A red precious stone that was supposed to possess magical
properties and was found in the bodies of certain animals. At
one time these stones fetched ten times their weight in gold as
a remedy against poison and contagion; and for this purpose
they were taken both internally and worn round the neck.
There were said to be nine varieties of bezoar that differed
greatly in composition but were generally divided into those
composed mainly from minerals and those composed of organic
A strange origin was assigned to this stone by some of the
early naturalists. It is said that aging Oriental stags fed upon
serpents, which renewed their youth. In order to counteract the
poison which was absorbed into their system they plunged into
a running stream, keeping their heads only above water. This
caused a viscous fluid to be distilled from their eyes, which was
indurated by the heat of the sun and formed the bezoar.