Dragon blood is a deep‐red plant resin which has been used as folk medicine for more than a thousand years. It can be produced from at least four entirely different plant families: Asparagaceae, Arecaceae, Chamaesyce, and Fabaceae. Current pharmacopeia states that the only “authentic” source of dragon blood is the palm tree, Daemonorops draco .
The present study aims to find a high‐throughput method to screen and identify the plant sources of commercial dragon blood products.
A matrix‐assisted laser desorption ionisation time‐of‐flight mass spectrometry (MALDI‐TOF MS) based method for rapid screening of dracorhodin in commercial dragon blood samples was established in this study.
Well‐resolved peaks of dracorhodin in spectra were observed in the crude extracts of samples. Dragon blood samples from two other plant species, Dracaena cinnabari and Dracaena cochinchinensis , were also examined. Their indicator compounds, loureirin A and B, were detected in these plants.
A MALDI‐TOF based method for preliminarily examination of commercial dragon blood samples is reported here. In contrast to MALDI‐TOF, liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC‐MS) is a time‐consuming and costly method, not ideal for routine and large‐scale screening of commercial samples.