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The Mastic Tree.

Botanical name:

Lentiscus.

A native of the warmer countries, but not uncommon in our gardens. It grows to the bigness of our apple trees, and is as irregular in the disposition of its branches. They are covered with a greyish bark, and are brittle. The leaves are composed, each of about four pairs of small ones, with out any odd leaf at the end: they are affixed to a kind of rib or pedicle, which has a film running down it, on each side. They are oblong, narrow, and pointed at the ends. The flowers are little, and yellowish; and they grow in tufts. The fruit is a bluish berry.

We use the resin which drops from the wounded branches of this tree. The tree itself is common in France and Italy, but it yields no resin there; we have that from Greece: It is whitish, hard, and in little lumps. It is good for all nervous disorders, and acts also as a balsam. There is scarce any thing better for a spitting of blood, or in the first stage of a consumption: it is also good against the whites, and in the gleets after gonorrhoeas. Some have a custom of chewing it, to preserve the teeth and sweeten the breath.


The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.



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