Mangosteen fruit scientifically known as (Garcinia mangostana) is a tropical evergreen tree, believed to have been originated in Indonesia and is widely available in several South East Asian regions like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and is only grown in other tropical latitudes, since they require humid and regulated temperatures.
It is an evergreen tree reaching about 20- 60 ft in height. It is commonly found in tropical rainforests of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines as well as in some cultivated lands in Sri Lanka, and India, where annual precipitation and relative humidity are favorable for its growth. Fresh purple fruits are available in the markets from June until October.
Each tree bears several deep purple colored round shaped fruits, capped with light green calyx at the stem end. Fully matured fruit measures about 3-7 cm in diameter. Its outer tough rind is about 7-12 mm thick, and contains bitter yellow latex that stains clothes black.
Mangosteen is a dark purple fruit (white on the inside). Internally; the fruit features 4 to 10 juicy, snow-white color, soft, fleshy triangular segments as in oranges. Each segment may contain 1-4 off white colored seeds. Seeds are inedible and bitter in taste. The flavor of fruit is sweet, fragrant, and delicious, offering numerous health benefits in the form of antioxidants. Both the fruit and the skin are incredibly potent disease fighters.
This exotic fruit, used in traditional medicine for centuries, contains some of the most potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal compounds in nature.
- Helps to combat PAIN it contains anti-inflammatory property which may decrease inflammation, and joint damage linked with arthritis, or pain caused by sports workout and minor injuries.
- Decreases free radical damage and inflammatory build up – helps to maintain the BLOOD VESSEL HEALTH, CHOLESTEROL LEVEL, PROTECTS HEART MUSCLE and LOWERS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE.
- Boosts ENERGY without stimulants.
- Maintain INTERSTINAL HEALTH – relieve diarrhea, constipation and stimulates normal bowel health.
- Helps in SKIN CONDITION – can be applied on the skin for eczema, fights against bacteria which causes most acne, assist in wound healing.
- Helps to COMBAT INFECTION – viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites and fever.
- May decrease BLOOD SUGAR in Type II diabetes by making insulin more effective.
- Helps to combat FREE RADICAL DAMAGE that results in cell mutations (cancer and tumor growth).
- Protects BRAIN AND NERVE HEALTH – help to combat Parkinson and Alzheimer disease.
- Relieves DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY.
- Helps in VISION HEALTH – may prevent protein cross linking associated with glaucoma.
- Helps to combat ALLERGIES (anti-histamine) and support immune system.
- Helps to MANAGE WEIGHT – reduce body fat.
Here we see how Mangosteen is used in certain coutries:
- THAILAND: Mangosteen is used to treat infected wounds, tuberculosis, malaria, urinary tract infections, and other diseases.
- INDIA: Natives used dried rind (pericarp) of the mangosteen for chronic dysentery, diarrhea, other gastrointestinal problems, gout and fevers.
- PHILIPPINES: Used for fevers, thrush, diarrhea, dysentery and urinary disorders.
- CARIBBEAN: A tea made from mangosteen is used as a tonic for fatigue and low energy.
- BRAZIL: Tea made from mangosteen to help in digestion.
- VENEZUELA: The fruit rind is used to treat skin infection.
In conclusion, independent scientific research studies and clinical experience all show the remarkable health benefits of Mangosteen.
Mangosteen has been found to contain many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (B12), and niacin (B3). It has also been found to contain substances that have antihistamine and chemoprotective effects.
It also contains a class of naturally occurring polyphenolic compounds called xanthones. Polyphenolic compounds are found in edible and inedible plants, and have been found to have multiple biological effects including antioxidant activity thought to be approximately five times stronger than vitamins C and E.
Mangosteen contains 50 of the 200 known xanthones, the source of its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants have been shown to neutralize destructive free radicals in the body which cause oxidative stress at the cellular level, a root cause of degenerative and chronic disease.
Xanthones are antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiplasmodial, cytotoxic, and antihepatoxic (prevent liver disease).
Ongoing studies are researching their beneficial effects on a variety of diseases, including: arthritis, asthma, Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s, stroke, ulcers, and urinary tract infections.
Both the white fruit and the purple skin are suffused with disease-fighting antioxidants, anti-radicals, anti-aging agents and cancer-fighting agents.
WHERE TO BUY, SELECT AND STORE
They are available at Asian markets across North America.
When shopping, avoid buying mangosteens that have blotchy-looking skin or crispy-brown leaves, as this means the fruit is old. Another sign of overripe mangosteens is a powdery yellow appearance on both skin and stem. Instead, look for consistently rich color and fresh-looking green stems and leaves.
In dry, warm, closed storage, mangosteens can be kept 20 to 25 days. Longer periods cause the outer skin to toughen and the rind to become rubbery; later, the rind hardens and becomes difficult to open and the flesh turns dry.
TIPS FOR PREPARING
Wash fruit in water to remove surface dust. Fresh fruit has a thick soft rind quite like a pomegranate but thicker in size.
- Using a sharp knife, make a cut around the middle of the fruit (the circumference) of the mangosteen. The purple-red skin can be up to ½ inch thick, so you will need to cut fairly deep.
- Take the mangosteen in both hands and use your thumbs to pry open the fruit. Now you should be able to see the white segments (almost like an orange) at the fruit’s center. Remove these segments from the purple “casing” (skin).
- Enjoy eating these luscious fruit segments right away, or use them to make a variety of desserts – from mangosteen sorbet to fruit salad
CAUTION: When cutting a mangosteen, it’s best to wear an apron or old clothing, and avoid preparing it near furniture of any kind. The purple juice is so potent; it will create stains that are extremely difficult to get out.
HOW TO ENJOY
Mangosteens are generally eaten raw. You can also juice them, make ice creams, sorbets, yogurt, jellies and fruit salads with them.