Mastic is a resin produced by the mastic tree. Mastic gum is made by sun drying the sap produced by the tree. The brittle and translucent resin when chewed becomes a bright white and opaque gum. Mastic tastes bitter at first but after some chewing releases a refreshing cedar like flavor.
Mastic has been used since the ancient times as a chewing gum, hence the name. Mastic gum has been used as a spice in the Eastern Mediterranean. Uses of mastic include desserts, jams and ice cream flavors. Mastic flavored chewing-gum is used in Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece.
Mastic gum has been used by the people of Chios ( an island in Greece) and throughout the Mediterranean as a gastrointestinal remedy for thousands of years. The antibacterial properties of this resin can destroy the H.pylori bacteria, responsible for more than 60% cases of Peptic ulcers.
Due to its soothing properties, Mastic gum is now being considered as a treatment for Acid reflux, gastritis, stomach ulcers and inflammatory bowel diseases.
In a research conducted, people who consumed 5 grams of mastic powder for 18 months, their level of LDL cholesterol was significantly reduced. The total cholesterol and lipo proteins were also reduced.
Long term intake of mastic can prove beneficial for your heart by lowering your bad cholesterol levels and maintaining a normal cardiac output.
Mastic gum contains compounds which inhibit the growth of S. mutans, a bacteria commonly known to cause plaque and dental caries. In a research conducted with 25 children averaging 14 years, mastic significantly reduced bacteria and plaque formation.
Gum bleeding is severe case of gingivitis in which the swollen gums start bleeding. If the reason behind it is excessive plaque formation or bacterial growth, mastic gum can impressively conquer those factors.
Because of its good calcium content, mastic gum is known to strengthen bones with its regular use. Mastic gum also helps calcium in people with underlying inflammatory diseases, which makes calcium absorption from the gut quite difficult.
A healthy dose of mastic gum, ranging from 500 mg to 1 g daily can significantly tone down inflammation as well as decrease the risks of osteoporosis.