Chios Mastiha

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Chios Mastiha

Chios Mastiha is the world famous gum mastic, produced in Chios island of Greece.

The rare and ubiquitous Mastic Gum, the emblem of Chios, has sustained the local economy and made the island the only producer authorized to produce this natural resin in the world. The activities of producing, collecting, processing, and putting on sale of Mastic Gum are carried out only by the Chios Producers Cooperative.

Mastic tree, an evergreen tree by nature (scientific name of Pistacia lentiscus) from the Iberian Peninsula to France, is grown all over the Mediterranean from Turkey to Israel. However, in Chios, a species specific to Chios (Pistacia lentiscus var Chia) is grown, which produces drop gum and natural gum, a natural resin, is obtained from this tree.

The gum tree that gives drop gum grows only in the south of Chios. The villages where this tree grows are: Lithi, Vessa, Elata, Mesta, Olympioi, Pyrgi, Armolia, Kalamoti, Patrika, Flatsia, Nenita, Vouno, Koini, Pagida, Cataract, Ekso Didima, Mesa Didima, Mermigki, Tholopotamion, Kallimasia, Neochori, Thimiana, Vaviloi, Agios Georgios Sikousis.

How to Collect Mastic Gum Drops

Collecting the gum drops is not an easy process. It is done in a traditional and rather laborious way. Producers smooth the ground around the tree and make cracks in certain parts of the tree. After the drop gum flows about 15 days, it becomes stable and ready to be collected. Collection begins on August 15 and is completed by mid-September. Then, the product is sieved, washed and offered for sale after cleaning one by one.

Mastic gum as a lifestyle

Indeed, Chios, which is an inseparable part of Chios Island tourism, and as an important life experience, the collection process of this product is shown to visitors by local cooperatives and businesses operating in the area.

Places of Use

The fact that chios mastic gum has various uses has enabled this product to be produced continuously. The most common uses are gum and confectionery production as well as drop gum liquor production. Also, Gum oil is used in the making of musical instruments.

In addition, it is used in medicine and pharmaceutical industry due to the properties of the substances it contains. The therapeutic properties of this rare product have been known since ancient times, and it is confirmed by the wide narratives mentioned in the works of antiquity authors. In detail, the places where the drops of gum are used are:

  • In medicine, in the treatment of high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, chronic bronchitis, stomach pains and in the making of surgical threads.
  • In Pharmaceutical Industry (in the production of vitamins, blood coagulants)
  • In dentistry, filling teeth and closing gaps, making dental molds made for the protection of teeth, strengthening the gums and hygienic cleaning of the mouth.
  • In making cosmetic products (shampoo, soap, nail polish, shower soap, depilatory creams)
  • In essence making (fragrances, face creams)
  • In making Spanish wax (sealing wax) and fragrant incense.
  • In the production of drinks (drop gum liquor, ouzo, cognac and other greek drinks)
  • In wall paintings and painting (oil paints)
  • As color stabilizer in fabric making and cotton products
  • In the production of high-quality varnishes and paints (planes, varnishes used in musical organs, furniture, etc.)
  • As a flavor improver in confectionery and dessert making (Turkish delights, chewing gum, sweets, desserts, lozenges, buns, ice creams, bread, sweeteners)

Chios Mastiha is the world famous gum mastic, produced in Chios island of Greece.

The rare and ubiquitous Mastic Gum, the emblem of Chios, has sustained the local economy and made the island the only producer authorized to produce this natural resin in the world. The activities of producing, collecting, processing, and putting on sale of Mastic Gum are carried out only by the Chios Producers Cooperative.

Mastic tree, an evergreen tree by nature (scientific name of Pistacia lentiscus) from the Iberian Peninsula to France, is grown all over the Mediterranean from Turkey to Israel. However, in Chios, a species specific to Chios (Pistacia lentiscus var Chia) is grown, which produces drop gum and natural gum, a natural resin, is obtained from this tree.

The gum tree that gives drop gum grows only in the south of Chios. The villages where this tree grows are: Lithi, Vessa, Elata, Mesta, Olympioi, Pyrgi, Armolia, Kalamoti, Patrika, Flatsia, Nenita, Vouno, Koini, Pagida, Cataract, Ekso Didima, Mesa Didima, Mermigki, Tholopotamion, Kallimasia, Neochori, Thimiana, Vaviloi, Agios Georgios Sikousis.

How to Collect Mastic Gum Drops

Collecting the gum drops is not an easy process. It is done in a traditional and rather laborious way. Producers smooth the ground around the tree and make cracks in certain parts of the tree. After the drop gum flows about 15 days, it becomes stable and ready to be collected. Collection begins on August 15 and is completed by mid-September. Then, the product is sieved, washed and offered for sale after cleaning one by one.

Mastic gum as a lifestyle

Indeed, Chios, which is an inseparable part of Chios Island tourism, and as an important life experience, the collection process of this product is shown to visitors by local cooperatives and businesses operating in the area.

Places of Use

The fact that chios mastic gum has various uses has enabled this product to be produced continuously. The most common uses are gum and confectionery production as well as drop gum liquor production. Also, Gum oil is used in the making of musical instruments.

In addition, it is used in medicine and pharmaceutical industry due to the properties of the substances it contains. The therapeutic properties of this rare product have been known since ancient times, and it is confirmed by the wide narratives mentioned in the works of antiquity authors. In detail, the places where the drops of gum are used are:

  • In medicine, in the treatment of high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, chronic bronchitis, stomach pains and in the making of surgical threads.
  • In Pharmaceutical Industry (in the production of vitamins, blood coagulants)
  • In dentistry, filling teeth and closing gaps, making dental molds made for the protection of teeth, strengthening the gums and hygienic cleaning of the mouth.
  • In making cosmetic products (shampoo, soap, nail polish, shower soap, depilatory creams)
  • In essence making (fragrances, face creams)
  • In making Spanish wax (sealing wax) and fragrant incense.
  • In the production of drinks (drop gum liquor, ouzo, cognac and other greek drinks)
  • In wall paintings and painting (oil paints)
  • As color stabilizer in fabric making and cotton products
  • In the production of high-quality varnishes and paints (planes, varnishes used in musical organs, furniture, etc.)
  • As a flavor improver in confectionery and dessert making (Turkish delights, chewing gum, sweets, desserts, lozenges, buns, ice creams, bread, sweeteners)