BezoarA bezoar is a sort of calculus or concretion, a " title="Stone">stone found in the " title="Intestine">intestines of mostly " title="Ruminant">ruminant " title="Animals">animals. There are several varieties of bezoar, some of which have inorganic constituents and others " title="Organic">organic.
Bezoars were formerly sought after because they were believed to have the power of a universal " title="Antidote">antidote against any " title="Poison">poison. It was believed that a drinking glass which contained a bezoar set within would neutralize any poison poured into the glass. The word "bezoar" ultimately comes from the " title="Persian">Persian pâdzahr (پادزهر), which literally means "protection from poison."
A famous case in the " title="Common law">common law of " title="England">England announced the rule of " title="Caveat emptor">caveat emptor, "let the buyer beware" if the goods he purchased are in fact genuine and effective, in a case over a purchaser who sued for the return of the purchase price of an allegedly fraudulent bezoar. (How the " title="Plaintiff">plaintiff discovered that the bezoar did not work is unfortunately not discussed in the report.) Judicial " title="Skepticism">scepticism over the alleged " title="Magic (paranormal)">magical powers of bezoars may well have justified this judgment in this particular case. The ruling, however, was seized on and formed an impediment to the formation of effective " title="Consumer protection">consumer protection remedies and the law of implied warranty well into the " title="19th century">nineteenth century.