Hermetic Powder

The sympathetic powder, supposed to possess a healing influence from a distance. The mediæval philosophers were very fond of calling books, drugs, etc., connected with alchemy and astrology by the term hermetic, out of compliment to Hermes Trismegistus. (Sir Kenelm Digby: Discourse Concerning the Cure of Wounds by Sympathy.)

For by his side a pouch he wore
Replete with strange hermetic powder,
That wounds nine miles point-blank would solder.

Butler: Hudibras, i. 2.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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