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Welcome to Potions 401!

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Lesson 8) Peace Rises Triumphant (Draught of Peace)

Last year we talked about medicinal uses of the Calming Draught. In Year Five, we’ll cover potions used to modify the psyche and psychology. Why, then, are we returning to relaxation and mental ease in Year Four, a year where we should be discussing physical potions? Well, trauma and stress have a measurable impact on a person’s physical health and well-being. Stress can lead to an increase in blood pressure, and prolonged periods of high stress can lead to heart issues. It can also lead to increased and heavier breathing, which can particularly be a problem for those with asthma and other lung-related issues. When you’re stressed, you often tense your muscles more often, and this can lead to chronic muscle pain and similar issues. Trauma and stress have both been known to cause disruptions and issues with the nervous system, and in some ways “prematurely age” those who suffer from it.

You probably hear many people joke that one thing or another “gave them grey hair”. While this claim has not been formally supported - though I know many parents who will claim evident proof - stress has been directly linked to hair thinning and hair loss, poor skin, premature aging, lack of sleep, and other variables that lead to visible changes in a person. On a much more severe scale, a Dutch Muggle named Claire Felicie photographed Dutch Marines before their deployment, during their six-month service in Afghanistan, and then after their return home. While one can argue a trick of lighting and composition, the project was intended to show the subtle differences between servicemen before and after the stress and trauma of serving. You can see some of the portraits here: The Eyes That Reveal War.

Today we’re brewing the Draught of Peace, a much more powerful version of the Calming Draught. This potion was previously brewed in Year Five, but as it fits so nicely into this year’s lesson structure, I thought you all would be more than ready to give it a try with all your brewing experience!

The potion includes hellebore, an important calming ingredient as you saw last year, but also much stronger ingredients such as moonstone and unicorn horn. I know most of you have not worked with moonstone or other gemstones in potions in the past, so we’ll have a brief discussion of it following the lesson. I will also be coming around to ensure you’re using the ingredient correctly.


Draught of Peace

Estimated Brewing Time:
Pewter Cauldron: 4 hours, 10 minutes and 45 seconds
Brass Cauldron: 3 hours, 46 minutes and 45 seconds
Copper Cauldron: 3 hours, 25 minutes and 9 seconds

Total Brewing Time:
Pewter Cauldron: 4 hours, 10 minutes and 45 seconds to 5 days, 4 hours, 10 minutes and 45 seconds
Brass Cauldron: 3 hours, 46 minutes and 45 seconds to 5 days, 3 hours, 46 minutes and 45 seconds
Copper Cauldron: 3 hours, 25 minutes and 9 seconds to 5 days, 3 hours, 25 minutes and 9 seconds

Ingredients:
1.75 L of water
30 g of powdered moonstone2
6 porcupine quills2
15 mL of black hellebore syrup1
15 g of unicorn horn1
1 ginger root1
2 sprigs of valerian2
3 mint leaves3
30 mL of Flobberworm mucus3

Instructions

Part 1:

  1. Bring 250 mL of water to 363 Kelvin (90°C/194°F).
  2. Add 6 porcupine quills and 30 g of powdered moonstone to your mortar and grind it into a uniform powdered mixture.
  3. Add half of the powdered mixture to the cauldron and conserve the other half.
  4. Stir twice counterclockwise. Be careful, as your cauldron might spit.
  5. Add 15 mL of black hellebore syrup.
  6. Bring your heat up to 383 Kelvin (110°C/230°F) for 45 seconds. Then reduce heat again to 363 Kelvin (90°C/194°F).
  7. Stir thrice clockwise. Pay very close attention to your cauldron, and do your best to not be splashed by the liquid during this step - but if you do get splashed, please let me know immediately. It will likely not show any immediate reactions, but those who get splashed at this point in the brewing process often show signs of nausea, dizziness, and fever.
  8. Allow the potion to brew in your pewter cauldron for 45 minutes(This would be 40 minutes and 30 seconds in a brass cauldron and 36 minutes and 27 seconds in a copper cauldron.)

At this point, the potion will be a bright purple liquid emitting turquoise fumes that smell like cloves.

Part 2:

  1. Add 15 g of unicorn horn.
  2. Allow the potion to brew in your pewter cauldron for 15 minutes(This would be 13 minutes and 30 seconds in a brass cauldron and 12 minutes and 9 seconds in a copper cauldron.)
  3. While the potion is brewing, prepare your ginger root by cutting it width-wise into 0.5 cm (0.2”) pieces.

