The Elixir grants the drinker an indefinitely extended life, for as long as they keep drinking it regularly, though, the frequency with which it needs to be consumed (along with its entire creation process) is unknown. Any person who relies on the Elixir will die if they cannot obtain more Elixir before the last quantity imbibed wears off.
The Elixir also has the ability to somehow reincarnate a disembodied yet earthbound soul, mostly due to the powerful magical, life-based properties. Indeed, Lord Voldemort, surviving through his Horcruxes, planned to steal the Philosopher's Stone to use the power of the elixir for such purpose, but he was thwarted by Harry Potter in 1992.
The Elixir does not make the drinker truly immortal, but only lengthens the lifespan. For example, Nicolas Flamel (who created the Philosopher's Stone) and his wife Perenelle lived for little over six-hundred and sixty years because of this elixir, but eventually died when the Stone was destroyed (with their blessing) and their supply of Elixir subsequently depleted. It is also unknown whether or not the stone halts, reverses or slows ageing, whether or not there is a limit to the amount of Elixir the stone can produce in a time period, and whether or not there are any drawbacks to being reincarnated in this way.
Behind the scenes
- It is not mentioned whether the Elixir grants complete immortality or merely extends life. It is possible that someone who has taken the Elixir may still die of illness or injury.
- In the first film, Lord Voldemort claims that unlike Unicorn Blood or the living off another, the Elixir of Life can give him a body; however, in the movie, it is not made clear that the Elixir can supply one with a spare body.
- Given that this potion is an elixir it must be sweet and aromatic in nature (as all elixirs are, by definition).
- On Pottermore, the image used to illustrate the Elixir of Life for the "Favourites" screen is the same used for Infusion of Wormwood. Whether this is merely a placeholder image or is meant to imply the two are somehow related is unclear.
- Voldemort refused to rely on the Elixir of Life for his immortality, as he would be required to drink it for eternity, and the possibility of contamination or the stone's loss would result in his death. His streak of independence made it intolerable for him to rely on the Elixir to survive, and only desired it to recreate his body.
- One of the three main goals of alchemy was to create panacea, a remedy that would cure all diseases and prolong life indefinitely. The creation of the Elixir of Life can be considered to be the success of this goal, as the potion extends life if drunk for eternity, and can bring a disembodied soul back to a physical form.
- In the muggle world, many past muggles, believing themselves to be true alchemists, attempted to create what they believed to be an Elixir of Life. Many of these substances, far from contributing to longevity, were actively toxic, one such that Jiajing Emperor of China died from a large dosage of mercury that he believed to be elixir.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- Harry Potter for Kinect (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game (First appearance)