Potions (Latin potio, 'beverage') are magical mixtures commonly brewed in cauldrons and used to create various effects on the drinker. A wizard or witch who specialises in potion brewing is known as a potioneer.
Potions are brewed from ingredients with magical properties. Potions can be used as medicine, lethal poison, or give the drinker any effect from strength enhancement to immunity to flames. Potions are not necessarily used by drinking, as some can be applied by physical contact or create an effect simply by being created, such as the Regeneration Potion. According to former Hogwarts Potions master, Professor Severus Snape, potions can "bewitch the mind, ensnare the senses and even put a stopper in death."
The science of potion making includes the use of words that are specific to this art.
- A brew is a liquid mixture made by steeping, soaking, or boiling solid ingredients in water.
- A concoction is, simply, a mixture of ingredients.
- A draught or draft is one serving or portion of a potion. The word draft indicates the substance is drawn from a cask rather than from a closed bottle.
- An elixir is a sweetened, aromatic solution used as medicine.
- A philtre is a potion designed to enchant or charm the drinker.
- A poison is a potion intended to cause harm or death to the drinker.
- A tincture is a benign medicine preserved in alcohol.
Supplies used in Potion Making
- Silver, brass, copper or pewter Cauldron
- Glass or crystal phials
- Silver Knife
- Mortar and pestle
- Various ingredients for specific potions
- A wand
Texts on Potions
- One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore
- Moste Potente Potions
- Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger
- Advanced Potion-Making by Libatius Borage
Behind the scenes
- Brewing potions is an activity that can be performed on Pottermore to earn House points.
- J. K. Rowling has noted that - even if they were to follow the instructions exactly and had all the ingredients - a Muggle could not brew a potion because there is always the need to channel magic at some point, at some stage one would have to use a wand. In Pottermore, this is seen as the final step of brewing a Potion is always to wave the wand.
- An advertisement can be seen in the Quibbler about potion-making called Ancient Potion Maker.
- There exists a Potions Association that oversees the labeling of certain potions, and possibly other aspects.
- In 1996, a business called Potions Lady that specialised in making potions for women placed an ad in the Daily Prophet.
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