Mastic gum, also known as Pistacia lentiscus, is a unique resin that is harvested from a tree native to the Mediterranean. Since ancient times, people have used resin to promote better digestion, oral health, and liver health. It is believed to contain antioxidants, which contribute to its therapeutic properties.
Depending on the user’s preferences, it can be consumed either by chewing it as gum or by using it in powder form, tincture form, or capsule form. Additionally, mastic essential oil can be applied topically to treat certain skin conditions.
Learn how to incorporate this complementary therapy into your routine by reading on.
Mastic Gum Benefits
It is a natural resin extracted from the mastic tree and has been used for various health benefits for centuries. Moreover, it has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, making it useful for treating digestive problems such as peptic ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome.
It may also help to reduce cholesterol levels, improve oral health, and boost the immune system. Additionally, it has been shown to have potential benefits for skin health, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and improving skin hydration.
It may Aid in Eradicating H. Pylori Bacteria
According to a small 2010 study, it may kill Helicobacter pylori bacteria . After two weeks of chewing mastic gum, 19 of 52 participants were able to clear the infection, according to researchers. The success rate was highest among participants who took an antibiotic in addition to chewing mastic gum. H. pylori is an intestinal bacterium associated with ulcers. Antibiotic resistance has developed, but mastic gum is still effective .
Dosage Instructions for H Pylori
Chew 350 mg of mastic gum thrice daily until the infection is gone.
It may Alleviate Digestive Problems
According to a 2005 article, it can alleviate inflammation, pain, and abdominal discomfort . The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds found in mastic gum may be responsible for its digestive benefits. More research is required to understand better the precise mechanisms by which mastic gum works.
Dosage Instructions for Digestive Problems
Consume 250 milligrams (mg) of mastic gum capsules four times daily. You can also create a mouthwash by combining two drops of mastic gum oil with 50 mL (milliliters) of water. Do not ingest the liquid.
It may Aid in Ulcer Treatment
H. pylori infections can cause peptic ulcers . Earlier research indicates that mastic gum’s antibacterial properties can combat H. pylori and six other ulcer-causing bacteria . This could be attributable to its antibacterial, cytoprotective, and mild antisecretory properties.
Researchers discovered that as little as 1 mg of mastic gum per day inhibited bacterial growth. Still, additional research is required to investigate these properties and evaluate their effectiveness.
Dosage Instructions for Ulcers
Take a mastic gum supplement daily. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer regarding dosage.
Mastic Gum may Reduce Cholesterol Levels
A study that was conducted in 2016 found that chewing mastic gum can have a positive impact on one’s cholesterol levels . Participants who chewed mastic gum for eight weeks had lower total cholesterol levels than those who received a placebo. This difference was significant.
People who chewed mastic gum had significantly lower glucose levels in their blood. Sometimes, elevated glucose levels are associated with high cholesterol levels. Mastic gum was found to have a greater impact on individuals who were overweight or obese, according to the research findings. Still, additional research with a larger sample size is required to determine the potential efficacy with certainty.
Dosage Instructions for Lowering Cholesterol
Consume 330 mg of mastic gum three times daily. Maintain for eight weeks.
It may Help Alleviate Inflammatory Bowel Disease Symptoms (IBD)
A common type of inflammatory bowel disease called Crohn’s disease is thought to be helped by mastic gum, according to a review published in 2015 . (IBD).
People who took mastic gum for a period of four weeks were found to experience a significant reduction in the severity of their inflammatory symptoms, according to the findings of a small study. The levels of IL-6 and C-reactive protein, both of which are inflammatory markers, were also found to be reduced by the researchers.
More research is needed to understand better the precise mechanisms by which mastic gum works. The use of mastic gum to treat Crohn’s disease and other forms of IBD requires additional study.
Dosage Instructions for IBD
Consume 2,2 grams (g) of mastic powder in 6 divided doses per day. Maintain for four weeks.
Mastic Gum Improves Liver Health in General
According to research published in 2007, mastic gum may help protect the liver from damage . The liver enzymes associated with liver damage were lower in participants who consumed 5 grams of mastic gum powder daily for 18 months than in participants who did not.
Mastic gum has been shown to have hepatoprotective effects, and studies are still being conducted to learn more about this phenomenon.
Dosage Instructions for the Liver
Consume 5 grams of mastic gum powder daily. This quantity can be divided into three doses to be taken throughout the day.
It may be Useful for Treating Allergic Asthma Symptoms
Mastic gum is known to have anti-inflammatory effects, which could make it a useful treatment option for allergic asthma. Inflammation of the airways, eosinophilia, and hyperreactivity of the airways are frequently seen in people who suffer from this form of asthma.
Mastic gum was used in a study conducted in 2011 on mice, and it was found to inhibit eosinophilia, decrease airway hyperresponsiveness, and inhibit the production of inflammatory substances . It had a positive effect on both the fluid in the lungs and the inflammation. According to findings from studies conducted in vitro, mastic gum inhibits cells that have an adverse reaction to allergens and cause inflammation of the airways.
