She DID have dittany in her bag. She used it to heal Ron. Why didn't she do the same for Dobby???

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    Related: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/97133/…
    – Skooba
    Sep 21, 2016 at 13:23
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    House-elves are magical creatures, and pretty powerful ones at that. Do we know, for sure, that the dittany is universal across species, or that house-elves don't have resistance to certain types of magic? Sep 21, 2016 at 14:15
  • She didn't have her bag at that point. AFAIR, at least.
    – Martha
    Sep 22, 2016 at 14:45
  • Have you seen the price of dittany these days? Cheaper to just buy another disposable person.
    – Valorum
    Feb 24, 2019 at 1:22

3 Answers 3


Ron's healing even with the dittany was slow. It also does not seem to help with blood loss, as per the comment about Ron's pallor. From Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:

"Harry and Hermione half carried, half dragged Ron through the entrance of the tent... Even this short journey had turned Ron whiter still, and once they had settled him on the mattress he closed his eyes again and did not speak for a while."

Dobby was more gravely injured, and likely suffering from internal bleeding and severe blood loss. Hermione was not an experienced healer. She lacked the skills to do much more advanced magical healing, and likely knew that this situation exceeded anything she was capable of fixing.

Also from Deathly Hallows, speaking about Ron but applies to Dobby as well-

" 'It's all I feel safe doing,' said Hermione shakily. 'There are spells that would put him completely right, but I daren't try in case I do them wrong and cause more damage.... He's lost so much blood already...."

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    a point to add, your quote shows ditany does not replenish blood. (might help to emphasis that to further prove your point on dobbys blood loss, and why ditany would be ineffective) but nice find on the quotes +1
    – Himarm
    Sep 21, 2016 at 14:30
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    Hermione is clearly risk averse to the point of stupidity. If Dobby is going to die anyway, it doesn't matter how wrong the spells go.
    – Gusdor
    Sep 22, 2016 at 7:39
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    @Gusdor - are you sure? That's true if the worst consequence of a botched healing spell is just failing to heal. What is she uses some powerful healing spell, fails, and turns him into hyper-regenerating zombie monster?
    – Davor
    Sep 22, 2016 at 8:03
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    @Davor What if the planet explodes every time she tries to pick a lock?
    – Gusdor
    Sep 22, 2016 at 8:39
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    @Gusdor: you’re driving in a remote area, and come across a motorcyclist who’s hit a tree and appears to be dying of serious internal injuries. Do you (a) pull out your Bowie knife and attempt emergency surgery, based on a workplace first-aid course and a recent Scrubs re-watch, because really, if he’s dying anyway, it doesn’t matter how badly it goes? or (b) sit with him, talk to him, hold his hand, whatever seems to be able to calm or reassure him as he slips away?
    – PLL
    Sep 22, 2016 at 11:07

Dittany appears to be good for helping to heal wounds, not fix internal injuries that require immediate surgery. Healing his skin would have been pointless given that he'd been stabbed in the torso and was likely suffering from a perforated heart/lungs/tomach/spleen/liver, etc. Any of which could be almost instantly fatal

Per Pottermore

Sourcing your own potion ingredients can save a Galleon or two, for starters. But some herbs could actually heal serious afflictions. Dittany can quickly cure nasty wounds, and mistletoe berries are essential to a well-brewed Antidote to Common Poisons. Very helpful!

The highs, lows and health hazards of Herbology


"Greenish smoke billowed upward and when it has cleared, Harry saw that the bleeding had stopped. The Wound now looked several days old; new skin stretched over what had been open flesh."

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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    Seems inconsistent at best. If it can heal the muscle and skin on Ron's arm, why not the muscle and skin in Dobby? I know there are many different types of tissue, so I suppose that in theory some of those tissues would not be affected by Dittany.
    – Skooba
    Sep 21, 2016 at 13:23
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    Also, in the books, didn't Dobby get hit in the heart/chest? In the related question I linked above, it seems that no one had time to help Dobby, a wound to the heart would cause death much faster than to the stomach (at least in a human)
    – Skooba
    Sep 21, 2016 at 13:28
  • "perforated stomach/spleen/liver, etc." The worst possibility is the aorta, assuming anatomy similar to humans. @Skooba That would be nearly as bad as the heart itself.
    – jpmc26
    Sep 21, 2016 at 13:43
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    @skooba - internal ingestion can heal "cuts and scratches". There's no good indication that it can be used as a substitute for internal surgery
    – Valorum
    Sep 21, 2016 at 13:46
  • @skooba - I've amended it to torso since I can't remember where he got stabbed, nor is it especially important
    – Valorum
    Sep 21, 2016 at 13:49

The question of whether or not dittany would have been effective is a good one to debate.
However, another thing to consider is the characters' state of mind at the time Dobby got injured. Hermione had just been tortured by Bellatrix, and all of them had just escaped imprisonment and certain death.
So, I doubt any of them were thinking very clearly or logically, especially Hermione.

Also, Dobby's injury was so severe that there was very little time in which to save him. He and Harry landed somewhat far from Ron and Hermione so Hermione wouldn't have immediately known that she could/should look for her dittany in time to save him.

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