Healthy Living

The Health Benefits of Mangosteen

One of our favorite fruits at home is the mangosteen, also referred to as purple mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana). Perhaps like me, you have often heard about the health benefits of the mangosteen. I did some further reading on this fruit, also referred to as the “queen of fruits.”

The mangosteen fruit is said to be rich in anti-oxidants. The mangosteen peel is also said to contain xanthonoids and other phytochemicals.

Traditional Uses. Folk healers in Asia and yes, the Philippines have said that mangosteen can be used (when prepared as an ointment) to treat skin conditions like eczema as well as other injuries and infections. Its boiled leaves and bark mixed with other herbs can be used to treat wounds. They also said that a drink prepared from boiling its roots can help women with menstrual problems. Dysentery and urinary tract infections, according to them, can also be treated with prepared mangosteen drink or tea.

Research Findings. Now if we go the way of research, this is what the American Cancer Society has to say: Mangosteen extracts have shown in laboratory tests that they can stop certain bacteria and fungi from growing. They noted that one laboratory study suggested that mangosteen extract inhibits the growth of acne-causing bacteria. However, they are quick to note that that it has not been tested yet on people whether it can help acne. It also showed in the laboratory that it also “slowed the growth of certain cancer cells.” But again they clarified that this has not been tested in humans. Oh, how I wish there can be tests done on humans already to further clarify for us how the mangosteen can be that effective in treating acne and of course, cancer. After all, cancer is the number 1 killer in the world.

Brent A. Bauer, MD, of Mayo Clinic also says that mangosteen juice might reduce arthritis inflammation and pain. He cites that “a number of laboratory and animal studies suggest that mangosteen has significant anti-inflammatory effects.” He also adds that “a few small-scale studies in humans indicate that the juice helps reduce blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP).” And if you are wondering what is CRP, it is the “substance associated with inflammation, which may be caused by widespread infection or disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.” But he also adds that studies that found this reduction in CRP “were not conducted with people who have arthritis.”

mangosteen

Enjoying Mangosteen. Knowing that the fruit is rich in anti-oxidants and that it has potential benefits based on its traditional uses as well as on the initial but very promising research findings are enough to convince me for now to enjoy the fruit and yes, its extracts. You can enjoy the fruit, too, but you can also take another step by choosing to buy mangosteen products now sold in capsules or sold as a juice drink. You can also try another step like what my husband and I have tried doing: we dry the mangosteen peel and then boil it; we then have our natural mangosteen drink at home 🙂

I do wish that more studies would be done on the benefits of mangosteen but even if these are yet to continue, it won’t stop me from enjoying my share of mangosteen. How about you?

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