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Ranked: the best and worst potions

Hubble, bubble, which potion is the most trouble?

Slughorn's potions classroom
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The wizarding world has potions capable of forcing the drinker to spill their deepest secrets, or to be struck with powerful obsessions for the one who desires them the most. Or... to break out into boils. Whatever you need, really.

Some potions carry the potential to even destroy lives, but some are just there to offer a little extra luck – thanks, Felix Felicis.

We’ve ranked the best wizarding world potions from least to most useful, but if you don’t agree, we’ll assume we’ve accidentally drunk a bit of Babbling Beverage.

Forgetfulness Potion

We’ve all had awkward encounters we would love to forget at some stage in our lives, and thankfully, there’s a potion for that. But with Memory Charms usually doing the job, is this potion really necessary? Perhaps if you don’t have a wand to hand and need someone to forget something on the sly...

Confusing Concoction

This potion isn’t one we’d brew personally – there are enough confusing things in the world as it is. But we see the appeal for mischief makers.

Babbling Beverage

We all get a bit tongue-tied now and then. A quick swig of Babbling Beverage and you’ll be chatting away for hours. Problem solved. Until the babbling itself becomes a new problem.

Hiccoughing Potion

Ah the Hiccoughing Potion – ever so useful if the hiccups are getting you down, but really, that’s it. But we imagine it’s a good early potion to teach to Hogwarts students learning the ropes.

Wolfsbane Potion

Lupin as a werewolf
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

We see an unusually helpful Severus Snape brew this for Remus Lupin to help maintain his human intelligence when he changes into a werewolf. For werewolves nearing a full moon, this potion can be the difference between staying non-threatening or turning into a dangerous beast – we’re sure Lupin would rank this beverage number one.

Ageing Potion

A Durmstrang student enters his name into the Goblet of Fire.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

As far as we know, the Ageing Potion only works to make you older – if it worked the other way round and Muggles found out about it, we’re sure it would be flying off the shelves at every make-up counter. And, as Fred and George learnt, there are magical ways of detecting you’ve used such a potion, should you be trying to cheat your way through an age gate, for example.

Elixir of Life

A potion that results in eternal life for the drinker, as long as you keep drinking it. Nicolas Flamel loved this tipple, but immortality comes with its own consequences.

Amortentia

On the surface (and for those harbouring a crush), the world's strongest love potion sounds pretty exciting. But on closer inspection, Amortentia and other love potions are pure trouble. Alas, it doesn’t create real love, just intense obsession. Look at how Lord Voldemort was born...

Draught of Living Death

The Draught of Living Death – a potion to send the drinker into a deep sleep which resembles death. We wouldn’t recommend trying this one as of yet; it’s currently unclear on how to awaken from this potion. If we ever did find out – we’d be snoozing away untroubled every night.

Veritaserum

Barty Crouch Jr lying on the floor as Mad-Eye Moody
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

This powerful truth serum is what is used on Barty Crouch Jr. at the end of Goblet of Fire, so you know it's made of strong stuff. With a bottle of this in the back of the cupboard, there’d be no pretending to mum it wasn’t you who kicked a football through the back window - ever again.

Pepperup Potion

There’s only so much hot water, honey and lemon can achieve, despite what our Muggle grandparents may say. For the wizarding world, only Pepperup Potion will do. Curing a cold far quicker, this potion seems like the holy grail of useful concoctions, even if it does leave you smoking at the ears for hours after..

Polyjuice Potion

Polyjuice
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Polyjuice Potion gives the drinker the ability to take another’s appearance – which can be a good or bad thing, as we learnt. The potion is definitely one of the most useful, but with any small mistake, can also turn you half-cat. So while Polyjuice Potion was used for good (such as the Order of the Phoenix transforming themselves into ‘seven Harrys’ to protect Harry on a flight) we all know how damaging it can be if you’re a Death Eater with an agenda...

Draught of Peace

While Muggles opt for a cup of tea, wizards and witches have the Draught of Peace (a concoction to ease agitation of the drinker). Sounds ideal, really.

Felix Felicis

A bottle of Felix Felicis
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Of course, there was only one logical number one. Here lies the potion that could bring you a lottery win, good weather for days, or in Harry’s case, an unspoiled memory from Professor Slughorn. It can even serve as a bit of a placebo: Ron found he was better at Quidditch just by thinking he had drunk some of this. The potion is immensely tricky to brew, but it might be worth becoming a fully-fledged Potioneer just to swing the odds a little better in your favour.