Mastic Is More Than An Antibacterial

Mastic or masticha (pistachios schinus-lentiscus) is a resin from the mastic (schinos) tree primarily grown on the island of Chios Greece where it has a protected designation of origin from the EU. The resin is extracted from the trees’ trunk by scarring it and collecting the sap. It comes in a form of a yellowy translucent type of brittle droplet. From a hard tear of sap, it becomes a soft mass when chewed with a flavor reminiscent of a fresh pine or cedar scent. It takes about 50 years for the tree to be fully developed and has a lifespan of about 100 years.

Since ancient times it’s been used for its antimicrobial benefits and other medicinal purposes. Physicians such as Hippocrates, father of medicine and Dioscorides, author of De Materia Medica (About Medical Substances) written in the first century, have praised it. Acclaimed by them for mastics assistance in healing, digestive issues and general oral hygiene.
In the culinary department, the Greeks used it traditionally as a food preservative for its antibacterial properties. It’s also used to add flavor for a number of goods such as cakes, sweets, liqueurs and drinks.

In the cosmetics industry it’s antiseptic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, softening and healing properties make it ideal for skin care products such as moisturizers, soaps, body lotions and face masks. Another small wonder of nature adding to the spice and enhancement of our lives.

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