Magical Drafts And Potions
Arsenius Jigger was a notable potioneer, former Ministry of Magic employee, and professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Following his retirement, he traveled the world studying various forms of defensive magic and potions in the hopes of giving young people a solid foundation in magical knowledge upon their entrance into Hogwarts. The following represents the third printing since Jigger’s original publication of Magical Drafts and Potions in 1856. Although the content remains the same, the editor has left footnotes to denote changes in legislation, theory, and other relevant content.
Types Of Potions
In this brief section, the author will discuss various types of potions that can be brewed. Certainly, all potions differ in some capacity, but for the sake of organization, the author will outline specific categories under which almost all potions fall in one form or another. It is important to note that not all potions are necessarily directed at humans either. For example, Dragon Tonic is a potion that would fall under the categories “healing” and “antidotes,” but it is created to cure many major dragon ills. Doxycide as well is aimed at Doxies, but is considered a poison. Also, it may be difficult to determine to which category certain potions belong. Do not fret if you cannot figure out whether a potion is mood-altering, physically-altering, or psychologically altering - it may, in fact, belong to multiple categories owing to its own unique qualities.
Healing and Antidotes: Potions that correct natural or unnatural injuries are known as healing potions. The author would classify antidotes as healing potions, although many put them in their own class, owing to the complicated and nuanced nature of antidotes. However, potions that cure illness, alleviate stomach ache, and also repair broken bones and torn skin also fall under the “healing” category. These are all potions with which those who practice the art of healing would be familiar and likely know how to brew.
Poisons: Poisons are potions which have a negative or harmful effect on a person. Simple magical poisons may make the drinker ill or uncomfortable, or have other negative consequences. There can be uncommon and fatal poisons as well, however. Potioneers argue at times whether every potion that causes physical discomfort should be called a “poison,” or whether it should be saved for certain dark and malevolent brews.
Mood-Impacting Potions: These are often confused with psychological potions, although the author considers these slightly different categories. Mood-altering potions tend to include simple adjustments to a person’s disposition - a Cheering Draught, a Somber Serum, and other potions whose effects are neither long-lasting nor insidious. These are usually not too difficult for intermediate and slightly advanced students to brew once they have brewing basics.
Psychological Potions: These are potions which have a profound and longer-term impact on a person’s psyche. While a Sadness Serum may cause someone to feel temporarily sad, for example, a Depression Draught will cause a person to take on the symptoms of full depression. Granted, psychological potions are not always harmful ones, as they can be used to some antidote effect, such as certain psychologically modifying potions being given to alleviate the issues of witches and wizards who suffer from mental illness themselves. Love potions are also typically considered psychological in nature.
Physical Potions: This covers a wide range of potions that impact the physical state of a person. Simple beautification, warming, and cooling potions are included in this category, and then there are also much more complex brews, such as the Polyjuice Potion. Shrinking potions as well as engorging, strength, and endurance potions are all under this category as well. If taking a potion creates a physical change in the consumer, unless it’s healing a deformity or injury, it falls under this category.
External Potions: External potions do not refer to potions that are applied topically to the body, but rather potions that are not used on living things. For example, a potion that is particularly good at cleaning glass, dish-cleaning potions, or potions that are brewed simply to create light are all external potions.