's Medical Dictionary of 1820 defines the elixir as "a term formerly applied to many preparations similar to compound tinctures." We find, also, that the old elixirs were disagreeable and bitter. There was no desire to render them pleasant; indeed, the aim seemed to be the concoction of mixtures as nauseating as possible, and the physician who could produce the nastiest, and which were followed by the most severe torture to the patient, seemed the best man. His motto might well have been

"I puke. I purge, I sweat 'em,

And if they die, I let 'em."

In connection with this phase of the elixir question, we find that of the elixirs named in the "New Dispensatory," London, 1770, but one contained sugar or any form of sweetening. This view of the elixir is still prevalent in Europe, and the German Pharmacopoeia of 1879 recognized twelve preparations under the name of elixir, none of which were sweetened. The idea accepted in our country at the present time regarding what should be the attributes of an elixir is strictly an Americanism. The term Cordial would better define the sweetened and flavored pharmaceuticals which we shall now consider historically as