By Alasar Abdelmageed
Updated February 13, 2024

18 benefits of mastic gum backed by research

Mastic gum is the crystallized sap of mastic trees that grow on the island of Chios. Why should you chew it?

Mastic gum is best consumed in pure resin form, like shown above. Photo by Greco Gum.

Mastic gum stands out for its exceptional healing botanical properties, rich in antioxidants, triterpenes, and volatile compounds. This unique composition contributes to its broad spectrum of potential benefits, including antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antitumor activities.

Scientists have identified over 120 different components in the resin, including natural polymers and triterpenes. There has been a wealth of clinical research that studies & demonstrates the therapeutic potential of mastic gum.1 In this article we’ll cover a variety of the major benefits of mastic gum that studies have uncovered.

What is mastic gum?

Mastic gum is the resinous sap of mastic trees, found on the island of Chios, Greece. It has earned the nickname “Tears of Chios” because it is excreted from the trees, forming naturally occurring teardrop-like drops.2

May reduce plaque & bacterial overgrowth

Mastic gum can significantly reduce plaque formation, alleviate gum inflammation, and combat harmful bacteria in the mouth.

  • A study by the Journal of Periodontology assessed the antibacterial impact of chewing mastic gum on oral bacteria in the saliva of patients with fixed orthodontic appliances. Chewing samples were analyzed and compared before and after alongside a placebo. The results indicated a significant reduction in total bacteria after just 15 minutes of mastic gum chewing. The study demonstrates that incorporating mastic gum chewing into your oral care routine improves oral microbiome which helps prevent dental caries.3

  • Another double blind randomized study compared mastic gum’s impact on plaque formation and gum inflammation over a 7 day period between the group chewing 4 hours of mastic gum and the placebo. The mastic group showcased a significant reduction in plaque index & gingival index compared to the placebo group.4

May prevent oral inflammatory diseases such as periodontal disease

Mastic resin may be a powerful agent against gum disease, thwarting periodontal issues and oral pathogens.

  • Researchers studied how mastic extract fights against harmful bacteria in the mouth. They compared Mastic extract against common mouthwash ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide and chlorhexidine. The results showed that mastic extract was more effective at preventing harmful periodontal and oral pathogens. Mastic extract exhibited significantly increased inhibition compared to hydrogen peroxide. The study suggests that mastic extract could be a natural and safe option for keeping our gums healthy by fighting off harmful bacteria.5

For more about the oral and dental health benefits of chewing mastic gum, read this blog post.

May provide relief from heartburn

Chios mastic supplementation may be effective at alleviating heartburn and associated pain.

  • In a study involving 148 subjects with functional dyspepsia, a dosage of 350 mg, three times daily, led to noticeable improvements within just three weeks6

May help eliminate H. pylori and other stomach ulcers

Some studies show mastic gum is extremely efficient at eliminating gastric and peptic ulcers including H. pylori infection.

  • Studies highlight mastic gum’s ability to eliminate the H. pylori NCTC 11637 strain and six clinical isolates, resulting in a remarkable reduction in viable bacterial count.7

  • Chios mastic gum not only improved symptoms significantly, outperforming the placebo in 77% of patients (p<0.02), but also demonstrated an eradication rate comparable to conventional pharmaceutical therapies.8 What sets it apart is its unique approach—it avoids contributing to microbial resistance, ensuring more complete eradication of Helicobacter pylori. This is made possible by its distinctive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pathways, setting it apart from traditional antibiotics.

Balances the gut microbiome

Mastic gum is also an effective prebiotic, promoting the growth of beneficial stomach microbes and fostering a balanced gut microbiome. This balance extends its benefits to alleviating symptoms like diarrhea, stomach pain, aches, and cramps. Packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, it provides an added layer of protection to gastrointestinal tissues against oxidative stress.9

  • Clinical trials suggest mastic’s promise in treating conditions like gastroparesis, demonstrating reductions in nausea, bloating, and increased appetite.

