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Alchemy & Paracelsus Medicine

"On Longevity" - Anti-aging According to Paracelsus "On Longevity" - Anti-aging According to Paracelsus

first published in the magazine "Paracelsus" february 2005 (side 12-17)

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"On Longevity" - Anti-aging According to Paracelsus

Anti-aging is a head-line which could not be dismissed neither in medicine nor in the field of wellness. But even Paracelsus investigated ways to prolong life and to maintain health back in his time. This includes simple advise for leading a healthy lifestyle as well as certain medicinal plants and a very special life-elixir to strengthen the "inner Light".

By Ulrich Arndt

"It is not against nature to live for the renewal of the world. It is only beyond our comprehension which we are mostly deprived of", Paracelsus claimed boldly and railed against the doctors of his time: "No one should be astonished and no doctor shall change his colour upon the fact that life can be prolonged."1 Of course Paracelsus polemicises here. But the true essence in his claim lies namely in his discovery of life-prolonging methods and formulas which remain a sensation until this day:
" We can prolong our life with remedies which are suitable" he ensures and expresses very concisely: The alchemical essence "Flos sectae Croae (meaning croci, a safran-essence) empowers to the person applying it an age of one hundred years in minimum". Other single remedies such as the gold-essence "Aurum Potabile" and the Christmas rose, Helleborus niger, "may by their strengthening powers provide the potential for man to live up to the age of 120 or even 140 years". And even more effective is a very special arcanum which he called “preparation of a long life” or „Tinctura de longe vita“.
This recipe, although, was handed down encoded and the “Anti-Aging”-remedy of Paracelsus was therefore thought to be “lost”. Four years ago, after the rediscovery of Paracelsus’ original “Aurum Potabile”-essence is was possible to unveil the secret. For the first time since many centuries the highest life-elixir of Paracelsus, “Tinctura de longe vita” is now again available to everybody.

Causes for Premature Aging

The possibilities to maintain youth and even rejuvenation were very important issues for Paracelsus, thus the great medico and alchemist could also be called a ”pioneer of anti-aging”. Of course, the remedies produced alchemically were in the main focus of his life-prolonging methods. However, he also tried to fathom out which natural influences can prolong life. “When we describe the teachings of a long life, it should be known that certain regions, countries, towns, and valleys, are more healthy and beneficial for long life than others, since there is more joy, more pleasure, and more humores for life. At the same time some causes of the earth, elements, winds and of the heavenly body should be understood.” So conditions of environment may prolong life if they, “send mild and friendly influences”, or may shorten it if they consume the life-energy due to hard conditions. Therefore not everybody is able to reach the same age, because the prevailing influences in life are too different.
Influence in the way of living: Paracelsus differenciates three ages, and in each of them outer circumstances can cause premature aging.
In youth, the “first age”, man can be “weakened in the womb, in the cradle, and whilst growing”. The particular reasons for this are “unorderly eating and drinking” i. e. improper diet and too much work. “Thereby nature becomes so weak that it will loose its power and will not be able to reach the adequate human age”, Paracelsus emphasizes. In this case the age can not be stretched as far as with others. Besides, they would need larger amounts of vitalizing elixirs in order to reach a comparable life-prolonging effect.

celandine
The components of the decoded recipe of Paracelsus’ life-elixir “ad longe vita”: celandine

