Mastic, also known as ‘tears of Chios’, is produced in the Greek island of Chios. The trees of the island ‘weep’ droplets of this natural plant resin, and as a result, create magical tears.
Mastic has been harvested for at least 2,500 years, since Greek antiquity.
The first mention of actual mastic ‘tears’ was by Greek physician Hippocrates, who is often referred to as the ‘Father of Medicine’. Hippocrates used mastic for the prevention of digestive problems, colds and as a breath freshener.
Harvesting mastic takes place each year between July and October and it can be purchased in a powder-like form or in brittle, translucent ‘tear-shaped’ droplets.
Long known for its numerous health benefits, mastic is a natural ingredient also known for its multiple uses that can be incorporated into a daily routine.
Whether used for cooking sweet or savoury foods, chewing gum, eating delicious creations or body products, the ingredient has come a long way, from the inside of a strong tree on the Greek Island of Chios, onto the shelves of stores around the world.
The health benefits of mastic include, but are not limited, to:
- Relief of digestive issues
- Positive effect on cholesterol levels
- Prevention of cavities
- Easing symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease
- Boosting oral hygiene
The wide range of health benefits provided by mastic is the reason why this natural ingredient has been used in a variety of products to fit perfectly in one’s everyday life. When deciding where to find a dose of mastic, whether it be for its distinct flavour or numerous health benefits there are many forms to choose from.
Sprinkle mastic in your next home-cooked meal
Mastic has been used in traditional Greek foods for centuries. The special ingredient is used in baked items such as Tsoureki, a type of Greek Easter bread, to decadent desserts bursting with flavour. In modern times, mastic powder is used more commonly around the globe as chefs add a dash of it to create a whole new burst of flavour. Mastic can be used in small quantities in both sweet and savoury meals; it tastes best when it is paired with salt or sugar to control the flavour. When opting for sweet options, mastic works best with foods such as ice creams, custards and tarts. Savoury options include using mastic as seasoning for meats and poultry and also in marinades and olive oils.
Enjoy a cold refreshing scoop of mastic on a hot summer day.
Mastic ice cream is the Greek equivalent of vanilla ice cream. It is uniquely flavoured and provides consistency, unlike any other flavour. Mastic ice cream stands out from any regular ice cream due to its intense creaminess and intriguing elasticity. So when deciding to dive into mastic ice cream, one can expect not only to be licking it but also to be chewing it.
Apply mastic to your skin care routine
Aside from its delicious properties, mastic is also known for its use as a natural remedy that is used in skincare. Mastic is used in face and body products and is known to have magical properties that leave individuals with a refreshed and clear complexion.
During ancient times, mastic was used in luxury soaps and skincare creams made solely for upper-class women. In modern days, the resin is known to assist with cleansing skin, reducing signs of ageing, boosting collagen formation and minimising the appearance of large pores. This popular resin provides a wide range of advantages also due to the fact that has no known association with any skin irritation or allergy.
For centuries, mastic has been known for its oral health benefits, which is why this resin is the perfect ingredient in chewing gum. Its unique flavour provides a difference to everyday gum, and its accruing benefits should leave no question when deciding which chewing gum to choose. These benefits include; protecting dental health, reducing stomach pain and heartburn and preventing cavities.
Overall, mastic is a natural and powerful resin that can easily be included in a variety of aspects of one’s life either as a go-to chewing gum or to curb a sweet craving or by lathering on with their next skincare routine. Its unique flavour and associated health benefits makes the magical mastic from Chios one item to look out for on the next shopping trip.
Read more about mastic on Greek City Times