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Nano-Organo Spagyric Elixirs of Gold



May Dew


Demystifying the Volatile Salt

 Metallic oils…or are they?


Nano-Organo Spagyric Elixirs of Gold

A combination of botanical extracts and Gold nanoparticles.

This article reviews a recipe from Mademoiselle Grimaldi, referenced in the 18th century book “Course of Chemistry” by Nicolas Lemery. It is toted as a safe and reliable way to create “Aurum Potabile”, a consumable preparation of “finely divided Gold”. Differing from other alchemical preparations of Gold, it is specifically Rosemary essential oil which “extracts” Gold nanoparticles. This contrasts with the more common method of using a plant, animal, or metallic based solvent. Recently, this technique has been studied and subsequently validated as an effective method of creating colloidal Gold solutions (1).


To begin the work, the Gold must first be “opened”, meaning converted into a water-soluble crystal called tetrachloroauric acid. This is accomplished with Aqua Regia, “The King’s Bath”, a combination of nitric and hydrochloric acid. These acids can be produced naturally via pyrolysis of Sea Salt (sodium chloride) and Nitre (potassium nitrate).

The “finely divided Gold” is then extracted with the essential oil of Rosemary. When poured upon the Gold solution, nanoparticles of the metal are drawn up into the oil. This is a technique known as liquid-liquid extraction, with the immiscible oil acting as a “magnet”. As the oil fraction becomes colored (optimally a red color indicating particle size under 100nm)(2), the bottom layer becomes pale.

This denotes the departure of the gold from the acidic chloride solution, into the oil layer above. To complete the process, the Gold saturated essential oil is separated and digested in pure alcohol.


This unique methodology forms colloidal suspensions of Gold nanoparticles, bound with the volatile essential oils of plants (1). In addition to this technique, Gold nanoparticles have been shown to bind with non-volatile botanical compounds using other methods (3). Looking at the overall comparison, we see a very similar type of reaction with plant-based Spagyrics. In this case, organic oils and other active compounds bind with plant derived minerals such as Potassium.


Akin to modern pharmaceutical techniques (2,4,5), colloidal Gold is a very effective delivery vehicle for the active compounds found in plants. These microscopic metallic particles are safe to ingest, increase bioavailability and potentiate active compounds that they bind with. They also support the immune system and have been used in tumor detection, gene therapy and radiotherapy (2,4,5,6,7).

Interestingly, colloidal Gold has the ability to bind with the antigens of pathogens such as viruses and parasites. Because of this, it is also employed in modern medicine as a diagnostic technique (8,9,10).


Building upon the method of Mademoiselle Grimaldi, further steps may be taken to stabilize particle size and reduce excessive acidity. The initial extracts following Grimaldi’s recipe are quite acidic, requiring ample dilution to be safely ingested. Modern research has also shown that low pH value negatively effects particle size stability (2, 11,12, 13, 14). This leads to agglomeration of larger particles which have evidence of being less effective (15,16,17) and potentially less safe for ingestion. Afterall, the unique benefits of colloidal Gold are due to it being extremely small.

The particle size of Gold nanoparticles is indicated in part by color- red being an optimal color. Red indicates a particle size of 100nm or less. A purple or even blue color occurs once the particles grow in excess of 100nm (often not considered as “true colloids”). In the book “Ars Alchemia”, Gary Nottingham notes that after letting the preparation mature, it will have a purple color. While this color may be aesthetically attractive, the evidence cited indicates the negative effect of Gold particles increasing in size.

Thankfully, there is a remedy to this issue, afforded by an alchemically sound solution. Although not as simple as simply adding the potassium carbonate-based salts of the plant used, the Salt principle can be included.  After further processing of the potassium salt, it both stabilizes the particle size and reduces the acidity. Not only is there a chemical value here, but it further solidifies and aligns with the central philosophy of Spagyria. The Tria Prima must be included in final preparations, Sulphur (oil), Mercury (spirit) and the Salt (minerals).


Worth further exploration are methods which include a full spectrum of compounds, rather than just the essential oil. Already there are examples of this in modern research (3), using water extracts of Hemp/Cannabis to draw out Gold nanoparticles. There are also older references which include alcohol in the initial extract, affording the inclusion of other active compounds.

Building upon the original method with modern science and an alchemical mindset, Secret Fire has further developed this recipe. It addresses ideal particle size stability, pH and the inclusion of full spectrum extracts of botanicals.


Once again, we have a stark example of traditional alchemy finding a place alongside the modern advances of science. For further reading on the connection between alchemy/spagyrics and modern medicine, please read “Herbal Nanotechnology“.


This technique uses extremely dangerous acids which can cause permanent and significant damage to the eyes, skin, and lungs. It should not be performed without proper laboratory training and personal protective equipment. This technique is incompletely described here. It is intended for educational purposes only. Failing to perform this work correctly will surely produce a dangerous poison rather than a remedy. 


  1. Generation of gold nanoparticles according to procedures described in the eighteenth century | SpringerLink
  2. Colloidal gold – Wikipedia
  3. Green synthesis of gold and silver nanoparticles from Cannabis sativa (industrial hemp) and their capacity for biofilm inhibition – PMC (
  4. DYNAMIC LIGHT SCATTERING – Colloidal Gold: The Gold Standard for Drug Delivery? (
  5. Colloidal Gold – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics
  6. [Immunogenic properties of the colloidal gold] – PubMed (
  7. Effect of gold on the immune response of mice. – PMC (
  8. Development of a Colloidal Gold-Based Immunochromatographic Strip for Rapid Detection of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Spike Protein – PubMed (
  9. Labeling Antibodies Using Colloidal Gold – PubMed (
  10. Development and evaluation of a colloidal gold immunochromatographic assay based on recombinant protein CatL1D for serodiagnosis of sheep fasciolosis – PubMed (
  11.  [Effects of pH on the properties of colloidal gold labeling monoclonal antibody] – PubMed (
  12.  Influence of the pH value of a colloidal gold solution on the absorption spectra of an LSPR-assisted sensor: AIP Advances: Vol 4, No 3 (
  13.  (PDF) Microscopic Investigation of Reversible Nanoscale Surface Size Dependent Protein Conjugation | published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences (
  14.  (PDF) Gold Nanoparticles: Synthesis and application for Halal Authentication in Meat and Meat Products (
  15.  Optimal Size of Gold Nanoparticles for Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy under Different Conditions (
  16.  Colloidal Gold – MesoGold™ by Purest Colloids + Risk Free Trial
  17. Colloidal Gold – Assignment Point