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Oct 31, 2010 06:09 PM

Natural chicle - It is NOT the same as synthetic gum

The photo below is of a bag of straight-from-the-tree chickle.

It looks like chunk of baking chocolate. When you bite into it it crumbl'es to dust at first and then forms gum. Of course, there is no flavor. However it is different in that it does not stick to your teeth. The tiniest bit, lasts and lasts.

I bought it out of curiosity at a store in Guatemala that sells ice cream, but specializes in natural remedies I never saw raw chickle before. The owner of the shop went on and on about the health beneftis.

To say I was skeptical was an understatement. How can gum be healthy? I listened politely and googled when I got back home. Darn if she isn't correct. Here;s one link about a few of the benefits

"Masticating a chewing gum is a sort of exercise that increase blood flow to the brain. According to studies, chewing gum may improve memory. It produces more oxygen, more glucose and dispose more carbon dioxide. This is way chewing gum improves memory. It improves attentiveness and concentration.

Recent research has shown that rhythmic motion of chewing gum has a stress-reducing effect because relaxed and satisfied feelings.

Chewing gum triggers the production of more saliva. Saliva is essential in digestion. Contains the enzyme ptialina amylase that breaks down starch into sugar. Also contain salivary lipase to start fat digestion. Helps reduce acid reflux from stomach to throat. Acid reflux leaves a constant chest burning sensation.

It has a cleansing effect on teeth and gums. Saliva carry disinfectant that kills harmful microorganisms. It also washes teeth and gums of clinging dirt and food."

Surprisingly, I didn't have hearburn today and chewing the chicle stopped. it.

I don't think I ever realized that chicle was from the sapodilla tree. I always thought it was the same the sap from rubber trees only processed differently

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  1. Knowing you copied this, I get to poke a little fun: "This is way chewing gum improves memory. It improves attentiveness and concentration." The author must not have been chewing chicle at the time.

    Thanks for the info on chicle. I too thought it was sap from rubber trees. The sapodilla tree is an evergreen? Who knew? Interesting stuff.

    1. I was looking for a source of natural chicle online. Glee gum has a make your own chewing gum kit that includes natural chicle

      In the search i also stumbled across a few interesting links about the history of chicle

      NPR writes "chewing gum is a crime in Singapore, and, in 15th-century Meso-America, it was the mark of a prostitute"

      To promote gum Wrigley "sent a pack of chewing gum to every resident listed in the United States phone book,"

      There is a book about the history "ChicleThe Chewing Gum of the Americas, From the Ancient Maya to William Wrigley"

      "Chicle is a history in four acts, all of them focused on the sticky white substance that seeps from the sapodilla tree when its bark is cut. First, Jennifer Mathews recounts the story of chicle and its earliest-known adherents, the Maya and Aztecs. Second, with the assistance of botanist Gillian Schultz, Mathews examines the sapodilla tree itself, an extraordinarily hardy plant that is native only to Mesoamerica and the Caribbean. Third, Mathews presents the fascinating story of the chicle and chewing gum industry over the last hundred plus years, a tale (like so many twentieth-century tales) of greed, growth, and collapse. In closing, Mathews considers the plight of the chicleros, the “extractors” who often work by themselves tapping trees deep in the forests, and how they have emerged as icons of local pop culture—portrayed as fearless, hard-drinking brawlers, people to be respected as well as feared.

      Before Dentyne® and Chiclets®, before bubble gum comic strips and the Doublemint® twins, there was gum, oozing from jungle trees like melting candle wax under the slash of a machete."