The Wolfsbane Potion was an innovative and complex potion that relieved, but did not cure, the symptoms of lycanthropy, or werewolfry. The main ingredient was wolfsbane (also referred to as aconite or monkshood). 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. 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 lived in poverty due to their difficulty in finding stable careers.
The completed potion exuded a 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. 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. 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.
- 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]
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.
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. During the 1985–1986 school year, Jacob's sibling and Ben Copper witnessed a potion transaction between the two; 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.
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. 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.
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, which was brewed by Potions Master Severus Snape. 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.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) (Mentioned only) (Unidentified in DVD)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) (Mentioned only)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Mentioned only)
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)
- Wizarding World (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter for Kinect (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter: Magic Awakened (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 18 (Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 16 (A Very Frosty Christmas)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady) - Mary GrandPré's US edition, (see this image)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 7, Chapter 22 (The Search for Ryu) - Assignment "The Wolf's Bane"
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 7, Chapter 9 (A Beast of a Division) - Assignment "Track the Werewolf"
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 7 (The Slug Club)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) - (see this image)
- Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Remus Lupin" at Wizarding World
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 1, "Howling Hallowe'en" Achievement - Part 1, Side Quest "The Hallowe'en Feast"
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 20 (The Dementor's Kiss)
- 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]"
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 2, "Packmates" Achievement - Part 3, Side Quest "Cry Werewolf"
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 2, "Packmates" Achievement - Part 2, Side Quest "Memories & Mysteries"