  • Mastic tackles inflammation by inhibiting pathways implicated in GI diseases, such as nitric oxide synthesis and prostaglandins.

  • Its unique ability to halt inflammatory pathways is especially vital in countering the impact of excess polyunsaturated fats from seed oils, known inflammation drivers.10

Stimulates saliva production & digestive motility

Mastic gum has been shown in studies to enhance saliva production, which is particularly beneficial for oral health as it helps prevent bacterial buildup in both the mouth and gut. This natural antimicrobial action not only contributes to oral cleanliness, including the tongue and teeth, but also helps prevent bacterial accumulation in the gastrointestinal tract.11

  • The increased saliva production is also beneficial for the breakdown of food for better digestion and absorption of nutrients. Saliva also helps to moisten food making it easier to swallow.

  • Mastic gum has also been noted for its ability to enhance gut motility, thereby improving the efficiency of the digestive tract and reducing the overall transit time from mouth to anus. This improved motility not only helps prevent exposure to bacterial endotoxins but also reduces serotonin production which suppresses inflammatory responses and alleviating gastrointestinal discomfort.10

  • Mastic gum may boast powerful antifungal and antiparasitic properties helping to rid the body of parasites, worms, & fungi.10

May help fight Crohn’s disease and other forms of IBD

Mastic gum has received increased attention for its therapeutic potential for conditions like Crohn’s disease & other inflammatory bowel diseases.

  • A study conducted by Harokopio University gave mastic capsules to patients with Crohn’s disease, as well as a control group, over a period of 4 weeks. Inflammation markers were assessed both before and after the treatment. The results indicated significant improvements in disease activity among the Crohn’s disease patients, along with reductions in inflammation markers such as IL-6 and CRP. This pilot study suggests usefulness of mastic extract in managing Crohn’s disease.912

  • Chios Mastiha has been recorded to contain Masticadienonic acid. This substance has proven to be quite effective at reducing the severity of inflammatory bowel disease by restoring intestinal barrier integrity, attacking inflammation, and improving the gut microbiota.13

May strengthen jawbone

Research on rats reveals that chewing hard substances such as mastic gum induces jawbone growth.

  • Rats on a tough diet exhibited larger, thicker, and more squared jaws compared to those on a soft diet. Furthermore, the duration of chewing habits directly correlated with the pronounced nature of bone growth.14

  • These effects are particularly noteworthy during the active growth phase of children’s skulls. According to doctors Mike and John Mew, facial bone morphology from infancy to adolescence is significantly guided by chewing hardness. This isn’t strongly rooted in genetic factors but rather in the beneficial stress from prolonged tough chewing of substances, promoting thicker denser skull growth.15

Mastic gum offers one of the toughest natural chewing sources conveniently available today. Helping to facilitate robust skull growth & development, most particularly in growing children.

Hormonal bone growth factors

Mastic gum, through its challenging chewing workout, may stimulate the release of essential growth factors that contribute to bone health, offering a valuable defense against the aging process.

In a study involving rats, the act of chewing hard substances was found to trigger the release of key growth factors essential for bone health—OPG, RANKL, and MGF.16 These growth factors play a crucial role in promoting bone growth and facilitating repair.

The implication here is that engaging in regular and vigorous chewing can prove beneficial in the maintenance and repair of our jawbone, offering anti-aging benefits by fostering optimal bone health.16

May support sperm production

Chios mastic gum is a natural source of zinc, offering several benefits for reproductive health.

  • Findings in zinc indicate possible support for sperm health and production, regulation of testosterone levels, protection of the prostate gland, and facilitation of sound DNA synthesis crucial for embryo development.

  • The gradual dispersal through chewing allows for a gradual release of zinc, aligning with biological rates of intake. This process ensures optimal metabolization of zinc, contributing to overall reproductive well-being.17

May help fight cancer

Mastic gum’s rich profile of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties makes it a great candidate against cancer.1 By scavenging the body for free radicals and oxidative stress, it neutralizes the damage caused by these factors. Numerous studies have explored its efficacy across various cancers, consistently revealing promising results.

