Mastic is called the aromatic natural resin. It is extracted from the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus var. Chia), which is cultivated in Chios. Mastic is used in food, medicine and industry.
The history of Mastic is very old and can be brought back to the classical age. Many ancient writers, mentioned Mastic for its healing properties like Pliny, Theophrastus, Dioskouridis, Galenus. Her medicinal properties were also known to Hippocrates and the ladies of Rome used toothpicks from mastic tree because of their whitening properties. The earliest information about Mastic comes from Herodotus in the 5th century BC. Moreover, Mastic from the tenth century becomes famous for the travelers who visited Chios.
In the later years, Mastic began to relate directly to the history of Chios.
Chios Mastic has been recognized since ancient times, for its particular aroma and for its healing properties. It has been recorded as the first natural gum of the ancient world, which used to clean the teeth and freshness of breath. They were still using it in cosmetics, for cleansing the face and body. It participated as an active ingredient in a series of pharmaceutical prescriptions and medicines, which have been registered at international pharmaceutical industry . It has also been distinguished over the centuries because of its beneficial properties in human health and the contribution to relief from various diseases.
In modern times, the scientific community, although with a delay, but with scientifically acceptable methods, confirms and substantiates the beneficial power of Mastiha Chios. It is scientifically proven that Mastic Chios has beneficial effects against digestive diseases, contributes to oral hygiene, has significant antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory action, is also a natural antioxidant, while it is contributing to wound healing and regeneration of the epidermis.
Nowadays, a series of announcements in journals of international prestige, confirms the historically recorded properties of Chios Mastic. These announcements are based on the results of laboratory research and clinical studies conducted by independent researchers both in Greece and worldwide. As a result they gradually reveal that Mastic Chios has unique beneficial and healing properties.
It should be noted that the Mastic trees are also found in other Mediterranean countries, but only in Chios there are mastic shrubs and more specifically in the southern part of the island, where the climate is warm and dry.
Many attempts have been made to be the mastic produced by this plant in other parts of the globe, but without result. Scientists haven’t found yet the reason why mastic does not thrives in any other part of the planet. However, the most likely reason is the special climate of the island of Chios.