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Mastihashop Opens Its First US Location in NYC’s Lower East Side

by PhatGuru Staff on Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

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MastihashopDrink from the tree of life and live forever… well, until that exists we have become obsessed with mastiha, the natural antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial miracle sap that ONLY seeps from evergreen bushes found in the southern part of the Greek Island of Chios. Until this year, the full mastiha experience could not be found in the United States, but thanks to sisters Kalliopi and Artemis Kohas, mastiha is now available on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in America’s first ever mastihashop. Located at 145 Orchard Street, the shop has every mastiha product one could wish for! From lotion to chewing gum, mastiha’s natural antioxidants freshen breath, fight plaque and gingivitis, heal and regenerate skin, relieve ulcers, ease digestion and stomach disorders and strengthen hair and nails all at the same time!

MastihashopWith over 300 known applications, the very versatile mastiha can be found in a variety of products from baked goods, sweets, preserves, ice cream, chocolate, chewing gum, candy, beverages, tea, coffee, milk products, pasta, sauces, liquor, wine, dietary supplements, oral hygiene products, surgical sutures, compresses for burns, soap, cosmetics, scented candles and essential oils to name a few! Its’ addicting piney aroma and unique earthy flavor can be enjoyed in the raw or as a spice to cook with. Although few in the west are familiar with mastiha, the unique and extraordinary resin was first referenced over 2,500 years ago! It has a history dating back to antiquity and is documented before the 1st century.

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Chocolates BoxThough Kalliopi and Artemis Kohas are the first to bring mastihashop to the U.S., they are not alone in the wide spread effort to revitalize the use of this extraordinary resin. In 1998, the EU distinguished Chios Mastiha as PDO product (Protected Designation of Origin), an agricultural product described by its region of origin. The PDO distinction also classifies the quality and characteristics of which are mainly due to the geographical environment and cultivation process in the specified area, hence the name Chios Mastiha. In an effort to further educate people on the many benefits and uses of mastiha, the Chios Mastiha Growers Association gave birth to a daughter company, Mediterra SA, which created the mastihashop brand in 2002. Now, there are 11 stores in Greece one in Cyprus, Jeddah, Tokyo, and most recently New York!

MastihashopFrom the earliest references of mastiha, we know that it was originally chewed as a gum and “mastiha” is where the word “masticate” is derived from. It has also traditionally been used in homoeopathic remedies and beauty products for centuries, but only recently has modern scientific research played a role in proving the therapeutic benefits of Chios mastiha. Now, clinical studies prove that mastiha acts against digestive disorders, contributes to oral hygiene, displays significant antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory action, is a natural antioxidant, and also aids in trauma healing and skin regeneration.

MastihashopMastiha Vinegar“We grew up with mastiha, it was apart of our everyday life in Greece,” say Kalliopi and Artemis who spent every summer of their childhood in Chios. “It took us a while to be able to bring mastiha to the states and open a store in New York, but since the opening we have received such a positive response… it’s so exciting when people come in that know about mastiha and have been looking everywhere for the products. We chose the Lower East Side because of its’ unique character and culture reminiscent of mastiha’s own distinct nature. Also, the LES has historically welcomed new immigrant families with new traditions.”

Mastiha Face CreamAmerica’s first mastihashop is located at 145 Orchard Street between Stanton and Rivington Streets. The natural, yet sleek design of the shop reflects the union of the resin’s tradition with its modernization while echoing the powerful characteristics of Chios mastiha. From gourmet spices to taffy and candies, to cheese spreads and pastas, shampoo, lotion, eye cream and natural soaps, mastihashop has it all! Whether you want to settle your stomach or revitalize your skin, all-natural Chios Mastiha is the perfect solution.

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