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Sourcing Resin for Chewing

 
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Hello everyone!

I have been chewing resin as gum for the past few months and I am a big fan. I started with some Siberian Cedar resin I bought on Amazon but after that was no longer available I switched to some Tears of Chios. Both are good but I heavily prefer conifer resin. I have access to some white pines but for a few reasons I don't want to harvest resin from them at the moment.

That being said, does anyone have any good sources to buy conifer resin? I think I am going to try and focus on Pine, Spruce, and Fir but most conifer resins are good.

Thank you,
Eric S.
 
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Please tell us more!  A book I read as a child that mentioned chewing resin (Sign of the Beaver?), so being an enterprising child, I promptly tried it, several times. The result was always the same, a mouth full of crumbly, bad tasting, bits.  I would love to know what I was doing wrong.
 
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Thank you for sharing this unique idea!

Here are a couple of articles from Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spruce_gum

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastic_(plant_resin)

Here are some sources:

https://www.amazon.com/Sayan-Siberian-Vegetarian-Aspartame-Preservatives/dp/B07GGR9FXK

https://www.etsy.com/market/gum_resin

For everyone's view pleasure some YouTube:







 
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I've purchased bulk resins from Scents of Earth and have been very happy with the quality and diversity of the products. Mostly it's been for making incense though. Some of their product descriptions indicate that resins have been or are used as chewing gum. A few examples are Mastic Gum Resin from Chios, Frankincense Resin - Maydi (Boswellia frereana), and Acacia Gum Resin.

They have pinyon pine resin but there is no indication of it being chewed.

Colophony resin (Colophonium tot.) is a pine resin from Portugal and they say that Native Americans have used pine resin as a chewing gum and is good for throat conditions. They don't say directly that colophony is used for chewing.

Myrrh resin is used as a mouth rinse for oral and digestive health. Both frankincense and myrrh are decocted with other herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Neither one tastes particularly good to me so I use them topically or as incense.

Another good source for chewing gum/resin is Apothecarys Garden. I've purchased other items from him and the quality is high. He sells Chicle, a natural Aztec chewing gum made of mastic. They have Siberian Cedar gum that can be chewed, and probably lots more I haven't seen.

Good luck and let us know what you find that's nice.
 
Eric Silveira
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Hi Gray,
I have had a similar experience with resin before and from what I have heard the key is to simply keep chewing it. It will fracture into many smaller pieces but if you keep chewing they will warm up and slowly begin to coalesce into one piece of gum. Green Deane has a much better account of Spruce gum and he also mentions that the flavor does improve over time.

https://www.eattheweeds.com/a-pitch-for-spruce-gum/

Hi Anne,
I have seen that specific chewing gum on Amazon and have avoided it for a few reasons. It contains Isomalt, which is a sugar alcohol made from a combination of mannitol and sorbitol. Not inherently bad but my body doesn't react well to sugar alcohols. It also contains Beeswax, which is also fine but I am cautious of its combination with resin because it can be so sticky. The reviews, unfortunately, suggest that their ratio may be a little bit off. I tried to create a resin and beeswax gum once and the mixture adhered so strongly to my teeth that I had to gargle with high-proof alcohol to partially dissolve the resin. My ratio was very off and I was closer to creating Cutler's Resin than viable gum!

The Etsy link looks helpful, they often have a wide variety of resins, rosins and botanical gums. I also found a source for authentic spruce gum in the first video you linked and will be looking into it! Thank you

https://www.fourseasonsnorth.com/product-page/wild-spruce-gum-6oz-17g

Hi Robin,
I checked out Scents of Earth and Apothecary's Garden, both of them are incredibly useful! The Siberian Cedar and other coniferous resins look particularly good to me. I want to stick with native resins that I can one day harvest myself but I appreciate your depth of knowledge on other resins of the world!


You have all been very helpful and I appreciate the responses! Once I have land of my own, I would love to try some resins from native broadleaf trees, some botanical gums, and even some latexes! All in time.

All the best,
Eric S.
 
Eric Silveira
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In a similar vein, does anyone have any experience with chewing Bee propolis? It seems to be composed of Beeswax, Bee Salvia, and various plant resins/gums. From what I gather there's no consensus on safety for chewing or internal use, but external use seems more safely regarded.

Thank you,
Eric S.
 
Eric Silveira
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I have also looked into chewing birch tar as an interesting chewing gum and a few quick searches around the internet seem to indicate this idea is quite old! The most interesting thing to me in this regard is the content of phenols and the sugar alcohol Xylitol. It has a sweetening effect without any actual sugar and actually has been suggested to fight against tooth decay. A common component of sugar-free gums, I have heard of xylitol and normally avoid it as a sugar alcohol but I think I will make an exception for this one. I have a good amount of sweet birch trees in my area that I think may lend to some harvesting!
 
Eric Silveira
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I have now had the privilege of consuming Spruce gum as well, made from real spruce resin in Canada. It was very aromatic upon opening the tin, with the characteristic resin smell but it was not as harsh as I expected. The pieces themselves suggest that they were melted and extruded into a long band before being broken down into their constituent equal lengths. The gum itself shatters when you bite into it, this is to be expected, but it is still quite unpleasant. The pieces are quite brittle and burst into a shower of tiny particles with any force, you then get a strong wave of resin flavor. As you continue chewing, it will slowly coalesce into real chewing gum. It doesn't take long, maybe a couple of minutes if you go right for it, but it was undesirable. At the chewing gum stage, it is phenomenal, the flavor mellows, and the elasticity of the gum is perfect. I think I prefer the taste of Siberian cedar better but spruce gum is a close second. Both are far better than tears of Chios mastic gum in my opinion.
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That is pretty cool, Eric. I wonder; if you were to hold the resin in your mouth for several minutes to let it warm up, would that soften it and keep it from shattering?

Also, is it the sort of thing that you reuse and chew again or do you just use it once?
 
Eric Silveira
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Hi Jeremy,

Yes, if you hold it in your mouth it can soften up a little over time and not shatter as much but what I gather you will still need to crush it at some point. I will try this next when I use a fresh piece to see how long it takes me!

I am not sure if other people reuse it, but I try to. It does diminish in flavor over time, but even after hours of chewing it still has some flavor to it. I generally pat a piece dry and store it in beeswax wraps until I use it again but never for too long. I don't think it will go bad per se but it feels weird to me to store chewed gum for any long period.

I have been searching for the best use for chewed resin and I am still unsure. It certainly undergoes a physical change after chewing, from a dark semi-translucent piece to a light brown opaque mass. I would guess most of the water-soluble compounds have been chewed out. Perhaps it can be melted down for reuse.
 
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