Mangosteen – overview of benefits and side effects

Mangosteen – overview of benefits and side effects
June 28, 2014 11:14 PM

This article will inform the readers about mangosteen, its benefits and side effects. You might be dazed at hearing the word mangosteen; you might be wondering what it is. Relax and take a deep breath! Just read through this article as it will inform you all you need to know about mangosteen, its benefits and side effects. This article will even give you a further insight and tell you where to buy it; its health benefits; best mangosteen juices; mangosteen oil; mangosteen candies and supplements.

What is Mangosteen?

The mangosteen tree is a tropical tree. There is no fix height of this tree as it is between 20 to 82 feet. It has nearly dark black outer bark; the inner bark, however is yellow in color. Its leaves are rosy. The flowers of the tree are ½ to 1 inch wide and are fleshy. There are four sepals and four ovate; the petals are thick and fleshy with red spots on the outside and reddish yellow spots on the inside.


This tree is believed to have been originated in the Sunda Islands and the Moluccas Islands of Indonesia. There is also some indication that this tree has originated from Thailand and Burma. Now-a-days, this tree is mostly found in Southeast Asia; it is also found in Colombia and the state of Kerala in India. It is also cultivated in Thailand, Southern Vietnam, Burma, Malaysia and Singapore. This tree was planted in India in 1881 and from there it began being cultivated in the subcontinent.

Mangosteen fruit

The mangosteen fruit is a dark purple fruit of two to three inches. You can consider it as a small peach or apple. However mangosteen fruit is unrelated to both of them. The rind is ¼ or 3/8 inches in length; red in cross section and purplish white on the inside. The fruits are either seedless or have one to five developed seeds. The flavor of the fruit is sweet and tangy. In other words, the flavor is a mix of sweet and sour taste. Due to its unique flavor, this fruit is known as “The Queen of Fruits”.

Mangosteen Fruit

Unlike an orange which is peeled, the mangosteen fruit is opened by pressing the outside firmly until it breaks. Inside each of the fruit, there is a fragrant edible flesh which surrounds each of the seeds. The seeds are almond shaped.

Mangosteen juice

Other than being eaten as a fruit, mangosteen is also sold as drinks in the market with the common name “Xango juice”. The mangosteen fruit is mixed with other kinds of drinks to make mangosteen juice. The juice has the same nutritional value as the mangosteen fruit.

Moreover its flavor is unique. The ingredients of the juice are given below. Apple juice concentrate, garcinia mangosteen, grape juice concentrate, pear juice concentrate, rash berry juice concentrate, strawberry juice concentrate, citric acid, cherry juice concentrate, cranberry juice concentrate, pectin, sodium benzoate and natural flavor.

Mangosteen capsules

Mangosteen capsules are nutritional supplements. They are derived from the mangosteen. The popularity of these capsules increased in the mid 2000. These capsules are available in the market as a way to increase anti oxidants in one’s diet. These capsules contain a variety of chemical and nutrients. Some nutrients include the class of Xanthones, which have been tested in the laboratory to have cancer fighting properties. Other than this, there are many other benefits of mangosteen capsules which include cure of common ailments, reducing allergy and the aging process, preventing Alzheimer’s and lowering the blood pressure.

Mangosteen Oils

It is no secret that for centuries the inhabitants of South East Asia were using a paste of mangosteen peel and coconut oil to treat their skin. Now-a-days different mangosteen oils in the market have taken on this tradition. The oil used now-a-days is known as “Xanthos Complex”.

This oil is quite beneficial for the skin and produces an energized and protective skin. It also helps the challenged skin conditions. For using this oil, apply it tropically. In case your skin is dry, add two drops to glimpse the moisture. After following this procedure for some time, you will notice a considerable difference in your skin. Your skin will be restored to its normal healthy state.

Moreover there will be a balance in your skin. You will also notice that the signs of inflammation have calmed down. Other than the skin, this oil can be applied to any part of the body.

Mangosteen Candies

Mangosteen candies are available in the market in packets. They are known as “Kasugi Mangosteen gummies” and have the unique flavor of mangosteen fruit. They taste something in between sweet litchee and tropical mango. The packets are individually wrapped and have a wonderful aroma. They are a must try for elders and kids.

Where to Buy Mangosteen?

Mangosteen was hard to find within UK in the last decade as it was illegal in the country. Previously it was banned due to some concerns. Not only in UK, it was also banned in other countries too due to the misconceptions about this fruit. But now seeing all the benefits of this fruit, it has been admitted into all the countries. It can easily be bought from any super store. Moreover, you can also buy them online as there are many online companies are selling them.

Nutrients in Mangosteen

Mangosteen is of high nutritional value. A rich amount of fibers and carbohydrates is present in it. Moreover it has also high amounts of vitamin A and C along with calcium, potassium and iron.

Moreover this fruit is a complex of B-complex vitamins including niacin, thiamin and folates. These help in metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the body. More importantly this fruit is a great source of Xanthones. The following table gives the contents of mangosteen fruit.

