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"Being an effective remedy against pustules, hives, boils and many other scrofulous conditions. This is a robust potion of powerful character. Care should be taken when brewing. Prepared incorrectly this potion has been known to cause boils, rather than cure them..."
Zygmunt Budge, Book of Potions[src]

The Cure for Boils[5][1] (also known as simply Boil Cure)[6] was a potion which removed boils, such as those produced by the Pimple Jinx.[7] It was an elementary potion and the recipe could be found in Magical Drafts and Potions[2] and Book of Potions.[4]

If the potion was made successfully, there would be pink smoke raising from the cauldron.[1]


"Idiot boy! I suppose you added the porcupine quills before taking the cauldron off the fire?"
Severus Snape lecturing Neville Longbottom for having failed to brew this potion correctly[src]

A bottle of this potion

As this was a simple potion, it was one of the first ones learned at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Students in their first year brewed this potion in Potions class.[2][3]

During the 1984–1985 school year, Professor Severus Snape taught his first-year Potions students how to concoct this particular brew. Jacob's sibling managed to successfully brew the potion, with their friend Rowan Khanna praising their prowess and claiming that hardly anyone brewed this concoction correctly on their first try. Unbeknownst to the pair of them, however, the spiteful Slytherin Merula Snyde had egregiously sabotaged Jacob's sibling's Cure for Boils by coating their cauldron with Bulbadox powder, which resulted in their concoction abruptly exploding. Seething with rage at their supposed incompetence, Snape confronted Jacob's sibling and cruelly deducted ten house points from them.[3]

At the start of the 1992–1993 school year, first-year Gryffindor and Slytherin students were tasked with the brewing of this potion in their very first Potions lesson with Potions Master Professor Severus Snape. During this lesson, he criticised almost everyone aside from Draco Malfoy, and Neville Longbottom managed to melt Seamus Finnigan's cauldron, as he added the porcupine quills before taking the potion off the fire, which caused the classroom to be filled with acrid green smoke and the failed potion to seep over the floor, burning holes in people's shoes. Snape ordered Seamus to take Neville to the Hospital Wing, whose face was covered in nasty boils from his failed potion, vanished the spilt potion with a wave of his wand and spitefully deducted one house point from Harry Potter for supposedly not having warned Neville beforehand.[2]

Brewing instructions

The Cure for Boils being brewed in a cauldron

According to Magical Drafts and Potions

Part 1

  1. Add 6 snake fangs to the mortar.
  2. Crush into a fine powder using the pestle.
  3. Add 4 measures of the crushed fangs to your cauldron.
  4. Heat the mixture to 250 for 10 seconds.
  5. Wave your wand.
  6. Leave to brew and return in 33-45 minutes.[1]

Part 2

  1. Add 4 horned slugs to your cauldron.
  2. Take the cauldron off the fire before adding the next ingredient.[2]
  3. Add 2 porcupine quills to your cauldron.
  4. Stir 5 times, clockwise.
  5. Wave your wand to complete the potion.[1]

According to Book of Potions

  1. Add crushed snake fangs to your cauldron and stir.
  2. Slice your Pungous Onions finely and place in cauldron, then heat the mixture.
  3. Add dried nettles.
  4. Add a dash of Flobberworm Mucus and stir vigorously.
  5. Add a sprinkle of powdered ginger root and stir vigorously again.
  6. Add pickled Shrake spines.
  7. Stir gently, so as not to overexcite the Shrake spines.
  8. Add a glug of stewed horned slugs.
  9. Add porcupine quills.
  10. Finally, wave your wand over the cauldron to finish the potion.[4]


When brewing the potion, the cauldron had to be taken off the fire before adding the porcupine quills, or, as Neville Longbottom found out, the cauldron would melt and create a horrid odour, and if it came into contact with the skin, would cause the skin to erupt in vicious boils.[2]

Before brewing a Cure for Boils, coating a cauldron with Bulbadox powder would make the cauldron explode.[3]

