"There is no known cure, although recent developments in potion-making have to a great extent alleviated the worst symptoms."
Newton Scamander[src]

The Wolfsbane Potion was an innovative and complex potion that relieves, but does not cure, the symptoms of lycanthropy, or werewolfry.[1] The main ingredient was wolfsbane (also referred to as aconite or monkshood). As such, this Potion was very dangerous when incorrectly concocted, since Aconite was a very poisonous substance. The way one must imbibe it was very unique among potions, in that a gobletful of wolfsbane potion must have been taken each day for a week preceding the full moon. It was extremely difficult to make, as Slughorn believed that even Damocles Belby couldn't have invented it without immense effort on his part. The ingredients were also very expensive, which made it difficult for some werewolves to brew it themselves, as they usually live in poverty due to their difficulty in finding stable careers.[2]


The completed potion exuded a faint blue smoke. According to Remus Lupin and Chiara Lobosca, it had a "disgusting" taste that was very difficult to get used to, and adding sugar to remedy this was not possible as that substance would render it ineffective.[3][4] The drinker had to take a gobletful of the potion once a day for a week prior to the upcoming full moon, and missing even one dosage would render it ineffective.


The potion did not cure lycanthropy, but rather eased the symptoms, allowing one to hold on to their mental faculties after transformation (which would otherwise not be possible), rendering the dangerous beast into an ordinary, sleepy wolf.[2] They usually stayed somewhere hidden and slept through the transformation. However, it could have disastrous side-effects if the recipe was tampered with, as Lupin told Harry in 1996.


Wolfsbane Potion was invented by Damocles Belby in the recent past.[5] It was invented before or during the werewolf Chiara Lobosca's attendance at Hogwarts (1984 to 1991).[4]

When this discovery was made, Remus Lupin thought it was a faint ray of hope, but his hopes were dashed when he found the potion formula's complexity (as Potions was not his strongest suit) and the ingredient list being very expensive. He returned to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as a Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher solely because Albus Dumbledore offered a limitless supply of the Wolfsbane Potion,[2] which was brewed by Potions Master Severus Snape.[6] Harry reckoned Severus Snape was poisoning Remus Lupin and later told his friends about it after they came back from Honeydukes.

During the confrontation with Sirius Black in the Shrieking Shack, Lupin forgot to take a goblet during the night of the full moon, which led to him to transforming into a full-fledged werewolf.


Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) - (see this image)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Remus Lupin" at Wizarding World
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 1, "Howling Hallowe'en" Achievement - Part 1, Side Quest "The Hallowe'en Feast"
  5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 18 (Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs), page 258 "The Potion that Professor Snape has been making is a very recent discovery...Before the Wolfsbane Potion was discovered, however, I became a fully fledged monster once a month [when I went to Hogwarts]"
  6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 16 (A Very Frosty Christmas)
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