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Dittany of Crete and the Magical World of Harry Potter!

The magical side of the dittany

It is truly amazing that a herb can stand out for its unique properties for 4000 years! Hundreds of years of testimonies, reports from experts and ordinary people, myths, traditions, and the famous hero Harry Potter, the unique Dittany of Crete!

The properties of dittany are many and important, because of which it was chosen to be used and included in novels and later movies – appearing in the movies of Harry Potter! But let’s catch the thread from the beginning and get to know this Cretan herb…

Dittany and Harry Potter

Dittany of Crete, a truly rare plant of Crete

Dittany of Crete (Origanum dictamnus) is an endemic plant of Crete, so we are referring to a rare herb that can be found growing only in specific areas of our island and whose fame has exceeded its borders.

The journey of diktamos in time and space is truly amazing. It is considered healing, digestive, antimicrobial, antiseptic, anthelmintic, hemorrhagic, emmenagogue, antispasmodic, soothing stomach aches, and nerve stimulation, with abortifacient and antiepileptic properties.

The recorded reports of its unique properties date back to the Minoan era where murals and fossils testify to the use of the plant by the people of the time. Over the years, all the experts of ancient times such as Hippocrates and Aristotle referred to it.

The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) was the first to mention the healing properties of the dictum in his work “On the Animal Historian”. Aristotle observed that when the wild goats of Mount Idi in Crete were struck by poisoned arrows, they sought and ate aerial parts of dittany, which had the effect of forcing the arrows to leave their bodies and heal their wounds.

Dittany and Harry Potter tofillo



According to the Cretan tradition, the dittany is the symbol of love and is called by the locals of the island “erontas”. On the other hand, according to folklore reports, the dittany is collected after July 20 to be “oiled”, while on the day of the feast of Agia Marina (July 17) the lover is so “angry” that if you light it aflame near him these days immediately catches fire.

From reality… to the Harry Potter novels and movies

Dittany and Harry Potter movies tofillo


It must have been some of the traditions, scientific references, and proofs of centuries that made the charismatic creator of Harry Potter, Joanne “Jo” Rowling include the dittany in the magical world of her books.

Dittany is presented as a rare plant with powerful healing and healing properties, necessary for the creation of the Wiggenweld filter. It is also known as the Burning Bush, as it sometimes releases flammable fumes. While its essential oil seems to heal Harry Potter even from snake bites.

Reality and the novel are intricately intertwined in a sci-fi work, where Dittany acquires magical properties by stopping bleeding and creating new skin where it used to be an open wound! Undoubtedly exaggerations are a necessary ingredient in movies to pique interest.

However, the most striking thing is the fact that these reports of the novel are based on true observations that the inhabitants of the island have known for centuries.

The properties of Dittany in the world of Harry Potter

Transferred to the reality of Harry Potter novels, dittany is one of the plants mentioned in “1000 Magic Herbs and Fungi” while its first reference is to “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”.

The references to dittany from 1927 to 1997 are over five and sometimes it is used as a plant, sometimes its essential oil, in some cases alone and in others as part of a magic potion.

Characteristic is the scene where Harry Potter accepts the bite of a female snake (Nagini) in his hand in Godric’s Hollow. The plot continues as Hermione Granger will give the solution in the end, using the essential oil of dittany.


Reason for knowledge and research

Knowing the history of dittany, it was truly a huge and pleasant surprise to discover such an apt reference by the creator of the Harry Potter books. So it was the ingenious Joanne “Jo” Rowling and her Harry Potter occasion for many children (and not only!) To get to know and search for this plant. In countries like England and France, the consumption of dittany is increased, with Harry Potter fans looking for the secrets of a plant that even today, after so many centuries of use, continues to surprise us!

Would you like to try Dittany like our favorite little magician? Try out our Organic Dittany Tea and let us know if you enjoyed it!


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