At this point, the potion will be a deep red liquid emitting royal blue fumes. A faint smell of cinnamon can be detected.

Part 3:

  1. Add half of the cut ginger root and conserve the other half.
  2. Add 2 sprigs of valerian to the cauldron.
  3. Stir 2.5 times clockwise. Be very precise and careful in this step, as stirring more or less than the prescribed amount will result in either a volatile or useless potion.
  4. Add 1 L of water to the cauldron.
  5. Allow the potion to brew in your pewter cauldron for 2 hours and 25 minutes(This would be 2 hours, 10 minutes and 30 seconds in a brass cauldron and 1 hour, 57 minutes and 27 seconds in a copper cauldron.)

At this point, the potion will be a pale pink, with an equally light shade of sky blue produced in steam form. Your brew should smell like gingerbread.

Part 4:

  1. Chop the remaining ginger root into much finer, smaller pieces and add them to your mortar.
  2. Crush the moonstone, ginger and porcupine quills into a homogeneous paste.
  3. Stir the contents of the mortar with your wand once counterclockwise.
  4. Add this paste to the cauldron. Grey steam, sometimes accompanied by some golden and silver sparks, will be produced.
  5. Stir thrice counterclockwise.
  6. Add 3 mint leaves to the cauldron.
  7. Add 500 mL of water.
  8. Stir once clockwise.
  9. Allow the potion to brew in your pewter cauldron for 35 minutes(This would be 31 minutes and 30 seconds in a brass cauldron and 28 minutes and 21 seconds in a copper cauldron.)
  10. Once the potion is brewed, leave it to cool for about 10 minutes.
  11. Add 30 mL of Flobberworm mucus to the cooled potion and stir it with a wooden spoon or another mundane stirring device before bottling.

Your final product must be turquoise blue and emit a pale grey steam. The Draught of Peace must smell like peppermint bark.

Maturation Notes:

The Draught of Peace may be consumed right after brewing with mild to moderate effects. However, if it is matured in direct sunlight for 3 to 5 days, its effects are much stronger and more pronounced. Only Healers should use matured Draught of Peace, as a tool to help those suffering from trauma-related ailments and anxiety disorders.

To Store:

The Draught of Peace should be stored in a cool place. It is not necessary that it is stored in dark, but the lifespan of the draught can double when stored without too much light following maturation. The Draught of Peace can last anywhere from three to six months. When the potion begins to turn yellow, it is a signal that the draught is aging out of use and should be safely discarded.

To Use:

30 to 45 mL of the potion should be taken, either on its own or mixed in a drink. Colder beverages, such as iced tea, are preferable, but many patients do add the potion to their hot tea. It shouldn’t have too strong a noticeable taste, but some claim that it makes beverages taste a little like spearmint to them.

Within thirty seconds of consuming the potion, the witch or wizard consuming it should experience a profound sense of calm. Some equate the feeling with a certain unpleasant “detached” nature, feeling as though they’re floating outside their body, but most who experience high anxiety or severe symptoms induced by trauma experience a pleasant easing of the muscles and relaxed feeling.

In recent years, the potion has also been used intravenously under the close scrutiny of St. Mungo’s Healers. In this case, only 5 mL should be taken, diluted in 10 mL of conjured water. Usually, the effects of the potion can be seen within 5 to 10 seconds of the injection. This method is only used in very extreme cases, however, and should only be utilized by an advanced Healer with a good deal of experience in neurological and psychological Potioneering.

Caution:

Only an intermediate or higher level potioneer should attempt to brew this recipe. Improper levels of hellebore and unicorn horn can make the potion unusable and even dangerous. There have been cases where overdose and consumption of an improperly brewed Draught of Peace led to irreversible coma. Standard side effects include grogginess, loss of memory, loss of control of the extremities and night paralysis. Should these effects last more than two days, discontinue use of the potion and consult with a Healer immediately, as it can lead to long-term neurological damage.


Ingredient Notes
Gemstones will be new to many of you in terms of brewing history. In fact, witches and wizards have used gemstones with their magic for quite some time, although it took time and experimentation to properly introduce them directly into potions as ingredients. As you have learned in Ancient Runes if you are taking that class, runes and runic charms were often placed on cauldrons, and in Charms you learned that ancient magical wands were sometimes made of stones with gems instead of wood. Previously, gemstones of certain types could also be embedded into the basic metal that composed individual cauldrons in order to impact the final product. Much the same way a merkstave (“inverted”, for those who don’t take Ancient Runes) rune kenaz might be found on a cauldron used for healing potions, so too might specialized potioneers who know more about gemstones and their magical properties have those that brought about good health or luck embedded or affixed to their cauldron. In future years, a cauldron supplement, detailing all of those cauldron additions, will be available for your perusal in the library.