Even though Paracelsus was surely referring to children when he addressed malnutricition and undernourishment as well as hard labour, his advice should be followed. Today this refers to malnutrition and too much sugar, fat and protein and not enough exercise outdoors, which weaken the child’s organism. This has become apparent in the increasing number of children who are overweight by far, uncoordinated, and have attention deficit disorders. The early loss of hair in young men and infertility are signs of a chronic hyperacidity due to malnutrition, and indicate a fundamental weakening of the organism.
In the second age period of life which stretches from the end of the growth period to when the hair turns grey, and in the following third age period, the most important influence is the way of living. “Drunkenness, an unorderly life-style and wilful destruction” are the cause of man’s premature ageing according to Paracelsus. ”To reach longevity the best way of living is a moderate diet” warns the alchemic medico and he explains further: “We can become ill because of our daily food, but we may also be strengthened by food and maintain health, depending on how and what we use.”
Without doubt this simple hint requires a great measure of self-discipline in our affluent society nowadays, which is related to an overabundant supply of food and semi-luxury food. In this respect we indulge like the “Lords and the rulers”: their “unseemly life … their high spirits brought about their downfall of life … The bodies take on sicknesses because of an unorderly life.“
But even those who live healthy “can be robbed of their life by coincidence, by plague and abscesses …” – they may die early due to an infectious disease. To fight all of these weaknesses and dangers Paracelsus found effective help in his life-prolonging concept.
Relief: He who wants to live a long life, must naturally first change his morbid way of living. Secondly possible acute sicknesses should be cured. Here one should use the specific remedies depending on the illness, which are coverd in detail by Paracelsus in other books/works. The chronical sufferings, however, which are due to the above mentioned bad habits of life and diet, are removed so to speak as a “side-effect” by the regular intake of a small amount of his life elixir, called “de longe vita”. With this specific medicine casual sicknesses may as well be prevented, referring to all infections in the broader sense. Since this essence is able to balance earlier sins related to the way of life as well as bad environmental influences, this remedy has the greatest value for prolonging life according to Paracelsus: “It should be considered that everything we allude for life style and regions is the least, because by these only the fewest treatments can provoke the prolongation of life. A comfortable order and support is only contained in the remedy itself.”
The Influence of the stars and temperaments: Often in his works Paracelsus elucidates the negative effects of the stars on our health. The “four complexiones and humores”, the four elements, juices, and levels of constitutions of man may be influenced in a disturbing way due to certain constellations of the planets. However, man is not exposed without protection: “It is not with our willpower that we may acquire Jupiter, and get rid of Mars. Neither are we able to choose other stars which we feel comfortable and pleased with. However, with herbs we may do so; … But it is within our power to make use of their impact (the effect of the planets) with a remedy that accordingly affects us.“
Relief: So Paracelsus gives advice to balance the forces of the planets which could weaken our health according to the personal birth chart, with the help of herbs, gems or metals assigned to them. For this an alchemic essence can be prepared or the respective gem can be worn preventively as a ring.
Nevertheless the influences do not play a central role in the prolongation of life: “Do not be surprised that the four complexiones are disrespected, for the preservation of the entire body related to a prolongation of life is not to be found in the complexiones – no matter if these are appropriate or not, or present in too much or too little. It lies in nature alone from which everything else shall originate …”
According to Paracelsus the harmonization of inbalance in man is not the most important thing to be considered for the prolongation of life. Foremost the life force should be strengthened in general: "For the same force from which the humores emerge contains the formula for longevity which should not be minded in any way." Related to the correlation of complexiones, humores, and life-energy he explains: "Too much sorrow or too much joy grow inside and come from those things which emerge from the four humores such as the complexiones, characteristics etc. However, one should know that no special remedy should be given, but rather the life-spirit preserved, so that the other four humores of life are protected … The body and all that lies within it, is then healthy and well." And in another passage he adds: "The complexiones or characteristics shall not be renewed or to be cleaned. Neither should one consider the damage of liver or spleen, because the preservation (here he refers to his elixir of life prolongation "ad longe vita") heals such damages and removes any kind of sorrows, and any excess in the body. Everything is brought to a equal commingling.”

Strengthening the Life-Energy

Thus according to Paracelsus the main element of anti-aging and life-prolongation is an increase of general life-energy. But what is this "life-spirit" which nourishes and regulates all other processes and how can it be strengthened?
Paracelsus does not mean the strength which one can gain "from a meal of vegetables or meat", for "life is not born out of material seeds but comes spiritually from within …"
Nevertheless the life-force is not to be understood any differently than a fire. Because the more wood there is, the more it burns. This is how it is with life; the more humores there are, the more life-spirit there is to life.“ Although life-energy is not gained by normal eating respectively from material food (“the material seed“), it would nevertheless be “dumb, not to believe that life just like fire lies within our control.“ Life-energy may very well be influenced and strengthened. “It is only our mistake that we do not recognize the wood from which we can light our life in the same way we may light a fire.“ There are then substances which may supply us directly with this “life-fire“: “Remember that not only the evil is created for our body …, but the good as well, which so strongly protects our life … like gold and melissa“. Almost casually Paracelsus mentions here two of his most advanced essences, which are both contained in his life-elixir: The gold-essence “Aurum Potabile“ and the quintessence of melissa.

melissa
The components of the decoded recipe of Paracelsus’ life-elixir “ad longe vita”: melissa

According to Paracelsus the source of life is generally included in all things. Each plant, each metal, and each gem holds another nuance of the universal life-energy. In the laboratory the aim of practical alchemical work is to release this light from the substances and to make it available in form of essences. At the same time Paracelsus qualifies that only those who are very well trained in the art of alchemy may find these substances and process them into a true life-giving essence. Only they may fully gain the “essentia“ from herbs, metals, and gems, namely their “essence“ in which the “light of life“ is preserved: These highest remedies of alchemy, which are called High Arcana, “are only found by great artists (referring to the “art“ of alchemical processing). They are unknown to common doctors and remain hidden.“ The high alchemic processing of substances is only possible due to specific solvents, the so called “secret fires“ such as the “philosophical mercury“.2 Elixirs, only in this way produced, such as the gold-essence and the life-elixir “ad longe vita“, come into effect in two ways:

  • Firstly they support detoxification and stimulate the main organs and -functions of the body. Thereby they improve the existing flow of vitality in man overall.

