"The method was first proposed by Rudolf Goclenius, Jr. and was later expanded upon by Sir Kenelm Digby. An abstract of Digby's theory is found in an address given before an assembly of learned men in Montpellier, France, and which is discussed in Thomas Joseph Pettigrew's Superstitions Connected with Medicine and Surgery. The recipe for the powder is: "take Roman vitriol copper sulphate six or eight ounces, beat it very small in a mortar, shift it through a fine sieve when the sun enters Leo; keep it in the heat of the sun and dry by night."
The powder was also applied to solve the longitude problem in the suggestion of an anonymous pamphlet of 1687 entitled "Curious Enquiries." The pamphlet theorised that a wounded dog could be put aboard a ship, with the animal's discarded bandage left in the trust of a timekeeper on shore, who would then dip the bandage into the powder at a predetermined time and cause the creature to yelp, thus giving the captain of the ship an accurate knowledge of the time. There are no records of the effectiveness of this procedure. It is also uncertain if it had ever been tried, and it is possible that the pamphlet was a form of satire.
The powder of sympathy was termed weaponsalve ("A salve which was supposed to cure the wound, being applied to the weapon that made it.") by Dr. Johnson in his Dictionary of the English Language (1755)."