If you’ve been around with us for a while, you already know how repeatedly we’ve been recommending young adults to try Mastic gum as a facial exercising tool for their jawline. Why? Because the benefits of Mastic gum were discovered very early on but ancient experts. Mastic gum was often reached out to for its anti-inflammatory properties in medical and non-medical practices.
Let’s dive deep into the benefits and risks associated with this gum to finally conclude whether we should be chewing mastic gum or not!
What is Mastic Gum?
Mastic gum (Pistacia lentiscus) is a resin that is derived from a tree. For a very long time, the resin has been known to improve digestion, oral hygiene, and liver condition. It is also well known for its antioxidants that give its therapeutic characteristics a boost.
In simpler terms, Mastic gum a sap-like substance, that is produced by the mastic tree. The mastic tree is an all-season shrub that grows on the Greek island of Chios.
Mastic gum is used for a variety of benefits. Depending on your personal need, mastic gum can be chewed as a substitute for gum or used in powders, capsules, etc. Some also commonly use mastic essential oil to treat skin conditions of a certain type.
Mastic Gum in Ancient History
Mastic gum has been in use for centuries and centuries. It is found in the traditional Greek culinary dishes ranging from savory sauces to desserts to add flavor. Mastic gum is also a top ingredient in the liquor they manufacture called mastika.
The Greeks were way ahead of us and knew about the medicinal capabilities of mastic gum for ages. Pedanios Dioscorides, the “Patron Saint of Herbal Medicine” wrote about the wonders of mastic gum in a book called De Materia Medica in 70 AD.
During the research, Dioscorides noted many benefits of mastic gum, including the fact that it helped treat internal bleeding (stomach ulcer), strengthens teeth, and fights coughs. Some of his observations are now being confirmed by research and taking the forefront.
There are many greek folktales surrounding the Mastic tree. In one of them, when St. Isidore was tortured by the Roman troops, he was left to bleed under a mastic tree. It is said that the tree sympathized with him and started to cry. While doing so, its teardrops took the form of mastic gum and helped him heal.
In another tale, it is believed the secret to mastic gum is the underwater volcanoes of Chios. These volcanoes produce accurate conditions that allow the mastic trees to bleed aka produce their resin.
How Does Mastic Gum Work?
Mastic gum can help reduce stomach acidity and also protect the lining of the stomach and intestine. Mastic also contains an essential oil that can potentially kill bacteria making it anti-bacterial. It can also be used as a breath freshener. In a test tube, mastic seems to fight bacteria and fungi.
There have been studies related to the Mastic gum, however, they have been small in scale. Experts need more large-scale, human-based studies on mastic gum before they start to recommend it as a treatment for serious health conditions.
What is Mastic Gum used for? | Uses and Benefits of Mastic Gum
A study in 2007 found that chewing mastic gum helped prevent cavities. People who chewed mastic gum for 15 minutes had lower levels of bacterias in their mouths than people who didn’t. The bacteria levels were even lower after 135 minutes i.e. 2.25 hours.
Cholesterol and Blood Sugar
There is an increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes to people having high cholesterol and high blood sugar levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A study on around 150 volunteers, found that those consuming mastic gum had lower total cholesterol and blood sugar after 8 weeks of consumption.
Reducing Stomach Pain and Heartburn
A study found that people who used mastic gum showed an improvement in certain types of indigestion issues and stomach aches. The people involved in the study took 350mg of mastic gum thrice a day.
Soothing Stomach Ulcers
Mastic gum also helps treat the symptoms of stomach ulcers or peptic ulcers. A study involving 38 people found that mastic gum could improve the symptoms of stomach ulcers. Those who took 1 gram of mastic gum per day reported a reduction in ulcer symptoms after 2 weeks.
Another benefit of Mastic gum is reducing infection with H. pylori bacteria that is a major risk factor for stomach ulcers. These bacteria may also be a risk factor for stomach cancer.
Soothing Inflammatory Bowel Disease
There is some evidence suggesting that mastic gum could help with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease. A study of 60 people with IBD that took 2.8 g of mastic per day, found that they had significant improvements in their IBD after 3 months.
Mastic Gum for Jawline
We highly recommend chewing Mastic gum for working out your facial muscles including the masseter muscles for a more defined jawline.
If you are wondering what the best picks for Mastic Gum are, here you go:
- Greek Chios (Xios) by Chios Mastiha Growers Association
- FAMA Classic Chios Mastic Gum
- Krinos Imported Mastic Gum
An Alternative: Falim Gum
Another alternative to the Mastic gum is the Turkish Falim gum. Falim has similar durability and comes in various different flavors. It should be noted that all the other health benefits of Mastic gum may not be derived from this alternative, however, it will exercise your jawline the same if chewed on a daily basis.
Risks and Side-effects Of Mastic Gum
Although Mastic gum is considered safe, it is not known at what level a dose may become excessive, and hence excessive consumption should be avoided at all times.
Mastic gum may cause allergy in some individuals. The mastic tree belongs to the Pistacia family of plants, which also includes the pistachio tree. Hence, people allergic to pistachio nuts should take precautions.
Dosage of Mastic Gum
Mastic gum up to 10 g/day is generally well-tolerated with no side effects. However, it is best to consult a physician beforehand.
The amount of dosage depends on various factors such as an individual’s age and health. Currently, there is not much scientific data to determine the appropriate amount of dose for mastic gum.
Though all-natural, any product can turn harmful if consumed excessively and hence the dosage is important.
Consult your physician or other healthcare professionals before using Mastic gum to treat any of the illnesses listed above. It is advisable to follow relevant directions on product labels before consumption.