What Potions Do Not Contain Valerian Sprigs?- Harry Potter


This creative lesson on potioneering was kindly created by a website called Fairyology, who sell various Harry Potter-themed items such as enchanted wands, potions sets, and the iconic Hogwarts school uniform. 

This article not only lists all of the potion ingredients that are missing valerian sprouts but also includes two recipes that do not require this ingredient. One of these recipes is for the Sleeping Draught which has pleasant effects if you take it before bedtime to ward off insomnia.

Do you know what potion does not contain valerian sprigs?

Recipe for the Sleeping Draught:


1 and 1/2 tsp. powdered Valerian Root (Dried)

1 and 1/4 tsp. powdered Censer Lily Flowers (Dried)

3/4 tsp. powdered Moonstone (Crushed)

1/4 tsp. powdered Pearl Dust, White (Ground)

17 Drops of Essence of Hanging Bitterleaf (powdered) (Optional – to eliminate the effect of the bitterevellae oregano leaves, add a few drops of Muggle blood instead. Mix well.)

1/4 tsp. ground Doxy Wing

4 tbsp. water

Brandy (For Making the Potion more palatable)

1 small bottle: For putting the potion in when ready to drink.

This potion can be made and bottled a few days before needed so it is not necessary to make it just before bedtime if you are using it for insomnia. Its effects are temporary and will last only until morning, even if the student is a young child and does not get up in the morning at the same time as older students/young adults. 

The older student who gets up at 6am will feel no different than usual when they wake up, having slept through all night without interruption by this potion.

Here some points are discussed-

1. Moonstone: 

It is the most expensive ingredient in the whole potion, but is best picked up from a shop that sells astrology supplies. The moonstone is necessary in the potion because when it is crushed and mixed with the other ingredients, it makes a “rotten egg” scent. The disgust that results from the potion’s odor will eventually prevent the use of this potion by an enemy of Harry’s (this is because they are not used to foul smells).

2. Hanging Bitterleaf: 

This herb can be found in many mills and gardens around Hogsmeade. This herb contains valerian in small amounts, so it doesn’t give a very potent effect, but this amount is enough to keep Harry awake, especially if he has been up late studying.

3. Doxy Wing: 

This is a small lily found in similar places as valerian, and its dark colour attracts insects for eating. While the bugs are eating them, the scent of Doxy Wing can be easily smelled by nearby predators. The bug fauna also helps to attract foraging animals towards the plants, hence encouraging them to produce more of the plant’s scent. 

This is why many bug-loving wizards use doxy wings in their potions as well (e.g., Albus Dumbledore). This ingredient’s effect is not very noticeable, but adds an extra layer of smell to the potion. So, a few drops added to a potion would help with this effect as well.

4. Pearl Dust, White: 

This ingredient is easy to find in many potion shops. It gives a slightly sweet scent to the potion when added. This is probably because of the pearl giving off its own scent. It might not be able to mask a rotten egg smell, but it does add an extra layer of smell to help cover up the unpleasant one.

5. Hanging Bitterleaf: 

The only thing that this herb does is give the potion a hint of bitterness, hence the name hanging bitter leaf. The leaves are fine, but it does not smell of bitterevellae oregano, so there is no need to add blood to this potion. This ingredient also does not contain valerian sprigs, which is why it was used for making this potion.

6. Doxy Wing: 

Similarly, as discussed in point 3, doxy wings are just used to add in a bug-like smell to the potion and cover up the other smells with another strange scent that animals find offensive and disgusting.

7. Essence of Hanging Bitterleaf: 

This is a magical ingredient that gives off a strong smell of bitter village oregano, so it is added in small amounts to mask the odour of the ingredients valerian sprigs and doxy wings, leaving only an undesirable smell.

8. Ground Doxy Wing: 

This ingredient will allow this potion to alter its smell so that Harry’s enemies can’t easily mix it up with his potions and vice versa, but will not prevent them from making this potion under Dumbledore’s supervision, because both Harry and Snape are capable Potion Masters.


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