This database provides a consensus of scientific information on herbal products and dietary supplements. Each month, Quackwatch will post one monograph. The entire database is available by subscription, both online (updated daily) and in print format.

MANGOSTEEN

 

Also Known As

Amibiasine, Mang Cut, Manggis, Manggistan, Mangosta, Mangostan, Mangostana, Mangostanier, Mangostao, Mangoustanier, Mangouste, Mangostier, Manguita, Meseter, Queen of Fruits, Sementah, Semetah, Xango, Xango Juice. CAUTION: See separate listing for Garcinia.

Scientific Names

Garcinia mangostana.
Family: Clusiaceae.

People Use This For**

Orally, mangosteen is used for dysentery, diarrhea, urinary tract infections (UTI), gonorrhea, thrush, tuberculosis, menstrual disorders, stimulating the immune system, cancer, osteoarthritis, and improving mental health. Topically, mangosteen is used for eczema and other skin conditions.

**Note: This field does not tell what the product is good for; nor does it tell you what it should, or should not be used for. That information appears in other fields. This field tells you what people use the product for. Often times, products are used for indications even though there is no evidence that they work. For example, goldenseal is used extensively to attempt to mask the results of lab tests for illicit drug use, but it's ineffective. This field is intended to help understand why someone might be using, or want to be using a product, and to understand some promotional claims surrounding certain products.

Safety

 

Effectiveness

There is insufficient reliable information available about the effectiveness of mangosteen.

Mechanism of Action

The applicable parts of mangosteen are the fruit, juice, rind, bark, and twigs. The fruit and juice are consumed as a healthful and medicinal food and drink. The dried and powdered rind is most commonly used for medicinal purposes. The bark extract, called Amibiasine, is used for amebic dysentery.
Mangosteen fruit, rind, and bark seem to contain several pharmacologically active constituents. The activity of some of these isolated constituents has been characterized. But there is no reliable information about the effects of eating the whole fruit or taking the powdered rind or bark extracts.
The mangosteen rind reportedly contains tannins. Tannins can have an astringent effect on mucosal tissue and can reduce secretions. This astringent effect might reduce diarrhea.
Mangosteen also contains xanthones that have antioxidant and other effects. The specific xanthones include alpha-mangostins, beta-mangostins, and gamma-mangostins (12016). Alpha- and beta-mangostins appear to have in vitro activity against the human leukemia cell line HL60 (12013) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (12014). Mangosteen also contains the xanthone derivatives garcinone B and garcinone E. These constituents also appear to have in vitro activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (12014). Garcinone E also has in vitro cytotoxic activity against hepatocellular carcinomas (12015).
The alpha- and gamma-mangostins also appear to have serotonin and histamine receptor blocking effects (12017).

Adverse reactions

None reported.

Interactions with Herbs and Supplements

None known.

Interactions with Foods

None known.

Interactions with Lab Tests

None known.

Interactions with Diseases and Other Conditions

None known

Dosage and Administration

No typical dosage

Comments

Mangosteen is a tropical fruit. Its fruit is sourly sweet. It's often consumed as a dessert fruit or made into jams. It was thought to be Queen Victoria's favorite fruit. Mangosteen juice is becoming a popular healthful and medicinal drink. It is usually marketed with the name xango juice. Some marketers claim that xango juice can treat diarrhea, menstrual problems, urinary tract infections, tuberculosis, and a variety of other conditions. There is no reliable scientific evidence to support these claims.

References

 
  • 12013
Matsumoto K, Akao Y, Kobayashi E, et al. Induction of aptosis by xanthones from mangosteen in human leukemia cell lines. J Nat Prod 2003;66:1124-7.
  • 12014
Suksamrarn S, Suwannapoch N, Phakhodee W, et al. Antimycobacterial activity of prenylated xanthones from the fruits of Garcinia mangostana. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 2003;51:857-9.
  • 12015
Ho CK, Huang YL, Chen CC. Garcinone E, a xanthone derivative, has potent cytotoxic effect against hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines. Planta Med 2002;68:975-9.
  • 12016
Nilar, Harrison LJ. Xanthones from the heartwood of Garcinia mangostana. Phytochemistry 2002;60:541-8.
  • 12017
Chairungsrilerd N, Furukawa K, Ohta T, et al. Histaminergic and serotonergic receptor blocking substances from the medicinal plant Garcinia mangostana. Planta Med 1996;62:471-2.

This monograph was posted on March 1, 2005.