Mastic is the resin of Pistacia lentiscus, a shrub of the sumac family (Anacardiaceae) found in the Mediterranean regions of France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey and Africa. Mastic has been used historically for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure) in the Mediterranean regions of Spain. It has also been used since the 13th Century for the treatment of dyspepsia (upset stomach) and abdominal discomfort. Mastic has also been used in dentistry as a filling for cavities and in surgery as a varnish to cover wounds.
Further trials are needed to confirm the anti-ulcer activity of mastic and to establish any benefit mastic may have over conventional pharmaceutical treatment for ulcer.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Mastic has shown antibacterial activity against Helicobacter pylori in vitro, therefore, mastic gum may reduce the amount of dental plaque in users. However, more research is needed in this area, including studies comparing mastic gum to other forms of oral hygiene before a recommendation can be made.
Mastic has been used by traditional Mediterranean healers to treat intestinal ulcers since the 13th Century. Mastic has been shown to have antibacterial action against Helicobacter pylori in vitro, which may help to explain its ulcer-healing properties. Additional research is needed to make a strong recommendation.
Mastic may decrease the severity of induced gastric ulceration, but its exact mechanism of action is unknown. Additionally, mastic has been shown to have antibacterial action against Helicobacter pylori in vitro, which may help to explain its ulcer-healing properties. Additional study is needed in this area.