While it's inconsistent in the first few seasons, it's been since established that dying Goa'uld void a deadly toxin into their hosts. At first I thought it was blood toxicity or naquadah poisoning but after collecting the facts and accounting for retcons it finally made some sense to me.

  • Goa'uld originally injected naquadah as a recreational drug due to euphoric effects on the symbiote, but eventually incorporated it into their physiology to power handheld devices. Naquadah may poison hosts unless it is neutralized by the symbiote (Stargate RPG). [Presumably they acquire naquadah through their diet as with other biologically necessary elements.]

  • Symbiotes use protein markers to bind naquadah, which is left behind in hosts after symbiote death (SG-1: 3.04 "Legacy"). [Presumably this neutralizes the heavy metal toxicity.]

  • Symbiote blood is toxic to humans and jaffa (SG-1: 4.04 "Crossroads"). [This predates the mention of symbiote toxin and was never mentioned again. It was presumably retconned.]

  • Symbiotes release a deadly toxin upon death. Assuming the symbiote is willing and able, it may staunch the voiding. (SG-1: 5.15 "Summit", 5.16 "Last Stand", 8.10 "Endgame", 8.18 "Threads", 10.19 "Dominion").

  • Cloned symbiotes, incidentally lacking naquadah, are mentioned as dying harmlessly and being digested by the host immune system. No mention is made of toxicity (SG-1: 6.05 "Nightwalkers"). [Presumably these symbiotes were genetically altered to prevent this.]

Why would symbiotes evolve the toxin in the first place? I would assume it’s for hunting or defense, and like other venomous animals they produce their own antivenin. However, if they had venom glands then a rupture would still release it into the host, and depending on how long the venom remains stable then the host's own immune system would decompose the glands and release the venom.

To prevent accidental death the symbiote would need to be able to neutralize the toxin inside its own body before it is released. This implies the bizarre adaptation of antivenin glands, which I would assume are a defense against cannibalism.

  • Where are you getting that their blood is toxic? This has never been stated in all of Stargate that I have seen. I haven't read the Fandemonium books or the RPG so I can say about whats in there, but I'm pretty sure you are mishearing what is actually happening.
    – Durakken
    Jul 29, 2016 at 14:05
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    What makes you think their ability to neutralize the toxicity is limited to their blood. It's possible that in addition to glowing eyes the host now has the ability to alter their metabolism to neutralize other toxins also. That would actually make sense..given the hosts extended life and improved health.
    – Paulie_D
    Jul 29, 2016 at 14:05
  • @Durakken - stargate.wikia.com/wiki/Blood
    – Paulie_D
    Jul 29, 2016 at 14:06
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    @Paulie_D Well that article is wrong. The Goa'uld release a toxin when they die. It's not their blood and thats why they can prevent it when they die to spare the host. If it were their blood the host would die no matter what.
    – Durakken
    Jul 29, 2016 at 14:12
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    I agree...I'm just saying that's a possible source for the confusion.
    – Paulie_D
    Jul 29, 2016 at 14:13

1 Answer 1


Goa'uld blood is not toxic.
They release a toxin when they die.
They can prevent this, but it requires their conscious will to do so.
What is likely the case that they have 2 sacks somewhere that carry chemicals that are mixed upon death through some sort of muscular spasm and then is released, killing the host.

As far as using this as a drug. There are plenty of Toxins that we use for drugs and even medicine. It's just a matter of dosage.

As far as the Naquadah in the blood, we are never told how that is accomplished by the Goa'uld, but Cassandra has it implanted in her by Nfirti (if I remember right) and the Jaffa do not have Naquadah in their blood. Their ability to sense symbiotes based on Naquadah comes from them having a symbiote reacting to another symbiote, both of which have Naquadah in their blood.

Carter has Naquadah in her blood because the symbiote she carried died in her, thus the naquadah got into her from the symbiote breaking down. If a Symbiote is extracted, I forget if naquadah remains, but either way is unsurprising.

  • I find it difficult to believe they do that specifically to kill the host (when we've seen them deliberately stop autonomic functions), as opposed to it being a coincidence like how our own bodies produce toxic hydrochloric acid and ammonia. Goa'uld still need to consume naquadah at some point and are stated to produce proteins which bind naquadah.
    – Anonymous
    Jul 29, 2016 at 15:13
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    They don't do it to specifically kill the host. They do it to specifically kill whatever killed them, presumably the thing they are in.
    – Durakken
    Jul 29, 2016 at 15:15

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