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Dragon's Blood Chunks (Calamus draco)Latin Name: Calamus draco
Common Names: Dragon's blood, Draconis resina
The fiery red coloration of Calamus draco makes it easy to see how these herbs we offer got the common name of Dragon's Blood. Calamus refers to the subfamily Calamoideae and the tribe Calameae rattan palms, and Daemonorops is a genus in the same Arecaceae family of palms. These names all refer to the same plant, but at different levels of scientific classification order, from less to more specific. These herbs are found in tropical regions of Indonesia in Southeast Asia and are known in this part of the world as djerang and jerang. The fruit looks like round red balls, and the resin hydrocarbon secretion that covers the immature fruit of the palm are extracted by being broken off from the fruit, and this is what is used to make Dragon's Blood. The resin is shaped into a solid orb, and this is what it looks like when it comes to market.
In ancient times, Calamus draco was used for such applications as dyes and varnishes, medicines and incense. In China, furniture makers used the Dragon's Blood resin to color wooden furniture, while paper used for special events such as the Chinese New Year were tinted with Dragon's Blood. This dried herb is no longer used internally today, but its colorful properties make it useful to artists and craftspeople.
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