The horn of a unicorn had magical properties that made it a useful ingredient in potions, such as the Antidote to Common Poisons. In classical myths, unicorn horns had purification properties which were used to dissolve poisons. This could be why it was used in the Antidote to Common Poisons.[1]

There was a lively Muggle trade in unicorn horn, which they believed to have medicinal properties. However, most of these supposed horns were fake, and the few real ones that did pass into Muggle possession were useless to non-wizards.[2]



Behind the scenes

  • It is likely that under normal circumstances horns are only taken from unicorns that have already died, since Firenze remarks that "it is a monstrous thing, to slay a unicorn".[4] It may also be possible that the horn can be taken without killing the unicorn, perhaps if they shed and regrow them much like deer do antlers, or that only a small part of the horn is taken from a living unicorn.


Notes and references

  1. Pottermore - Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger
  2. Wonderbook: Book of Potions
  3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 5 (Diagon Alley)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 15 (The Forbidden Forest)
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