"Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;"

- Shakespeare: As You Like It, ACT II, SCENE I

Toadstones are magical and supernatural stones that were thought to be found inside the head of an aged toad.

They appeared to be warty, mottled brown, grey and black and they were no more than the size of a fingernail.

Since the medieval times, people believed in the magical abilities of these toadstones specifically as an antidote to poison. They believed that when worn against the skin, upon coming close to poisonous material, the stones would heat up, sweat and change colour. These stones were also thought to be able to extract poison from bites by venomous creatures. It was also recommended that toadstones be swallowed in order to cleanse the gut.

They were greatly valued by nobility and the upper class since the 13th to 14th century because death by poison was a very common occurrence then.

Toadstones, therefore, were made into charms and talismans most of which were set in magical rings. Besides being an effective treatment for epilepsy and kidney diseases, they were also thought to protect children and pregnant mothers from fairies and demons.

Toadstone were thought to bring wealth, prosperity, protection and good fortune to the wearer.