Dragon’s Blood Trees
Have you ever seen mushroom-shaped, upside down umbrella-shaped trees like the ones below? They are called Dragon’s blood trees. It’s not Mars, they do exist on Earth! These trees grow in scattered groves on Socotra Island!
So, why are they called Dragon’s blood trees? Fear not, it’s not the actual blood from a fire breathing dragon. It’s actually the red sap from the Dragon’s blood tree – its bark bleeds like a human being!
The red sap can be used to form a resin which has medicinal benefits to fight infection and inflammation. Due to its antioxidant phenols and anti-inflammatory compounds, the Dragon’s blood can be used to fight against skin troubles, for example, sores, bites, cuts, burns and rashes.
It also contains
- Proanthocyanidins – compounds which repair collagen, the lattice-like main protein that makes up much of our tissues, and
- Taspine – a ‘tissue-healing’ agent.
Like bandages, Dragon’s blood is an indispensable first aid item to have at home. When the resin is applied onto the skin, it thickens to form a paste that helps to form a fine additional layer over the wound.
Do you know the secret behind Angelina Jolie’s glowing complexion? So it appears that cosmetic companies are using Dragon’s blood sap in creams and skin elixirs, helping women regain their youthful fullness in their face.
Other interesting facts about the Dragon Blood trees
- When the tree flowers, its trunk splits. This allows botanists to estimate the age of the tree by counting the number of divisions.
- Its distinct shape allows the long waxy leaves to transport water from the leaves down to the branches and trunk to the roots, for survival in its hot and dry climate.
Interested in knowing more about Socotra?
Socotra is an island south of the Arabian Peninsula, part of the Republic of Yemen and was recognised by UNESCO as a world heritage site since 2008. Despite its harsh environment, it is a place with rich biological diversity and is home to many unique species of animals and plants, many of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. One of the most isolated landforms; reportedly there are beautiful sandy beaches, breathtaking views of canyons, dessert plains, mountain lakes and huge plateaus.
Nature is really beyond any human’s imagination.