Wednesday, 25 January 2012
Magickal Herbs – The Uses of Dragon's Blood
The Traditional, Herbal and Magickal uses of Dragon's Blood resin.
Dragon’s Blood is the name given to the resin harvested from the fruit of the Dragon’s Blood Tree. Several different palms are given the name Dragon’s Blood Tree, Daemonorops draco, Dracaena cinnabari, Dracaena draco, Croton draco, Croton lechleri and Calamus draco (although this has been renamed Daemonorops draco, it is still a name used)
Dragon’s Blood is usually founds as a bright red resin, in powder or granule form. When larger pieces are broken, the inside is glossy and bright. There are unscrupulous vendors who sell “poor man’s Dragon’s Blood” which looks and smells the same, but is a blend of talc, red sandalwood and frankincense.
Traditional Uses of Dragon’s Blood
Dragon’s Blood has been used as colouring for various goods like varnishes, toothpaste, tinctures and for dying horn to look like tortoiseshell. Many violins are still varnished with Dragon’s Blood, which gives them that beautiful rich colour. The ‘tears’ named for the shape they form when ‘bleeding’ from the trunk or fruit have been strung to make stunning jewellery.
It was believed that a woman burning Dragon’s Blood while sitting near an open window at night would entice a straying lover to return to her, and that a stick of Dragon’s Blood placed somewhere near the bed, would cure impotency in men.
Herbal Medicinal Uses of Dragon’s Blood
The different varieties of Dragon’s Blood Trees have been used for many different herbal remedies. One has been said to cure syphilis, while another is used as an astringent and vulnerary (effective in treating wounds, cuts and burns) and yet another is used to make an intoxicating drink.
Correct identification of which type of Dragon’s Blood is used for which ailment is essential, and as such, it would be advisable not to make assumptions, but to see a qualified Medicinal Herbalist before trying any remedies using Dragon’s Blood.
Magickal Properties of Dragon’s Blood
Dragon’s Blood is under the planetary influence of Mars and its elemental association is fire. It is said to be sacred to Shiva, so it's burned as an offering to Him.
Dragon’s Blood is an ingredient in many loose magical incense recipes as it adds power and strength to any spell or working. It is said to increase the power of any ritual energy. On its own, Dragon’s Blood is considered to be a protective herb, with the ability to drive away negativity and evil spirits.
Dragon’s Blood Ink is used to seal and protect magical writing, such as agreements, oaths and vows. It is also used for love or protective talismans and sigils.
Botanical.com – retrieved 26 September 2010-09-29.
Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham, Llewellyn Publications, Minnesota, 2002.
Wylundt’s Book of Incense by Steven R Smith, Samuel Weiser Inc, Maine, 1996.
The Master Book of Herbalism by Paul Beyerl, Phoenix Publishing Co, Washington, 1984.