Moonstone is believed to be a stone of destiny. It is strongly connected to the moon and the divine feminine, making it a wonderfully helpful stone for women, both in and out of potions. It is worn to increase fertility and harmonize the mind, providing health and protection. Moonstone helps to align hormones and systems of the body overall. As a potions ingredient, moonstone achieves a similar effect: powdered moonstone helps bring the body into alignment, particularly chemicals in the brain, increasing the ability of the body and mind to relax and find “peace”.

It should be noted that moonstone is among some of the milder gemstones used in potions. Adding too much to your cauldron is unlikely to make the final product harmful, although it may make the potion unusable. There are other stones, meanwhile, like ruby, which should only be used in exceedingly small amounts in potions, and can cause serious harm if too much is used.

Original Order of the Phoenix picture2_Fotor.jpg

A portion of a remaining photo of the original Order of the Phoenix, including Dorcas Meadowes in the center.

History Notes
The Draught of Peace is one of the newest potions we’ve brewed so far. It was invented in 1977 by the British witch Dorcas Meadowes, an original member of the Order of the Phoenix, during the First Wizarding War. Meadowes was an incredibly gifted Potioneer who was not only an incredible witch, but also a valuable asset to the Order. She spent much of her brief life studying and elaborating on potions found in Most Potente Potions, as well as slightly more creative endeavors for the sake of the war. You will learn more about her work in later years at Hogwarts.

However, she also felt deep compassion for those impacted by Lord Voldemort and his constituents, especially since her own sister - married to a Muggle - was tortured to insanity by Death Eaters. Upon seeing the emotional damage and trauma caused by supporters of Voldemort, she began work on a potion that would be more powerful than most common calming elixirs, but would also have fewer side effects than more powerful relaxation or sleeping concoctions. After a few iterations that were either too strong or not effective enough, she discovered the current ideal recipe of the Draught of Peace in 1977.

Rather than making money from her discovery by selling the recipe to a commercial potions company or even demanding a fee from the Ministry for her potion (which would have been legally within her right as the discoverer of the brew), Meadowes signed all rights of the potion to St. Mungo’s and to the Ministry to manufacture and use the brew as they wished without giving her any compensation. To date, the Draught of Peace is the most common potion used for those who combat severe anxiety and panic disorders, as well as those who are dealing with the effects of trauma.

Only four years after this discovery, Dorcas Meadowes was tracked and killed by Voldemort himself for certain additional potions she was researching. This research too has subsequently been taken up again by Ministry potioneers skilled in offensive and defensive brews in the hopes of preventing similar weapons from being employed in the future. In future classes, we will discuss much of Meadowes’ research, which continued some time after her death. She publicly disclosed all of her notes to the magical community, believing that open information was the best way to combat secrets and terror. The work that she did, both for those who survived the hate and agony that Voldemort instilled in the world, as well as for the future of potions knowledge, will live on far into the future.

To end on a more hopeful note, while Meadowes’ sister Darla is still mostly incapacitated from her experience, her daughter - Dorcas’ niece - is a prominent psychological potions researcher in Ghana, the home of her Muggle father. Her work hopes to find a combination of potions that targets the part of the brain affiliated with dissociation while also working with the right combination of calmness, clarity and focus-inducing potions in order to effectively help those who have broken from reality to reintegrate into the world; likewise, she is also researching how to provide a non-magical therapy based model to supplement their treatment. She has begun to have a somewhat promising impact on her own mother through her private experiments, so the magical world is eagerly awaiting when she is ready for a more open testing trial.

And this takes us through Lesson Eight. Next lesson we move into the final for Year Four. Happy studying, and see you then.

Dismissed.

Original lesson written by Professor Lucrezia Batyaeva
Image credits here and here

In Year Four of Potions, students will focus on Physical Modifying Potions. This will include beauty, blemish removal, and even the famous Polyjuice Potion. Every lesson will include a lab exercise that will teach the student the relationship between potions and their impact on the physical body.
Course Prerequisites:
  • PTNS-301

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