Azoth was considered to be a universal medicine or universal solvent sought in alchemy (similar to other alchemical idealized substance, alkahest, that like azoth was the aim, goal and vision of many alchemical works it was to achieve). Its symbol was the Caduceus and so the term, which being originally a term for an occult formula sought by alchemists much like the philosopher's stone, became a poetic word for the element mercury, the name being originally derived from Arabic al-zā'ūq "the mercury".
The term was considered by occultist Aleister Crowley to represent a unity of beginning and ending by tying together the first and last letters of the alphabets of antiquity; A/Alpha/Alef (first character of Latin, Greek & Hebrew), Z (final character in Latin), O as Omega (final character in Greek) and Th as Tau (final character in Hebrew). In this way permeation and totality of beginning and end was symbolised to consider the supreme wholeness and thus the universal synthesis of opposites as a 'cancellation' (i.e. solvent) or cohesion (i.e. medicine), and in such a way is similar to the philosophical "absolute" of Hegel's dialectic. Crowley further made reference in his works referring to Azoth as "the fluid."