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"Dittany is a powerful healing herb and restorative and may be eaten raw to cure shallow wounds."
Phyllida Spore, One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi[src]

Dittany is a magical plant used in Potion-Making. It is a powerful healing herb and restorative. Its use makes fresh skin grow over a wound and after application the wound seems several days old.[2]

Dittany is one of the plants found in One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi.[3]

Effect

"Greenish smoke billowed upward and when it has cleared, Harry saw that the bleeding had stopped. The Wound now looked several days old; new skin stretched over what had been open flesh. "
—The fast effect of Dittany[src]
Dittany1

the effect of Dittany taking place

Dittany is a healing and restorative herb, one of the plants found in One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi.[3]In addition to Dittany's essence being applied topically, the raw plant can be consumed to heal shallow to moderate wounds.[4]

If used in a mixture with silver it can cure werewolf bites. It will prevent the victim from bleeding to death from the bite, but not cure them of lycanthropy.[4] Shredded Dittany is an ingredient in the creation of the Wiggenweld Potion. Also known as Burning Bush, it sometimes releases flammable vapours.[1] A sick baby may be cured with the application of dittany.[5]Dittany can also be used to heal Doxy bites.

History

"There may be a certain amount of scarring, but if you take dittany immediately we might avoid even that...."
—Healing wounds, received from a cutting curse[src]
WoundedTroll

The troll's hand, before

TrollAfterDittany

... and after Mathilda Grimblehawk and her partner applied dittany to its wounds

Harry Potter researched dittany in One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi during his First Year as part of his Herbology homework.[3]

Severus Snape suggested that Draco Malfoy use it after Harry Potter's attack on him using Sectumsempra, saying it may prevent any lasting scarring if taken immediately.[6]

Hermione Granger used Essence of Dittany to heal Ron Weasley's arm when he splinched it Disapparating soon after the trio's escape from the British Ministry of Magic in 1997.[2] She used it again to heal the snake bite Harry received on his arm from Nagini after they were attacked in Godric's Hollow,[7] and once more following the Break-in of Gringotts, to heal the burns they had received from the burning treasure contained with the Lestrange Vault.[8]

Dittany might be quite rare because Hermione was only able to obtain a small bottle of it for her, Harry and Ron's travels. Alternatively, as only small amounts are needed to heal the various wounds the trio acquire, perhaps a little goes a long way. Essence of Dittany is described as a brown liquid.[2]

Mathilda Grimblehawk's partner used dittany to heal wounds on a Mountain Troll that was mistakenly transported from the Alps to London.[9]

During the Calamity which affected the Wizarding world in the 2010s, volunteer members of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force frequently collected and used Dittany as a potion ingredient, particularly in the brewing of the Healing Potion.[10]

Etymology

'Dittany' comes from the Ancient Greek δίκταμνον, supposedly Δικτή, meaning Dicte. Dicte is a mountain in Crete, the plant grew on.

Behind the scenes

  • There are a number of real-world plants with the common name dittany. Though its description in the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone matches most closely with that of Dictamnus albus, Origanum dictamnus has a more significant history of being used as a medicinal plant and is thus more likely to be the type of dittany J. K. Rowling had in mind.
  • In The Wizard and the Hopping Pot, a sick baby is doused in dittany and wakes well and rosy.
    Dittany

    An illustration of dittany in Magical Drafts and Potions

  • In Book 8 of Natural History[11], Pliny the Elder stated that deer consume dittany to remove arrows from their wounds, which revealed the plant's healing virtues. Twice in the Harry Potter series, dittany is mentioned in connection to an individual whose corporeal Patronus is a stag or a doe. After Draco Malfoy is attacked by Harry, Severus Snape recommended the use of dittany to prevent scarification. Later Hermione uses the Essence of Dittany to heal Harry's snake bite.
  • Dittany stalk is, so far, the only wand core in canon taken from a plant.

Appearances

Notes and references


Herbology
Pottedmandrake
Herbologists
Miranda Goshawk · Quiac Marinus · Beaumont Marjoribanks · Nepali wizard · Gethsemane Prickle · Selina Sapworthy · Phyllida Spore · Tilden Toots · Hadrian Whittle · Sir Winogrand
Herbology at Hogwarts
Herbology Award · Herbology Lesson Cup · Herbology Race Cup · Herbology Store
Greenhouses One · Two · Three · Four · Five · Six · Seven · Professor's Office
Professors Herbert Beery · Pomona Sprout · Neville Longbottom
Textbooks Encyclopedia of Toadstools · Flesh-Eating Trees of the World · Goshawk's Guide to Herbology · Magical Water Plants of the Mediterranean · One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi · Winogrand's Wondrous Water Plants
Plants studied at Hogwarts
Aconite · Asphodel · Belladonna · Bouncing Bulb · Bubotuber · Bubotuber pus · Chinese Chomping Cabbage · Devil's Snare · Dittany · Fanged Geranium · Fire Seed Bush · Flitterbloom · Flutterby bush · Fluxweed · Gillyweed · Ginger · Knotgrass · Leaping Toadstool · Mandrake · Mimbulus Mimbletonia · Moly · Nettle · Puffapod · Screechsnap · Self-fertilising shrub · Shrivelfig · Snargaluff · Spiky Bush · Spiky Prickly Plant · Stinksap · Umbrella Flower · Valerian · Vampiric vegetation · Venomous Tentacula · Walking plant · Wormwood · Wiggentree · Wild rice
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