Potions are an important element of the Harry Potter series. Although spells are used most often (they're much quicker and there seems to be much more of them), it seems that there are some things magic can't do if it's channeled through a wand — but it can through potions!
We're introduced to potions in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone through Severus Snape, but not all of them are discovered in class — actually, some of the more useful ones are only revealed to us because Harry often has to use unorthodox methods to save the wizarding world. And reading through the books, it's only natural to wish some of these were available in real life.
Just because some are probably illegal, doesn't mean they aren't useful! In the most unethical fashion.
10 Confusing Concoction
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we're introduced to the Confusing Concoction (or Confusing Draught). It does pretty much what the name suggests — when given to someone, it makes them confused. It's unclear exactly why witches and wizards would need this because the Confundus charm exists and probably is a lot more subtle than trying to slip or force-feed someone a potion, so this ranks pretty low. Still, in the right circumstances...
9 Hiccoughing Potion
We've all been there. We've all had that bout of hiccoughs that just won't go away; the kind that makes our chest ache. People suggest different remedies based on what's worked for them — hold your breath! Try drinking water upside down! BOO!
Imagine there was a potion that would instantly cure them?
RELATED: 10 Harry Potter Spells, Broken Down
In the wizarding world, this exists. It ranks pretty low in the grand scheme of things, because it's not exactly a life-changing potion overall, but this is one a lot of people would kill for.
8 Draught Of Living Death
First introduced to us by Severus Snape in book one, making him seem sinister right from the off, is the Draught of Living Death. It's a powerful sleeping potion, like the name suggests, and will put the drinker into a sleep so deep that they will actually mimic the effects of death. The Wiggenweld Potion seems to be the only thing that can actually cure this sleeping state.
Even Hermione had trouble brewing this potion, which is a testament to its difficulty. It's not exactly the most useful potion — except in the case of pseudo-murder — but it's certainly powerful.
Amortentia, at first, might sound like one of the most useful potions around. It can be make someone else "fall in love" with the brewer. Note the quotes — the love is more of an obsessive infatuation, since true love can't really be forced from a potion. As we see when Ron Weasley falls for Romilda Vane, drinking Amortentia that was actually intended for Harry, it doesn't really seem to be a liveable state. Even the most tolerant of people would get annoyed with that sort of infatuation eventually despite brewing it in the first place.
Lord Voldemort himself was a product of Amortentia, since his mother Merope Gaunt slipped some to a Muggle she had taken to. When he discovered what she had been doing, he left her — which was fair enough. Tom Riddle Sr. wasn't the nicest, most humble guy around, but no one's going to take kindly to the fact they've been magically drugged.
6 Wolfsbane Potion
For werewolves, this would surely rank at the top, but as none of us are werewolves... presumably... it gets knocked down a few pegs.
Wolfsbane is a fairly recent invention in the wizarding world that can allow a werewolf to retain his own, human mind on a full moon. It's the closest the Harry Potter world has come to a werewolf cure and proves particularly useful for people like Remus Lupin who don't particularly fancy becoming a monster once a month.
Skele-Gro is not something one ever imagines needing, but in a world where all things are possible...
The name means exactly what it does. Skele-Gro regrows bones. It's needed in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when Gilderoy Lockhart attempts to fix Harry's broken arm and actually removes the bones all together. It's, unsurprisingly, a painful process, but considering this potion can literally regrow an entire arm overnight, it's pretty impressive.
Again, this would have no real-world use, but in the context of the world in which it was invented — it ranks as one of the most useful.
4 Draught Of Peace
Anyone who suffers from anxiety would benefit from the Draught of Peace. It's a potion that can soothe someone, keep them calm and stop their mind from racing. The effects of the Draught of Peace are not as flashy as some of the others on this list, nor are the effects as drastic as some of the more impressive spells in the series — but for those who need it, this would be a true lifesaver.
Madam Pomfrey gives it to some students experiencing anxiety over their O.W.L.s, so it really does seem to be a wizarding medication for that sort of thing.
3 Polyjuice Potion
This one is probably illegal — identity theft and all being pretty frowned upon — but that doesn't mean it's not useful!
Polyjuice Potion allows the person to take the physical form of someone else for one hour. In the movies, their voices didn't change (aside from the Mad-Eye Moody/Barty Crouch Jr. inconsistency, but...) but in the books, everything changed entirely. Hermione did prove that it couldn't be used for animal/human transformations though, when she accidentally got stuck as a half-cat.
It's probably a good thing this actually doesn't exist. The Potterverse really should have highlighted the chaos caused by this potion, because there was clearly a lot. Especially if the second years could brew it.
Veritaserum is a truth-telling serum. When administered, it forces the drinker to answer questions with complete honesty. Another potion that could cause a lot of trouble.
A lot of people questioned why this wasn't used in a court of law. Why, for example, had Sirius Black been wrongfully imprisoned for so many years when they could have just used Veritaserum on him? J.K. Rowling said it only works on the "insufficiently skilled" and suggested there are ways someone can protect themselves against the effects of the potion, although she never specified what these ways are.
1 Felix Felicis
The most useful potion in the whole series — Felix Felicis.
When drinking this potion, the person will have good luck. However long this luck lasts is related to how much they drank. We see it used multiple times in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, when Harry manages to get some much-needed information from Horace Slughorn (and then later, when he gives it to his friends and they seem invincible in duels). It does raise a lot of questions, though — namely, why aren't people brewing and drinking this all the time? It's literally liquid luck!
Which potion of these would you want?