Posted by: DG MARYOGA | 02/10/2015

The Tree We Hurt …


Travelling to the “Weeping Island” of Natural Treasures

The Aegean island of Chios is home to one of the most treasured and rare natural products in the world.You have to travel to the south of the island to collect Mastic tears and to witness the miracle of the weeping,evergreen, mastic tree, a phenomenon known only to this part of the world and only in the south of the island where the soil has specific volcanic elements.They live more than 100 years, they provide resin from their 5th year until their 70th and the crystallization of the tears takes from 15 to 30 days.Small but precious trees.

Mastic tree

Mastic tree

History of mastic :

A leaf fossil from a mastic tree has been found dating six million years.Mastic has been known since ancient times.We find the first references to it in Herodotos (5th century BC). Some ancient authors who mention the properties of mastic are Dioskourides, Theophrastus, Galenos, Hippocrates, Apollodorus, Plinius, and Ermolaus.There is also evidence that Mastic was cultivated and exploited during the Hellenistic period.

Mastic tears ...

Mastic tears …

When Christopher Columbus visited the island in the 15th century,mastic had already become the trademark of Chios.He believed that If the value of spices was calculated by their weight in silver,the value of mastic should be calculated by its weight in gold.From ancient times mastic has been used as a natural medicine.Nowadays,it’s widely used in food industry,cosmetics and in the pharmaceutical industry for the therapy of stomach ulcer and general stomach disorders. Traditionally mastic is taken as medicine for diabetes, cholesterol and any kind of stomach problems as it contains antioxidants and has antibacterial properties.Scientists recently discovered that when administrated even in small doses it decreases levels of total serum cholesterol, LDL,total cholesterol/HDL ratio.

*Within the European Union, mastic production in Chios is granted protected designation of origin.

Mastic trees

Mastic trees

The word mastic derives from the Greek verb, μαστιχειν = to gnash the teeth,chew,which is the source of the English word masticate.

Weeping trees

Weeping trees

Narrow alleys taking you back centuries ...

Narrow alleys taking you back centuries …

Chios - East Aegean Sea

Chios – East Aegean Sea

Walking in the narrow alleys of the Byzantine period and Collecting Jewels from”The Tree We Hurt ” …

* Not a Panacea,but it’s Good for You,my friends …

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Responses

  1. I’ve learned something new today. I had never heard of this particular tree. Wonderful photos. Thank you.

    Like

  2. I have some catching up to do at a few blogs and glad I was able to enjoy this post – so smoothly written with some story, word etymology, personal takes, and wonderful photography. And the favorite photo was the alleys that take us thru centuries – the inviting light thru that corridor was rest and a place I would love to visit sometime

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why ThankYou,Yvette Dear,for such a generous and approving comment!I’m really delighted that you enjoyed what I have shared with you,dear friend!If you ever visit the island,you won’t regret it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well if I ever go get to visit that will be cool – but in the meantime I will enjoy your take – have s great day my friend and thanks for checking out my recent posts – I will be responding later (running out now) but noticed the DG gravatar there and smiled – ttys 😎💕

        Liked by 1 person

        • A big thank,Yvette,for taking the time to notice the DG gravatar,and of course for responding to my comments!Btw,your autumn roses with the “sparkling diamonds on …” are absolutely fascinating 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks so much – and I do not have any fancy lenses on my phone so that was the best I could get – I am sure some others could get some cool macros –

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Very enjoyable post. We have not visited Chios, but some of Greek islands. Thank You presenting this island.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So many thanks for appreciating my Chios post!Glad to hear that you have visited some Greek islands.Have a wonderful day,dear Sartenada!All the very best to you, Doda 🙂

      Like

  4. loved that place 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks for liking it dear Joshi 🙂

      Like

  5. Great post, Doda! I love the Greek history and culture ,and have visited some of the islands, and Athens of course. When I get time, I’ll go and explore more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi dear Tiny!Thank you so much for liking my Mastic post,glad to know that you have visited Greece and you’re familiar with the Greek history and culture.Btw,I visited your site and I admired your beautiful photos and your posts!Nice to meet you,my friend!Sending you my best wishes for a splendid weekend 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dearest Doda, I missed this when it was published.. so sorry about that my friend..
    I was fascinated by the Mastic Tree, 🙂 and I always marvel at how within Nature there is a remedy for all our human ills.. 🙂
    And I loved all of you photos..
    I can feel the warmth of the Island and would just love to explore it along with those streets..