Nutrients in Mangosteen

Benefits of Mangosteen

This odd looking fruit has various health benefits. Due to the benefits, it is known as “The Queen of Fruits”. Some benefits of mangosteen have been listed below. Antioxidant.

It has been proved through scientific research that mangosteen contains a class of naturally occurring polyphenol compounds known as Xanthones. They are the key factors that help in the health of a person. Over 200 Xanthones are present in nature.

And the interesting thing is that about 20 of them are present in mangosteen, mostly concentrated in the rind. These compound help in boosting the immune system and reducing the radicals present in the body. Moreover, these compound also support the vital functions of the body. So mangosteen fruit or juice should be taken as frequently as possible.

Low Calories

The Mangosteen fruit is extremely low in calories and contains no saturated fat or cholesterol. However, it has an ample amount of dietary fiber in it (100 g provides 13% of RDA), which is quite helpful for people who are always concerned about putting on excess body weight. Vitamin C. Mangosteen fruit is rich in vitamin C, containing 12% RDA per 100g.

As vitamin C is a powerful absorber and anti-oxidant, it provides the body resistance against flu and other harmful pro-inflammatory free radicals. For this reason consuming fruits rich in vitamin C is vital for developing resistance against diseases. Folate, present in mangosteen, along with vitamin C plays an important role in foetal development and evolution of new cells in the body.

It is also vital during pregnancy, protecting the neural tube effects. Improving digestion process. The fiber present in the mangosteen fruit is helpful for anyone suffering from digestive problems. It helps in better regulation of digestive system, which results in improved overall health. The reason is that many digestive issues negatively affect the body and instigate other health issues to surface.

Blood Flow

Mangosteen helps in promoting the production of red blood cells red blood cells and protecting the body against anemia, which is basically due to decrease in red blood cell production. The blood flow is improved by this fruit by increasing the caliber of blood vessels. This protects the body against certain severe diseases like high cholesterol, congestion, severe chest pains and atherosclerosis.

By increasing the blood flow, the vitamin C gain access to body organs like eye and is effective against cataracts. A dosage of 1000 mg vitamin C is effective against cataracts and for improving vision.


Mangosteen has various health benefits for people suffering from diseases related to inflammation. Many respiratory diseases are caused by inflammation in the passageway of the lungs, which restricts an individual’s ability to breathe. Mangosteen helps in reducing this inflammation in the airways and thus helps in normal breathing. Due to this reason, mangosteen is helpful for anyone who has breathing problems.

Due to the inflammatory properties of mangosteen, it is also highly beneficial for people suffering from sciatica pains that can’t be controlled by drug treatment. Consumption of mangosteen up to two to three times daily will help in the relieving of pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers are now thinking that the ability of this fruit to effectively prevent inflammation may help in the cure of far more serious diseases including heart disease, cancer and respiratory issues.

Other than this, preventing inflammation may help people having mobility issues due to the swelling and soreness of the joints. They may feel better and be able to move freely after taking mangosteen fruit. Thus mangosteen directly affects the individual’s overall health and helps him in maintaining a healthy life style. Treating acne and various skin conditions. The pulp of mangosteen stops bleeding and acts as an antiseptic too. Today, there are many mangosteen products available in the market that help the body against various skin disease like acne.

Reduction in Cholesterol

A diet rich in mangosteen is helpful in reducing the cholesterol level in the body. Mangosteen is also helpful in controlling the levels of triglycerides. This way mangosteen takes care of the human heart.

Blood Pressure

High amounts of different minerals including copper, manganese, magnesium and potassium are present in mangosteen. Potassium gives the body protection against strokes and coronary heart disease because it is an important component of the cell and body fluid and controls the blood pressure and the heart rate.

Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s is a severe disease that is accompanied with the symptoms like confusion and perplexity. An Alzheimer patient also has difficulty remembering things. Recent research has shown that mangosteen might be helpful in curing the symptoms in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Treatment of Common Diseases

Not just the fruit, the mangosteen rind also has various health benefits e.g. the dried powder of mangosteen rind is useful in the treatment of dysentery. Moreover its paste can be made to treat eczema and other skin related disorders. It is also used to treat diarrhea. Moreover the mangosteen roots are useful for regulating menstruation. The barks and leaves of mangosteen tree are helpful to bring down the body temperature and to treat thrush and urinary disorders.

Repair of cells

Mangosteen has the highest amount of Xanthones compounds present in comparison to any other fruit. These compounds cure skin diseases and repair the damaged and worn out cells in the body.

Diarrhea, Dysentery and Urinary Disorders

In the state of Philippines, the leaves and barks of the mangosteen tree are used for treating diarrhea, thrush, dysentery and urinary disorders.


The main reason of aging is oxidation in the body. Mangosteen has various anti-oxidants in it like catchen, which help in fighting the free radicals. Hence it does wonders and the person looks younger than ever.

