Mastika is a vegetable resin obtained from lentisk trees, scientific name Pistacia lentiscus (L.) var. chia. The latex that comes out from the trunks of these plants solidifies in contact with air becoming a hard resin with a drop shape that is often called the tears of Chios, from the name of the Greek island where the lentisks are cultivated from which the Mastika is extracted. Herodotus, the Greek historian lived in the 5th century BC, Galen and Dioscorides, two physicians of antiquity, spoke of the mastika and its healing properties, while nowadays several scientific studies have focused their attention on the healthy properties of this resin. Let's try to understand better.
This resin is a powerful source of beneficial compounds, including phenols, phytosterols and terpenes that give it antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Mastika, in particular, is truly beneficial for the health of the gastrointestinal tract. In fact, this resin is recognized by the European medicines agency as a natural remedy in case of dyspepsia, or poor digestion (Papada et al, Antioxidants, 2019). Not only that, the mastika protects the health of the microbiota, namely the set of bacteria that form the intestinal flora, and the liver, helping in case of fatty liver and reducing the levels of ALT in the blood, namely those enzymes that, when in high quantities, indicate liver damages (Kannt et al, Mol Nutr Food Res, 2019). Scientific studies have also observed that mastika counteracts the action of Helicobacter pylori, one of the main causes of gastric ulcer (Paraschos et al, Curr Med Chem, 2012). And how we can forget the action of mastika on oral hygiene, in fact it has been observed that chewing this resin helps to reduce the formation of plaque on the teeth and the bacterial growth in saliva (Takahashi et al, J Periodontol, 2003). Finally, mastika also works by lowering cholesterol and triglycerides and helping to keep blood sugar under control (Georgiadis et al, J Med Food, 2015 - Kartalis et al, Eur J Prev Cardiol, 2016).
Therefore, chewing mastika helps prevent inflammation in the stomach, helps in case of ulcer but also in case of sour stomach. It protects the health of the mouth and heart. If you can find mastika pearls, they can be indeed purchased online, you can chew a drop like a chew gum. Otherwise you can find mastika tablets to be taken with a glass of water before meals and until symptoms resolve.