Watch Out for the Mangosteen

Anybody heard about the fruit, they call mangosteen? What may register to your memory is its capsule or tablet form. How about the fruit?

Watch Out for the Mangosteen

Perhaps, you’ve seen one – in the herbal supplements’ box. But the real fruit, the round, smooth dark purple-ness is lost from your reach, as it is available abundantly in Asia: Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Singapore, and the Philippines.

Though attempts to raise the plant have been made in some American, English and African soil, it rarely survives.

Where does it come from?

Mangosteen or Garcinia mangostana, according to Julia F. Morton of Florida, came from the “Sunda Islands and the Moluccas.” From these areas, the fruit journeyed for cultivation in Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Sri Lanka, India, and Philippines.

Its required climate ranges between 40 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while its favoured soil composition is that of “deep, rich organic soil, especially sandy loam or laterite.”

Health benefits

Almost every kind of fruit prides itself for its health benefits – it heals, it provides nutrients, it contains catalysing ‘magic,’ and so forth. The lauded “queen of fruits” is no different. For one, the American Cancer Society rounds its benefits through the following statement:

“Mangosteen is promoted to support microbiological balance, help the immune system, improve joint flexibility, and provide mental support. Some proponents claim that it can help diarrhea, infections, tuberculosis, and a host of other illnesses. In countries where the tree grows, various parts of the plant are used by native healers.”

In sum, it’s a promising fruit. And for a super fruit, it’s not one of those that taste horrible. Rather, it’s a good combination of acid and sweetness. No wonder, it’s a well-loved queen.

Miracle fruit?

What raises a fruit’s status is its ability to treat complex, almost-terminal type of diseases. Mangosteen for one has the potential to beat cancer. While it hasn’t been tested in humans, it was found to “slowed the growth of certain cancer cells” – a finding based in “A small study in rats…”

Additionally, fielding an online search for mangosteen will inevitably mention xanthones. The chemical is characterised as the fruit’s dominant antioxidant. Apart from consuming the fruit, mangosteen is also pureed, particularly, its rind and pulp, as well as, taken as a health juice drink.

The Rave

Considering that it’s not available for everyone, its craving is largely situated from these deprived locations. Take for instance an excerpt from a lengthy lamentation in R. W. APPLE Jr’s New York Times article:

“No other fruit, for me, is so thrillingly, intoxicatingly luscious, so evocative of the exotic East, with so precise a balance of acid and sugar, as a ripe mangosteen. I thought so when I first tasted one half a lifetime ago, in Singapore, and I’ve thought so ever since.” — In the “Forbidden Fruit: Something About A Mangosteen”

So, what’s your say? Have you tried peeling out a mangosteen and popping its white flesh? If you have not, start scouting the produce sections, particularly, those shelves that house the tropical fruit. Search for the queen and let it help you get fit.

Manuela Theissen is a health buff and smoothie queen. This Atlanta native also loves to bake cookies, organise local pageants and proffer writing tutorials for young creative writers. Her downtime is spent in garden or in front of a boudoir. She’s a regular health section contributor to the local newspaper.