Word Origin & History
1543, Mod.L., coined by Paracelsus for a medicine he mixed, supposed to contain gold and crushed pearls and many expensive ingredients, but probably most effective because it contained opium. Perhaps from L. laudere "to praise," or from L. ladanum "a gum resin," from Gk. ladanon, perhaps of Sem. origin.
The word soon came to be used for "any alcoholic tincture of opium."