Mastic (or Masticha, or Mastiha, or Mastika or Mastix or Gum Mastic or Mastiche or Gomme Mastic or Mustaka or Mistika or Mastagi Roomi) is a natural product that comes from mastic trees. It is a natural resin, off white color, semi-transparent. As it comes out of the tree trunk is forming “tears”.
The mastic tree is an evergreen bush 1,5m – 3,5m tall. It has an irregular shaped trunk (light grey when young and grey-reddish when older) with a lot of branches. Its scientific name is “Pistacia Lentiscus var. Chia” The mastic tree lives about a hundred years and is fully grown after about 40-50 years. It starts giving its resin (mastic) from 5-6 years old. After about 15 years, produces from 60 to 200 grams and in very exceptional cases up to 400 grams of mastic. Mastic tree thrives and gives mastic only in the south part of the island of Chios and nowhere else in the world. According to theories it only thrives and gives high quality mastic there, due to under water volcanoes, the mild and dry climate and the lime consisting soil which has high drainage properties.
The preparation of the mastic tree and collection of mastic is a laborious job that starts at the beginning of June and is carried on until December or often until February.
From ancient times mastic has been used as a natural medicine. A leaf fossil from a mastic tree has been found dating six million years.
Mastic oil and other sub-products are produced from mastic and are they used widely in medicine, pharmaceutical industry, dentistry, and industry in general.
Mastiha is used as a natural and hygienic chewing gum, excellent for teeth cleaning and traditionally used as medicine for stomach ache, stomach ulcer, diabetes, cholesterol etc. Recently mastic is used again in pharmaceutical industry for the therapy of stomach ulcer and general stomach disorders.
In recent years, university researchers have provided the scientific evidence for the medicinal properties of mastic.
In 2015 mastic was recognized as a natural medicine (HPMC) by the European Medicines Agency (ΕΜΑ)
Mastic (or masticha, mastiha, mastika, Мастикс, pryskyřice pistácie lentišku, Mastiks, Mastix, Mastic tree resin, Lentisco, resina de, mastiks, mastiksipistaasi, hartsi, Mastiks, pisztáciagyanta, lentisco resina, mastikà, Mastikas pistācijas sveķi, reżina tad-Deru, Mastiekboom, hars (mastiek), Mastyks, Mastique, Mastix, mastiks)
Nutritional value per 1gr (3 capsules of MASTICaps)
As natural medicine (Recommended dose)
- Energy: 15.4kJ/3.65 kcal
- Protein: 0gr
- Total Carbohydrate: 0.83gr
- Sugars: 0gr
- Total Fat: 0gr
- Dietary Fibres: 0.1gr
- Salt: 0gr
- Bona S.G., Bono L., Daghetta L., Marone P. : Bactericidal activity of Pistacia Lentiscus gum mastic against Helicobacter pylori. The Am. J. of Gastroenterol., 96 (9) Supplement 1: S49.
- Dabos K.J., Sfika E., Vlatta L.J., Frantzi D., Amygdalos G.I., Giannikopoulos G. : Is Chios mastic gum effective in the treatment of functional dyspepsia? A prospective randomised double-blind placebo controlled trial. J of Ethnopharmacology, 127 (2): 205–209
- Andrikopoulos N.K., Kaliora A.C., Assimopoulou A.N., Papapeorgiou V.P. : Biological activity of saliva against in vitro LDL oxidation after chewing commercial chewing gums. J. Food Sci., 14 (3): 279-288.
- Andrikopoulos N.K., Kaliora A.C., Assimopoulou A.N., Papapeorgiou V.P. : Biological activity of some naturally occurring resins, gums and pigments against in vitro LDL oxidation. Res., 17: 501–50
- Mahmoudi M., Ebrahimzadeh M.A., Nabavi S.F., Hafezi S., Nabavi S.M., Eslami S. : Antiinflammatory and antioxidant activities of gum mastic. Eur. Rev. for Med. and Pharm. , 14: 765-769
- Kartalis A., Didagelos M., Georgiadis I., Benetos G., Smyrnioudis N., Marmaras H., Voutas P., Zotika C, Garoufalis S., Andrikopoulos G. : Effects of Chios mastic gum on cholesterol and glucose levels of healthy volunteers: A prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, pilot study (Chios-Mastiha). eur J of Prev Cardiol, epub ahead of print.
- Takahashi K., Fukazawa M., Motohira H., Ochiai K., Nishikawa H., Miyata T. : A pilot study on antiplaque effects of mastic chewing gum in the oral cavity. Periodontol., 74 (4): 501-505.
- Dong-In Kim, Yong-Bin Cho, Younghyun Lim, So-Hee Hong, Bumsuk Hahm, Sang-Myeong Lee, Se Chan Kang, Young-Jin Seo1(2021): Chios mastic gum inhibits influenza A virus replication and viral pathogenicity. Journal of General Virology Vol.102, Issue 3.