If health potions existed in a shitty world they would be the brandy of the rich and the heroin of the poor.
If drunk at full health it makes you warm, contented, swaddled in muffled bliss. This is a place you want to be. As much as possible.
It will heal your rat bites and your barked knuckles, it will salve your soul for an hour or two, and yet your belly remains empty, your muscles waste, your eyes become hollow.
You are free from bodily trauma, but trapped in the rapture of false happiness. Instead, a slow gyre of decay traded for fleeting perfection, initially free but increasingly difficult to obtain. Expensive in many ways, adventurer, there are easier sources of gold than goblinoids and dire beasties.
The lairds, the barony and the courtiers enjoy a healthful punch after supper. Peeled berries, champagne, a spritz of hartflower oil and an aged bottle of '84 health draught. It soothes a gentleman from the corns of his feet to the tips of his ears, brings back the warm memories of summers past. It is a pity the, '84 draught is almost deplete, good clerics are hard to come by and rarely last long, finding fatal aversions to indenture and servitude as a general rule.
Truly a balance must be found between the volumes a man can produce given local ingredients, and the amount that must be expended healing the reticent do-good back to productivity after applying judicious motivation.
Indeed, a man begins to wonder, how much of this fine aperitif is even consumed on the battlefield, for a fighter must first battle the noble and then the gutter for a simple expedient field dressing.
Perhaps, a man considers, he who controls the draught controls muscle, controls the gutter, controls the noble houses.
It is hard to kill a man who controls the only means of rejuvenation, but it is easy to work for him.