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Mangosteen Fruit - Its Nutritional And Health Benefits - Mangosteen Tea Benefits

Updated on January 3, 2016
rajan jolly profile image

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

About Mangosteen

Mangosteen, sometimes also known as purple mangosteen, is a tropical fruit belonging to an evergreen tree botanically known as "Garcinia mangostana".

Mangosteen grows mainly in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Vietnam and India, and also in Columbia and Hawaii.

Known also as the "Queen of fruits", mangosteen has been used for thousands of years in folk and traditional medicine.

Mangosteen Fruit


Mangosteen Tree

Garcinia mangostana or Mangosteen tree
Garcinia mangostana or Mangosteen tree | Source

Mangosteen Tree (Garcinia mangostana)

Totally unrelated to the mango, Garcinia mangostana is a very slow growing, small to medium sized tree that grows from 20 to 80 feet high and mainly in the tropical regions as even the adult tree is not able to withstand temperatures below zero degrees C for long. These trees and the fruit too, is therefore, not known in North America.

The tree is believed to be native to the Sunda Islands and the Moluccas of Indonesia.

Mangosteen twigs are used as chewsticks for cleaning teeth, in Ghana.

The wood is used

  • to make handles for spears and rice pounders
  • in carpentry
  • in construction

The mangosteen tree matures in 6 to 10 years on an average.

Mangosteen Fruit

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Raw mangosteen fruitAn opened mangosteen fruitA separated lobe of the mangosteen fruit.
Raw mangosteen fruit
Raw mangosteen fruit | Source
An opened mangosteen fruit
An opened mangosteen fruit | Source
A separated lobe of the mangosteen fruit.
A separated lobe of the mangosteen fruit. | Source

Mangosteen Fruit

The mangosteen fruit starts off as an unripe almost white to pale green colored fruit. The outer rind or exocarp changes to dark green color as it matures in 2-3 months and also increases in size to 4-8 cms in diameter.

The fruit remains hard till the fruit has attained its final size and then the outer skin becomes softer and the color changes from dark green to red to dark purple which indicates it is ripe for picking.The rind hardens post harvest.

Inside are from 4 to 8 soft, pulpy, white segments almost resembling a garlic bulb, known botanically as arils. This is the edible part of the mangosteen fruit. The seeds are contained in the larger arils and can be eaten after roasting.

The arils are mildly sweet, taste somewhat like a lychee and are considered a delicacy.

The rind being quite thick and hard needs to be shallowly cut all around a little above the center of the fruit and the cut top segment lifted up to reveal the soft segments inside.

An alternate way to open a mangosteen fruit can be seen at

Nutrients In Mangosteen

The mangosteen fruit is low in calories, without any saturated fat or cholesterol.

It is rich in dietary fiber and provides 12% of the daily requirement per 100 grams.

Mangosteen contains moderate amounts of Bcomplex vitamins and the minerals copper, magnesium and manganese.

The active principles in Mangosteen are the phytonutrients called xanthones. It has been found that mangosteen contains 43 xanthones out of the 200 identified.

The xanthones are found mainly in the purple rind of the fruit and are responsible for most of the health benefits that mangosteen offers.

Also, mangosteen contains the highest number of xanthones found in any natural substance. Alpha mangostin is found in maximum concentration.

Nutrient Information On Mangosteen Fruit

Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), Fresh
Nutrition value per 100 grams
Nutrient Value
Percentage of RDA
63 Kcal
15.6 g
0.50 g
Total Fat
0.4 g
0 mg
Dietary Fiber
5.10 g
31 mcg
0.286 mg
Pantothenic acid
0.032 mg
0.041 mg
0.054 mg
0.054 mg
Vitamin A
35 IU
Vitamin C
7.2 mg
7 mg
48 mg
5.49 mg
0.069 mg
0.17 mg
13.9 mg
0.10 mg
9.21 mg
0.12 mg
1 mcg
16 mcg
9 mcg
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

Mangosteen - The Science

Health Benefits Of Mangosteen

Mangosteen contains compounds that aid in relieving many diseases and health conditions in our body. In folk and traditional medicine the rind, leaves, bark and fruit have been used since ancient times.

Mangosteen has antioxidant, antitumor, antiallergic, anti inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral activities.

Though there are supporters and detractors of mangosteen with regards to its almost magical benefits, with the majority of them saying that the benefits are all hype without any scientific backing, all the health benefits mentioned here have scientific studies to back them up, as can be seen in the reference links.

