Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium that has been associated with indigestion, inflammation of the stomach lining, peptic ulcers and stomach cancer. H. pylori can be eradicated using antibiotics and stomach acid suppressants, but the regimen commonly produces undesirable side effects. Mastic gum may serve as an alternative treatment for eradicating H. pylori.
Mastic gum is a natural resin derived from the trunk and branches of the mastic bush. The clear, gummy liquid solidifies within 15 to 20 days, and is then milled into a fine powder and placed in capsules for oral administration.
According to a study published in the journal "Phytomedicine" in 2010, a group of Greek gastroenterologists determined that a 14-day treatment with mastic gum eradicated H. pylori in 31 per cent of patients receiving 350 mg and 39 per cent of patients receiving 1000 mg of mastic gum three times daily. Dr. Michael Janson, founder of the Center for Preventative Medicine in Barnstable, Massachusetts, claims that typical mastic gum regimens range from 500 to 2000 mg daily for two to three months.
Although the mastic gum study did not display acceptable eradication rates when compared to conventional antibiotic and acid-suppressant therapy, the scientists who performed the study concluded that it may be an acceptable alternative treatment for patients unwilling to take, or unable to tolerate, conventional treatment regimens.