The key to eternal life may have been hidden underneath Manhattan this whole time. According to DNAinfo, archaeologists from Chrysalis Archaeology recently unearthed a tiny glass bottle that once held an “Elixir of Long Life” beneath an excavation site at 50 Bowery. While the small, green vial was empty, the researchers are now trying to uncover the secrets of the mystery potion by attempting to recreate the original recipe.
The bottle, which supposedly dates back to the 1800s, was found amongst a stock of other 150-year-old liquor bottles at the site. With the help of some colleagues in Germany, Alyssa Loorya, the President of Chrysalis, was able to track down the recipe to a 19th-century medical guide. According to the translated instructions, the elixir itself was made of mostly alcohol along with common herbal ingredients including aloe and gentian root.
Now Loorya and her team are gathering ingredients and planning to make the elixir themselves within the next couple of weeks. If the formula truly holds some medicinal benefits, it could help as an anti-inflammatory and aid digestion. The researchers also plan on recreating Dr. Hostetters Stomach Bitters after discovering two vials of this once-popular 19th-century medicine.
Many cure-alls like snake oil were actually used in olden times and added to drinks like bitters. Whether or not they worked as promised or simply gave people an elevated buzz is an entirely different story, however. That said, the use of alcohol in medicine is rooted in real herbalists’ techniques of extracting the beneficial properties of herbs and roots. Who knows? If all goes as planned, bars and health shops might be selling these “life-elongating” elixirs soon.
via DNA Info