What is mastic gum?

Mastic gum (Pistacia lentiscus) is a unique resin from a tree grown in the Mediterranean. For centuries, the resin was used to improve digestion, oral health, and liver health. Mastic gum comes from the mastic tree, an evergreen shrub that grows on the Greek island of Chios. Individuals have used mastic gum because of its medicinal properties for centuries, dating back to the 5th century BC. Evidence indicates that mastic gum is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial qualities. Someone could chew mastic gum like regular chewing gum or ingest it in powder, capsule form, or essential oil. No research has shown that mastic gum may deal with any specific conditions. Nevertheless, there's some evidence to indicate that it might help with stomach upset and dental cavities problems. Mastic gum has a low risk of severe side effects. However, individuals should always ask a doctor before using any other organic supplements.

 It contains antioxidants that are thought to support its curative properties. Based upon your personal need, mastic gum can be chewed like gum or used in powders, tinctures, and capsules. It is also possible to apply mastic essential oil topically to help treat specific skin ailments.

What are the benefits of mastic gum, and how you can add this complementary treatment to your routine? Find out more about the applications and advantages of mastic gum, in addition to some potential risks.

See: Moringa Health Benefits & Side Effects

Mastic gum health benefits

- Reducing stomach pain and heartburn

Mastic gum can help with certain digestive issues. One study found that people who used mastic gum had an improvement in specific kinds of indigestion and stomach pain. They had less stomach pain and less heartburn. The people in the study were given 350 mg of mastic gum three times every day.

A research report found that mastic gum may ease abdominal discomfort, pain, and inflammation. Mastic gum's positive impact on digestion might result from the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory chemicals it contains. Further research may be needed to find out more about the specific mechanics in which mastic gum functions. Take 250 milligrams (mg) of mastic gum capsules four times every day. You could also add two drops of mastic gum to 50 milliliters (mL) of water to create a mouthwash. Do not swallow the liquid.

- Reducing Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the gut

A disease with H. pylori germs is a significant risk factor for stomach disorders. These bacteria may also be a risk factor for stomach cancer. Previous studies have found that mastic gum has antibacterial capabilities against H. pylori. A study from 2010 found that mastic gum did apparent H. pylori infections better than placebo after 14 days. Another report says that mastic gum can kill H. pylori, but that studies haven't proven it may clear an H. pylori disease completely. In another study, researchers analyzed mastic gum in the shape of essential oil from H. pylori. The oil had antibacterial effects against certain breeds of H. pylori, which are resistant to antibiotics.

Researchers found these effects at a lab, however -- not in people. Individuals who would like to use mastic gum to help with the symptoms of ulcers may try taking 350 mg twice each day. Studies show people who took these amounts didn't have severe side effects. It may help clear H. pylori bacteria. The research found that mastic gum can kill off Helicobacter pylori germs. The study noted that 19 out of 52 participants successfully cleared the disease after chewing mastic gum for two weeks. Participants who took an antibiotic along with chewing mastic gum saw the maximum success rate. H. pylori is a gut bacterium linked to ulcers. It has become antibiotic-resistant, but mastic gum remains effective.

You can chew 350 milligrams of pure mastic gum twice daily until the infection has cleared.

- Heal inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) symptoms

Some evidence indicates that mastic gum may also assist with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn's disease. One review notes that mastic gum improved several markers of Crohn's disease in people with active disease. Another study of 60 individuals with IBD found that people who took 2.8 gram of mastic gum daily had significant improvements in their IBD markers after three weeks. 

Mastic gum can help alleviate Crohn's disease symptoms, which is a frequent type of IBD. In a small study, those who took mastic gum for four weeks experienced a substantial decline in the intensity of their inflammatory symptoms. Researchers also found decreased levels of markers of inflammation IL-6 and C-reactive protein. More extensive studies are required to comprehend the precise mechanisms where mastic gum functions. More research is needed that focuses on using mastic gum to deal with Crohn's disease and other types of IBD. Take 2.2 grams (g) of mastic powder split into six doses every day. Keep on use for four weeks.

- Lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels

According to the CDC, having high cholesterol and elevated blood glucose levels can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Studies suggest that mastic gum can help people improve their levels of both. Research in 156 healthy volunteers, as an instance, found that people using mastic gum had reduced total cholesterol and blood glucose after eight weeks. The volunteers that saw an improvement in cholesterol and blood glucose took 330 mg of crude mastic gum three times every day. Individuals who took a placebo or polymer-free mastic and mastic powder didn't have any improvement.

Another small study of healthy Japanese men found that people who took 5 grams each day of mastic powder had lower insulin levels and lower triglyceride levels after six weeks. People who took the powder exercised three times per week had the most significant improvement.

Someone should consult with their physician to maintain their cholesterol and blood glucose at healthy levels. For people who would like to try mastic gum for a nutritional supplement, some research suggests that 330 mg, three times every day, may succeed.

A research study found in 2016 that mastic gum may have a positive impact on cholesterol levels. Participants who took mastic gum experienced lower levels of cholesterol compared to those who took a placebo.

Individuals who took mastic gum also experienced reduced blood sugar levels. Glucose levels are occasionally associated with higher cholesterol levels. Researchers believe that mastic gum may have a more significant impact on individuals who were overweight or obese. 

Take 330 milligrams of mastic gum three times every day. Keep on using it for eight months.

