Sunday, November 25, 2007

What Makes Mangosteen More Than Unique?

For centuries, mangosteen has been used for its health benefits by the traditional healers of Southeast Asia and India. In Thailand, mangosteen has been used for its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties to treat infected wounds, tuberculosis, malaria and urinary tract infections. In India and China, preparations made from the rind are used as antimicrobial and antiparasitic treatments for dysentery and other stomach ailments. The rind is steeped in water overnight and the liquid drunk the next morning.

It has long been known that mangosteen has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is effective in treating eczema problem and skin condition such as psoriasis. To treat skin problems, the rind cut, dried, ground and applied directly onto the skin. Mangosteen has also been used as a tonic for lethargy and fatigue or low energy.

There are many studies done to demonstrate the health benefits of mangosteen and these can be found in most known scientific journals namely:
 Biochemical Pharmacology
 British Journal of Pharmacolgy
 Medicinal Plants of Thailand
 Journal of the Science Society of Thailand
 Phytochemistry
 Journal of Pharmacology
 Journal of Enzyme Inhibition
 Free Radical Research
 Planta Medica
 Journal of Natural Products and many more

It wasn’t until more than three decades of scientific studies that a brand new group of phytonutrients have been discovered – known as “xanthones”. Xanthones are antioxidants and is the subject of the majority of the research on the mangosteen. There are over 200 known xanthones in nature, and more than 40 xanthones are found in the mangosteen! The many healing properties of the fruit is because of this variety of xanthones.. These xanthones have unique chemical formulas that allow each one to perform a specific function. For example, alpha-mangostin serves as an antioxidant, gamma-mangostin as an anti-inflammatory and garcinone E as an antitumor agent.

What makes the mangosteen so unique is that the entire mangosteen fruit contains xanthones. And the pericarp (rind) of the fruit contains the highest concentrations of xanthones. And xanthones are not the only active substances that are found in the mangosteen. The mangosteen also contains a large number catechins (potent antioxidants), polysaccharides, stilbenes, and certain vitamins and minerals as well. And so It is not the fruit that is used for medicinal purposes, but often the rind itself is used.

In the booklet “The Xanthone Effect” Dr. David A. Morton tried to explain how scientific progression has eventually led to a clearer understanding of certain health conditions and better ways to treat them. In short, the following model as applied to the folk use of mangosteen:

Problem : Diarrhea, dysentery, infection and inflammatory skin conditions in Southeast Asian peoples
Solution : Mangosteen fruit
Active Ingredients : Xanthones
Properties of Active Ingredients :Mangosteen xanthones possess antibacterial, antioxidant,anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiviral, and antitumor properties

1 comment:

Lady Dee said...

very interesting. I recommend Markizza Mangosteen juice that I found on, the taste is just perfect!