3

The ones Geralt carries regularly and uses before battle - the effects can sort of be found in various sources, like in this trailer for the game.

I know from the books he takes elixirs that are described as having similar effect - e.g. defending a merchant's cart in The Sword of Destiny:

The stranger's face was white, white and porous as fresh cheese under his clothes. And his eyes... Oh gods... The terror screamed through Yurga. His eyes...

(The audiobook version I recalled may have been more dramatic! Earlier in other 'chapters' it mentions when the effects start to wear off)

The most specific mention is from before he battles the Striga in 'The Last Wish':

In one of the empty, plundered chambers, the witcher returned to the dusty table at which he was preparing, calmly and meticulously. He knew he had plenty of time. The striga would not leave her crypt before midnight.

On the table in front of him he had a small chest with metal fittings. He opened it. Inside, packed tightly in compartments lined with dried grass, stood small vials of dark glass. The witcher removed three.

From the floor, he picked up an oblong packet thickly wrapped in sheep's skins and fastened with a leather strap. He unwrapped it and pulled out a sword with an elaborate hilt, in a black, shiny scabbard covered with rows of runic signs and symbols. He drew the blade, which lit up with a pure shine of mirrorlike brightness. It was pure silver.

Geralt whispered an incantation and drank, one after the other, the contents of two vials, placing his left hand on the blade of the sword after each sip. Then, wrapping himself tightly in his black coat, he sat down on the floor. There were no chairs in the chamber, or in the rest of the palace.

He sat motionless, his eyes closed. His breathing, at first even, suddenly quickened, became rasping and tense. And then stopped completely. The mixture which helped the witcher gain full control of his body was chiefly made up of veratrum, stramonium, hawthorn and spurge. The other ingredients had no name in any human language. For anyone who was not, like Geralt, inured to it from childhood, it would have been lethal poison.

The witcher turned his head abruptly. In the silence his hearing, sharpened beyond measure, easily picked out a rustle of footsteps through the courtyard overgrown with stinging nettles.


The witcher did not move. He did not want the magnate to realise how fast his movements and reactions now were. It was quickly growing dark. A relief, as even the semi-darkness of dusk was too bright for his dilated pupils.

Going into the ingredients is somewhat useful - e.g. Veratrum is highly toxic but was experimented with too treat high bloodu pressure, looking up stramonium yields: (see also this!):

Boiron's Stramonium is a homeopathic supplement that promotes relaxation. The main ingredient is stramonium‚ a plant-based ingredient sometimes used as a hypnotic that some believe may lessen mild hallucinations. Its potential antispasmodic properties may also support breathing.

Though what the vial(s) are called would be interesting!

Names I have come across is in 'The Blood of Elves' likely are other ones entirely:

'Which? elixir is used to treat corpse venom poisoning, Ciri?'

'"Golden Oriole".'

Besides Black & White Seagull (the latter being hallucinogenic, though I think the former sends Ciri into a trance. Also mentioned as some point is euphoria from the effects)

Tower of Swallow mentions in passing “stamonium, but she is too weak to survive its action. I also have some monkshood,...”. Though like Yennefer's potions these aren't as relevant though the ingredients may also be used.

I can't remember them being mentioned much later in the books (same here) apart from the worries on the effect it would have on Ciri - though those were mainly about the mutagenic ones I think, which cause cat-like eyes and have side effects such as white hair. Other potions were mentioned were used to patch him up (treating cuts or knock him unconscious ), besides painkillers which I guess he would carry regularly.

The game seems like a good source of info but I haven't played it enough to know what a typical 'loadout' would be!

