A Mayan shaman asked me if I knew what these hard slates of brownish gum resin were in a small baggie. I knew it was plant material but wasn’t sure what it was.
It turned out to be chicle the original natural source of chewing gum.
The source of the word chicle is where they got the name for Chiclets gum. Chiclets was the first gum to have a candy coated shell. Sugarless varieties now contain toxic dyes and chemicals. Original versions used natural flavours like peppermint and spearmint. Essential oils are considered natural flavours but usually cheaper quality versions are used in the food industry.
I was told chicle came from a mayan word meaning to chew. Chicle is a latex gum rubber that is collected from the Manilkara species of tropical evergreen trees in Mexico and grows down to Colombia. The gum is like a milky latex that is collected from zig zag cuts on the tree trunks that run down to the base and then are boiled to the right consistency to use as a gum base.
The shaman was surprised to know that I had seen how chiclets were made but yet didn’t know and was not told about the chicle. The chicle is mixed with so much stuff that it doesn’t resemble the original brown colour, it gets turned into light beige. Most companies do not use the natural source anymore opting for a cheaper synthetic alternative.
The only US company that hasn’t replaced the chicle with a disgusting artificial substitute is Glee gum. The new artificial gum is toxic to people, birds and wildlife and remains a serious environmental pollutant. With people spitting it out everywhere this sticky substance has become a bit more than a nuisance, it is a dangerous hazard leading some countries to ban it.
The older versions are completely natural and were used as medicine besides being a breath freshener. Many resins were chewed like gum such as frankincense and myrrh along with rubbers. Modern gum has no medicinal qualities anymore, in fact quite the opposite with the added artificial sweeteners it is making gum toxic. I don’t chew gum anymore and if you saw how it was made you probably wouldn’t either. If you do choose to chew gum please dispose of it properly and do not litter and leave it to hurt wildlife.
This is how long this stuff can stick around and who knows what the lifespan of fake gum is?
9,000 Year Old Chewing Gum found in Sweden.
A 9,000-year-old piece of chewing gum, still bearing the teeth marks of a Stone-Age adolescent, was unearthed in Sweden. A testament to mankind’s deep-seated need to gnaw on flavored rubber.
If its anything like its modern cousins, the blob of honey-sweetened resin probably lost its taste 8,999 years, 364 days, 23 hours and 59 minutes ago.
The lump of birch bark tar dates back to Neolithic times and comes complete with Stone Age tooth prints.
Sarah Pickin, 23, was among five British students volunteering at the Kierikki Stone Age Centre in Finland when she found the tiny, ancient blob.
‘I was delighted to find the gum and was very excited to learn more about the history,’ she said.
Neolithic people are thought to have chewed the bark tar to heal mouth infections – and also used it to glue broken pots together.
The tree tar contains phenols which have antiseptic properties, explained Prof Trevor Brown, who is Miss Pickin’s tutor at the University of Derby.
The gum is to go on display at the centre in Finland.
Thanks to Open Your Minds https://www.facebook.com/openyourmind12
Picture courtesy of Wikipedia
Picture of 9,000 year old chewing gum
Common modern chewing gum ingredients that may cause cancer