  • In a study conducted by Yianban University, Chios mastic gum extract was pitted against Taxol, a standard chemotherapy drug. The findings were remarkable—Chios mastic gum demonstrated equal efficacy to Taxol in reducing cancer cell growth, achieving this impact with only half the concentration of Taxol. Importantly, Chios mastic gum exhibited fewer adverse side effects compared to Taxol. These results have sparked increased clinical interest in exploring the potential of mastic gum as a valuable asset in the battle against cancer.18

  • Healthcare professionals have been considering Chios mastic gum as a preventive measure for oral cancer, emphasizing its powerful properties and the challenging, often hard-to-detect nature of this form of cancer. The natural and well tolerated characteristics of Chios mastic gum makes it a possible preventative wellness measure.19

  • Chios mastic gum has shown a potential anti-cancer effect by disrupting a key mechanism involved in the growth of cancer cells in a prostate cancer cell study.2021

  • The hexane extracted from mastic gum was also shown to inhibit tumor growth by 35% with a 4-day application in colorectal cancer cell study.22

  • Similar studies have been conducted on other cancers, all yielding favorable outcomes.23

Important Note:

The information provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Before considering any treatment or dietary supplement for cancer or other health conditions, it is crucial to consult with a qualified healthcare professional. Self-medication without proper guidance can have serious damaging consequences. Always prioritize your health and seek professional medical advice for personalized recommendations.

May alleviates allergic asthma

Mastic gum has demonstrated the ability to significantly decrease specific inflammatory cells (eosinophils), reduce airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), and lower levels of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. All these markers, crucial in asthma conditions, have shown improvement with the use of mastic gum. While the research is promising, further human studies are needed to explore its full potential.24

May help blood sugar regulation

Studies so far have shown that Chios mastic gum has a significant lowering effect on blood sugar levels.

  • In a study involving 156 volunteers, the participants who consumed Chios mastic gum were compared to a control group. After 8 weeks, the results showed that the group using mastic gum experienced a reduction of 4.5 mg/dl in fasting blood glucose levels, even after accounting for factors such as age, gender, BMI, and other baseline characteristics.25

May reduce cholesterol

Studies show Chios mastic gum effectively reduces total & LDL cholesterol levels.

In the same study referenced for blood sugar regulation, the group using mastic gum showed a significant reduction in total cholesterol levels by 11.5 mg/dl compared to the control group. This cholesterol-lowering effect of mastic gum was particularly pronounced in overweight and obese individuals.2526

May reduce risk of atherosclerosis

Mastic gum has demonstrated a hypolipidemic quality, making it well-suited for preventing cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis.

  • Mastic gum has been found to prevent the uptake of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) by downregulating inflammatory cell proteins (called CD36) in white blood cells. This preventive action is crucial, as it inhibits the promotion of foam cell formation and accumulation, which is a contributing factor to atherosclerosis.6


As you can see, Chios mastic gum boasts a rich several millenia global healing tradition for a reason. It becomes clear why it was safeguarded in fortresses like precious gold bars. As modern science has revealed, it offers a broad spectrum of benefits—from oral and digestive health to skull development, libido, cancer prevention, and respiratory and cardiovascular well-being. Mastic gum stands as a natural powerhouse, blending ancient wisdom with contemporary science.

Discover the ultimate source for Chios mastic gum at Greco Gum. Our mission is to revive this ancient knowledge and reintroduce mastic gum as a daily chewing practice to the benefit of your health and aesthetics.

This article originally appeared online in 2024; it was most recently updated on February 13, 2024, to include current information.


Alasar Abdelmageed

Alasar holds a bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science from UC Berkeley. She has spent the past five years researching on craniofacial dysfunction and airway health, meeting global luminaries in these fields, including Dr. Bill Hang, Dr. John Mew, Dr. Mike Mew, and Dr. Soroush Zaghi.



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