  • 1
    There's a whole lot of them and I don't think all of them are named. The game is a mix of canon and made-up ones so it isn't reliable at all. – Amarth Oct 7 at 22:03
  • @Amarth I guess :-/ I did start with witcher.fandom.com/wiki/The_Witcher_potions witcher.fandom.com/wiki/The_Witcher_3_potions but wasn't sure as haven't played what would be used reguarly – Wilf Oct 7 at 22:06
  • 2
    Only ones I know are canon from that list are White Gull (hallucinogen) and Golden Oriole (powerful anti-toxin), but you already knew that... – Amarth Oct 7 at 22:09
  • 1
    A variety of strong alcoholic drinks, just like the rest of us. – Misha R Oct 15 at 19:45
  • I'm not sure I understand the question. Are you asking for a list of all the potions Geralt knows about, or are you asking about which ones he generally takes before a battle? – Allan Mills Oct 16 at 7:17
2

Most of the potions from the game are not canon, but completely made-up by the game developer. They have named several of them from various figures in canon though, such as "Tawny Owl" which is the nickname for Emhyr's special agent Stefan Skellen or "Shrike" which is the nickname for the bandit Renfri. Both were enemies of Geralt and it seems very unlikely that he would be so tasteless as to name potions after the person who hunted and maimed his daughter or the person who betrayed him and caused the massacre at Blaviken.


The potions/elixirs which are canonical are:

  • Unknown potion(s) 1). The main elixirs that Geralt take in advance when expecting a fight. Greatly enhances his speed and reaction (that are already far greater than those of ordinary humans). Causes euphoria and rage as side-effects. It is under the influence of these that he pulls off the more spectacular combat stunts, such as defeating powerful monsters or whole bands of seasoned, professional killers.
  • Unknown potion 2). Potion to give the witcher control of heartbeat, breathing and similar automatic functions. Also sharpens hearing. Lethal poison to ordinary humans. Ingredients: veratrum, stramonium, hawthorn, spurge and unknown ingredients.
  • Unknown potion 2). Potion to give the witcher complete sight in darkness. The potion enlargens the pupils and makes the skin white as chalk. Ingredients: banewart, monk's hood, eyebright. Geralt drinks this at several occasions through the books when expecting a fight in the dark.

    This is likely what the potion "Cat" in the game came from and what inspired the ghastly look Geralt gets in the game with high toxic levels.

  • True-love and celandine 3). Sleeping potion/sedative.
  • "Witcher's elixir" 4). Antiseptic or similar that cures blood poisoning and infections. Poured straight on the wound, causing foam and smoke. Geralt uses this at several occasions.
  • White Seagull 5). Drunk as recreational alcoholic beverage. Mild hallucinogen and sedative. Can trigger a trance if drunk by a mage with a talent for premonitions - Ciri drinks it at several points and falls into a trance each time.
  • Black Seagull 6). Strong hallucinogen. Causes hallucinations and ravings. Geralt uses it in place of a painkiller at one point.
  • Sewant mushrooms and burdock 6). Not an exclusive witcher potion but also known by healers like the sorceress Visenna, Geralt's mother. Cures gangrene, infections.
  • Golden Oriole 7). Powerful anti-toxin.

It would seem that at least the combat elixirs, the nightvision one and the "witcher's elixir" healing potion are part of his usual "loadout" since they are recurring throughout the books.

For example a herbalist asks him in Season of Storms if he is concerned about using up the "witcher's elixir" healing potion to cure a friend and Geralt admits that this is the case, which implies that he tries to have that one with him at all times.


1) Blood of Elves, 6. Season of Storms, 17.
2) The Last Wish - The witcher, V.
3) The Last Wish - The witcher, VI.
4) Sword of Destiny - Something more, IV. Season of Storms, 17.
5) Blood of Elves, 3.
6) Sword of Destiny - Something more, V.
7) Blood of Elves, 3.

  • I did wonder about that, as earlier when looking for parts for a costume I came across the 'Tawny Owl' one amongst other ones i.stack.imgur.com/52mfb.jpg i.stack.imgur.com/PjtSL.jpg (these were on etsy but are now unlisted). Thank you for the answer and the list :) – Wilf Oct 25 at 20:07

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