The Elixir grants the drinker an indefinitely extended life, for as long as they keep drinking it regularly, though, the frequency with which it needs to be consumed (along with its entire creation process) is unknown. A person that relies on the Elixir will die if they cannot obtain more Elixir before the last quantity imbibed wears off.
The Elixir also has the ability to somehow reincarnate a disembodied yet earthbound soul. Indeed, Lord Voldemort planned to steal the Philosopher's Stone to use the power of the elixir for such purpose, but he was thwarted by Harry Potter in 1992.
The Elixir does not make the drinker truly immortal, but only lengthens the lifespan. 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 this elixir, but eventually died when the Stone was destroyed (with their blessing) and their supply of Elixir subsequently depleted. Dumbledore stated that the Stone from which it was made could also become infected through time, making it obsolete to make the Elixir from it. It is also unknown whether or not the stone halts, reverses or slows ageing and whether or not there are any drawbacks to being reincarnated in this way.
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.