Manna and Theriac Venezian Needed for Swedish Bitters II
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Jean-Marie Epitalon
Posted on: September 23, 2005

In your Q&A page, you say:

> In his report, Tucker refers to other scholarship on "Theriac"
> which seems to suggest that "Theriac" is a general term used for
> a variety of medicinal potions going back to at least the third
> century B.C. A related compounded mixture dating from the second
> century B.C. called "Mithridatium" was used to counteract
> poisons, venoms, and to treat various ailments. According to
> Tucker, the version invented by Celsus had several shared by the
> Schwedenbitter formula including calamus, gentian root, opium,
> saxifrage, myrrh, medicinal rhubarb, and saffron.

I confirm:
I have read that "theriac" is a general term for compounded mixture used to counteract poisons, venoms, and to treat various ailments. I have also read about venetian theriac that it contains 49 components.

I don’t have the component list though I could have it since a pharmacist in Paris once offered me to see it in his medicine-dictionary. I declined the offer. I hope I will find another occasion to know this list.

I read about the venetian theriac that in the 18th century, it was made and praised in Venice. People made religious processions at the time of making that medicine.

It does not surprise us that Venetian theriac contained as many as 49 ingredients. Clearly, there are different versions of the medicine that were adapted and preserved over the centuries.

Thank you for your input.

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