Mastic (Pistacia lentiscus)


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 is sometimes referred to as "arabic gum," which is not to be confused with "gum arabic," a different substance consisting of hardened sap from the acacia tree (Acacia senegal, Acacia seyal). Other plant parts of Pistacia lentiscus, such as the leaf, may contain compounds not present in the resin.
Pistacia lentiscus has been traditionally used to treat high blood pressure and upset stomach. It has also been used for ulcers and may have antibacterial activity against the bacteria that plays a role in some ulcers (Helicobacter pylori). Further trials are needed to confirm the antiulcer activity of Pistacia lentiscus and to establish any benefit that it may have over other conventional treatments for ulcer. There is currently insufficient high-quality scientific evidence in support of Pistacia lentiscus for other uses, such as other gastrointestinal disorders and dental plaque.

Related Terms

1,2,3,4,6-Pentagalloylglucose, aldehydes, alpha-phellandrene, alpha-pinene, alpha-terpineol, alpha-terpinolene, alpha-tocopherol, Anacardiaceae (family), anthocyanins, arabic gum, arabino-galactan proteins, arbre de mastic (French), beta-caryophyllene, beta-myrcene, beta-pinene, cadmium, chios mastic gum, chios tears, çori, copper, crude fat, delta(3)-carene, digallic acid, (E)-beta-ocimene, fatty acids, gallic acid, germacrene D, iron, legeltxor (Basque), lentisc, lentisco (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish), lentisco mastich, lentisk, lentisque (French), limonene, linalool, linolenic acid, llentiscle, manganese, mastich, mastichic acid resin, masticin resin, mastick, mastick tree, mastiek (Dutch), mastiha, Mastisol®, mastix (Danish, Czech, Slovak Swedish), Masitx (German), Mastixpistazie (German), matich, methyl oleanonate, myrcene, nickel, oleic acid, palmitic acid, p-cymene, perillyl alcohol, phytosterols, pinene, pistache, Pistacia lentiscus, Pistacia lentiscus L. (lentisk), Pistacia lentiscus L. var. chia, Pistacia lentiscus var. chia, pistheqa-pesag, sabinene, Saladin, schînos, schísei, sumac family, terpinen-4-ol, tirucallol, trans-caryophyllene, triterpenic acids, triterpenic alcohols, verbenone, (Z)-ocimene, zinc.

evidence table

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.
Crohn's disease (Grade: C)
Although preliminary evidence suggests mastic may be beneficial for individuals with Crohn's disease, conclusions cannot be drawn at this time. Further researchis required.
Dental plaque (Grade: C)
Mastic has shown antibacterial activity against
Duodenal ulcer (Grade: C)
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
Dyspepsia (Grade: C)
Early research suggests that mastic gum may help decrease symptoms associated with dyspepsia (indigestion). Further well-designed research is required before conclusions can be drawn.
Gastric ulcer (Grade: C)
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 infection (Grade: C)
Although not well studied in humans, mastic has been shown to have antibacterial action against