Behind the scenes

  1. Heat the cauldron until the potion turns red.
  2. Heat it again until turns green.
  3. Pour Flobberworm Mucus until the potion turns pink.
  4. Heat again until it turns orange.
  5. Mix the dried nettles until it turns green.
  6. Heat again until it turns blue.
  7. Mix crushed snake fangs until the potion turns pink.
  8. Mix Porcupine quills until the potion turns orange.
  9. Pour stewed horned slugs until it turns turquoise.
  10. And last, heat the potion until it turns red. (continuing to heat until it turns pink turns the brew more effective)
  • Harry Potter for Kinect features another alternative recipe, which is rather similar to a simplified version of the one from the Half-Blood Prince game above:
  1. Stir the starting potion clockwise until the mixture turns from blue to red.
  1. Add flobberworm mucus until the potion turns pink.
  2. Sprinkle in dried nettles into the potion turns green.
  3. Crush snake fangs in mortar and pestle, then add to cauldron until pothe tion turns yellow.
  4. Add horned slugs until the potion turns blue.
  5. Stir clockwise until the potion returns to red.


Notes and references

Potions (class)
Arsenius Jigger · Bilius Finbok · Blossom Degrasse · Dai Ryusaki · Damocles Belby · Erica Stainwright · Fleamont Potter · Gethsemane Prickle · Gilderoy Lockhart · Glossy · Glover Hipworth · Golpalott · Gregory the Smarmy · Gunhilda de Gorsemoor · Hector Dagworth-Granger · Hesper Starkey · J. Pippin · Laverne de Montmorency · Libatius Borage · Linfred of Stinchcombe · Mulpepper · Mundungus Fletcher · Nicolas Flamel · Phineas Bourne · Quintia McQuoid · Regulus Moonshine · Rogue alchemist · Rubens Winikus · Sacharissa Tugwood · Skower · Tilden Toots · Dr Ubbly · Vindictus Viridian · Zenith Xeep · Zygmunt Budge
Potions at Hogwarts
Cauldron cupboard · Dungeon Five · Potions basement · Potions Classroom · Potions Club · Potions Staircase · Potion Master's office · Potions Storeroom
Professors Bartholomew · Horace Slughorn · Severus Snape · Swoopstikes · Unnamed Professor (16th century) · Unnamed Professor (19th century) · Unnamed Professor (2021)
Textbooks A Collection of Above Three Hundred Receipts in Cookery, Physick, and Surgery · Advanced Potion-Making · Ingredient Encyclopedia · Magical Drafts and Potions · One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi
Potions studied at Hogwarts
Ageing Potion · Amortentia · Antidotes · Antidote to Common Poisons · Antidote to garish pink blended poison · Antidote to Uncommon Poisons · Antidote to Veritaserum · Befuddlement Draught · Calming Draught · Cheese-Based Potions · Confusing Concoction · Cough Potion · Cure for Boils · Deflating Draught · Doxycide · Draught of Living Death · Draught of Peace · Elixir to Induce Euphoria · Erumpent Potion · Essence of Insanity · Everlasting Elixirs · Felix Felicis · Fire Protection Potion · Forgetfulness Potion · The Famous French Method for the Bite of a Mad Dog · Garish pink blended poison · Garrotting Gas · Girding Potion · Hair-Raising Potion · Herbicide Potion · Hiccoughing Solution · Invigoration Draught · Laughing Potion · Memory Potion · Pepperup Potion · Polyjuice Potion · Pompion Potion · Potion for Dreamless Sleep · Rat Tonic · Regerminating Potion · Scintillation Solution · Shrinking Solution · Skele-Gro · Sleeping Draught · Strength Potion · Strengthening Solution · Swelling Solution · Undetectable Poisons · Veritaserum · Weedosoros · Wideye Potion · Wiggenweld Potion · Wit-Sharpening Potion · Wolfsbane Potion · Wound-Cleaning Potion
Potions Club
Harry Potter · Hufflepuff girl · Horace Slughorn (possibly)
Antidote to Common Poisons · Cure for Boils · Dragon dung fertiliser · Draught of Living Death · Draught of Peace · Elixir to Induce Euphoria · Girding Potion · Love Potion Antidote · Oculus Potion · Polyjuice Potion · Shrinking Solution · Stamina Game · Volubilis Potion · Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes Love Potion · Wiggenweld Potion · Wit-Sharpening Potion
Last Gasp Badge · Master Potioneer Badge · Messiest Mixer Badge · Potions Beginner's Luck Badge · Potions Club Member Badge · Potions Club Star Badge · Potions Club Veteran Badge · Potions Endurance Badge · Smoky Brewer Badge · Speedy Brewer Badge
Hogwarts greenhouses