    My Husband and I always wander off the beaten tracks when abroad, and it almost got us into trouble one time as we met an undesirable rogue when we walked through some narrow alleys… 🙂 but that is for another day 🙂
    I also watched half of the video and intend to watch the other half later it is saved within my fav’s for later viewing..
    Sending you Love and Blessings dear Doda, I really should visit my email alerts more often, I do not know where this week went to?

    Love and hugs my lovely dear friend..
    Sue ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is no need to apologise Sue Dear,we are “in the same boat”,I always try to squeeze the time I spend on WP in my busy schedule.Oftentimes I stay up all night to play catch up and never manage to keep a decent inbox for long.Many thanks for liking my Mastic post,glad its delicate fragrance reached you.I love visiting places of the beaten path,where tourists are less.Alleys are quaint and beautiful,but if they are remote they get dangerous especially during night.Some years ago things were different,now you have to be watchful everywhere you go.Can’t wait to come to your springs and drink some fresh water … Take care ~ Love & Hugs 🙂 ❤ xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I enjoyed this post tremendously, dear Doda. Your photos of Chios are spectacular, and I found your introduction to mastic fascinating. I had never heard of mastic before. I watched the first half of the video and appreciated learning about the dizzying-long history of mastic, its medicinal properties and production and the teaching of its sacred production. It is so highly valued that they built the town to confuse invaders…wow. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge of this exceptionally beautiful place in the world. 😀 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always thankful for your rich and astute comments,dear Jet!I’m humbled you appreciated these magical,crystal tears.They work miracles,especially when they are raw.Love to use it in all its forms and lately it has become very well-known worldwide.It’s not a secret anymore.I was surprised to see it,years ago,in Liberty :

      http://www.liberty.co.uk/AboutLiberty/article/fcp-content

      and Fortnum & Mason in the heart of London.They had special departments where they sold it in almost all its forms :

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortnum_%26_Mason

      Have a wonderful and creative day,my friend 🙂 ~
      PS:When am I going to read your book?I want to find some quiet moments during my holidays to enjoy it.It bears your signature,I am dead sure I’ll love it.If it was printed,I’d buy some copies to give them away.I’ll do that with your new book,which is on the way 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • I very much enjoyed your comment here and the lovely store links, too, dear Doda. Thanks for the post script on Wicked Walkabout too. You always give me a warm smile my friend. 😀 ♥

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Here is one of the tutorials on the youtube. Instragram is so very easy to work with– downloading, viewing, commenting, …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the link,I think I’ve already downloaded it,I’ll check it out on my smart phone 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Feel free to delete the youtube link. I started 3 months ago, now I’m finding time to explore. IG is making it so easy and simple to post and connect with other. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • I saw your beautiful photos there,I think I’ll create an account and start sharing some of my photos.Thank you for your help dear Amy 🙂 xxx

          Liked by 1 person

  9. PS wonderful video!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. beautiful images Doda and what a wonderful tree!! I love the crystal tears. A tree of life for sure!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are the trademark of Chios and a main source of income for many residents of the island.They live more than 100 years, they provide resin from their 5th year until their 70th and the crystallization of the tears takes from 15 to 30 days.Small but precious trees.The largest mastic village is Pyrgi where the houses are adorned with geometric patters.I might post some photos too.Thank you Cybele 🙂