Heal stomach ulcers

Mastic gum can also help treat the symptoms of stomach ulcers or peptic ulcers. An old study in 38 people found that mastic gum can improve the symptoms of stomach ulcers. Individuals who took 1 gram (g) of mastic daily reported decreased ulcer symptoms after two weeks. Individuals who took a placebo didn't report this advantage. Research indicates that taking 1 gram of mastic daily, divided into three doses, may soothe stomach ulcers symptoms.

H. pylori infections can cause peptic ulcers. Research notes that the antibacterial properties of mastic gum may combat H. pylori germs and other ulcer-causing bacteria. This action might be due to the cytoprotective, antibacterial, and mild antisecretory properties. Doses as low as 1 mg every day of mastic gum inhibited bacterial growth. However, newer research is required to further explore these properties and evaluate their effectiveness. Have a daily mastic gum supplement. Follow the dosage information given by the manufacturer.

Helps liver health

According to a 2007 research, mastic gum may help prevent liver damage. Participants who took 5 grams of mastic gum powder for 18 months experienced lower liver enzyme levels associated with liver damage than participants who didn't.

Research is ongoing to find out more about the hepatoprotective effect of mastic gum. One newer study found it effective for protecting the liver while employed as an anti-inflammatory in mice. Take 5 grams of mastic gum powder each day. It is possible to split this amount into three doses to be taken during the day.

- Dental health & cavities

One research study found that chewing mastic gum can help stop cavities. People who chewed mastic gum after 15 minutes, had reduced levels of certain bacteria in their mouths. The bacteria levels were lower after 135 minutes. Placebo did not offer the exact results. Another study found that people who chewed mastic gum had reduced levels of certain bacteria in their mouths. These bacteria may result in plaque and gum disease. Those who would like to use mastic gum for dental health reasons can chew for at least 15 minutes, several times every day.

- Help prevent cavities

Researchers in a 2014 study looked at the impact of three different mastic gum types on both the pH and bacteria amount found in saliva. Participants chewed pure adhesive gum, xylitol mastic gum, or probiotic gum three times per day for three weeks based on their group. Acidic saliva, Mutans streptococci bacterium, and Lactobacilli infection may result in cavities. Researchers found that all three kinds of gum reduced the degree of Mutans streptococci. Even though Lactobacilli levels were slightly raised in the groups with pure and xylitol mastic gums, the Lactobacilli levels decreased in the group using probiotic mastic gum. Probiotic adhesive gum resulted in the pH of the saliva to decrease significantly, making it more acidic. Acidic saliva may result in dental health problems, so probiotic mastic gum is not suggested to prevent cavities. Chew a piece of mastic gum for a minimum of five minutes three times every day can help.

- Help allergic asthma symptoms

Mastic gum has anti-inflammatory properties, which can make it useful in treating allergic asthma. This sort of asthma frequently includes airway inflammation, eosinophilia, and airway hyperresponsiveness. In research on mice, mastic gum significantly inhibited eosinophilia, reduced airway hyperresponsiveness, and inhibited inflammatory chemicals' production. Tests found that mastic gum inhibited cells that respond negatively to allergens and cause airway inflammation. It also had a positive effect on lung fluid and inflammation. 

Potentially fighting cancer

Some early research indicates that mastic oil might help fight certain forms of cancer. Animal studies found that mastic oil had an antitumor effect on colon cancer. Another mouse research found that mastic oil may help with a sort of lung cancer. Mastic oil can also help kill specific kinds of leukemia cells, according to a study. The analysis cited results from lab tests, but researchers haven't yet tested these benefits in people.

Mastic gum isn't an approved cancer treatment, but studies suggest that it might potentially be a cancer-fighting supplement. The typical dose for this is 1 gram every day, divided into three equal doses of 330 mg each. Mastic gum shouldn't replace prescribed cancer therapies. Someone should speak with their physician if they would like to try mastic gum alongside their other remedies.

- Prevent colon cancer

Research indicates that mastic essential oil may also help suppress tumors, which could result in colon cancer. Researchers found that mastic oil inhibited the growth of colon cells in vitro. It inhibited the growth of colon carcinoma tumors in mice. 

- Prevent prostate cancer

Researchers are exploring the mastic gum role in preventing prostate cancer growth. According to a 2006 lab study, mastic gum may inhibit an androgen receptor, which might influence prostate cancer progression. Mastic gum has been shown to weaken the androgen receptor's expression and function in prostate cancer cells. More recent lab studies clarify how this interaction works. Have a daily mastic gum supplement. Follow the dosage information given by the manufacturer.

See: Ayurveda treatment for GERD and Acidity

Mastic gum side effects & precautions

Mastic gum is usually well tolerated. Sometimes, it may lead to headache, upset stomach, and nausea. To minimize side effects, begin with the lowest possible dose and slowly work your way up to the full dose. The U.S. FDA does not regulate supplements like mastic gum. Follow the dosage instructions outlined on the manufacturer label and speak with your doctor if you have any queries. Allergic reactions are also possible, particularly in those who have an allergy to the flowering plant Schinus terebinthifolius or other Pistacia species. You should not take mastic gum if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

See: Ayurveda treatments to prevent and reverse Diabetes Mellitus

Summary

Although mastic is usually considered safe to use, you still need to check in with your physician before use. This alternate remedy isn't intended to replace your doctor-approved treatment program and might interfere with medications you are already taking.

See: Ayurvedic Treatment For Ulcerative Colitis

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See: Low cholesterol food list in diet

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