Mangosteen is a dark purple fruit about 2 to 3 inches in diameter – the size of a small peach or apple and contrary to the name is not related to mangoes. Instead of peeling it like an orange, a mangosteen is typically opened by pressing firmly and twisting the outside until it breaks apart. The hard rind can be nearly one inch thick. At the center is the soft opaque white fruit, which resembles a head of garlic but tastes slightly sweet and tart.
Medicinal Uses of Mangosteen
The sliced and dried mangosteen rind is powdered and administered to overcome dysentery. Made into an ointment, it is applied on eczema and other skin disorders. The rind decoction is taken to relieve diarrhea and cystitis, gonorrhea and gleet and is applied externally as an astringent lotion. A portion of the rind is steeped in water overnight and the infusion given as a remedy for chronic diarrhea in adults and children. Filipinos employ a decoction of the leaves and bark as a febrifuge and to treat thrush, diarrhea, dysentery and urinary disorders. In Malaya, an infusion of the leaves, combined with unripe banana and a little benzoin is applied to the wound of circumcision. A root decoction is taken to regulate menstruation.
The rind of partially ripe fruits yields a polyhydroxy-xanthone derivative termed mangostin, also ß-mangostin. That of fully ripe fruits contains the xanthones, gartanin, 8-disoxygartanin, and normangostin. A derivative of mangostin, mangostin-e, 6-di-O-glucoside, is a central nervous system depressant and causes a rise in blood pressure.
Things To Remember About The Mangosteen
.Wash mangosteen fruit thoroughly under running water and wipe it with a soft towel to clean it.
.Mangosteens are available fresh during the summer months.
.Injury to the fruit can make the whole fruit bitter and inedible.
.Always buy fresh fruits that feel heavy and have a bright purple colored skin. Dry and blotched skin indicates an old stock.
.Ripe fruits should be placed in a cool and dry place. They can even be stored in the refrigerator.
.Longer exposure to warm conditions can cause the skin of the fruit to become dry and hard, making it hard to cut open.
.The dried powder of mangosteen rind is used in treatment of dysentery.
.The paste of the mangosteen rind can be used to treat eczema and some other skin disorders.
.A decoction made of mangosteen rind can be used to treat diarrhoea, whereas a decoction made of mangosteen roots is used for regulating menstruation.
.A decoction made of mangosteen leaves and bark, is beneficial in bringing down body temperature and also to treat thrush and urinary disorders.
The big advantage, when drinking mangosteen juice, is the fact that the rind of the mangosteen fruit, otherwise inedible, is part of the pulp, and the rind stores the major part of all the antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals and xanthones which makes it an excellent drink for everyone.