Then Helen, Zeus' daughter, thought of something else.
She quickly dropped into the wine they were enjoying 
a drug which eased men's pains and irritations,
making them forget their troubles.  A drink of this,
once mixed in with wine, would guarantee no man 

would let a tear fall on his cheek for one whole day,
not even if his mother and his father died,
or if, in his own presence, men armed with swords
hacked down his brother or his son, as he looked on.
Odyssey Book 4

Nepenthe is a drug mentioned in Greek mythology, in which it is depicted as originating in Egypt. It is a drug of forgetfulness.

The word "Nepenthe" first appear in the Odyssey of Homer. Literally, it means "the one that chases away sorrow" (ne+penthos). In the Odyssey, "Nepenthes pharmakon" (i.e. a philter that chases away sorrow) is a magical potion given to Helen by an Egyptian queen; it quells all sorrows with forgetfulness.

It is thought by some that nepenthe might have referred to a real-life opium preparation, perhaps similar to laudanum [1]. However, this is speculation only, and others believe it referred to coffee.

In the Raven, a poem by Edgar Allan Poe there is a reference to "quaffing nepenthe" in order to forget a lost love. ("Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!")

Nepenthe is the name of a collection of poetry published in 1921 by Greek poet Kostas Karyotakis. It was his second collection.

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