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The ingestion of potions/concoctions.

Discussion in 'Research' started by mecg_romancer, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. mecg_romancer

    mecg_romancer Scribe

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    Hi guys this is my first post so be nice or not I don't mind.

    In my book/world potions play a role hand in hand with the limited magical glyphs/symbols.
    Now I originally played with the idea of using gold flakes, which at the time I had heard caused micro incisions in your neck and theoretically allow the potions to enter the blood stream much faster than normal digestion and explain their fast acting nature however upon research I realised it was a load of rubbish. This made me think that maybe another stronger and sharper metal shaving or flake could work instead which it s the reason for my post, however I'm finding this very hard to research as people don't try swallowing alcohol and shards of metal very often for some reason haha.

    Failing that maybe we could brainstorm another way besides injection as hypodermic needles weren't around in the mediaeval period.

    Ps my name was meant to be mech_romancer stupid phone -_-.

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  2. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    Tiny hollow glass beads? Fill them with whatever, ingest and wait. If you mixed them in with something smooth [so they don't chew] and people might not even notice.
    Spray things on to the eyes? especially good for neuro-toxins I was once told.
     
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  3. mecg_romancer

    mecg_romancer Scribe

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    Thanks for the reply, I like the hollow beads but my main problem with it is the main character needs to be able to brew and create them himself and even if he was a glass blower I don't know how he would get it into them. Spraying might be good except for combat potions where spraying your eyes would probably be the end of you haha.

    I should explain a bit more, magic symbols are preparatory and potions are situational. So my MC would draw the required symbols for a situation he knows is coming and then if he suddenly needed a short term effect he would use a potion to say keep a wound closed for a few minutes or to allow him to increase his reactions etc.

    Hence the need for fast acting and digestion tends to take longer than directly into your veins. I guess its my writing cheat in a way allowing him to get out of something a bit cheaply which is why I want it to sound credible haha.

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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  4. Trick

    Trick Auror

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    First, metal shavings in alcohol reminds me of Mistborn. It's a good one if you haven't read it. Though there is no mention of the metal cutting anything to enter the blood stream; it just goes into the stomach to be burned for magic fuel and creates specific powers.

    Second, have you considered inhalation? It's a pretty fast way to get things into the blood stream and your MC could carry powders instead of liquids which would probably be more functional anyway. You'd also have the mental image of a guy snorting something and that could introduce concern in the reader... are these potions addictive maybe? Do they make him feel really good? Can he over use them and hurt himself?
     
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  5. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    Sublingually. Meaning, under the tongue.

    Perhaps your potion user has a method for speeding up that process even further, like putting some kind of nettle leaf or other pointy thorn, etc., under his tongue before imbibing it.
     
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  6. mecg_romancer

    mecg_romancer Scribe

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    I'll check it out Sounds familiar, inhalation could be interesting he could have an inhaler of sorts to speed it's use up, as trying to grab a pinch of powder from his belt might be kind of awkward. I'm imagining him just throwing it at his own face while trying to dodge a basilisk haha. I was planning on having them either cause side effects or maybe counter act each other or if he takes so many he begins to die however as they only last minutes and reverse themselfs after.

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  7. mecg_romancer

    mecg_romancer Scribe

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    Ahh that's clever maybe a take on this could be a glass vial that's placed between his teeth and then bitten down onto cutting his mouth and releasing the potion ah lots of ideas :)!!!
     
  8. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi,

    The branch of medicine you need to investigate with regard to this is called pharmacokinetics. I'd suggest doing some googling. However there are some basic principles that may help you.

    First the speed with which a medicine is absorbed into the bloodstream from a potion will increase as the solubility of the substance improves. Pills take longer to digest than solutions. Also though I don't know how you can work this into a book with magical potions etc - the size of the drug molecules helps. Smaller molecules are absorbed more easily and quickly. Last, consider the concentration. The more highly concentrated the substance is, the sooner it will have an effect, though of course the most potent effect when its fully absorbed will be greater too.

    As a thought and this has not been tried in medicine as far as I know, you can try mixing inhalation with absorbtion across the gut. Make your potion hot - a tea or similar, so that he breathes it at the same time as drinking it. Think of the smell of coffee and you'll understand it. It perks you up first with the smell.

    Hope that helps.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  9. mecg_romancer

    mecg_romancer Scribe

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    The potions ideally would be very concentrated and in small quantity but at some point he might not get time to fully brew or has inferior materials so makes more etc.

