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"A bezoar is a stone taken from the stomach of a goat and it will save you from most poisons."
Severus Snape[src]

A bezoar was a stone-like mass taken from the stomach of a goat, that acted as an antidote to most poisons,[1] with Basilisk venom being one notable exception. This was the reason why bezoars were used in the preparation of the Antidote to Common Poisons.[3] This object was usually made of hair, plant fibre, or similar indigestible matter that stayed in the gut of an animal and formed a hard ball or "stone".[4] Bezoars were also notably rare, according to Horace Slughorn, who cited this as the reason why it was still worth knowing how to mix antidotes.[2]


"Just shove a bezoar down their throats."
— A note in Severus Snape's copy of Advanced Potion-Making[src]

There was a small stock of bezoars that could be found in the Potions Classroom store cupboard, as well as at least two in the Hospital Wing. In 1991, Severus Snape asked Harry Potter where one would to find a bezoar in Harry's first ever Potions class, in order for him to chastise Potter for supposedly not paying attention during his class.[1] In late 1994, in a Potions exam, Harry forgot to add a bezoar to his potion, because he was too focused on thinking about asking Cho Chang to the Yule Ball, which subsequently earned him bottom marks in this class for his dismal performance.[5]

As a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Severus Snape, under his alias "The Half Blood Prince", wrote "Just shove a bezoar down their throats." across the list of antidotes in his copy of Advanced Potion-Making. During the 1996–1997 school year, during one of Harry's sixth-year N.E.W.T. class about antidotes, Harry, who was unable to understand Golpalott's Third Law, fetched a bezoar from the cupboard and showed it to Professor Horace Slughorn as the answer to the poison he was supposed to be analysing. This gained Harry Slughorn's admiration and ten points to Gryffindor for "sheer cheek".[2]

Known users[]


Harry Potter shoving a bezoar down Ron Weasley's throat

On 1994, during a fourth-year Potions class exam, the bezoar was used as an ingredient for antidotes. Harry, being distracted by the Yule Ball, forgot to add one and subsequently got bottom marks.[5]

On 1 March 1997, Ron Weasley was poisoned when he drank some poisoned oak-matured mead that was intended for Albus Dumbledore. Harry, remembering the above mentioned incident in Potions class, quickly found the bezoar he had given Professor Slughorn and shoved it down Ron's throat, saving his life.[2]


Bezoars are undigested clumps of matter that accumulate inside a digestive system, similar to a cat's hairballs. They are used in Chinese Herbology, and are claimed to remove toxins from the body. The word "bezoar" may come from the Persian pâdzahr (پادزهر), which literally means "protection from poison".


Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 8 (The Potions Master)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 18 (Birthday Surprises)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Pottermore - Magical Drafts and Potions
  4. WP favicon Bezoar on Wikipedia
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 22 (The Unexpected Task)