"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, or werewolfry.[5] 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 plant. 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.[4] 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.[3]


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.[2][6] 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.[7]


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.[3][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.[8]


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]

Bottles of the Wolfsbane Potion found in Lupin's classroom

Wolfsbane Potion was invented by Damocles Belby in the recent past.[9][4] It was invented before or during the werewolf Chiara Lobosca's attendance at Hogwarts (1984 to 1991).[6]

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.[3]

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.[10] During the 1985–1986 school year, Jacob's sibling and Ben Copper witnessed a potion transaction between the two;[11] 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.[10]

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,[3] which was brewed by Potions Master Severus Snape.[8] Harry reckoned Severus Snape was poisoning Remus Lupin and later told his friends about it after they came back from Honeydukes, on 31 October (Hallowe'en) 1993.[2]

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.[7]


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 2.3 2.4 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Remus Lupin" at Wizarding World
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 7 (The Slug Club)
  5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) - (see this image)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 1, "Howling Hallowe'en" Achievement - Part 1, Side Quest "The Hallowe'en Feast"
  7. 7.0 7.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 20 (The Dementor's Kiss)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 16 (A Very Frosty Christmas)
  9. 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]"
  10. 10.0 10.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 2, "Packmates" Achievement - Part 3, Side Quest "Cry Werewolf"
  11. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 2, "Packmates" Achievement - Part 2, Side Quest "Memories & Mysteries"
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