Grade A Dragon’s Blood resin-Java-Daemonorops Draco Blume-Java-Highly concentrated fresh resin. Sustainably harvested and fairly traded.
This material is close to pure, intense in colour and excellent for incense, art, dyes and preparing both Dragon’s Blood Ink and Dragon’s Blood Oil.
Dragon’s Blood resin from Indonesia, (Java, Sumatra, Malaysia etc.), starts its journey in deep jungle workshops as a fine deeply coloured powder collected from the skins of the Dragon’s Blood fruit. (See photos above). This pure resin is bagged and sent to the city to be blended with the much cheaper Dammar resin and processed into the Dragon’s Blood balls of commerce. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of the pure resin, unscrupulous producers adulterate these balls with up to 90% Dammar resin. Even though many Dragon’s Blood balls have a seal or a “Gold seal of quality” on them, it is easily duplicated and applied to balls of even the lowest and poorest quality.
These Dragon’s Blood Grade A resin slabs are closest to pure Dragon’s Blood resin and are considered medical quality. (Dragon’s Blood resin is used in a number of traditional medicine systems). The colour and fragrance are intense!
HOW TO ASCERTAIN THE QUALITY OF YOUR DRAGON’S BLOOD RESIN
1-When the material is fractured it will be a dull, matt texture if there is little Dammar added for cohesion. Dammar resin creates a shininess to the fractured surfaces while the Dragon’s Blood resin is matt with no shine. The more Dammar has been added, the shinier the surface of the ball and the fracture.
2- The colour of the material gets lighter and lighter, pinker and pinker as more Dammar is mixed in.
Ideally, one should seek material that is a deep, dark red colour, that fractures with a matt/eggshell finish and a non-reflective sheen.
There are approximately 25 species of the rattan vine-Daemonorops in southeast Asia/Indonesia. 5 species yield a red resin from the outer later of their fruit that is used locally as medicine, incense and a dyeing material.
Dragon’s Blood Indonesia has many of the same compounds found in Socotra Dragon’s Blood and is used traditionally for many of the same purposes.
In alcohol, it creates an intense red dye which is similar, but a bit brighter than the Socotra Dragon’s Blood. I use a ratio of 1 part powder to 8 parts alcohol @ 95% when preparing a Dragons Blood ink.
This resin dissolves to a great degree in warm oils which is convenient for the production of medicated oils, salves and cremes, as well as anointing and ceremonial oils. It is traditionally used as an astringent and wound healer in Sumatra.
It has an intense, yet delicate and delightful aroma on the coal or burner.
It blends easily with other incense powders and will lend its deep red colour wherever it is used.
Produced by a co-op workshop in Java, (Sumatra), this product is sustainably harvested and fairly traded.
The Dragon’s Blood Grade A powder is ground and sifted to a fine consistency in-house.
I avoid buying powdered herbs or spices unless I have absolutely no choice. Mainly because I don’t know how long they have sat losing their potency, but also because I know unscrupulous suppliers will use low-grade material or siftings from the bottom of bags they otherwise could not sell. You can hide a lot in a powder… Often reputable retailers who buy powdered material from brokers have no idea how old the powder is and what went into it.
Grinding my own fresh herbs and resins guarantees high-quality material for my work and for my customers.
I use my freshest and best quality resins and only grind as much as I need. Powder never sits around long in the studio. When it is gone, I just grind some more so it is always fresh.
Dragon’s Blood Indonesia is the resin collected from a number of species of the Rattan palm of Indonesia. Its leaves are used in basketry and the sturdy core is used for furniture making.
The berries of Daemonorops Draco are coated with a thin layer of red resin. When the ripe berries are abraded or boiled, the resin can be separated and collected. (See photos above).
Rarely found in its pure form, the brunt of the resin collected from the berries is shipped to the big cities where it is heated and mixed with other cheaper resins to create the Dragon’s blood “balls” of commerce.
This method of resin collection is sustainable and causes no harm to the trees or the environment.
Armed with wicked, needle-sharp spines, the Latin name of Daemonorops literally means Evil Spirit shrub. Though the name may be attributed to the nastiness of the plant’s defences, some believe that spirits and energetic beings find a haven in the safety of these spines as they do in brambles, thickets, hedgerows and other environments that keep humans at a safe distance.
The fragrance of this type of Dragons Blood is a bit different than the Socotra resin. Though it too creates an intense smoke on the charcoal, it is not as penetrating or sharp. It is usually blended with other aromatic materials. A little bit goes a long way.
In common with Socotra Dragons Blood, this resin has no scent until it is heated or burned.
As one might assume, Dragon’s Blood resin is associated with the fiery and passionate energy of the planet Mars and is often used to boost, intensify and add persuasion to one’s magical intent and operations.