Greenhouse #4 Lesson
Having dealt with the dangerous herbs, it is now time to check out some herbs which you might find useful if you ever encounter some of the dangerous and/or poisonous ones. That's right, in this Greenhouse we will focus on healing herbs and their properties. There are quite a bunch of these lovely herbs, but we only have the time to focus on the more important ones and mainly the ones we've actually grown in our Greenhouse. In addition to this we'll also be covering a number of spells/charms which one would find useful when handling plants both inside and outside of a Greenhouse.
The Boom Berry is a actually the fruit of a bush-like herb that goes with the same name. Supposedly the berries have a bright blue color, and their juice holds a darker blue color. The herb, or the berries precisely, have restorative magical powers, therefore they are a common ingredient of many potion recipes. For example, they are one of the main ingredients of the "Draught of Living Death", as well as its restorative antidote "Wiggenweld Potion" (revise your notes under "Asphodel" for more info on both potions).
The Dandelion is a wildflower common to both worlds and it is found worldwide. It has a mid-length stem, on which rests either a flower head or a seed head of Dandelion. The seed head is actually a bunch of very small tiny seed-fruits which are swept by the wind and sprayed around (thus the many Dandelions!), while the flower head is just a pretty yellow flower with a lovely scent. The root of the herb is the only part with magical properties, though the herb as a whole is edible (a certain groundskeeper Rubeus Hagrid used it for brewing tea too). It is unknown in which potions the dandelion root takes part in, but it is assumed those are healing/restorative potions.
The Dittany, which also goes under the name of "Burning Bush", is one of the herbs with the strongest healing/restorative magical properties. It looks like a small tea herb, with dark yellow-ish or brown color, but it is quite rare and very hard to be found even at ingredient shops. It actually releases flammable vapor from time to time which makes it easily noticeable, but the fact that even with that it's still rarely found only goes to prove how uncommon this plant is.
When applied directly on human skin it clears the wound, it makes fresh skin grow over the wound, and it makes sure there is no scar from the wound. It is also the only known current cure for splinching during apparition, and it is used in healing/restorative potions as well, such as the "Wiggenweld Potion."
The Mandrake also goes under the name of "Mandragora" and it is a herb with green-ish brown leaves and a humanoid brown root, which looks like a baby when it's still young though it matures over time. The root is always underground and whenever pulled out above earth it screams - if the Mandrake is still young its screaming will only make people who hear it fall down unconscious, but if it's a fully grown one its scream can be lethal. That's why when somebody needs to work with a Mandrake, they must remember to put on a pair of earmuffs in order to protect them from the screaming.
When fully grown the Mandrake can be cut up and in that form it serves as the main ingredient of the "Mandrake Restorative Draught", which is used to revive those who have been magically petrified (for example with the reflection of Basilisk's eyes).
The Mimbulus Mimbletonia is quite often confused with a cactus because they're really similar, except the Mimbletonia is grey as opposed to green, and instead of spines it is covered wit something that resembles boils. The plant pulsates and squirms, though it has a great defense mechanism and if someone touches it the boils on the surface of the plant will squirt Stinksap, a dark green non-poisonous smelly liquid. When prepared properly it can also be used as an antidote for shyness, nervousness, and timidity.
Star Grass is also known as "Standard Ingredient" in Potions because it is the most commonly used herb in the brewing of potions. The name "Star Grass" comes from the fact that it grows like grass, except its flower looks like a star. It is believed to be used in the Muggle World as well, as a treatment for colic. It doesn't have major healing properties or effects, but it is one of the few ingredients which can sooth pain from almost any type of injury. It is also a very good enhancement item which is probably the reason for its common use.
The best outcome of Star Grass however, is a potion called "Star Grass Salve", made out mainly of Star Grass itself. The salve is a thick greenish ointment which is used for healing and relieving wounds and sores.
That's it for the plants part of this class - but our studies do not stop there! Now we'll be covering a few charms which you should find useful in your studies at Hogwarts, but the purpose of studying them is for their use with plants. Yes, this class is ending, but I expect at least some of you will continue being frequent visitors of our Greenhouses.
Fire Charm (and Bluebell Flames)
The first charm that we will cover is one that sets things on fire, and whose incantation is "Incendio." It can do a lot of damage if not used carefully, but it can also defend you from certain threats, such as an enormous Bouncing Bulb or Devil's Snare.
However, a much easier way to deal with a Devil's Snare is by using the "Bluebell Flames Charm", which is basically a flame with bright blue color and the caster is under complete control of it. It does not burn the surfaces that it is placed on, but things next to it or above it (so you can actually hold it in your hand), and this makes it very useful if you need to deal with Devil's Snare but don't want to burn your friends who are already entangled with Devil's Snare.
If you want to be sure that you don't make any unwanted damage with your fire charms, or if you've simply decided to go hunting after Fire Seeds, this charm is a must for you! It doesn't really freeze flames, but it changes its properties and it renders them harmless, something in the form of a summer breeze. Although I don't know the incantation, you can always practice the nonverbal form, which is more useful anyway.
A better flame-freezing charm is "Glacius", which creates a blast of cold freezing air that can turn into ice several inches of any substance or object with no trouble. This makes it perfect for dealing with Fire Seeds and fire in general.
As the name itself says, the purpose of this jinx is to kick/knock back the target. The incantation for the jinx is "Flipendo" and it is actually one of the first spells that you should study in your DADA (Defense Against the Dark Arts) class. It's not very powerful, but it is strong enough to deal with a younger Bouncing Bulb, a Fanged Geranium, and many plants or creatures which you might need to protect yourself from. There exists an advanced form of this jinx, the incantation for it is "Flipendo Tria", and it basically casts a circle made out of three individual jinxes.
The incantation you're looking for is "Reparo" and as both names might suggest, the aim of this charm is to repair broken objects. You would need to collect and make sure all the pieces of the broken item are together before casting the spell, as it will mend the pieces in the way they're collected. This means if you're missing pieces then the item will continue being broken --- it will still be missing those parts. If you ever break any pots or other items in any of our Greenhouses, make sure you fix that using this charm because I wouldn't want to send anyone to the Headmaster's Office for bad behavior and damage on the school's grounds.
You probably guessed from the name, that this is a charm that severs an object or a being and rips/divides it into parts. This is no spell for a child's play, because if it's used improperly it could lead to cutting a human being's flesh and it could even be lethal. The incantation for this charm is "Diffindo" and it should be used only in cases when nothing else can be done. It will cast forward a flash of light, almost like a magical sword that reaches out to the target, and it will rip apart everything it comes in touch with. Therefore I advise you once again to be very careful, to clear your thoughts before you cast it, and to make sure you've got your wand pointed in the right direction.
Make sure you empty your pockets of anything you might have taken from the Greenhouse and then feel free to proceed to doing your last assignment!
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