Dragon’s blood is not a magical concoction but a real ingredient in medicine, incense, and more. By Magda Origjanska

The so-called modern pagans frequently come upon “dragon’s blood” as one of the ingredients needed for their rituals. The name of this substance signifies the blood of a mythical, flying creature that, according to many stories, performs wonders and heals even the sorest of wounds and most grievous illnesses. Surprisingly, dragon’s blood is not only “real” but also has been used since ancient times as varnish, medicine, incense, and dye.

In some medieval encyclopedias, dragon’s blood is mentioned as the actual blood of dragons or elephants who perished in mortal combat.

In reality, dragon’s blood is actually a resin harvested from various plant species such as Croton, Dracaena, Daemonorops, Calamus rotang, and Pterocarpus. Its main feature is the red pigment that lends it the name dragon’s blood.

According to the book “Modern Herbal” by Maud Grieve, published in 1931, “The berries are the size of a cherry and pointed. When ripe they are covered with a reddish, resinous substance which is separated in several ways, the most satisfactory being by steaming, or by shaking or rubbing in coarse, canvas bags. An inferior kind is obtained by boiling the fruits to obtain a decoction after they have undergone the second process. The product may come to market in beads, joined as if forming a necklace, and covered with leaves … or in small, round sticks about 18 inches long, packed in leaves and strips of cane. Other varieties are found in irregular lumps, or in a reddish powder. They are known as lump, stick, reed, tear, or saucer Dragon’s Blood.”

Dracaena draco leaves showing dragon’s blood pigment at the base. The red pigment, called “dragon’s blood,” is said to have been used on Stradivarius violins. Photographed in the gardens of Lotusland—in Montecito, near Santa Barbara in southern California. Author: Sharktopus. CC BY-SA 3.0

Historical records of the Romans and Greeks also note Dracaena cinnabari, a byproduct of the cinnabar tree that was found on an island in the Indian Ocean. The resin of Dracaena species, the “authentic” dragon’s blood, and the extremely poisonous mineral cinnabar (mercury sulfide) were often confused by the ancient Romans. The types of dragon’s blood derived from different species were also hardly distinguished from one another in ancient China.

Dragon’s blood, powdered pigment or apothecary’s grade and roughly crushed incense. Author: Andy Dingley CC BY-SA 3.0

The pigment in the tree’s gum has numerous uses, including as a dye and also as a colorant in cosmetics. Some women used the powder in a ritual that was supposed to attract a marriage proposal. They would write their lover’s name on a tiny piece of paper, then their own name on the top, sprinkle it with some dragon’s blood, and fold it. Afterwards, they threw it onto burning charcoal while saying a prayer.

Dragon’s Blood Tree Author Rod Waddington. CC by 2.0

In the 18th century, dragon’s blood was used as a varnish for Italian violin makers. Moreover, there was a recipe for a toothpaste containing dragon’s blood. In India, it has been used in ceremonies for face painting or as a red varnish for wooden furniture. Another use of it was coloring the surface of writing paper, especially the decorative type that was used for weddings and during Chinese New Year.

In New Orleans voodoo and American hoodoo folk magic, it is used for attracting money or love and often as an incense that cleanses space and casts away negative energies. It is also added to ink to make “dragon’s blood ink,” a substance used to inscribe magical seals and talismans.

Dragon’s blood from Dracaena cinnabari. Sanguis draconis, Dracaena cinnabari. Author: Maša Sinreih in Valentina Vivod. CC BY-SA 3.0

The vibrant red color explains why dragon’s blood refers to the element of fire, and it’s often used in rituals that involve fire, heat, or power. In some traditions of folk magic, the resin is blended until it turns to oil. The oil of dragon’s blood is then applied to one’s wrists in order to

READ MORE HERE:  https://www.thevintagenews.com/2018/03/09/dragons-blood-2/

Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer

Is there a link between antiperspirants or deodorants and breast cancer?

Because underarm antiperspirants or deodorants are applied near the breast and contain potentially harmful ingredients, several scientists and others have suggested a possible connection between their use and breast cancer (12). However, no scientific evidence links the use of these products to the development of breast cancer.

What is known about the ingredients in antiperspirants and deodorants?

Aluminum-based compounds are used as the active ingredient in antiperspirants. These compounds form a temporary “plug” within the sweat duct that stops the flow of sweat to the skin’s surface. Some research suggests that aluminum-containing underarm antiperspirants, which are applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast, may be absorbed by the skin and have estrogen-like (hormonal) effects (3).

Because estrogen can promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer (3). In addition, it has been suggested that aluminum may have direct activity in breast tissue (4). However, no studies to date have confirmed any substantial adverse effects of aluminum that could contribute to increased breast cancer risks. A 2014 review concluded there was no clear evidence showing that the use of aluminum-containing underarm antiperspirants or cosmetics increases the risk of breast cancer (5).

Some research has focused on parabens, which are preservatives used in some deodorants and antiperspirants that have been shown to mimic the activity of estrogen in the body’s cells (6). It has been reported that parabens are found in breast tumors, but there is no evidence that they cause breast cancer. Although parabens are used in many cosmetic, food, and pharmaceutical products, most deodorants and antiperspirants in the United States do not currently contain parabens. The National Library of Medicine’s Household Products Database has information about the ingredients used in most major brands of deodorants and antiperspirants.

What is known about the relationship between antiperspirants or deodorants and breast cancer?

READ MORE:  https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/myths/antiperspirants-fact-sheet

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