  • Secondarily they directly supply us with additional life-energy.

While the first effect can also be reached by usual good herbal compounds, the direct supply of life energy is a result of alchemic processing of substances. Today this additional life-energy can even be measured: By measuring meridian-energy (and Prognos-equipment) the energetic level and distribution can be determined. Also, possible changes after the use of drugs and substances can be ascertained. Normally in such “drug-tests“, the meridians which are responsible for general regulation and the vegetative nervous system mainly react (lung-, heart-circulation-meridian and triple-heater). Whereas for instance with the intake of the gold-essence “Aurum Potabile“ it is completely different. Not only does the energetic level generally increase in all meridians, but at the same time the energy level of the meridian pair bladder and kidney increases above average. According to Chinese medicine exactly these two meridians apply for Chi-production and Chi-storage, namely the degree of life-energy. As previously mentioned, according to Paracelsus the gold-essence “Aurum Potabile“ may provide for an age of 120 to 140 – in deed increases very purposefully life-energy.

The Life-Elixir “ad longe vita“

According to Paracelsus, the art of prolonging life is to find and alchemically process exactly those substances which correspond to the quality of human vitality: “Life of man is nothing else than an astral balm, a soothing effect, a celestial and invisible fire, encircled air and a penetrating salty-spirit.“
Such substances which come the closest to these qualities are included in the legendary recipe of his life-elixir “ad longe vita“ – though he partly gave them to us only with encoded names, he called them: “Florum Sectarum, Foliorum Daurae, Essentiarum Auri, Perlarum, Quintae Essentiae Croci, Chelidoniae, Melissae“. What these precisely consist of was recently decoded by the German alchemist Achim Stockardt, a re-discoverer of Paracelsus’ gold-essence: They are the High Arcana, namely the highest alchemical development and essences from gold, pearl, safran, Christmas rose, celandine, balm and hay flower. “The virtue of the announced things surpass all our virtues. They are more noble in the most modest virtue than we are in the highest“, Paracelsus raves and adds: “This essentia, which enters the body, mixes with the humores of life, for they blend well together. They contain the life-spirit like the four humores … So two humores come together which correspond. They are blended together and the inner (that of the human being) receives the nature of the outer. Then there is only one thing, a unification which can not be separated.“
Depending on the way the human organism is attacked, the supplemented life-energy by the elixir, however, is more or less rapidly consumed, and must then be supplied again. Again the intake should take place on a weekly basis, every third day or even daily, depending on the age, earlier damages to the body, the way of life and environmental influences. But from the day the intake is started on a regular basis, “the age will be counted in a new way“. For optimal success the intake should be continued regularly. This way the source of life can be rebuilt and increased again; the organism can be purified, vitalized and protected. “All our comfort is based on the remedy, which not only maintains youth of man, but also of animals. This great essentia which is contained in natural things is excellent for the body. It lights a virtue in the body so that neither strength nor manliness is missing.“ And further Paracelsus explains: “Man will not be struck by disease, for the essence does not let anything decay … Also, it will not let anything grow unnecessarily (e. g. ulcers), and therefore no diseases of superabundance … It defends the body in such a way that the attacking sicknesses can not gain a foothold …“
Even in spite of all these effects which are very amazing, the alchemical doctor does not consider his life-elixir a remedy. For him it is far more a universal and energetic strengthener. It is an elixir which in itself strengthens the flame of light in man. Namely such strength, which arises from our own spiritual core. For Paracelsus it was simply the “Light of Nature“.

saffron
The components of the decoded recipe of Paracelsus’ life-elixir “ad longe vita”: saffron

1 from: “Buch über das Lange Leben“ (Book about a long life), Paracelsus: Sämtliche Werke vol. III, p. 101, Aschner Ausgabe (edition); all further quotations can be found on the following pages as well
2 for production see the article “’As Above so Below’: The Production Process of the High Arcana and their Power to Change” in Paracelsus – Health & Healing issue no. 10/I

References
Arndt, Ulrich: Schätze der Alchemie: Edelstein-Essenzen, and Schätze der Alchemie: Metall-Essenzen. Both: Freiburg/Germany: Hans-Nietsch-Verlag
Testreports of Paracelsus essences:: www.life-testinstitut.de und www.edelstein-essenzen.de

Bildquellen: ©qay / www.pixelio.de, ©Kirstin Jungmann / www.pixelio.de, ©Ulrich Arndt

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