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The Great Theriac Elixer


Ron Hines DVM PhD

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The “Great Theriac” that Maimonides mentions was a potion that has gone by many names. Over the nearly 2000 years that it was used, it has had from 20 to 72 ingredients (but alway with some opium & given with honey wine).

Legend had it that it was originally invented by
Mithridates , an ancient king of a region that is now part of Turkey. You can read more about him here. Emperor Nero’s physician added ground up vipers (poisonous snakes) to the formula (viper=theriaca) - hence the name. Variations of the Great Theriac were in common use up through the time of George Washington.

You don't have to blow the dust off some ancient text to find it. The miracle cures, homeopathic remedies, stem cell treatments, anti-aging potions, alternative medicines and nutriceuticals you see marketed online, on cable (and occasionally sold by veterinarians) are the Great Theriacs of today. Some things just don't change.