Dragon’s blood contains a broad range of naturally-occurring compounds, many of which have been well studied. The sap is rich in protective antioxidant phenols, and anti-inflammatory compounds of various kinds. Due to these compounds, Dragon’s blood sap helps to protect the cells of the skin, and reduces redness and swelling. It also contains a group of compounds called proanthocyanidins, which actually repair collagen, the lattice-like main protein that makes up much of our tissues. Additionally, Dragon’s blood contains taspine, a known tissue-healing agent. The sap also demonstrates antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal activity. This is why Dragon’s blood is so widely used on infectious skin conditions of all kinds with great success.
Making the cut – to obtain Dragon’s blood, it is necessary to cut into the bark of the tree at a diagonal, deeply enough that the blood-like sap will flow. A cup is affixed to the tree at the bottom end of the slash, and the sap collects in the cup. In the markets of the Amazon, you will find bottles of Dragon’s blood selling at various medicinal stands, and at many other types of shops. As indispensable to a home first aid agent as bandages, Dragon’s blood is liberally applied to the skin in case of a problem. When the red sap is rubbed onto skin, it forms a thin cream-colored layer, like a very fine additional skin membrane. I have used Dragon’s blood many times myself, and have cut trees to obtain the sap, especially in cases of bad bites and stings. In almost all cases, Dragon’s blood is collected in small quantities, one or two liters at a time.
Now, a whole new application of Dragon’s blood sap might change the scale of sap collection, and may contribute to greater economic benefit for native people who live in areas where the tree flourishes. This new application is in cosmetics. After decades of good science has been churned out about this remarkable skin-enhancing agent, cosmetic companies are starting to include Dragon’s blood sap in skin elixirs, creams, and other special preparations. Most of the time, cosmetic companies want ingredients that are pure white, to maintain whiteness of creams and lotions. But Dragon’s blood turns the same preparations pink, and so a new color of skin agent will be showing up on cosmetic shelves.