Alchemy is a philosophical and protoscientific tradition that was practiced in ancient and medieval times, with roots dating back to ancient Egypt and Greece. It was primarily concerned with the transmutation of base metals into gold, as well as the discovery of a universal panacea (cure-all) and the philosopher's stone, which was believed to grant eternal life and the ability to turn base metals into gold.
Alchemy was not just a practice focused on material gain, but also a spiritual discipline that sought to understand the nature of the universe and the human soul. It was often associated with mysticism and the occult, and alchemists were thought to possess secret knowledge about the nature of the universe and the ways in which it could be manipulated.
Alchemy was widely practiced throughout the medieval world, and it had a significant influence on the development of modern chemistry.