Lira Clinical Skincare Ingredients - February 17, 2021
Lira Clinical has incorporated histological powers of mastiha since 2013. It was and is a powerful anti-inflammatory and restorative ingredient with scientific evidence to explain topical efficacy. But the real magic of the ancient medicine compound is explained through fascinating folklore.
What is Folklore?
Folklore is the traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community, passed down through generations by word of mouth. It is the combination of two words – “folk,” meaning people and “lore,” meaning stories. Folklore are the tales told by the people in a particular region, often to describe the inexplicable. Before science could contest or confirm these stories, they made perfect sense. Folklore explained many things, including mastiha and the beautiful justification of the mastic resin shape and scent that have been passed through generations.
Greece is a land rich in tradition, and even mystique. Grecians are strong and proud people, and despite their geographical location, their cultural roots hold strong. This can be attributed to the great global contributions gifted from this fruitful region. The Grecian influence reaches every corner of the earth, from ancient to present times.
In fact, Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, hailed from the Greek Island of KOS. His influence is still seen today when the Hippocratic oath is pledged as a rite of passage for graduating medical doctors and nurses into professional and ethical standards. It is safe to assume that mastiha was one of many natural medicines in Hippocrates’ medicine bag.
The country of Greece is made up of thousands of islands with unique charms. One island, Chios, provides the unique and protected designation of origin of a powerful ingredient, mastiha. It was the inspiration for one of the Lira Clinical lines, and because of its potent skin calming and strengthening capabilities, has since been woven into many of Lira Clinical’s products.
In the 3rd Century AD, a Roman navy fleet led by an admiral named Numerian arrived on the small island of Chios, including a soldier from Alexandria, Isidoro, a quartermaster sergeant. He was a Christian, and at the time, Romans forbade Christians from being in military.
Isidoro and his Christian friend, Amenios, stayed in a house in the region of Kampos. In the evening, when he prayed to god, lightning and flames could be seen over the roof of his house. Many of his neighbors were awestruck and convinced by Isidoro and Amenios that the light was divine and was baptizing Christians.
The news spread quickly, and Admiral Numerian was furious, accusing Isidoro of not sacrificing to the gods (the Roman gods).
When confronted, Numerian asked Isidoro “Are you Christian?” Isidoro replied confidently and without pause, “Yes!” He would not lie. Numerian tied Isidoro to the back of his horse and dragged him through the mastic groves, between the mastiha trees of Chios. After nearly an hour, Numerian stopped his horse and asked Isidoro to denounce Christianity.
When Isidoro, bloody and battered, refused his request, Numerian ordered soldiers to cut out his tongue. The soldiers dutifully sliced the tongue from his mouth, but Isidoro continued to speak, reciting Christian scripture. Furious, Numerian attempted to order Isidoro’s execution, when he was surprised that he had actually lost his speech, unable to give a verbal command.
Silently, he lifted his finger to his neck moving it from one side to another, with the non-verbal symbolic demand that was well understood. The Roman soldiers beheaded Isidoro, tossing his head aside and displaying his body as a warning of what would happen if one was disobedient.
Myropi, was a Christian woman from Rome who sought religious sanctuary in Chios. When she heard what happened to Isidoro, she felt compelled to do something. She located Isidoro’s head and then carefully moved his body from display to a grave, reciting scriptures and giving him a respectful, proper Christian burial.
Upon discovering this, Admiral Numerian was furious! He ordered the guards to find her! She was beaten to near death and imprisoned. There, as she laid on the cold prison floor, lacking strength to even sit up, she wept. She then heard a voice say, “Myropi, all your cries have been heard, your prayers have been answered and today you will be joining me.” As she died, a fragrant mist filled the prison and then floated out into the night, settling securely into the protection of the mastic trees.
It is said that the trees that witnessed the cruel dragging of Isidoro through the groves, wept in sorrow, forming Mastic Tears onto the earth that was stained from his blood. The aroma that weft from Myropi was embraced by the trees creating the unique Mastiha scent.
We know the tear drop shape is a result of the earth’s gravity pulling the nutrient dense resin to the earth’s floor beneath, and the beautiful aroma is the melding of fragrant and beneficial terpenes. It is the unique microclimate and mineral rich, red volcanic soil of Chios that lend to that region’s mastiha potency. But the color of the earth is again explained by folklore as well as a divine explanation of what may have caused a modern marketing mishap.
One modern folklore story comes from the introduction of Lira Clinical’s MYSTIQ Line. Originally, the color of the line was intended to be a violet based purple. But a pantone accident at the printer, collided with a stringent deadline resulted in the color we have now. This rich, earthy burgundy, originally thought to be an accident, could have been the mastiha speaking divinely through color, in homage to the mineral dense soil that embraced and nourished the mastic tree roots.
Mastiha is a powerful ingredient. Many believe there are no accidents, or coincidences. If you believe in magic, unexplained happenings that later prove to have been the perfect answer, then understand mastiha as a Lira Clinical ingredient was no accident. At the close of many of our symposiums or classes, you have been offered a small, sweet and fragrant cup of mastiha liqueur, Skinos. But why? Not just because it had mastiha, or in celebration of another great class, but as a reminder of a medicinal comfort and calm. A metaphor to the topical capabilities:
Metaxia Dalikas, one of the founders, is responsible for introducing the ingredient to the Lira Clinical Board of Directors. It was her uncle, Dr. George Kokolis, a well-known Greek Plastic Surgeon, who first made her aware of the potency, explaining the clinical, medicinal potential, telling her to keep an eye out on the advancement of clinical use, in surgery and pharmaceutical therapies. He then offered her an aperitif of a Mastiha infused liqueur, Skinos. Seeing “skin” in the name… coincidence or divine inspiration?
Mastic gum, truly potent mastiha, is a magically effective ingredient. It has been used for thousands of years, for many ailments and is now showing promising clinical usage advancement. Current studies on the use of mastiha as a therapy for gastro/digestive ailments, and peer reviewed papers on topical anti-inflammatory benefits are making exciting waves in the medical community. It is indeed a pure example of science discovering nature’s secrets.
Accepted international ingredient nomenclature may require an ingredient deck listing as Mastic Gum, or Mastic extract, but not all Mastic resins are equal. Chios mastiha boasts a protected designation of origin, a qualification that confirms the unique make-up of the mastic tree resin from that specific area. With modern scientific advancements, we are now able to dissect its chemical composition explaining many of the clinical benefits of mastiha.
To protect sustainability of the magical and medicinal Chios mastic trees, Lira Clinical has partnered with Adopt Chios Trees. For information about adopting a mastic tree in your name, please visit https://www.adoptchiosmastihatree.gr/ or email Lenia Ziglaki – firstname.lastname@example.org and mention Lira Clinical Family for a €10 discount.
Watch our webinar.
Listen to our podcast “A Skindepth Convo” where Metaxia and Francine are joined by a special guest with a personal connection to Chios, Greece, Lou Skyriotis, to discuss the mystique of mastiha.