HISTORical FUN FACTS
Ancient romans spiced wine with Mastiha
Dioscurides, the Greek father of pharmacology, wrote an authoritative and encycolpedic book on herbal medicine in the 16th century called "De Materia Medica", where he prasies the therapeutic properties of mastiha, mentioning that it helps in csaes of indigestion, chronic coughing, and he ascertains that chewing mastiha apart from oral hygiene contributes to clean and fresh breath. (anecdotally, his book also touts the use of cannabis for health benefits).
Rhazes (868-932 AD), A Persian philosopher and physician, considered himself the Islamic version of Hippocrates. He recommends a mixture of clay and mastiha as a material for filling rotten teeth, and chewing mastiha for pregnant woman to control their appetite.
At the end of the 13th century, a physician known as Gilbertus Anglicus flourished in London. In his compendium Medicinae he mentions “Diacerasus”, a remedy for the spleen that contains cherry juice, cinnamon, and mastiha.
The French writer Francois Rabelais (1494-1553) has his glutton hero, the giant Gargantua, cleaning his teeth with toothpicks made from the wood of the mastiha tree. Gargantua was published in 1534.
According to Johann Michael Wansleban, a German theologian and traveller of the mid 17th century, notable Egyptians used to flavor their water vessels with mastiha to give the water a more pleasant taste.
One of the most famous cathartics of the 19th century, the pills of Lady Webster, was made from aloe, mastiha, and rose oil.
Robert Vermiere’s cocktail book.
In the weaving and cotton industry it is used as a stabilizer for starching material and especially silks.
Mastiha is used to manufacture surgical thread. Stiches made with this thread are absorbed by the body, do not require cutting, and have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Also used by American hospitals to make bandages for wound
Used by European pharma as the key ingredient in pills for people with GI problems, including peptic ulcers, acid reflux, Crohn’s Disease, IBS.
Recently starting being Used as a supplement by large US supplement companies Jarrow, and GNC.