    I could use all of these as different explanations for different effects actually so for a full body healing effect entering the blood stream would speed up spread through the body. Tea or nasal ingestion could be for eyes, nose and lungs, brain. And depending on the potion each has to be administered differently via a powder or solution or concentrated extract. Not sure if this is over complicated or not though.

    Cheers guys this brain storms awsome for me!!.

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  10. stephenspower

    stephenspower Inkling

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    What if a character just kept a vein open with an IV line of sorts and poured in what was necessary when needed, the works covered by a long leather glove in which little vials could also be stored?
     
  11. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi,

    That's one way to get multiple infections. Honestly a needle is one thing but leaving a vein open?

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  12. mecg_romancer

    mecg_romancer Scribe

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    Possibly a little to horror for me aswell not that I've explained my book so its not your fault. haha sounds like something out of Blood Born.

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    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  13. AkamaruGames

    AkamaruGames Sage

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    Leeches were often used to draw blood as a cure for a variety of ailments. Thinning your blood before taking a potion would increase the overall concentration in your blood. Leeches are also well known for their anesthetic properties (which is what keeps people from realizing they are being drained of blood before the leech has had a chance to gorge. Perhaps the leech could be fed some sort of concoction that magically alters it's anesthetic spit for other purposes.

    Recently in Japan (at a research hospital just down the street from my house actually), scientists have been genetically altering mosquitoes to cure disease instead of spreading it, effectively turning them into mini vaccines. Obviously the science of gene manipulation (or even genetics itself) would be out of the tech level of a typical fantasy setting, but no reason you couldn't have a "magical" potion or mist or whatever that did the same thing. Or it even could just be misunderstood science that they assume is magic due to their lack of understanding.

    Perhaps he carries about little vials of mosquitoes / leeches / whatever that have fed on particular potions that he just holds against his skin and allows the critters inside to feed on him. In the case of a mosquito, if he is not careful, it might escape and bite the wrong person, healing the villain or giving him super strength or whatever you imagine your potions to have the power to do.
     
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  14. spectre

    spectre Sage

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    Make his excessive use of potions less common, a personal flaw. The glass beads for instance could be common among healers and he doesn't craft them but purchases them. Give him a condition like jekyl/hide or blade. He uses potions appropriately. Not as a profession.

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  15. jm.milks

    jm.milks Scribe

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    The quickest way to get a substance into the bloodstream is either direct injection via syringe, or through nasal passages(think snorting tobacco, cocaine, or any salt based chemical).

    Syringe would make anyone using the substance prone to infection. Using nasal passages would eventually deteriorate smell sensors. You can also use eye drops, and under the tongue, but under tongue still takes a bit, and tipping your head back to precisely administer a potion during combat isn't ideal.

    If any of this sounds like drugs, it's because that's pretty much what potions are. People abuse drugs in these methods to get a reaction more quickly, so depending on the chemical composition of the potion, there are various ways to get it into your system when needed.

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  16. AndrewLowe

    AndrewLowe Troubadour

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    Snorting magical powders?

    That would get a fast reaction :p
     
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  17. Ben

    Ben Troubadour

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    Mucosal surfaces absorb a lot faster so, as noted above, snorting, sublingual, or - if your character is really hardcore - transrectal would be the fastest - acting routes
     
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  18. NerdyCavegirl

    NerdyCavegirl Sage

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    Because leaving an open wound with a foreign object would be a high risk for infection. Also, the OP said needles aren't a thing. I'm another advocate of inhalation; I'm assuming these potions are concocted from real and/or fantasy herbs, and many medicinal herbs throughout history have been smoked as a quicker method than digestion. Not very practical in a tight spot though. Another method already mentioned, sublingual would probably be the safest and most convenient. A few drops of the solution, or some type of strip. Areas with thin skin and a rich supply of blood vessels tend to absorb substances into the bloodstream more readily. That said, a suppository could work too.
     
  19. AkamaruGames

    AkamaruGames Sage

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    What an image THAT is...

    "Hold on guys! Before we fight I just need to take a potion real quick."
    **unzips pants and bends over**
    "Don't mind me, I'll be done in a jiffy!"
    **slips on some rubber gloves and gets to business**
     
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  20. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Auror

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    Oh man, too many funny images just came to mind, LOL. D&D campaigns would never be the same after transrectal potion use.

     

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