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Bezoar Stones (Burges Collection of Materia Medica, late 1700s)

© 2021 Royal Pharmaceutical Society


Bezoar stones were calculi from the intestines of various animals and were highly prized as poison antidotes, often being given as royal gifts in elaborate containers. These examples from porcupines are held in decorative cages on chains for suspending in liquid to create a kind of medicinal tea.


Bezoars feature in the Harry Potter novels as poison antidotes found in the stomachs of goats.