A potion (from Latin potio "drink", in turn derived from Greek poton "that which one drinks") is a consumable magical medicine drug or poison.

What about a substance that is a consumable magical medicine drug or poison? For example, alcohol is a potion that increases a user's strength, but also decreases a user's attack (hence, it's a poison and medicine at the same time). But ammonia can increase a user's strength, if sniffed in its crystalline form. What's the correct term?

  • 5
    Just say no to drugs! Don Feb 20, 2015 at 16:29
  • 1
    ammonia is not food. @GregLee
    – Don Larynx
    Feb 20, 2015 at 16:58
  • @DonLarynx, good point.
    – Greg Lee
    Feb 20, 2015 at 17:09
  • magic mushroom?
    – ermanen
    Feb 20, 2015 at 17:38
  • 1
    What's wrong with 'substance'?
    – anemone
    Feb 20, 2015 at 18:36

1 Answer 1


I'm sure I've seen *bolus *used in this sort of sense although it just means a large pill. That would serve you for oral consumption. The inhalant sense doesn't rule out a potion, which could be "sniffed", and in your example the ammonia isn't really consumed.

Otherwise you've got physic as an old word for medicine which might be of some use.

While in pharmacology *elixir is specifically liquid, this is not the case in other (alchemical) uses.

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