Mastic Powder - Usage & Health Benefits

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Mastic resinMastic is a yellow –green resin, harvested from an evergreen shrub that grows primarily on the Greek island of Chios. The resin is pulverized to obtain Mastic Powder. Greeks and Egyptians used mastic for embalming and in the preparation of certain alcoholic beverages. Mastic powder was originally used to make chewing gum and mouth fresheners. Learn more about its uses and benefits in the following sections.


 


Uses of Mastic Powder


1. Culinary


Mastic powder is a vital ingredient in Turkish and Greek Cuisine. It is used to make authentic Turkish delicacies  ‘rahat locum’ and ‘doner kebab’, and is also used in preparation of breads, pastries, ice creams, sweet puddings, and almond cake. It finds its use in the Greek cuisine in the baking of bread and pastries, and also for one of the traditional 'spoon sweets'. Mastic powder mixed with sugar and rose or orange blossom water is used to flavor desserts, sweetmeats, ice cream, syrups, and cordials.


 


2. Medicinal


Mastic powder has antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antibiotic, hepato-protective (protects liver), and cardio-protective properties.  It contains several volatile oils and compounds like anthocyanins, tannins, and tocopherols, which are excellent antioxidants.


 


3. Miscellaneous


  • Used to in the food industry to make chewing gum, confectionary, and as an ingredient in making liqueurs

  • Used in toothpaste production

  • Used as a stabilizer to make varnishes for musical instruments, metals and paintings

  • Used in the production of tires, aromatic soaps, insecticides, and electrical insulators

  • Used in the tanning, weaving, and bee keeping industry

  • Used in dentistry as a filling

  • Used as a sealant over cuts and wounds


 


Health Benefits of Mastic Powder


  • Fights foul breath and prevents cavities

  • Heals peptic and duodenal ulcers – effective in curing H. Pylori infections

  • Reduces levels of total and LDL cholesterol

  • Improves inflammation in Crohn's disease

  •  Reduces levels of certain liver enzyme – protects liver

  • Cures heartburn

  • Possesses stimulant and diuretic properties

  • Prevents cancer


 


Mastic powder is not the only spice that offers immense health benefits. Read more about the uses and benefits of commonly used spice powders like Chili Pepper Powder and Oregano Powder from our articles.


 


Image credits: greek-islands.us


 

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