Throughout every kind of story, video game, or fantasy movie, potions are always shown to be these vials of liquid (traditionally red or blue colors) that can heal certain wounds or even prevent death. It is always suggested that the protagonists should always carry some form of healing in a bottle, which is supposed to act as a medium for healing. Even though potions are popularized and fantasized in the media, it can be confusing as to what a potion actually is and what it can do. What properties are within a potion? How does one concoct such a brew? Do they even taste good? This guide will help you understand more about what potions are, what is the equivalent to actual life, and how to make your own potions at home (trust us, it really is not as complicated as it appears to be.)
What are potions?
To put it simply, a potion is a brew of different herbs, vegetables, and fruits that emulate an effect upon the person who drinks it. Going more into detail, a potion is a mixture of ingredients found in nature as well as occasionally mixing magic into this drink; making it a magical meal. Potions have a wide array of effects depending on what the witch is trying to make. While fiction describes there being love potions, revival potions or strength potions, the reality is much more literal. There are potions for healing the body under inflammation, stress, or pain. There also exists potions with the purpose of keeping one alert; examples of these types of potions are different kinds of tea and coffee. It sounds bizarre, but coffee/tea is a potion because it is using ingredients found in the earth and mixing those components in order to serve a use for the human body; of course, this isn’t to say that coffee/tea is a magical potion, just a simple brew. Magic potions are those in which the brew is blessed in order to increase the power of the potion itself such as brewing a potion that alleviates stomach aches and blessing it with healing magic in order to enhance its power.
What kinds of potions exist in real life?
Potions do not have to solely exist in medieval-esque worlds, potions exist in the real world. As mentioned before, coffee and tea are a type of potion with the purpose of keeping one awake; in this case, you can call it an alertness potion. If you’re looking for a potion that aims to cure stomach aches, then look no further than ginger ale and anything that contains ginger, lime, and even carbonated or fizzy drinks; these can be called a cure potion (cure in the sense that it can cure your stomach ache). When dealing with sore muscles after straining them from work or from exercising, drinking a fruit juice with actual fruits in it is great; calling this a stamina potion. I could keep on naming various types of real world potion equivalents all day, but these are just a few to highlight the ones that do exist. While I did name a lot of the potions that are meant for positive effects, there are potions that do give negative effects such as poisoning, nausea, and even diarrhea.
When looking through history, there are many books and documentation that mention recipes for different potions that people would take. There is a doctor’s handbook known as the Cambridge University Library MS Additional 9308 is a collection of more than 200 medicines/potions which feature herbal teas, ointments, powders, and even healing rituals. Potions do not have to be a drink, it can be included as part of a ritual. There is such a ritual in which for those ailing from headaches would have to drink holy water for the next several days, as well as reciting verses from the Christian Bible. There are other documents that mention other folk based rituals in which a concoction would be created, then an action must be performed in order for the concoction to happen, such documents are the Herbarium, Bald’s Leechbook, and the Lacnunga. Video games and media took examples from these real life concoctions and transformed them into a more fantastical setting such as healing wounds, regenerating magic/mana, etc,; but, this doesn’t mean that potions aren’t real and that they can’t be made.
How to make a potion?
Now that the backstory and information about potions have been made clear, now we will dive into how a witch can go about making her own potion. For starters, you need to know what it is that you want to make. Similar to how magical meals are prepared, you have to know what is the outcome you want to achieve. Do you want to make a potion centered around curing inflammation or pain? Do you want a potion that keeps you alert? Once you narrow down on what kind of potion you want to make, now comes the time to assemble your ingredients. This part will require you to do some research in order to find out what ingredients give the effect that you want the potion to have. Let’s say you want to make a potion for curing stomach aches, ingredients such as ginger, lemon, and carbonated water would be best for these remedies. If you wanted to make a potion for muscle pain, then you want to look into getting cherries, bananas, and ice or cold water. Once you assemble your ingredients, now you want to mix them together in order to create the potion. To clarify, this doesn’t mean you literally throw them together and mix them; instead, you want to create a proper recipe. Just like when preparing any recipe, you want to have a balance between your ingredients.
For example, using the ingredients for curing stomach aches, We would suggest using two whole lemons, a teaspoon of grated ginger, and two to three cups of carbonated water. You will squeeze the lemon until all the juice is squeezed out then grate your ginger in the lemon juice. Let it sit for a while then filter your juice into the container that will hold this concoction. Afterwards, add your carbonated water then seal it immediately in order to keep its carbonation, or drink it immediately if you need the potion at the moment.
This example shows how simple it can be to create a potion without there being too much work involved. Of course, if you wanted to turn this into a magical potion, then further steps would be required such as casting a circle or reciting a chant. Outside of this, this is but a simple recipe in order to concoct a potion, this does not mean however that you cannot add your own twists to it, as long as it still has the key ingredients that will ultimately give the effect, do what you will. Always remember that potions are the desired outcome that a brew is deliver. When making your potions, plan out what ingredients will work and always keep in mind that if the potion does not achieve the desired result, then revisit some of the steps that you took and experiment in different ways in order to get the desired outcome; or if your potion did succeed, experiment to see how better you can create a potion with a stronger effect.
This shows how potions are not just figment of fantasy, but the amalgamation of different ingredients that will produce a specific result. Just as magic spells are trial runs to see which variation of the spell will achieve the outcome, potions are the same way. You might not brew the desired potion at the beginning of this journey, so experiment away and we hope that with this guide, we are able to help beginner witches with the basic idea on how to create potions. Blessed be.