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

The Wolfsbane Potion was an innovative and complex potion that relieved, but did not cure, the symptoms of lycanthropy.[9] The main ingredient was wolfsbane (also referred to as aconite or monkshood).[4]

The way one must imbibe it was very unique among potions, in that a goblet full of Wolfsbane Potion must have been taken each day for a week preceding the full moon; missing one dose alone, during such a night, was enough to invalidate all those that preceded it.

This potion was extremely difficult to make, as Slughorn believed that even Damocles Belby couldn't have invented it without immense effort on his part.[8] The ingredients were also very expensive, which made it difficult for some werewolves to brew it themselves, as they usually lived in poverty due to their difficulty in finding stable careers.[10]


The completed potion exuded a blue smoke.[3][4] According to Remus Lupin and Chiara Lobosca, it had a "disgusting" taste that was very difficult to get used to,[5][11] and adding sugar to remedy this was impossible as that substance would render it ineffective.[5]

The drinker had to take a goblet of the potion once a day for a week prior to the upcoming full moon, and missing even one dosage would render it ineffective.[12]


"The Potion that Professor Snape has been making for me is a very recent discovery. It makes me safe, you see. As long as I take it in the week preceding the full moon, I keep my mind when I transform...I am able to curl up in my office, a harmless wolf, and wait for the moon to wane again."
Remus Lupin describes the potion's effects[src]

The potion did not cure lycanthropy, but rather eased the condition's psychological symptoms, allowing one to hold on to their mental faculties after transformation (which would otherwise not be possible) and thus retain their human consciousness whilst in animalistic physical form, rendering the otherwise dangerous beast into an ordinary, sleepy wolf.[10][1]

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.[2]


Brewing instructions[]

  1. Add seventeen leaves of the wolfsbane plant to the cauldron.
  2. Put in the juice of two mandrake leaves.
  3. Add three drops of dragon blood.
  4. Control the precise temperature at the right time.
  5. Add one powdered moonstone.
  6. Stir thrice, clockwise.
  7. Put in two drops of the Syrup of Hellebore.
  8. Add three Murtlap tentacles.
  9. Maintain a medium temperature.
  10. Add the juice of seven Sopophorous Beans, one at a time.
  11. Reduce heat to a low temperature.
  12. Gently crush an Occamy egg and sprinkle it into the cauldron.
  13. Wave a wand, stir six times anti-clockwise and wave a wand for a second time.[7]


Remus Lupin: "Professor Snape has very kindly concocted a potion for me. I have never been much of a potion-brewer and this one is particularly complex. Pity sugar makes it useless."
Harry Potter: "Why — ?"
Remus Lupin: "I’ve been feeling a bit off-colour. This potion is the only thing that helps. I am very lucky to be working alongside Professor Snape; there aren’t many wizards who are up to making it."
— Remus Lupin explaining his taking of this potion to Harry Potter[src]
Wolfsbane Potion

Bottles of the Wolfsbane Potion found in Lupin's classroom

Wolfsbane Potion was invented by Damocles Belby at some point before the 1993–1994 school year.[13][8] It was developed in the second half of the twentieth century and was the most successful treatment for werewolves.[14] It was invented before or during the werewolf Chiara Lobosca's attendance at Hogwarts (1984 to 1991).[11]

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 were not his strongest suit) and the ingredient list being very expensive.[10]

While unable to afford the potion nor its ingredient, Lupin thought to search for the latter in the Forbidden Forest, where he ran into Hogwarts student Chiara Lobosca, whom he was able to get the potion from on a few occasions. They would meet on the night before a full moon, with Lobosca then giving Lupin a bottle of the potion.[15] During the 1985–1986 school year, Jacob's sibling and Ben Copper witnessed a potion transaction between the two;[16] upon inquiry, Lobosca admitted that, unknown to Lupin, she was giving Lupin potions made for her since the ingredients were only enough to make the dosage for one person. Lupin refused any more Wolfsbane Potion from Lobosca in advance after hearing the revelation.[15]

During the 1990–1991 school year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Professor Severus Snape taught his seventh-year Potions students how to brew the Wolfsbane Potion for the Werewolf Capture Unit for the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, as a fugitive werewolf was on the loose.[6] Again during this year, Jacob's sibling helped Healers at St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries brew Wolfsbane Potion after a witch was admitted to the hospital with a werewolf bite, as part of their work experience at the hospital.[4]

Lupin returned to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1993 as a Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher solely because Albus Dumbledore offered a limitless supply of the Wolfsbane Potion,[10] which was brewed by Potions Master Severus Snape.[5][2] Harry believed Snape was poisoning Lupin and later told his friends about it after they came back from Honeydukes, on 31 October (Hallowe'en) 1993; Hermione dismissed the thought, reasoning that Snape wouldn't do something so audacious and certainly not with a student, like Harry, close by for all eyes would turn accusingly at the Potions Master if anything ill were to happen to Lupin by the provided potion's influence.[5]

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.[12]

After the conclusion of the Second Wizarding War, the British Ministry of Magic made new efforts to help werewolves, including an outreaching programme to have them to become more inclusive. Harry, who helped create this programme, originally proposed free Wolfsbane Potion to any werewolf who desired it. However, due to issues with regulations and protocols, the free potion section was apparently excluded.[17]

