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"The Philosopher's Stone is a legendary substance with astonishing powers. It will transform any metal into pure gold and produces the Elixir of Life, which will make the drinker immortal."
—A Hogwarts library book[src]
The Elixir of Life is a potion produced by using the Philosopher's Stone that will make the drinker immortal, so long as they consume the potion on a regular basis.

Powers

The Elixir grants the drinker an indefinitely extended life, for as long as they keep drinking it. If a person has extended their lifespan by consuming the Elixir, they are then completely dependent on it, and ceasing its consumption will lead to death.

The Elixir is also able to restore a disembodied yet earthbound soul to full life, creating a body. Indeed, Lord Voldemort, surviving through his Horcruxes, planned to steal the Philosopher's Stone to use the power of the Elixir for that purpose, but he was thwarted by Harry Potter in 1992.

Limitations

The Elixir makes the drinker immortal, but upon reaching an exceptionally advanced age, cessation of consumption will result in death. For example, Nicolas Flamel (who created the Philosopher's Stone) and his wife Perenelle lived for little over six-hundred and sixty years because of the Elixir, but eventually died when the Stone was destroyed (with their blessing) and their supply of Elixir subsequently depleted.

It is noted that the elixir can be contaminated, which may either annul the drinker's immortality or outright become poison.

Behind the scenes

  • It is not mentioned whether the Elixir grants complete immortality or merely extends life. It is possible that someone who has taken the Elixir may still die of illness or injury.
  • In the first film, Lord Voldemort claims that unlike Unicorn Blood or the living off another, the Elixir of Life can give him a body; however, in the movie, it is not made clear that the Elixir can supply one with a spare body.
  • Given that this potion is an elixir it must be sweet and aromatic in nature (as all elixirs are, by definition).
  • On Pottermore, the image used to illustrate the Elixir of Life for the "Favourites" screen is the same used for Infusion of Wormwood. Whether this is merely a placeholder image or is meant to imply the two are somehow related is unclear.
  • Voldemort refused to rely on the Elixir of Life for his immortality, as he would be required to drink it for eternity, and the possibility of contamination or the stone's loss would result in his death. His streak of independence made it intolerable for him to rely on the Elixir to survive, and only desired it to recreate his body.
  • One of the three main goals of alchemy was to create panacea, a remedy that would cure all diseases and prolong life indefinitely. The creation of the Elixir of Life can be considered to be the success of this goal, as the potion extends life if drunk for eternity, and can bring a disembodied soul back to a physical form.
  • In the Muggle world, many past Muggles, believing themselves to be true alchemists, attempted to create what they believed to be an Elixir of Life. Many of these substances, far from contributing to longevity, were actively toxic, one such that Qin Shi Huang of China died from a large dosage of mercury that he believed to be elixir.

See also

Appearances

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