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Dragon's Blood Resin

Wednesday 08 May 2024

Dragon's blood is one of these rare resins. There are several types, originating from Africa or Asia, dried resin or extracted from the fruits of certain palm trees. Red in colour, it is available in powder or in pieces.

Dragon's Blood of Socotra

Traces of dragon blood can be found in the writings of Pliny the Elder, at the beginning of the Christian era. It is said to be the result of the mixing of the blood of an elephant and a dragon, following a fight... At the time, reference was made to the dragon blood of Socotra, the Dracaena cinnabari, native to this Yemeni island, located in the Arabian Sea, some 300 km off the eastern tip of Somalia.

Dragon's blood was appreciated by the Romans, Greeks and Arabs alike. It is harvested by cutting the trees to remove the blood-red sap, which once dried is sold in pieces or powder.
Like all rare and expensive products, it is unfortunately easy to come across red powders... which are dragon's blood in name only...

Dragon Blood from Indonesia

Unlike the Socotra variety, which is the resin of a tree, Indonesian Dragon's Blood (Daemonorops draco) is produced from the fruits of certain palm trees. These are dried and then crushed to extract the resin from their bark or seeds. This powder is then mixed with water and filtered before being sold in the form of balls, cylinders or powder.
It is used in Chinese medicine but also widely as a pigment for dyes, ink, etc.

Again, without reliable suppliers, it is very easy to come across suspect "powders" that are definitely not Dragon Blood...


This image shows beautiful dragon trees in their natural environment, on the island of Socotra

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