During the early-Alexandrian period, the primary application of the Philosophers’ Stone was gold making. Alchemists of this period were called gold makers – chrysopoeians in Greek. Maria Hebrea was a gold maker of the highest caliber who used her Tincture to create exquisite bronzes that displayed all the characteristics of elemental gold or silver. She did not invent gold making however – the Bible and many historical texts predating Maria detail highly valued artisanal bronze in antiquity that could pass for gold, and in some cases was even more valuable than the precious metal itself. Gold making was a lucrative tradecraft and guilds in possession of this technology held power and influence in their community. What is now understood as alchemical gold was then known as Corinthian bronze, of which different qualities and compositions existed during the Roman period. Early-Alexandrian gold makers were actually the last in a long tradition dating back over a thousand years prior to Maria’s work in Alexandria. Alexandrian chrysopoeia came to an abrupt end due to Roman Emperor Diocletian’s ban on gold making towards the close of the 3rd century. This resulted in a technological disconnect, which left alchemists and artisans of later traditions to struggle desperately to rediscover and restore secrets of Alexandrian chrysopoeia and the fantastic wealth, power and influence that surrounded the Art in antiquity.
A great many more species of bronze alloys existed in antiquity than most realize. Commercial bronze of antiquity was tin-bronze mass produced in bulk, but this had little to do with chrysopoeian alchemical gold. Maria began her process with a special type of bronze that she called 'molybdochalkon', Greek meaning lead-copper and known to the Romans as 'aes-stimmi' in Latin. After creating a high quality molybdochalkon, she then fermented the molten metal with the Tincture of the Philosophers by a special technique known as 'projection' in exact proportion to create her Judeo-Egyptian brand of Corinthian Bronze. Ios or Tincture of the Philosophers was sometimes referred to as Powder of Projection after this technique. This special type of alchemical gold was artisanally crafted in Alexandria and exported throughout the Mediterranean for use in statuary, temple adornment and as luxury items. The Art of chrysopoeia, or more accurately this unique artisanal bronze-craft, stretches back to great antiquity. Archeological digs near the Dead Sea have unearthed a horde of bronze dating back to approximately 3,750 BCE located near an ancient temple – the bronze being of the same composition as Maria’s molybdochalkon / aes-stimmi. Understandably, the Art of chrysopoeia was considered extremely ancient and revered during the early-Alexandrian period in which Maria and her contemporaries operated.
The therapeutic application of the Philosophers’ Stone first appears in its most concrete form in a text attributed to 8th century Islamic alchemist Jābir ibn Hayyān. Jābir refers to the Philosophers’ Stone used in a therapeutic context as al-Iksir (Elixir), and provides testimony to treating over 1,000 cases with it successfully – some terminal, such as arsenic poisoning and venomous snakebite. In addition, he included detailed case studies that include diagnosis, dosage, and method of administration followed by case outcomes, all of which were full recoveries. The most intriguing aspect of these treatments is dosage and method of administration. Jābir typically administered a dose of al-Iksir in the milligram range suspended in honey-water or honey-vinegar syrup. Jābir revealed the al-Iksir’s efficacy as an anti-toxin and as being restorative or rejuvenative in nature.
Europe imported Alexandrian and Islamic alchemical texts and, following great translation movements, began to rediscover and revive alchemy based on those texts. The therapeutic application of the Philosophers’ Stone was a fundamental aspect motivating European alchemical restoration. The al-Iksir of Islamic alchemy became known in Europe as Aurum Potabile. Paracelsus brought therapeutic alchemy to the forefront with his spagyric approach, which valued health, longevity and spiritual insight attained by the use of alchemical substances over artisanal gold making. One of the finest recipes for converting finely powdered Philosophers’ Stone to therapeutic Aurum Potable is preserved in a famous manuscript anonymously authored by a highly knowledgeable iatrochemist-physician of Paracelsus’ tradition. It provides systematic instructions for converting approximately 200 milligrams of finely powdered Philosophers’ Stone and German white wine into two liters of liquid Aurum Potable. In addition, the text describes not only the benefits and effects of well-prepared Aurum Potable but also suggests side effects of psychoactivity and spiritual awakening that result from its ingestion. The manuscript’s mysterious author prescribes a dose of one tablespoon each morning for 9 – 12 days, after which the effects become evident. Aurum Potable is described by the anonymous author as being "a divine and so to speak angelic medicine".