      Like

  11. What a beautiful place and what fascinating trees, dear Doda. I would imagine that as old as those trees are and all they have seen, they have plenty to cry about. I hope they are preserved and not exploited. Wishing you a wonderful week! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • They know when and how to hurt (tap) them,dear Linda.If they “mistreat” them the “golden” tears will stop running … So many thanks for reading the stories of the trees.You also have a wonderful week,my friend!Hugs 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  12. The thought of hurt and weeping trees makes me sad, but what a beautiful place Chios is, dear Doda. I love your pictures, that narrow alley looks dreamy and mysterious.
    Have a nice weekend. Hugs 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tappers take good care,they gently cut the bark without damaging the trees.They are soon self-cured as the purpose of these tears is to prevent the entry of infectious fungi, bacteria and insects from entering the tree.Yet,it hurts,I know,I’m glad I can’t hear their screamings …Happy Sunday,dear Aditix.Hugs back to you 🙂 ❤

      Like

  13. Oh my lord, Doda, what a wonderful post, so informative in the nicest way and I love these pictures, especially the one taking me back centuries. I am so glad you came back to blogging. Sorry I never came by yesterday but my older girl got engaged!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you dear Shey for your kind words!Congratulations on your daughter’s engagement!Give them my best wishes,I bet she is as sweet as her mum.I have also to thank you for all the R/Ts!You’re so thoughtful and kind,my friend!Happy weekend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Fascinating. Should I visit Chios? Will I like it?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I remember mastic from my childhood in England. I had never thought about it until reading your post. I do believe we used it as glue, probably for binding heavy duty objects together… my memory is very vague but I seem to remember it as a yellowish paste that was very sticky. I never heard of the mastic tree before, never thought about where it came from. So interesting to know it came from the weeping tree.

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    • You are talking about the gum mastic which is any kind of gum resin and comes from lentisk or schinus bushes or some similar mastic trees which produce gum arabic.The rarity of Mastic in the island of Chios and the difficulty of its production make it expensive. As a result, imitations in the form of other resins appear in the market, sold as mastic.Quite recently we were very happy that within the European Union,mastic production in Chios is granted protected designation of origin.If Mastic of Chios was just a gum as you describe it,I wouldn’t have bothered to post about it.Happy Saturday Roslyn xxx

      Like

  16. Oh such lovely photos , combined with your poetic explanation: such beauty. Have a lovely weekend, dear Doda, xo Johanna

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thaaaank you for your praiseful comment,Johanna Dear!Overjoyed to see you back and to know that you had a lovely time.Hope you didn’t forget to give a hug to Charley 🙂 xxx

      Like

  17. In my ignorance I was not even aware of this natural and health-giving substance. Thank you for writing such an informative article.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for appreciating it,dear Hariod!The history behind these “tears” is very long … Doda 🙂

      Like

  18. I haven’t heard about the mastic trees. Great read about the long history of the island. Weeping Island, how poetical, Dear Doda! Thank you so much for the video link!

    Liked by 2 people

    • 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s widely used worldwide nowadays,it was some 15 years ago when I saw the first shops in London.There was a special department in “Liberty” where they sell luxury goods and cosmetics.I think there is one in New York (Manhattan) too.Its flavour and fragrance is very refreshing 🙂 ❤ xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • i want to try it… 🙂 xxx

        Liked by 1 person

        • There might be some delicatessen stores with Greek products in the the big cities of America.Oftentimes you can find that sort of products in Mega-super markets.It’s used in liqueurs,yogurt,cookies,cakes,bread,chewing gums,toothpastes,or powdered to use it even in the water you drink,in the tea or in cooking.Cosmetolists use it in soap,creams,lotions,for adults and babies too.Thank you dear friend 🙂 ❤ xxx

          Liked by 1 person

          • It’s fascinating! You’ve taught us so much about the great Greek culture, history,… now, products. Can’t thank you enough. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            • I changed the vide,I find it more interesting.Watch at least the beginning of it to see how the “tears” come down from the trees and how they harvest them.Thank you 🙂 xxxi

              Like

              • Sounds nice, Doda! Forgot to let you know that the photos of the alley and Aegean Sea are so beautiful. ❤ xxx

                Liked by 1 person

  19. Schöne Fotos. L.G. Wolfgang

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vielen Dank ! Ich bin froh, dass Sie mochte 🙂

      Like


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