Radio Botanical EP 1 & 2: Mastic Gum

Introducing . . . Radio Botanical!

Listen to Radio Botanical – where Miranda and Lucas explore the history, geography, traditional knowledge, current medical research on medicinal plants from around the world AND discuss how you can harness the power of plant medicines in your own life. This week we’re chewing on a bit of aromatic Mediterranean medicinal heritage – Chios Mastic Gum. 

Mastic gum has been prescribed in medical texts for at least 2000 years. In the 21st century it’s been designated as a natural remedy by the European Medicines Agency and a protected European heritage product on the Greek island of Chios. In the science world it’s been studied extensively as a gastroprotective and an antimicrobial product- more specifically as an anti-H. Pylori agent. Also, FYI, it’s technically a resin from the Pistacia Lentiscus tree – not a gum or sap. 

Stick with us, and you’ll hear:

  • Why wars were (sort of) fought and lost over Mastic Gum
  • How a medieval fortress city preserved the traditional production of the Chios Mastic Gum cultivar (Pistacia lentiscus var. Chia)
  • Why Turkish sultans were obsessed with Mastic Gum
  • How Mastic Gum is related to Pistachio nuts
  • Why resins are different than gums and saps and why that matters in a medicine
  • What the heck are plant secondary compounds and secondary metabolites?
  • Why the smell of pine trees may be the source of Mastic Gum’s benefits (hint: α-pinene)
  • How and what we know about Mastic Gum benefits from current scientific research studies
  • And who is the mysterious Lucas and why is he even bothering with botanicals?

And small clarifications from episode 1: Arsenic can be found in plants in certain environments. It is an element, not a naturally occurring plant compound. 

Listen to PART 1

Listen to PART 2

so how can you harness the benefits of mastic gum?

Mastic Gum is one of the most powerful ingredients used in Pyloristat, the number one botanical formula in our Anti-H. Pylori Stomach Wellness Program. If you are dealing with H. Pylori and/or gastric complaints, you can purchase Pyloristat and check out our program handbook hereIf any of the other potential benefits of Mastic Gum seem relevant to you, you can can also purchase pure Chios Mastic Gum here

And as promised, the chios mastic growers association documentary.

Check out our mastic gum resources!

Miranda’s science-y resources (in order of podcast discussion):  

  1. Mahjoub F, et al. Pistacia atlantica Desf. A review of its traditional uses, phytochemicals and pharmacology. Journal of Medicine and Life. 2018;11(3):180-186. doi:10.25122/jml-2017-0055
  2. Lardos A, et al. Resins and Gums in Historical Iatrosophia Texts from Cyprus – A Botanical and Medico-pharmacological Approach. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2011;2. doi:10.3389/fphar.2011.00032
  3. Pinheiro, M. et al. Gastroprotective effect of a-pinene and its correlation with antiulcinergic activity of essential oils obtained from Hyptis species. Pharmacognosy Magazine. 2015, 11(41): 123-130. doi:
    10.4103/0973-1296.149725
  4. Kim S, Memon A, et al. Gastroprotective effect of phytoncide extract from Pinus koraiensis pinecone in Helicobacter pylori infection. Scientific Reports. 2020;10(1):9547. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-66603-8
  5. Papada E, et al. An Absorption and Plasma Kinetics Study of Monoterpenes Present in Mastiha Oil in Humans. Foods. 2020;9(8). doi:10.3390/foods9081019
  6. Paraschos S, et al. In vitro and in vivo activities of Chios mastic gum extracts and constituents against Helicobacter pylori. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 2007;51(2):551-559. doi:10.1128/AAC.00642-06
  7. Rahman H. Phytochemical analysis and antioxidant and anticancer activities of mastic gum resin from Pistacia atlantica subspecies kurdica. OncoTargets and Therapy. 2018;Volume 11:4559-4572. doi:10.2147/OTT.S170827
  8. Baker DA. Plants against Helicobacter pylori to combat resistance: An ethnopharmacological review. Biotechnology Reports. 2020;26:e00470. doi:10.1016/j.btre.2020.e00470
  9. Memariani Z, et al. Protective effect of essential oil of Pistacia atlantica Desf. on peptic ulcer: role of α-pinene. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2017;37(1):57-63. doi:10.1016/S0254-6272(17)30027-4
  10. Di Lodovico S, et al. Pistacia vera L. oleoresin and levofloxacin is a synergistic combination against resistant Helicobacter pylori strains. Science Reports. 2019;9(1):4646. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-40991-y

Other Resources Consulted

  1. Camarda L, et al. Natural resins: Chemical constituents and medicinal uses. Resin Composites: Properties, Production and Applications. Published online April 1, 2011:353-374.
  2. Gad H, et al. Phytochemical discrimination of Pinus species based on GC–MS and ATR-IR analyses and their impact on Helicobacter pylori. Phytochemical Analysis. n/a(n/a). doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/pca.3028
  3. Kim D-I, et al. Chios mastic gum inhibits influenza A virus replication and viral pathogenicity. Journal of General Virology. 102(3):001550. doi:10.1099/jgv.0.001550
  4. Marone P, et al. Bactericidal Activity of Pistacia lentiscus Mastic Gum Against Helicobacter pylori. Journal of Chemotherapy. 2001;13(6):611-614. doi:10.1179/joc.2001.13.6.611
  5. Pachi VK, et al. Traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology of Chios mastic gum (Pistacia lentiscus var. Chia, Anacardiaceae): A review. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2020;254:112485. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2019.112485
  6. Rauf A, et al. Phytochemical, ethnomedicinal uses and pharmacological profile of genus Pistacia. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy. 2017;86:393-404. doi:10.1016/j.biopha.2016.12.017
Lucas’ semi-“stantiated” resources: 
 
  1. www.secondshistory.com/home/mastic
  2. www.ethnobotanyjournal.org/index.php/era/article/view/372
  3. www.greektravel.com/greekislands/chios/columbus/index.html
  4. www.greektravel.com/greekislands/chios/mastic-villages.htm