The mastic is a large shrub or small shrub, growing to 2 meters high when it respects and not abusive. The bark of young branches has a reddish color turns gray as they mature those, the leaves remain green all year round and hairless. This plant has male and female feet feet. Flowers, meanwhile, are small, red and give a bean-shaped fruit, globular, going from green to black depending on the season.
It breeds in the hills and slopes of most of the peninsula. It is typical of the Mediterranean region.
The mastic tree blooms in April and May and fruits ripen in autumn. Used for medical use both the leaves and stems. But the most interesting part of this shrub is the resin that flows from the logs, either spontaneously or bleeding. This resin is called mastic or mastic and harvested in summer, but only from mastic have been made about trees, which is not easily seen in our Peninsula since this plant is very good fuel (ie, burning very well), so the cruel hand of man will not let him develop in all its splendor, but it takes more lucrative for other purposes. In any case, the few mastic trees that have been made in our Peninsula, chew exude tears like those of other countries.
The leaves of the mastic contain a high percentage of tannins and other astringent material, a dye and a small amount of oil of mastic. In the fruits, can be distinguished from the inner flesh and bone, on both sides gives the mastic oil, used in some counties of Catalonia for lighting. The mastic or mastic is made by fatty masticínicos, masticólico acid, a bitter material and a small amount of oil of mastic, composed mainly of pinene.
The mastic is used to fortify the gums and sweeten the breath. This resin is also used in dentistry for making various dentinal cements. The leaves and stems are very astringent and are also used to fortify the teeth and gums. Another use of this shrub is popular as an aperitif, to whet the appetite in children and the elderly. In some areas of Catalonia, where the presence of this plant is abundant prepares a "water mastic" steeping a sprig of this plant with 2 or 3 leaves in a glass of water.
Resin. The resin freshens breath directly scarf and strengthens the gums. But should not abuse it.
Wine mastic. Formerly a wine prepared with this shrub, used as a stomach tonic and antidiarrheal.
Water mastic. Allow to macerate for one morning a sprig of mastic with 3 or 4 leaves in a large glass of water at noon and takes half a cup at night the other half.
HABITAT: Lower area of the Pyrenees
FLOWERING: April and May
PART USED: Leaves and stems
CASTILIAN: Árbol de la almáciga
CATALAN: Llentiscle, lentisc
Fort Dentistry, Strong gums Fortification, Astringency.
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