Black Dammer is a resin extracted from the trunk of the large tree with spreading branches forming one of the dominant specious in the ever green and semi-evergreen forests of Western Ghats. The scientific name of the tree is Canarium strictum.
Black Dammer is used in the manufacture of varnishes, bottling vax and as a substitute for Burgundy Pitch in medicinal plasters. Along the oil, the resin is also used in treatment of rheumatism and chronic skin diseases.
The most common use of Black Dammer is as incense and as insect repellent.
The common method of extraction of the resin is to burn an scorch the bark and outer layer of wood at the base of tree – trunk promoting exudation or by making incisions and scorching the wounded portion. The exuded resin hardens into a bright black-coloured mass, glassy in consistency.
Since the traditional method of resin extraction was destructive leading to death of the trees, various training programmes have been arranged through Vana Samrakshana Samithies (VSS) and Eco-development committees (EDC) for conservative methods of resin tapping. The harvesting of Black Dammer marked as a “Vanasree” product follows sustainable practices. The marketing of the produce is through Forest Development Agencies (FDA) .