May 24, 2024
Mastic Gum

Mastic Gum: The Natural Plant Resin with Remarkable Health Benefits

What is Mastic Gum?

Mastic gum comes from the resin of the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus), an evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean region. It has been harvested and utilized for thousands of years, dating back to ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. The mastic tree produces a resinous sap just beneath its bark in response to injuries like cuts or scrapes. When this sap hardens and oxidizes it forms into mastic gum tear droplets.

History and Traditional Uses of Mastic Gum

Mastic Gum has a long history of traditional use in regions surrounding the Mediterranean. Ancient Greeks and Romans chewed mastic gum for oral hygiene and used it as an ingredient in teeth whitening formulations. It was also applied topically to wounds as an antiseptic agent. In many Middle Eastern cultures, mastic gum was enjoyed as a breath freshener and digestive aid. It was commonly added to teas and chewed after meals. Mastic gum resin was even used as an incense in religious ceremonies for its pleasant aroma.

Potential Health Benefits of Mastic Gum

Research in recent decades has provided scientific validation for some of mastic gum’s traditionally ascribed health-promoting properties:

-Antimicrobial effects: Test tube and animal research indicates mastic gum has potent antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activity against pathogens like Streptococcus mutans (a cause of dental cavities), H. pylori (associated with ulcers and gastric cancer), and influenza A virus. This makes it a promising natural treatment for infections.

-Anti-ulcer and gastroprotective properties: Studies found mastic gum protects and speeds healing of ulcers in the stomach and intestines. It reduces inflammatory markers and prevents further damage to gastrointestinal tissues.

-Oral health benefits: Chewing mastic gum antimicrobial compounds in saliva. Population studies link regular mastic gum chewing to lower rates of gingivitis and periodontitis. It may aid in the elimination of bad breath as well.

-Anti-tumor effects: Compounds in mastic gum appear to disrupt tumor growth, slow metastasis, and induce cancer cell death in laboratory models of skin, lung, gastric, breast and colorectal cancers. Ongoing research is exploring its potential as an adjunct to conventional cancer treatment.

Nutritional Components of Mastic Gum

Beyond its unique compound mixture that lends bioactivities, mastic gum contains respectable amounts of essential nutrients:

-Is a source of dietary fiber. Each gram provides around 2-3% of the Daily Value. Fiber promotes healthy digestion and feelings of fullness.

-Contains plant phenols like flavonoids that function as antioxidants in the body. They help combat oxidative damage from free radicals.

-Features small amounts of minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

How to Use Mastic Gum

Some popular ways to use and consume mastic gum include:

-Chewing the resin directly as a breath freshener and digestive aid, as was traditionally done. It releases compounds slowly through the saliva.

-Adding mastic gum powder or flakes to water or teas and drinking it as a tonic beverage. Can add flavor and possible benefits.

-Mixing a mastic gum tincture into water, juices or smoothies for oral consumption. May be easier for some than chewing the resin.

-Applying mastic gum gel or cream topically to wounds, sore gums, toenail fungus, or other skin issues as needed. May provide antifungal, antibacterial relief.

-Taking mastic gum in capsule or tablet supplement form for convenient oral dosage if not chewing the resin directly. Follow product instructions.

Overall, mastic gum is a uniquely beneficial natural product with a long history of traditional use that is finding modern validation through scientific research. When used as part of a healthy lifestyle, it may safely provide various oral, digestive, skin and general health support.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it