Although these findings are encouraging, more research is needed to determine whether or not they are effective in treating human patients.
Dosage Instructions for Asthma
Take four capsules containing 250 mg of mastic gum per day.
Mastic Gum may Prevent Tooth Decay or Cavities
Researchers examined the impact of three types of mastic gum on the pH and bacterial count of saliva in a 2014 study . Participants chewed pure mastic gum, xylitol mastic gum, or probiotic gum three times per day for three weeks, depending on their group.
Acidic saliva, Mutans streptococci bacteria, and Lactobacilli bacteria can lead to cavities. Researchers discovered that all three types of gum diminished Mutans streptococci levels. The pure and xylitol mastic gum groups experienced a slight increase in Lactobacilli levels. However, Lactobacilli levels decreased significantly in the group that consumed probiotic mastic gum.
It is important to note that probiotic mastic gum significantly decreased the pH of the saliva, making it more acidic. Because acidic saliva can cause dental health problems, probiotic mastic gum is not recommended for cavity prevention.
Further research with larger sample sizes is required.
Dosage Instructions for Cavities
Chew three pieces of mastic gum daily. Chew the gum for at least five minutes after meals.
It may aid in Colon Cancer Prevention
Research conducted in 2017 suggests that mastic essential oil may also inhibit the growth of tumors that are associated with colon cancer . Researchers discovered that mastic oil inhibited colon cell growth in vitro. It was found to effectively prevent the growth of colon cancer tumors in mice when given in the diet. Additional research is required to expand on these findings.
Dosage Instructions for Colon Cancer
Take a mastic gum supplement daily. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer regarding dosage.
It may Aid in Prostate Cancer Prevention
The role that mastic gum may play in preventing the development of prostate cancer is currently the subject of research. According to the findings of a study conducted in 2006, mastic gum can inhibit an androgen receptor, which may affect the progression of prostate cancer . In prostate cancer cells, mastic gum has been shown to inhibit both the expression of the androgen receptor and its function.
This has been demonstrated scientifically. Recent laboratory research explains how this interaction operates . Research on humans is necessary to validate and broaden the scope of these findings.
Dosage Instructions for Prostate Cancer
Take four 250 mg capsules of mastic gum daily.
Mastic Gum Side Effects and Risks
In general, mastic gum is well tolerated. Sometimes, it may cause headaches, stomach upset, and vertigo.
To minimize side effects, begin with the smallest dose possible and gradually increase it to the full dose.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements like mastic gum. You should only buy mastic gum from a reputable manufacturer. Always follow the dosage instructions on the label, and if you have any questions, consult your doctor.
Additionally, allergic reactions are possible, particularly in those who are allergic to Schinus terebinthifolius or other Pistacia species.
You should not consume mastic gum while pregnant or nursing.
Bottomline: Mastic Gum Benefits & Uses
Although mastic is generally considered safe, you should still consult a physician before using it. This alternative treatment is not intended to replace your doctor-prescribed regimen and may interact negatively with your current medications.
You can incorporate the supplement into your daily routine with your physician’s consent. You can reduce your risk of side effects by beginning with a low dose and gradually increasing it.
If you experience any unusual or persistent side effects, you should discontinue use and consult a physician.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.
Editorial References And Fact-Checking
- Dabos, K. J., Sfika, E., Vlatta, L. J., & Giannikopoulos, G. (2010). The effect of mastic gum on Helicobacter pylori: a randomized pilot study. Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology, 17(3-4), 296–299. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2009.09.010
- Miyamoto, T., Okimoto, T., & Kuwano, M. (2014). Chemical Composition of the Essential Oil of Mastic Gum and their Antibacterial Activity Against Drug-Resistant Helicobacter pylori. Natural products and bioprospecting, 4(4), 227–231. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13659-014-0033-3
- Kaliora, A. C., Dedoussis, G., & Andrikopoulos, N.K. (2005). Mastic gum and gastrointestinal diseases. ANNALS OF GASTROENTEROLOGY, 18(2), 110-111. http://www.annalsgastro.gr/index.php/annalsgastro/article/download/315/284/
- helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection – Symptoms and causes. (2022, May 5). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/h-pylori/symptoms-causes/syc-20356171
- Huwez, F. U., Thirlwell, D., Cockayne, A., & Ala’Aldeen, D. A. (1998). Mastic gum kills Helicobacter pylori. The New England journal of medicine, 339(26), 1946. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199812243392618
- Kartalis, A., Didagelos, M., Georgiadis, I., Benetos, G., Smyrnioudis, N., Marmaras, H., Voutas, P., Zotika, C., Garoufalis, S., & Andrikopoulos, G. (2016). Effects of Chios mastic gum on cholesterol and glucose levels of healthy volunteers: A prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, pilot study (CHIOS-MASTIHA). European journal of preventive cardiology, 23(7), 722–729. https://doi.org/10.1177/2047487315603186