10 Things you Probably Didn’t Know about Chios Mastiha Tree

“In Mastiha we trust.”, say the Greeks. Yes, this is definitely a tree to rely on! Did you know that mastiha trees can grow at various places, but it’s only on the South of Chios Island that they ooze.

Here’s 10 more things that you probably didn’t know but would love to learn:

  • Speaking of plants that ooze and of mastiha trees being such ones, we must mention that people call them “a tear that pleases, perfumes, relieves, heals”. There are lots of legends about those ‘nature creatures’ and mostly about their valuable healing effects!
  • But why do Chios mastiha trees ooze, after all? It’s said that there’s only one place on the globe where trees release such a specific kind of resin. But you already know this from the very start. So, the legends tell us about St. Isidore of Chios who was put under great martyrdom for being a Christian. People of the island say that the trees existed before Isidore but they became what they are after “witnessing” his desperate death.
mastiha resin
  • Although today mastiha resin is a main component in cosmetics and pharmacy, this doesn’t mean it’s any more modern. In fact, it’s still being extracted in a traditional way. Just the same as they used in antiquity. People make fine cuts throughout the tree bark and cover the soil underneath with white clay. This is to preserve the famous mastiha drops clean as they are.
  • Do you actually know that those beautiful ‘tears’ of the mastiha tree fall as drops, but it takes time to turn into crystals? Yes, it’s between 15 and 20 days – a period after which people are ready to collect the crystal drops by hand.
collecting mastiha drops
  • Long time ago it was Hippocrates, Herodotus and Galen who made the Chios mastiha resin popular as a natural medicine. They used to recommend it against various stomach issues as well as for virus prevention and better blood circulation.
  • As a matter of fact, people from the past used the tree for all kinds of things! For example, the Romans are said to have chewed the drops in order to have whiter teeth and fresher breath. They also added it into wine, who knows why…
  • In case you think it’s just tree drops, let us tell you that during the Byzantine Empire mastiha was only available for the emperor. What’s even more surprising is that anyone who dared to steal this wealth was in grave danger!
  • You can probably remember the “modern” chewing gums there used to be back in the days. It took people plenty of ‘tooth-work’ to make them soft, but they were pretty healthy in the long run. Chios mastiha drops are said to be rich in ursolic and oleanolic acid, which can benefit our health.
  • Today the tree’s ‘tears’ are often a part of the kitchen menu both by professionals and amateurs. They use mastiha as an ingredient in sauces, ice cream, alcohol, non-alcoholic drinks, Turkish delight and many more.
  • Of course, mastiha drops can serve not only as elements in food. Some of the other interesting applications are in the production of toothpaste, flavorful candles, incense and others.

In case you want to try the very famous Chios Mastiha drops right away, go grab them as you click here!

Or you can browse our variety of other mastiha products here.


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