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

There is a lively Muggle trade in unicorn horn, which they believe to have medicinal properties. However, most of these supposed horns are fake, and the few real ones that do pass into Muggle possession are 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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