The tears of Chios are the best kept secret of Greece healthy lifestyle. We all know about the olive oil produced by Greece and exported worldwide, but on the island of Chios exists a tree which produces a special kind of resin called Mastiha (or mastic) known since Antiquity and used as a remedy for all kind of illness : the Pistacia lentiscus.
This tree is actually quite common around the Mediterranean sea, but there in Chios, in the south part of the island to be precise, the resin of that tree is harvested since times immemorial.This resin, originally liquid, is sun-dried and turned into a natural gum.
The properties of that gum are breathtaking if you allow me to say so. It was used as a cosmetic as a breath freshener and a tooth-whitener, but it has been proved also very useful for peptic ulcers, and its anti-bacterial properties are excellent to prevent tooth decay. Last but not least, it seems to absorb cholesterol !
It is also widely used in cooking on both sides of the Aegean. However, the mystery of that tree and that resin remains because it grows ONLY on the south part of Chios, and all attempts to have the same resin somewhere have remained... fruitless.
If you want to order some products made from Mastiha, click HERE.