Clear glass jar containing Dragon's Blood used in the pharmacy of a mental health hospital, Victoria, Australia, circa 1900.

Dragon's blood is a red resin prepared from fruits of climbing palms (Daemonorops draco). Used medicinally for the treatment of diarrhoea and severe syphilis.

Physical Description

Small, clear, glass apothecary's jar with circular, concave base, straight sides, rounded shoulder, fairly wide neck with slightly protruding rim and sealed with short, broad cork. Typed paper label on side "Dragon's blood" and recently added (1985.09.10) explanatory label on back. Bottle holds approximately 150mL of red powdered material. Dragon's blood could be from a number of sources, including the plant species croton, dracaena, daemonocrops, calamus rotang, pterocarpus or cinnabar (mercury sulfide).


Example of pharmaceuitcal products used in Victorian mental health hospitals

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