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"Today we will grow Wormwood, a potent potion ingredient. Wormwood is a necessary component in both the Elixir to Induce Euphoria and Draught of Living Death. Let us ignore the sudden dilation of Miss Haywood's pupils and progress with the lesson, shall we?"
Professor Sprout to fourth-year Herbology students[src]

Wormwood (Artemisa absinthium)[1] is a very bitter herb that had been used in Potion-making since ancient times.[4]


An Infusion of Wormwood was used in the concoction of the Draught of Living Death, Elixir to Induce Euphoria, and the Shrinking Solution.[5] Wormwood Essence was also made from this plant.[6]

Muggles used wormwood leaves for many things, including medicine and as a way to discourage fleas.[1] Wormwood's scientific name was derived from that of Artemis, the goddess of the hunt in Greek mythology.[1] Wormwood oil could be poisonous in large amounts.[1]


During the 1987–1988 school year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Professor Sprout taught fourth-year students in Herbology about how to grow Wormwood in class, along with its uses in potion-making.[2]

Harry Potter learned about this ingredient in his first Potion class on 2 September 1991 at Hogwarts, where Professor Snape "pointed it out for him".[7]

Wormwood was also an ingredient of the Healing Potion, which was brewed and used heavily by volunteer members of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force in the late 2010s and early 2020s to help address the Calamity.[3]

See also

Behind the scenes

  • In reality, wormwood is purported to have a wide range of uses (which may or may not hold true in the Harry Potter universe), including: antipyretic (febrifuge); anthelmintic; stomachic; tonic; hallucinogenic; and culinary. It is also believed to enhance psychic abilities in some religions (such as Wicca).
  • Only two of Wormwood's real uses correlate to its use in potion-making. Tonic liquids consist of carbonated, quinine enriched water. If the quinine content was too high, then one could theoretically overdose, inducing severe cinchonism (a.k.a. "quinism"), one of the effects of which is somnolence, similar to the effect the Draught of Living Death produces. Its hallucinogenic properties may be useful in the brewing of Elixir to Induce Euphoria as well.
  • The other uses of wormwood may temper or eliminate side-effects of the other ingredients for Draught of the Living Death, hence justifying its inclusion into the mix. In Elixir to Induce Euphoria, however, its bitter taste may be the reason that the mixture has to be sweetened as well.
  • The idea that wormwood in the Harry Potter universe contains quinine (which may or may not be part of the reason for its choice as an ingredient in various potion) is supported by the fact that it is described as "very bitter" - quinine is famously bitter, hence its addition to tonic water.
  • Wormwood has a strong association with the Moon and lunar deities, like Artemis (whom the genus of wormwood plants is named after and who is said to possess powers that are also granted by wormwood).
  • Wormwood can also mean a state of bitterness or grief with the emotion, which is ironic since it is used to make the Elixir to Induce Euphoria.


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Notes and references

Blossom Degrasse · Miranda Goshawk · Quiac Marinus · Beaumont Marjoribanks · Nepali wizard · Gethsemane Prickle · Sanjay Shanker · Selina Sapworthy · Phyllida Spore · Tilden Toots · Hadrian Whittle · Sir Winogrand
Herbology at Hogwarts
Herbology Award · Herbology Lesson Cup · Herbology Race Cup · Herbology Store
Greenhouses One · Two · Three · Four · Five · Six · Seven · Professor's Office
Professors Herbert Beery · Pomona Sprout · Neville Longbottom · Unnamed Professor (19th century)
Textbooks Flesh-Eating Trees of the World · Ingredient Encyclopedia · One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi · Winogrand's Wondrous Water Plants
Plants studied and grown at Hogwarts
Aconite · Alihotsy · Asphodel · Belladonna · Bouncing Bulb · Bubotuber · Bubotuber pus · Chinese Chomping Cabbage · Cowbane · Devil's Snare · Dirigible plum · Dittany · Fanged Geranium · Fat cactus-like plant · Fire seed bush · Flitterbloom · Floo · Flutterby bush · Fluxweed · Gillyweed · Ginger · Hemlock · Honking daffodil · Ivy · Knotgrass · Lady's Mantle · Lavender · Leaping Toadstool · Lovage · Mandrake · Mimbulus mimbletonia · Mistletoe · Moly · Nettle · Peppermint · Puffapod · Raspberry · Rose · Sage · Screechsnap · Scurvy grass · Self-fertilising shrub · Shrivelfig · Snargaluff · Sneezewort · Sopophorous plant · Sopophorous bean · Spiky Bush · Spiky Prickly Plant · Stinksap · Sugar Shrub · Toad-eating plant · Tormentil · Umbrella Flower · Valerian · Vampiric vegetation · Venomous Tentacula · Walking plant · Wax vegetables · Whomping Willow · Wiggentree · Wild rice · Wormwood
Spells taught in Herbology at Hogwarts
Fire-Making Spell (Incendio) · Herbivicus Charm (Herbivicus) · Incendio Duo Spell (Incendio Duo) · Lumos Solem Spell (Lumos Solem) · Severing Charm (Diffindo)