What Is Mastic Gum? Mastic, the Phenomenon
Mastic gum (Μαστιχα Χιου) is magical and unique treasure. Mastic gum was recognized in ancient times for its distinctive flavor and for its therapeutic properties.
- What is mastic gum
- Where is mastic gum from?
- Why is mastic so unique?
- What does mastic gum smell and taste like?
- What are the benefits?
- What is it used for?
Chios Mastic gum, the unique resin
- It is a resin from a trunk and branches of a mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus var. Chios).
- It is called "schinos" in Greek.
- It comes from a Greek island Chios.
- It has been registered by the EU as a product of protected origin (PDO) since 1997.
Where does mastic gum come from?
Mastic gum is from Greece. Mastic trees grow on the Greek island - Chios. While these trees grow wild in a large area of the entire Mediterranean area, the southern part of Chios is the only place where they are systematically grown and where these trees produce effective mastic gum.
The name "mastic" is often used for
In these cases, it is an inaccurate designation of products that have mastic as the basic raw material.
Mastic gum is like resinous sap secreted from the trunk and from the main branches of the "schinos" (Σχίνος is the Greek name of a mastic tree). This production is artificially induced by the systematic cutting of the bark using a special tool. It appears in the sections in the form of tears and drips in droplets to the area under the tree.
The resin is in the form of a clear, soft and sticky liquid. After 15 - 20 days, it solidifies in irregular shapes.
History of mastic
The acquisition of mastic gum on the island of Chios has been evolving for at least two thousand years, as evidenced by the records of ancient botanists and historians. However, we cannot attribute the discovery of the Chios mastic gum to a specific personality, nor can we date it exactly. Its first significant mentions are in the works of Dioscorides and Galen.
In ancient times, "mastiha" was valued for its distinctive taste and for its therapeutic properties. Documents show that it was the first natural chewing gum of the ancient world, used to:
- brush teeth
- refresh the breath
It has also been used in cosmetics to cleanse the face and body and has been involved in a number of pharmaceutical preparations as an active ingredient.
Uses of mastic gum
The original and traditional use of the gum is to chew pieces for fragrant breath and for good digestion. You can enjoy the special woody-fruity taste even today. Raw mastic gum is sold in various tear sizes, but always in a single flavor - the original mastic flavor.
One of the first known uses of mastic is also to apply crushed powder to wounds directly or as part of dressings. This is the basis of today's use of mastic and mastic oil in cosmetics. There are many manufacturers of mastic cosmetics for skin and hair care.
What may mastic gum help?
- It has been proven that it displays beneficial action against digestive disorders
- It may kill off Helicobacter pylori bacteria
- It contributes to oral hygiene
- Also it displays significant antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory action
- It is a natural antioxidant
- It aids in trauma healing and skin regeneration
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Bad breath
What may be the uses of mastic gum?
- It fights Helicobacter Pylori according to recent studies carried out by Nottingham university and published in the reliable medical journal The New England Journal of Medicine.
- Furthermore, universities in Greece and abroad currently study mastic's action in relation to diabetes mellitus, cholesterol and triglycerides.
- It is also worth mentioning mastic's effect on liver function by stimulating its detoxifying activity.
- It is also used in ointments against burns, frostbites, skin troubles as well as in adhesive plasters.