Magic essences are a group of items that are not present in the 1.6.4 version of Better Dungeons. In previous versions, the 8 elemental essences were common drops from Better Dungeons enemies, and were also occaisionally found in chests. They were used in the crafting of the elemental staffs. In the 1.6.4 version, the ice and electric staffs have been removed, the water staff has been replaced with the Bubble Gun, and the Fire, Wind, Healing, Dark, and Poison staffs are no longer craftable. Instead, they must be found as dungeon loot.
The 5 magic staffs that are still in the mod now consume the player's hunger points upon use, and have infinite durability. To recover hunger points without eating, the player must wear Mage Robes or Lich Robes.