Some of these health benefits of mangosteen are :

  • Extracts of the pericarp of the mangosteen fruit has been found to halt the growth of breast cancer cells. This extract also caused the death of the cancer cells.
  • The xanthones from the mangosteen pericarp have been found to prevent the growth of human leukemia cells and alpha mangostin caused the death of these leukemia cells.
  • The xanthones, alpha and beta mangostins and garcinone B have anti tuberculosis activity which prevented TB.
  • Garcinone E, one of the xanthones in the mangosteen rind killed liver cancer cells as well as gastric and lung cancer cells.
  • Mangosteen extracts also prevents allergy by inhibiting histamine release.
  • Gamma mangostin helps heal skin infections and wounds, and control diarrhea by inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis.
  • The polysaccharides from the mangosteen rind kill intracellular bacteria, Salmonella enteritidis which causes food poisoning.
  • Alpha and gamma mangostins prevents allergies and inflammation.
  • The mangostins help prevent oxidation of cholesterol and reduces risk of heart disease.
  • The mangostins also inhibits HIV replication and are the leading compounds for chemotherapy of HIV infection.
  • Mangosteen is a potent antioxidant that eradicates free radicals and prevents damage caused by them.
  • Mangosteen prevents plaque formation in arteries keeping them free of blockage and reducing heart disease risk. Some xanthones prevented formation of blood clots.
  • The xanthone Mangiferin lowers blood sugar levels in those affected by type 2 diabtes.
  • Xanthones also have anti malarial properties.
  • Gamma mangostin found in mangosteen treats central nervous system disorders.
  • By fighting inflammation, mangosteen helps to benefit in relieving and preventing arthritis pain and alzheimer's as well, while its antibacterial property helps to improve urinary tract health and eliminates bad breath.

Other Information On Mangosteen

  1. Mangosteen is also available in the form of tablets, capsules, creams and juice.
    The oral dose is 500 mg, 2 times daily.
    The beverage dose is 30 ml per day.

  2. As no information of the safety of mangosteen is available for pregnant and breastfeeding women they should avoid it.

  3. Those with diabetes or high blood sugar levels should go easy on mangosteen juice as it is high in sugar content.

Mangosteen Tea And Its Benefits

Mangosteen tea is quite popular due to its high xanthones' content. Since the xanthones are in the rind, the rinds are dried for making tea. The dried rind is boiled for a 3-5 minutes in water to make the tea.

Commercially mangosteen tea bags are also available.

Mangosteen tea is beneficial as an anti inflammatory drink to reduce inflammation as in fever, chills, headache, arthritis, fibromyalgia etc.


The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.



Picking and Eating a Ripe Purple Mangosteen

© 2014 Rajan Singh Jolly


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    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Flourish, I tasted this for the first time when I visited China last year. It has a very buttery and smooth taste with a mild flavor. Though opening it needs some practice so as not to cut into the flesh.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      What a very interesting, funny looking fruit. I sure wish we were exposed to more unusual fruits like this!

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Thanks CraftytotheCore.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image


      6 years ago

      An excellent Hub describing a fruit I've never heard of before. It's packed full of vitamins and sounds like it would make an excellent tea.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      You're welcome and thanks for stopping by teaches12345.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      I've not heard of this fruit, but I am willing to try it. Looks like it has good value for the body. Thank you for bringing all these wonderful health food suggestions to our awareness.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      @ Susan Recipes - thanks for reading and commenting.

      @Eiddwen - Thanks Eddy and good to see you. You have a great day as well.

      @MsDora - Thank you for the read and vote up.

      @Eiddwen - thanks Eddy.

      @DDE - Thanks Devika. Always a pleasure to see you.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Unique information on Mangosteen Tea you have explained in detail and I have learn from all your hubs.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      Interesting and so very useful indeed Rajan. Here's to so many more and wishing you a great weekend.


    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      This is the first time I've even seen picture of the fruit. Thank you for all the valuable information. Voted Up!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      Hi Rajan I think I have missed out on some of your hubs but certainly enjoyed this one. Interesting, well informed and very useful .

      Voted up and wishing you a great day


    • Susan Recipes profile image


      6 years ago from India

      I have heard of but never seen a Mangosteen. thanks for sharing these useful information. Voted up and interesting.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Bill, the world is indeed a big place and there is so much to learn. Thanks.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Your hubs point out to me what a big, big world this is. There is so much I am not aware of. Thank you for the continued education.


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