Uses of Mastic Gum
Mastic gum is touted as a natural remedy for the following health conditions:
- bacterial infections
- fungal infections
- high cholesterol
- inflammatory bowel disease
- respiratory problems
Health Benefits of Mastic Gum
In laboratory research, scientists have demonstrated that it possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and liver-protecting properties. It contains a number of compounds with health-enhancing effects, including linalool (a substance also found in lavender, orange,rose, and jasmine oils).
Here’s a look at several findings from the available research on the health benefits of mastic gum:
This gum may help treat indigestion, suggests a 2010 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. For the study, 148 people with functional dyspepsia (a type of indigestion with no obvious cause) were assigned to receive either a placebo or mastic gum three times daily. After three weeks, indigestion symptoms were significantly lower in the group assigned to mastic gum (compared to those in the placebo group). Those symptoms included stomach pain and heartburn.
In a 2006 study published in Archives of Oral Biology, researchers found that the gum may help prevent cavities. The study included 25 people with healthy gums, each of whom chewed either mastic gum or a placebo gum for 15 minutes. After analyzing saliva samples taken from the participants both before and after gum-chewing, the study’s authors found that mastic gum was significantly more effective in destroying Streptococcus mutans (a type of bacteria closely linked to the development of cavities).
Preliminary research indicates that the gum may offer anti-cancer benefits, according to a 2011 report published in Nutrition and Cancer. Upon review of the available research on mastic gum and cancer, the report’s authors found that certain compounds in the gum may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and tumors. These compounds include triterpenoids, a type of substance also available in a number of herbs (such as boswellia).
It should be noted that there currently aren’t many clinical trials testing the potentially cancer-fighting effects of mastic gum, so mastic gum cannot be recommended for the prevention or treatment of cancer at this time.
Is It Safe?
Although mastic gum is generally considered safe, some people may experience allergic reactions when using mastic gum. If you experience difficulty breathing, chest pain, hives, or a rash when using mastic gum, it’s crucial to discontinue use immediately.
Where to Find It
Widely available for purchase online, mastic gum (and supplements containing mastic gum) can be found in many natural-foods stores and in stores specializing in dietary supplements.