The Wolfsbane Potion is an innovative and complex potion that relieves, but does not cure, the symptoms of lycanthropy. The main ingredient is wolfsbane (also referred to as aconite or monkshood). As such, this Potion is very dangerous when incorrectly concocted, since Aconite is a very poisonous substance. The way one must imbibe it is very unique among potions, in that a gobletful of wolfsbane potion must be taken for each day of a week preceding the full moon. It is extremely difficult to make, as Slughorn believed that even Damocles couldn't have invented it without immense effort on his part. The ingredients are also very expensive, making it nigh-impossible for werewolves to brew it themselves, as they usually live in poverty due to their difficulty in finding stable careers.
The completed potion exudes a faint blue smoke. According to Remus Lupin, it has a "disgusting" taste, and adding sugar to remedy this is not possible as that substance will render it ineffective. The drinker must intake a gobletful of the potion once a day a week prior to the upcoming full moon, and missing even one dosage will render it ineffective.
The potion does not cure lycanthropy but eases the symptoms, allowing one to hold on to their mental faculties after transformation (which would otherwise not be possible). It renders the dangerous beast into an ordinary, sleepy wolf. However, it can have disastrous side-effects if the recipe is tampered with, as Lupin told Harry in 1996. It is said that on the full-moon werewolves take this, they still transform, but at least in Remus Lupin's case they still act human. They usually stay somewhere safe and sleep through the transformation.
Wolfsbane Potion was invented by Damocles in the recent past, sometime after the mid-1970s. When this discovery was made, Remus Lupin thought it was a faint ray of hope, but his hopes were dashed when he found the potion formula's complexity (as Potions was not his strongest suit) and the ingredient list being very expensive. He returned to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as a Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher solely because Albus Dumbledore offered a limitless supply of the Wolfsbane Potion, which was brewed by Potions Master Severus Snape. Harry thought Severus Snape was poisoning Remus Lupin and later told his friends about it after they came back from Honeydukes.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) (Mentioned only) (Unidentified)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter for Kinect (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault (mentioned only)
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Remus Lupin" at Pottermore
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 18 (Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs), page 258 "The Potion that Professor Snape has been making is a very recent discovery...Before the Wolfsbane Potion was discovered, however, I became a fully fledged monster once a month [when I went to Hogwarts]"
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 16 (A Very Frosty Christmas)