Archaeologists Recreate ‘Elixir of Long Life’ recipe from Excavated Bottle

in Overall Health by

It was excavated from the site where 22-story hotel was to be built in New York. There, archaeologists found a scores of artifacts elucidating the history of drinking, eating and lodging in the area, along with a tradition of consuming herbal potions for good health.

A report published by DNA Info revealed that this dig included included a two hundred-year-old glass bottle that described it’s engraved recipe as the “Elixir of Long Life”.

“We decided to engage in our own brand of experimental archaeology,” Alyssa Loorya, the president of Chrysalis, a company regularly hired by New York City to oversee excavation projects, said of the find.


Loorya obtained help from researchers in Germany in order to track down the original recipe in an old medical guide.

The recipe, engraved on the bottle, contained aloe, an anti-inflammatory; gentian root, a digestion aid; as well as rhubarb; zedoary; and Spanish saffron.

Along with the finds in this early American historical dig, were two still-full bottles of Dr Hostetters Stomach Bitters. This once-popular 19th century herbal medicine contained a mixture including Peruvian bark, an anti-malarial herb; and gum kino, a type of tree sap that is reputed to be antibacterial.

In spite of the claims, however, there is no evidence that this mixture significantly increased the consumer’s lifespan. Did the archeologists find a true “Elixir of Long Life”, or just early American snake oil?

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