Boosting Energy

The good quality of mangosteen fruit is that it makes you feel fresh and energized all day long. The nutrients help in making you look youthful and give a boost to your energy.

Gum Disease

Some evidence has suggested that mangosteen is helpful in treating a gum disease, commonly known as peridonitis. However the research is still in preliminary stages. A study published in “Complementary Therapies in Medicine” suggests that patients who applied a gel containing mangosteen juice to their gums improved more than the control group. The research was concluded on the point that mangosteen gel can be switched with the traditional peridonitis treatment.

Improving Digestion

The fiber present in mangosteen helps people suffering from digestive problems. They can take mangosteen fruit for the regulation of their digestive system which in turn will result in a boost of health throughout the body because many digestive problems negatively affect other areas of the body.

Viral Infections

The compound Xanthones present in mangosteen has the natural ability to attack fungal and viral infections in the body. They can even help the body to get rid of certain carcinogens from attacking the skin.

Other Health Benefits

Other than the above mentioned benefits, there are various other health benefits of mangosteen. These are listed below.

  • Prevents bacterial infection
  • Helps prevent kidney stones
  • Helps with depression
  • Helps in nerve pain
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Helps lower fever
  • Helps in protection of heart
  • Helps in weight loss
  • Helps prevent cataracts
  • Balances endocrine system
  • Relieves hemorrhoids
  • Reduces insulin resistance
  • Heals wounds
  • Strengthens blood vessels
  • Repairs the damage from pain killers
  • Relieves pain from arthritis
  • Prevents bowel disease
  • Helps heal sores/ulcers
  • Helps meringkan asthama
  • Eradicates tuberculosis

Side Effects of Mangosteen

Although mangosteen fruit is quite beneficial for health, some side effects have been observed in hyper-sensitive individuals, including those who are allergic to fruits. Some of the side effects are given below.

Loose Stool or Constipation

People who start taking the serving of mangosteen more than one ounce experience temporary loose stools. If a patient diagnosed with gastroperesis complication takes mangosteen more than one ounce per day, the constipation may worsen his condition. In such a scenario, reducing the servings is the best option.

Cancer Chemotherapy Drugs

Some cancer chemotherapy drugs depend on the production of free radicals to destroy the tumors. As mangosteen contains powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals, it would be wise to consult a doctor before taking mangosteen. If the drug has nothing to do with the production of free radicals, then the mangosteen fruit should be taken by cancer therapy patients due to its benefits for these patients. On the other hand, if the drug effects the production of free radicals then you shouldn’t eat the fruit.

Polycythemia Rubra Vera

Mangosteen can increase the level of red blood cell mass in the body and should therefore not be taken by people diagnosed with polycythemia rubra vera. Interference with blood coagulating properties. Our body has natural ability to prevent bleeding. Consuming mangosteen can have adverse affects to this ability. Mangosteen interacts with the blood and causing its thinning. So using mangosteen along with the medications that thin the blood might lead to gastrointestinal bleeding.

Allergic Side Effects

People who are hyper sensitive should avoid mangosteen because it can cause rashes, hives and itching. Moreover hyper sensitive people may also suffer from serious symptoms like swelling of throat, mouth or lips, chest tightness or pain. These allergies are health threatening and its best to consult a medical practitioner in such cases.

Some people may also suffer side effects like interrupted sleep, loose stools, insomnia, aching muscles, stomach upset, mild head ache and joint pain after taking mangosteen. Moreover this fruit isn’t good for infants, breast feeding or pregnant women, Coumadin patients, hemochromatosis and cancer patients. In a crux, you must stop the consumption of this fruit when you notice health problems like nausea, dizziness, weight loss, feeling of cold, shortness of breath, lightheadedness etc.

Lactic Acidosis

A study done at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer center concluded that excessive consumption of mangosteen juice (daily for about 12 months) can lead to a condition known as lactic acidosis. It is a condition in which lactic acid abnormally accumulates in the blood stream.

Some of its symptoms include nausea and weakness. If left untreated, lactic acidosis can accumulate in the body and can pose life threatening complications like shock. The best option for you is to consult a doctor as soon as you observe lactic acidosis symptoms.

Drug interaction

Before taking mangosteen, inform your doctor about all kinds of medications you are currently taking. The reason is that mangosteen is an antioxidant, meaning that it may protect your cells from oxidative damage. This protective effect may interfere with certain chemotherapeutic drugs like alkylating agents and anthracyclines.


Before taking mangosteen extract, talk to your medical doctor about any health problems or concerns you have as this fruit can impose danger to some people. Hyper sensitive people, expectant mothers, pregnant women should avoid this fruit.

This article has informed the readers about “The Queen of Fruits” mangosteen. The overview along with the benefits and side effects have also been given. 

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Written by: Michal Vilímovský (EN)
Education: Medical student, 3rd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Published: June 28, 2014 11:14 PM
Next scheduled update: June 28, 2016 11:14 PM
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