Simple idea: whenever you use potion (or finish that soup you had in your pocket) mid-battle, you CAN use one potion (or food), but then you would need to wait centrain time to drink another potion (eat another food) or finish fight.
All of this just so you would not be able to outheal enemies damage when super injured with just... cabbages. CABBAGES!.
Obviously not a lot of us are holding such amount of food unless playing with survival mods, however a lot of us are holding desant amount of potions for those hard moments. You use sheer amount of small potions (so you gain more space in eq) and sudently you can take another harder hit or two!
While game never was realistic, this make game a bit unbalanced.
No surprice not modded Restoration magic can be easly outclassed by Alchemy in centrain situations.
Sure - with modded ones it depends, but the point stay the same - instant healing most of the time is better than delayed one - even if delayed by just choosing spell and casting it. It's also just more reliable.
Altho Restoration give you free healing in terms of money - you buy spell once and you can use it as often as you want wihout spending money, potions give you free healing in terms of time spend.
There are already mods wich makes drinking potions takes time, and sure - thats a good way of balancing potions, but what if I DON'T want to watch animation of drinking potion just to heal that 25 points of health, and instead aply one potion imediately as last resort? Before we find full healing potion it will takes some time in game, and before that spaming small potions seems as effective as one full healing one.
Cooldown would make Alchemy a bit less OP (because of blocking spam healing option), while allowing you to using potions in truly key moments in battle (when use regeneration potion? At the start before taking damage so I can then use another potion mid-battle?).
It also rewards players for preparing for battle earlier (since outside battle there would be no cooldown for potion, you can drink plenty of buffs before battle).
Lastly - obviously it would be nice if you could have settings wich descripe how long cooldown is, or how much potions you could use before activation of cooldown (or maybe there would be no cooldown, but instead you have just limited uses of potions while fighting? setting for that would be nice as well).
Thanks for reading such long post.