Crocodile bile not poisonous: Pharmacologist

Fishmongers have their own fair share of serious challenges with crocodiles that have left some dead and many injured, but still fighting in the waters as fishing is their only source of livelihood.

a professor in pharmacology, Norman Nyazema, has dismissed as a myth the widespread belief that crocodile bile is one of the most lethal poisons which can kill with just a small dose.


Addressing a Health Journalists’ Association of Zimbabwe (HeJAZ) workshop in Harare yesterday, Nyazema, a lecturer at the University of Limpopo in South Africa, said talk that crocodile bile is poisonous was a “rural myth”.

“Crocodile bile is not poisonous at all. In fact, it is being dried at the crocodile farm in Kariba and crushed before it is sold to China where it’s used as an aphrodisiac,” Nyazema said.

He said he had conducted a study in which he wanted to discover the symptoms suffered by those “poisoned” by the bile and if there could be an antidote for the poison, when he discovered that the bile was harmless.

“I did the study so that I could establish the symptoms suffered by the person poisoned by the bile and if there could be an antidote, but I found that it was not even poisonous,” Nyazema said.


Many Zimbabweans believe crocodile bile is a lethal poison, which is normally put on fingertips by those wanting to kill their victims.

Communities quickly burn the bile of a crocodile after it is killed to avoid anyone coming into contact with the bile or collecting it for fear of the alleged poisonous properties.

Nyazema said there were a number of very poisonous plants which are known by herbalists which can kill human beings with the slightest dosage.

He said it is these plants which have been used to deliver death, mostly during beer-drinking outings.

“These plants can just be put on the fingertips and as people pass around the calabash, they just press their fingers on the edges and if one’s lips just touch that area, they are gone,” he said.


  1. my Aunty Brianna just got a great Lexus IS F Sedan just by some parttime working online with a macbook…

  2. Aiwa ka vadikamwi,tombononwira mvura zvedu.Vazvinafundo apa magona,myths can last a lifetime till sme1 of your faculty comes to the rescue.

  3. Professor could be making news as the first pharmacologist professor who got it all wrong…Crocodile bile? I suppose as the learned one he should tell us more. This nonsense has gone on long enough and my grand mother is not going to like this piece of news as she is sure as the hills that her first son who died at a beer drink half a century ago was a victim of this…The whole village agreed with her…Nyazema better not repeat this within her ear shot she still can throw a mean punch! That said this myth has been with us for ever..Perhaps Nyazema should hold a workshop on tape and have it distributed around the villages as same villagers are still accusing each other of this crime. Interestingly though is the fact that same villagers never bother to explain how the perpetrators harvest the poison…In some places crocodile were last seen during the last day of the biblical Moses! Apologies, I meant Abraham…

  4. Inini hangu handidi nemashoko angu. Sekuru vangu vari pachuru nekuti vakaisirwa “poison” yenduru yegarwe. Saka muzvinafundo ava varikutii?

    Sei possession yenduru iri a crime? Gore rakutopera tichingodzidza chete.

  5. the learned professor should consume some of the bile in front of a sizeable no of people for us to believe him.

Comments are closed.