8

While I can understand why most magical herbs and creatures go unnoticed by muggles, it really bugs me that bezoars are not a known medical technology.

Bezoars appear naturally in goats, one of the most common domestic herd animals. Also humankind has experimented with almost everething to achieve medical results, it's impossible that bezoars were not tried, and actually we find muggle records on that. It's not like it's just a component of potions as we see in tha halfblood prince:

"Just shove a bezoar down their throats."

-A note by the Half-Blood Prince in his copy of Advanced Potion-Making

So I guess my questios is why muggles don't use them? Is it because they come from magic goats? Do bezoars just cure magical poisoning? Are wizards just bastards and obliviate muggles that discover these magical properties?

  • 2
    Perhaps it requires a little magical preparation? So you take it from a goat easily enough but do a little something to it before you sell it? They could still be very commonplace. – ThruGog Apr 4 '16 at 17:33
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    I assume it has to be harvested at a magically suitable time. Certain other spell components have to be collected by moonlight, for example. – Valorum Apr 4 '16 at 17:37
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    and perhaps it only works in the hands of a wizard (after all that's true of wands as well). – Matt Gutting Apr 4 '16 at 17:48
  • @MattGutting But wands include magical/fantastical elements, bezoars are real things – CHEESE Apr 4 '16 at 20:48
  • @CHEESE If a muggle comes up with a wand, it won't do anything for them. Maybe there's something inherently magical about a bezoar that causes it to respond differently to a wizard than to a muggle? – Matt Gutting Apr 4 '16 at 20:52
6

They did.

The wizarding world's use of bezoars was modeled after the historical use of bezoars. Of course, in the real world, bezoars didn't have a real effect – except, as Rogue Jedi stated, potentially arsenic. The thing is, most poisons had well known cures during the medieval period from which the wizarding world stole based its society on – except arsenic, which had an odorless and transparent variant developed contemporarily in the Middle East. It thus became the go-to for poisoning. From that stance, then, it can easily be seen why bezoars became such a hit – and why their use was carried over into the wizarding world.

Bezoar stones on display in the German Pharmacy Museum in Heidelberg Castle

(Photograph by Gerhard Elsner via Wikimedia Commons, used under CC-BY-SA 3.0)

  • 1
    agreed, I reformulate the questions, why did'nt they use them effectively? – Ram Apr 4 '16 at 17:38
  • @Ram That I cannot answer. It likely has some sort of magical treatment, or only works on magical (rather than mundane) poisons. – Slacklord the Terrible Apr 4 '16 at 17:39
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    @Ram the same reason they can't put ingredienta in/stir potions correctly. – CHEESE Apr 4 '16 at 17:41
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    I once saw a documentary that showed bezoars protected against some forms of arsenic. – Rogue Jedi Apr 4 '16 at 17:46
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    Could be that the bezoar makes use of the patients own magic. Which is why it does not help muggles much. – Martin Handrlica Apr 4 '16 at 21:22

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