Pistacia lentiscus

The plant resin of Mastic obtained from the Pistacia Lentiscus Linn tree of the Anacardiaceae family has aphrodisiac properties called Rumi Mastagi in Siddha, Unani and Ayurvedic Medicine is used for seminal weakness.

Its oil is diluted and used externally as a lymphatic and prostate decongestant and for healing adenomas. The dietary gum resin of Mastic, known as its Tear of Chios in Greece ,is effective for muscle spasms and gastrointestinal disorders, including hepatitis, jaundice, sticky blood, IBS, enlarged and fatty liver, liver cirrhosis.

Mastic has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and has shown beneficial for symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Mastic gum resin contains arabino galactane protiens (AGPs) which prevents infection of the bacterium H. Pyroli. It inhibits intestinal damage in inflammatory bowel disease; regulates inflammation and prevents oxidative stress in the intestinal epithelium. Essential oil from mastic gum has shown effective against Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria.

Pistacia lentiscus contains a variety of phytochemical constituents: The Resin and essential oil contains gallic acid, anthocyanins and flavonol glycosides, nortriterpenoids, α-tocopherol and arabino-galactan proteins. It has antiatherogenic, antimicrobial and antimutagenic, antioxidant, antifungal, lipid lowering, hepatoprotective, anticancer, anthelmintic, wound healing, hypotensive, antiarthritic, anti-gout activity and is used in the treatment of functional dyspepsia.

Balan et al reported that 50% ethanolic extract of chios mastic gum (CMG) of Pistacia lentiscus inhibited proliferation and induce apoptosis of HCT116 human colon cancer cells in vitro.

The rarity of mastic and the difficulty of its production make it expensive. As a result, imitations in the form of other resins appear in the market, sold as “mastic,” such as Boswellia or gum arabic. Other trees, such as Pistacia palaestina, can also produce a resin similar to mastic. Yet other substances, such as pine tree resin and almond tree resin are sometimes used in place of mastic.