When she was growing up, Abigail Grey and her father Gerard, who were both werewolves, couldn't afford to brew the Wolfsbane Potion for themselves. They also didn't have the skills needed to brew something that difficult. Her father's inability to brew it was what led to him biting and infecting her with lycanthropy because he could not keep his human mind during a transformation. When she was attending Hogwarts, Professor Slughorn helped her brew the potion and taught her the recipe. However, when ingredients were hard to find, Abigail had to find them in the wild. Her friend once brewed the potion for her while she told them what to do. Around the same time, there were several break-ins in Hogsmeade. Abigail realised the only things being stolen were ingredients for the Wolfsbane Potion.[7]

Behind the scenes[]

  • J. K. Rowling has said the potion is akin to the antiretroviral used to treat HIV/AIDS in the real world, as she uses Lupin's lyncanthropy as a metaphor for the disease.[18]
  • In Hogwarts Legacy, a student mentions that she split her flask and was swimming in Wolfsbane Potion. As Hogwarts Legacy takes place in 1890, this would be at least 80 years before the potion was invented according to higher canon, making the mention entirely non-canonical and anachronistic.[19]


Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 18 (Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 16 (A Very Frosty Christmas)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady) - Mary GrandPré's US edition (see this image)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 7, Chapter 22 (The Search for Ryu) - Assignment "The Wolf's Bane"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 7, Chapter 9 (A Beast of a Division) - Assignment "Track the Werewolf"
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 Harry Potter: Magic Awakened, Where's Wolf, Chapter II: A Wolf in Witch's Robes
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 7 (The Slug Club)
  9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) (see this image)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Remus Lupin" at Wizarding World
  11. 11.0 11.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 1, "Howling Hallowe'en" Achievement - Part 1, Side Quest "The Hallowe'en Feast"
  12. 12.0 12.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 20 (The Dementor's Kiss)
  13. 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]"
  14. Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Werewolves" at Wizarding World
  15. 15.0 15.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 2, "Packmates" Achievement - Part 3, Side Quest "Cry Werewolf"
  16. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 2, "Packmates" Achievement - Part 2, Side Quest "Memories & Mysteries"
  17. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Brilliant Event: Constance's Lament
  18. Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Illness and Disability" at Wizarding World
  19. I Played Hogwarts Legacy! | Gameplay, Review, and Thoughts | Harry Potter at YouTube.com
Potions (class)
Arsenius Jigger · Baruffio · Bella Navarro · Bilius Finbok · Blossom Degrasse · Dai Ryusaki · Damocles Belby · Dorothy Sprottle · Erica Stainwright · Fatimah Lawang · Fleamont Potter · Gethsemane Prickle · Gilderoy Lockhart · Glossy · Glover Hipworth · Golpalott · Gregory the Smarmy · Gunhilda de Gorsemoor · Hector Dagworth-Granger · Hesper Starkey · Jalal Sehmi · J. Pippin · Laverne de Montmorency · Libatius Borage · Linfred of Stinchcombe · Mulpepper · Mundungus Fletcher · Nicolas Flamel · Phineas Bourne · Priya Treadwell · Quintia McQuoid · Regulus Moonshine · Rogue alchemist · Rubens Winikus · Sacharissa Tugwood · Skower · Tilden Toots · Dr Ubbly · Vindictus Viridian · Zenith Xeep · Zygmunt Budge
Potions at Hogwarts
Cauldron cupboard · Dungeon Five · Potions basement · Potions Classroom · Potions Club · Potions Staircase · Potion Master's office · Potions Storeroom
Professors Bartholomew · Horace Slughorn · Severus Snape · Swoopstikes · Unnamed Professor (16th century) · Aesop Sharp (19th century) · Unnamed Professor (2021)
Textbooks A Collection of Above Three Hundred Receipts in Cookery, Physick, and Surgery · Advanced Potion-Making · Ingredient Encyclopedia · Magical Drafts and Potions · One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi
Potions studied at Hogwarts
Ageing Potion · Amortentia · Antidotes · Antidote to Common Poisons · Antidote to garish pink blended poison · Antidote to Uncommon Poisons · Antidote to Veritaserum · Babbling Beverage · Befuddlement Draught · Calming Draught · Cheese-Based Potions · Confusing Concoction · Cough Potion · Cure for Boils · Deflating Draught · Doxycide · Draught of Living Death · Draught of Peace · Elixir to Induce Euphoria · Erumpent Potion · Essence of Insanity · Everlasting Elixirs · Felix Felicis · Fire Protection Potion · Forgetfulness Potion · The Famous French Method for the Bite of a Mad Dog · Garish pink blended poison · Garrotting Gas · Girding Potion · Hair-Raising Potion · Herbicide Potion · Hiccoughing Solution · Invigoration Draught · Laughing Potion · Mandrake Restorative Draught · Memory Potion · Pepperup Potion · Polyjuice Potion · Pompion Potion · Potion for Dreamless Sleep · Rat Tonic · Regerminating Potion · Scintillation Solution · Shrinking Solution · Skele-Gro · Strength Potion · Strengthening Solution · Swelling Solution · Undetectable Poisons · Veritaserum · Weedosoros · Wideye Potion · Wiggenweld Potion · Wit-Sharpening Potion · Wolfsbane Potion · Wound-Cleaning Potion