What is Crocodile Oil?


Humans from the ancient times tend to utilize wild animals or insects in preparation of their traditional medicines for therapeutic purposes as they believed those wild animals and insects comprise of essential ingredients for the preparation of drugs. Crocodile oil has been used for centuries by traditional practitioners and has been documented to be very effective in treatment of various skin conditions. In Mexico, crocodile oil is used for illnesses such as asthma, emphysema, influenza and for a constant phlegmatic cough. In Madagascar, the oil is prescribed to assist in the healing of burns, skin ulcers and cancer. In Africa, crocodile oil is used for ailments such as skin rashes and to promote wound healing, and according to testimonial evidence, it showed extraordinary healing efficacy with almost immediate observed effect. There is also evidence of crocodile oil being used traditionally in South Africa. Many people in South Africa consult traditional healers and they play an important role in expanding the healthcare system in rural areas. The fat is mixed with the ground bark of Cryptocarya latifolia and used by the Zulu people to treat chest ailments. In Zululand, crocodile fat is used as protection against illnesses and lightning by the Tsonga people.

There are between 5000 – 6000 species of reptiles in the world today, and of these 23 are crocodilians. One family of crocodilians includes the crocodiles, alligators and caimans – Crocodylidae; the second family, Gavialidae, has only one member – the gharial or gavial (a very narrow-snouted crocodile). Crocodilians are the closest surviving relatives of the dinosaurs and they have changed very little during the 150 million years that they have lived on Earth.

Geographically speaking, true crocodiles live in Africa, Asia and the Americas; alligators are found in China and the southern United States; caimans live in South America and the gharial in southern Asia. The Nile Crocodile is one of the largest of all crocodilians (the estuarine crocodile, the most aquatic and marine of all crocodilians, living in South India, Indonesia and South Australia, is reputed to be the biggest of all).

The skincare products of Tribe range are based on Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) oil. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) lists the Nile crocodile under Appendix II which means species are not threatened with extinction, but the collection, processing, domestic trading and exporting of all crocodile products must be controlled.

Several projects have been started for breeding Nile crocodiles in captivity with the intention of restocking suitable rivers and lakes. Commercial crocodile farming is a facility that collects wild eggs, hatchlings and/or juveniles that have a low probability of surviving to adulthood, and growing them in captivity. A percentage of the crocodiles raised on commercial crocodile farm are used to restock wild habitats, and the remainder are used for skin and meat products. It is most important that the skin trade is carefully monitored so that only farm-bred animals are used for leather goods.
Any industry that relies on natural, raw materials for its products has an awareness of the supply chain from ‘cradle to grave’, and the importance of protective measures during each and every step. Therefore, a strong focus for Tribe is the way crocodile oil is sourced. In addition to using ethically sourced crocodile oil that comes from CITES stringently monitored commercial crocodile farms, the company has adopted technological innovations that actually contribute to products produced in an environmentally and socially responsible way.

It has been observed by scientists that crocodiles live in environments that constantly expose them to various pathogens and microbes. During fights, the limbs of crocodiles are sometimes torn and they are left with gaping wounds or even limbless. However, despite the harsh environment that they live in, they appear to heal rapidly and almost always infection-free. Research unveiled how powerful the crocodile’s immune system is, as opposed to the human immune system. It is able to effectively destroy resistant bacteria, as well as viruses.

Modern research studies verify Nile Crocodile Oil as:
  • Anti-inflammatory, with effects comparable to ibuprofen;
  • Bacteriostatic, does not promote the growth of bacteria;
  • Hypoallergenic, not known to cause skin irritation or have any side effects;
  • Highly penetrating, non-greasy, absorbs without leaving a greasy feel;
  • Non-comedogenic, does not clog pores.
Nile Crocodile Oil naturally contains:
  • Vitamin E, a major antioxidant and healing agent;
  • Vitamin A, a known skin repairer and antioxidant;
  • Linoleic acid, which eases muscle aches and joint pain;
  • Oleic acid, a proven skin cell regenerator, anti-wrinkle agent;
  • Sapogens, proven skin softeners;
  • Terpines, known antiseptics.

Nile Crocodile Oil contains natural anti-inflammatory and healing properties with a wide range of omega oils that are known to facilitate good health. It is considered a complete source of essential fatty acids. Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) are fats that humans cannot manufacture or synthesize. We must obtain them from our diet. Like vitamins and minerals they are essential to the body’s functions. Incredibly, this amazing oil contains Omega 3, 6, 9 essential fatty acids and is a powerful skin moisturizer and possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties.

Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) oil which was traditionally used as treatment for ailments such as skin rashes, skin ulcers and cancer and in promoting wound healing, was justified by scientists to exert antifungal and antibacterial effect against Candida albicans, S. aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Oleic, palmic and linoleic acid (18:2) were identified as the major components in crocodile oil. Medium chain fatty acid, lauric acid and its liposomal derivatives were evaluated and proven to give strong bactericidal activity against Propionibacterium acnes. Lauric acid and its liposomal derivatives were found to interact with P.acnes through fusion, but aggregation or adsorption. The compounds fused with the bacterial membrane and released active ingredients into the membrane. The effectiveness of lauric acid in inhibiting the bacterial growth especially Gram-positive bacteria was again demonstrated in Enterococcae. Short chain fatty acid, caprylic acid (8:0), was a potent antimicrobial against coliforms (Gram-negative).

Crocodile oil is derived from the fat of a crocodile. Crocodile fat is a by-product of commercial farming and until very recently has been discarded. The fat from the crocodile is collected when the meat is trimmed and prepared and there is only 600g of fat available from a single crocodile. The fat is then sent for processing (called rendering) which involves heat treatment to break down the fat cells, pressure application and distillation in a centrifuge. This process produces a clear liquid with no residue or smell. All crocodile oil is tested by South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). The crocodile oil we use in Tribe products comes from a farm where conditions from breeding through to the abattoir stage are permanently monitored by the Department of Agriculture of South Africa. All stages of crocodile oil production (from the processing and refinery of the raw material to the manufacture of the finished cosmetic product) are undertaken in HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) certified premises and in accordance with the Good Manufacturing Process.

Tribe products have been registered on the European Cosmetic Product Notification Portal and went through all the necessary safety assessments to comply with the new EU Cosmetics Regulations (EC 1223/2009).

None of the products of Tribe range include ruminant-derived raw materials, therefore are free from BSE/TSE (Bovine/Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy)