This is the fresh liquid oleoresin of the Mount Atlas Mastic tree, Pistacia Atlantica. It is collected in small clay cups that are affixed to the bark of the tree. It is a completely sustainable harvest. Many of these trees are hundreds of years old, healthy, thriving and tapped yearly in the traditional manner.
The resin possesses a lovely blue/green colour when first collected. This novel colour fades somewhat over time but one can still see green tones in this shipment of fresh oleoresin.
Mount Atlas Mastic is a species of Pistacia/Pistacio and kin to both the Chios Mastic tree and Pistacia vera that delivers us our yummy Pistachio nuts. Though the nuts of Pistacia Atlantica are not as easily edible as the Pistachio they abound with nourishing and therapeutic compounds.
This tree provides a plethora of ancient traditional medicines and the resin is a lovely balm, perfume and incense ingredient.
Growing from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco to the Zagros mountains in Persia, Mount Atlas Pistacia is considered by many to be the Terebinth tree referred to in the old Testament. Though there is a separate species of Pistacia named Pistacia terebinthum, it yields very little resin compared to the Pistacia Atlantica.
Some of the oldest and largest trees standing in Israel are Pistacia Atlantica which are thought to be “Elah” tree referred to in the old testament.
The resin from the tree is considered the original source of turpentine/Terebinth which was later collected from Pine trees.
All parts of the Mount Atlas Mastic tree have been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. Ibn Sina, (Avicenna), writes extensively about the healing properties of the Mount Atlas Mastic tree. It is a mainstay of ancient Greek, traditional Unani, Islamic, Persian and many other medicinal systems. Edible and medicinal oil is pressed from the ripe fruit, while leaf fruit, resin and oleoresin are all used in traditional medicine.
The list of therapeutic applications is extensive and well worth researching online..
Pistacia Atlantica oleoresin has been traditionally used to address ulcers, dyspepsia, respiratory, musculoskeletal, renal and hepatic issues as well as burns, wounds and other skin conditions.
Cultivated and harvested in the traditional manner by co-ops, this resin is considered both sustainably harvested and fairly traded.
The dried resin is used locally as chewing gum that benefits oral and digestive health.
The resin and essential oil of Mt. Atlas Mastic are valuable in incense blends, perfume compositions, steam inhalations, muscle and joint rubs, respiratory balms and much more.
This pure oleoresin dissolves beautifully in warm carrier oils and can easily deliver its therapeutic properties in salves, cremes lotions and oils. It has a wonderfully fresh and uplifting fragrance and is also alcohol-soluble.
For recipes, instructions and more information about the different types of Frankincense, Myrrh and other oleoresins, please visit my blog at http://apothecarysgarden.com.