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The best known goals of the alchemists were the transmutation of common metals into gold or silver (less well known is plant alchemy, or "spagyric"); the creation of a "panacea," a remedy that supposedly would cure all diseases and prolong life indefinitely; and the discovery of a universal solvent.[1] Although these were not the only uses for the science, they were the ones most documented and well known. Starting with the Middle Ages, European alchemists invested much effort on the search for the "philosopher's stone", a legendary substance that was believed to be an essential ingredient for either or both of those goals.