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The topic of this article is of a real-life subject that has been mentioned "in-universe" in a canon source. The Harry Potter Wiki is written from the perspective that all information presented in canon is true (e.g., Hogwarts really existed), and, as such, details contained in this article may differ from real world facts.
Dittany was a magical plant used in potion-making. It was a powerful healing herb and restorative. Its use made fresh skin grow over a wound and after application the wound seemed several days old.
Dittany was a healing and restorative herb, one of the plants found in One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi. In addition to dittany's essence being applied topically, the raw plant could be consumed to heal shallow to moderate wounds.
If used in a mixture with silver, it could cure werewolf bites. It would prevent the victim from bleeding to death from the bite, but not cure them of lycanthropy. Shredded dittany was an ingredient in the creation of the Wiggenweld Potion. Also known as Burning Bush, it sometimes released flammable vapours. A sick baby might be cured with the application of dittany. Dittany could also be used to heal doxy bites.
During the 1988–1989 school year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Professor Pomona Sprout taught fifth year Herbology students about dittany, in preparations for their Ordinary Wizarding Levels that year.
During the 1989–1990 school year at Hogwarts, Professor Sprout grew some dittany, along with Sage and Lavender in the Hogwarts greenhouses, in order to give to Jacob's sibling, who then gave it to Centaurs in the Forbidden Forest as an offering in order to be welcomed into the Centaur Camp.
Later that year, 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. She used it again to heal the snake bite Harry received on his arm from Nagini after they were attacked in Godric's Hollow, 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.
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 were needed to heal the various wounds the trio acquire, perhaps a little went a long way. Essence of Dittany was described as a brown liquid.
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.
"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 GBA and PC version of Philosopher's Stone video game, dittany is incorrectly depicted as a type of mushroom instead of being a green leafy plant.
- In Book 8 of Natural History, 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.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) (Mentioned only)
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay (Mentioned only)
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Mentioned only)
- Wizarding World (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Motorbike Escape
- Fantastic Beasts: Cases from the Wizarding World
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) - GBC version
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 12 (The Vault Portrait) - Herbology Lesson "Dittany"
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 24 (Sectumsempra)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 14 (The Thief)
- Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Mr Ollivander" at Wizarding World
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 14 (Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback)
- Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Werewolves" at Wizarding World
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard - "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot"
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay, Scene 79
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 3 (Mixed Message)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 17 (Bathilda's Secret)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 27 (The Final Hiding Place)
- Fantastic Beasts: Cases from the Wizarding World - Case 2: The Smell of Fear, Act 4