Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mastic - resin from the mastic tree

Mastic occurs in small spherical, flattened, or irregular, pale-yellow tears, which are externally farinaceous, owing to their mutual attrition. It is a resin obtained from Pistacia lentiscus.

Their fracture is vitreous. Mastic is a sweet anise- or licorice-flavored resin derived from the bark of the trunk of the tree. They have mild, agreeable odor and an aromatic taste.

Hippocrates employed the leaves, mastic and the oil prepared from the fruit, in medicine. Freshly harvested mastic is colorless. The discoloration of commercial mastic becomes notable within 1 year, when a light yellow color is visible.

Within a number of year, the yellow turns into a strong yellow-orange color. The yellowing of freshly harvested mastic tears could be due to oxidation initiated by sunlight irradiation during harvest.

Mastic is rarely employed as a medicine. It has been used to check excessive discharges from the mucous membranes, as leucorrhoea, gleet, chronic pulmonary catarrh and old diarrheas.

The essential oil can be obtained by steam distillation of the fresh leaves in approximately 0.35% yields. The oil exhibited a hay-like, herbaceous odor and refreshing flavor.
Mastic - resin from the mastic tree
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