12 Powerful Benefits of Mangosteen

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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Mangosteen is rich in antioxidants and xanthones, and the powerful health benefits of the tropical fruit include its ability to fight cancer and boost heart health. It has potent anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, which help in treating diarrhea, dysentery, thrush, and urinary tract infections. Mangosteen also helps regulate the menstrual cycle, lose weight, and improve skin health.

What is Mangosteen?

Mangosteen is a reddish or dark purple fruit with white, juicy flesh, which is popular in Thailand. It is known as the queen of fruits because of its exquisite taste that has the notes of a ripe strawberry, a fragrant peach, and creamy vanilla ice cream. The plant of the mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) may have originated in Thailand or Myanmar (formerly Burma). Over the years, it has been cultivated in other Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and India. The fruit has cancer-fighting properties and in many of the Southeast Asian countries, the bark and the leaves of the plant and the pectin-rich fruit rind are also used for their medicinal benefits.

Mangosteen is a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins

Mangosteen Nutrition Facts

Mangosteen is an antioxidant-rich fruit, particularly known for the presence of xanthones in its white pulp. Xanthones are polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties, according to research done by The Ohio State University, Columbus, US. The fruit is also rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, folate, vitamin C, potassium, and zinc as per the USDA National Nutrient Database. Other minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, carotene, and cryptoxanthin are also found in it. Mangosteen juice is a rich source of antioxidants and often had as an anti-aging drink.

Health Benefits of Mangosteen

This queen of fruits has many health benefits, the best of which are mentioned below.

Anti-cancer Properties

The pericarps of mangosteen contain xanthones which exhibit anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial effects. The xanthones inhibit the cell growth in human colon cancer and as per a research published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, they exhibit the potential to be developed as agents to prevent cancer or can be used in combination with anti-cancer drugs for beneficial effects.

Cures Diarrhea & Dysentery

The mangosteen fruit and rind are effective in providing relief from stomach disorders such as diarrhea and dysentery. A traditional remedy for diarrhea is steeping the fruit rind in water overnight. This decoction is given to adults and children who have chronic diarrhea. For relief from dysentery, the dried fruit and rind is powdered and taken.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

It has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent for many years in Southeast Asian countries. The extracts of mangosteen have anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory properties and they inhibit the release of histamine and prostaglandin which are associated with inflammation in the body. A study by Dr. Fabiola Gutierrez-Orozco, The Ohio State University, Columbus, confirms this property.

Skin Care

The anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-allergy, and anti-oxidant properties of mangosteen help in reducing the risk of various conditions such as skin inflammation, skin aging, eczema, allergies, and bacterial infections. Research has been carried out to ascertain the various benefits of this fruit on the skin. A study cited in the Food and Chemical Toxicology journal suggests that mangosteen has properties which can prevent skin cancer.

Boosts Immunity

Mangosteen is rich in nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and xanthones which help in boosting the immune system. These nutrients protect the body from ailments that weaken the immune system.

Antioxidant Properties

Mangosteens are known to contain powerful antioxidants, which are useful to the immune system and the entire body. These antioxidants contain cell boosters that are referred to as xanthones, which contain various properties that have medicinal value. This is the reason why it is termed a healing fruit and can be used to reverse the effects of diseases. Dr. Zhuohong Xie et al., International Chemistry Testing, Massachusetts, in a study shows the daily consumption of mangosteen drink improves antioxidant levels in the body.

Speeds up Healing

Mangosteen, with its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, is beneficial as a medicinal drink and for quick healing of wounds. The leaves and bark of the tree can be mixed with other medicinal herbs and applied to the wounds for a faster recovery. The medicinal drink can be prepared by boiling the leaves and the bark of the tree.

Treats Menstrual Problems

Mangosteen root helps in regulating the menstrual cycle in women. It also eases the symptoms that often occur before menstruation and make it tough for women to carry out their routine.

Astringent Properties

The bark and leaves of the mangosteen tree exhibit astringent properties and are beneficial in curing thrush or aphtha, which is a small, shallow sore at the base of the gums.

Protects Heart Health

Mangosteens are helpful in reducing the risk of stroke or myocardial infarction. Findings of a study published in the Journal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology indicate the cardioprotective effect of mangosteen on antioxidant tissue defense system and lipid peroxidation during a stroke.

Controls Diabetes

Dr. Dónal O’Mathuna, The Ohio State University, US, in his book Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook writes about the use of mangosteen to cure diabetes, as it is effective in managing and maintaining blood sugar levels in the body.

Weight Loss

Incorporating mangosteen in the diet may be effective in weight loss. The various nutrients found in this tropical fruit also ensure good health and well-being.

Uses

Apart from the health benefits, mangosteen is useful for commercial purposes a well. In China, it is used for tanning leather and in Ghana, the tree twigs are used as chewsticks. The wood is also used for making rice pounders, handles and is also used in constructing furniture.mangosteeninfo01

How to prepare & eat Mangosteen?

Preparations: Fresh mangosteen fruit is eaten as a dessert. Juice from the fruit’s flesh can be prepared at home and is also available as a health drink “Xango juice”. It is also made into jams and thus can be stored for a longer duration and can be consumed at any time of the year. Mangosteen products are available in tablet or capsule form. Mangosteen powder can be added to smoothies and juices for a nutrition boost.

Eating: The rind of the fruit is thick, so you would need a knife to cut it open though traditionally people also just lightly crush the ripe fruit with their hands. Here are the steps to cut open a mangosteen:

  • Step 1: Hold the fruit with the stem-end down.
  • Step 2: Take a sharp knife and cut cleanly through the rind around the middle of the fruit.
  • Step 3: Lift the top half and you will see the white, delicious segments of the fruit.
  • Step 4: You can use a fork to lift the segments.
  • Step 5: You can choose to remove the seeds; however, they are edible. Enjoy your mangosteen!

Note: The tropical fruit is best had fresh. It tends to lose its delicate flavor when kept open for a while or when canned. Also, the seeds can also be consumed after roasting or boiling. In Thailand, the pectin-rich rind is treated and made into a purplish jelly.

How to Select and Store?

While buying mangosteen select those which have fewer seeds and more fleshy segments. Choose the fruits which have the highest number of stigma lobes at the apex. The fruits generally do not have a long shelf life. They can maintain their freshness for up to two weeks, after which they tend to lose their flavor and nutritional value. Placing these fruits in a cool place that has an adequate supply of fresh air is the best way to ensure that they stay fresh.

About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve is a health and wellness enthusiast and started working on Organic Facts since 2012 and is currently responsible for managing it. She follows naturopathy and believes in healing with foods. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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