Allergy Research Group

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Chios Mastiha: A Natural Medicine


It is without a doubt, that since the ancient era Chios Mastiha has strongly shaped the identity of the fragrant island of Chios, which lies in the Aegean Sea, on the Eastern sea border of Greece.

The plant belongs to the Pistacia lentiscus L. species of the Anacardiaceae family. It is an evergreen shrub, extensively spread n the Mediterranean region. The unique cultivar of P. lentiscus cv chia is exclusively cultivated in Southern Chios (Mastihohoria). Interestingly, Chios Mastiha has reportedly been used in traditional Greek medicine for the relief of diverse gastrointestinal disorders, such as abdominal pain, dyspepsia, gastritis and peptic ulcer for more than 2,500 years.  Published scientific research (more than 300 studies) indicates that Chios Mastiha exhibits strong anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidation action. The positive effect of the above attributes on human health, plus recent scientific results will be presented. 

We hope you can join us live on December 15th at 10 a.m. MT. If not, don’t worry, signing up will still grant you access to the webinar recording.


2021-12-15 10:00:00
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Ilias Smyrnioudis, PhD
Deputy General Director and head of R&D at The Chios Mastiha Growers Association

Ilias Smyrnioudis was born in and grew up in the island of Chios. He studied Agricultural Engineering at the Agricultural School of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki. He received M.Sc and Ph.D. degrees in virus epidemiology and virology / molecular biology in the UK under scholarships from the European Union’s “Marie Curie Research Training Grants”. In 2000 he returned to Greece and after having spent one year at the Aristotelian University teaching Virology, he returned to Chios where he initially worked at the Developing Company of the Prefecture of Chios and then at The Chios Mastiha Growers Association, where he is currently Deputy General Director and head of R&D. His responsibilities include research on new products and on the beneficial effects of mastiha, support of the pharmaceutical companies that use mastiha etc. He has over 30-refereed publications in journals and conference proceedings. He has been an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Regional Scientific Council of Research and Innovation in Northern Aegean.

John Benovias, M.Sc.
Head of Quality & Safety department at The Chios Mastiha Growers Association

Ioannis Benovias was born and grew up in the island of Chios, Greece. He studied Chemistry at the University of Patras City, Greece. He received M.Sc. degree in Quality Management in Greece from the Open University of Patras on 2012. In 1998 he started working at Sarantis S.A. Company (oriented in the production of sweets in heavy syrup & Turkish delight) as Chemist, Head of production and HAACP team member. Since 2008, he has been working at The Chios Mastiha Growers Association, initially as Chewing Gum Production Manager and currently as responsible for Quality & Safety department. Moreover, he as a scientist, is responsible for the production of food supplements.

Allergy Research Group