Apart from edible purposes, certain fruits have been categorized as essentially useful for both medicinal, therapeutic and pharmaceutical purposes. Among these essential fruits is the Purple mangosteen, which is a tropical dark red to purplish fruit that is botanically known as Garcinia mangostana Linn. It belongs to the genus Garcinia, family of Guttiferae and popularly known as the queen of tropical fruits. This fruit is produced by an evergreen tree and is originally from the Moluccas of Indonesia and the Sunda Islands.
Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana L.) grows mainly in the tropical parts of the world such as Florida, Puerto Rico and Asia where the tree grows approximately 6 to 25 m height. The edible whitish part of this fruit is fibrous in appearance, tangy, sweet with sort of acid taste, soft in texture, juicy, aromatic and with fluid-filled vesicles while the outer deep purplish-red exocarp is inedible. The inedible seeds have similar appearance like almond seeds and they are quite bitter while the outer rind (pericarp) is very hard.
The shell of an unripe mangosteen fruit is firm and fibrous but becomes tender, soft and easy to open once ripen. Other cultivars of mangosteens include; the charichuelo (G. madruno) and the button mangosteen (G. prainiana). Mangosteen is anti-oxidizing, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anticancer, anti-diabetic, antibacterial and immunoprotective in nature thus very imperative for protecting our body systems as well as for fighting against certain health diseases. Apart from the fruit, both the bark, leaves, rinds shoots, stems and roots are also notable for their health and medicinal benefits.
Nutritional Values of the Mangosteen Fruit
Mangosteen is an excellent source of essential minerals and nutrients such as protein, manganese, dietary fiber, magnesium, carbohydrate, folate, vitamin C, calcium, copper, iron, vitamin A, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B6, thiamin, folic acid, potassium, carotene, vitamin B12, cryptoxanthin and sodium. All these are highly important for promoting, boosting and maintaining good health and the overall functioning of our body systems.
Benefits of Purple Mangosteen
1. Essential During Pregnancy
Mangosteen fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and folate which are super integral vitamins for building resistance against certain diseases in the body as well as for promoting healthy fetal development. Folate (folic acid), which is a rich constituent of this fruit is highly recommendable for pregnant women to prevent and protect against neural tube defects.
It is noteworthy that neural tube defects are birth deformities that can affect the spine, spinal cord or the brain of fetus. These deformities occur during the first weeks or early months of pregnancy even often before a woman realizes that she is expecting a baby. The two main neural tube defects are anencephaly and spina bifida whereby the foetal spinal column is not completely closed. There is great need for women trying for babies or TTC women to regularly include fruits and food products rich in folic acid in their daily diet.
2. Anti-oxidizing Properties
Mangosteen is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants known as xanthones which are highly essential for the optimum functioning of the body and the immune system. Xanthones are naturally occurring polyphenol compounds that act as cell boosters, which are notable for their high medicinal and therapeutic properties. The two key types of xanthones present in the mangosteen fruit are the alpha and gamma mangosteen. Studies reveal that these antioxidants present in mangosteen are essential for rejuvenating the body cells destroyed by free radicals.
These antioxidants equally prevent and reduce the onset of degenerative diseases, slow down aging and promote mental health. This suggests the why mangosteen is hugely regarded as a powerful healing fruit that can turn around the detrimental disease attacks, which can potentially affect human beings.
3. Anti-bacterial Properties
Mangosteen contains anti-bacterial properties that are capable of fighting against diseases. In traditional medicine, mangosteen barks and leaves can be prepared and boiled together with other herbal plants for treating and healing certain diseases and wounds. Its inhibitory and antibacterial attributes are equally effective against tuberculosis.
4. Remedy for Menstrual Difficulties
Mangosteen roots can be decocted or boiled to be taken by women suffering from irregular menstrual cycles. Studies reveal that this herbal drink is highly important for regulating menstrual cycles and for facilitating the normal blood flow in women during menstruation. Mangosteen roots decoction can be used for regulating irregular menstruation.
5. Boosts the Immune System
Mangosteen is an essential source of xanthone and other essential vitamins, nutrients and minerals that are capable of boosting the human immune system. These essential minerals, vitamins and nutrients are highly imperative for protecting the human body from all sorts of health diseases and challenges that can potentially weaken the body's immune system.
6. Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease
Mangosteen offers protection against Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer's disease is the major cause of dementia, which is a health condition associated with difficulties in thinking, memory loss, memory lapses, confusion, perplexity, dementia and difficulties in remembering things. These symptoms happen especially if the brain is damaged as a result of certain diseases including Alzheimer's disease thereby putting someone at the risk of developing it.
7. Dermatological Purposes
Mangosteen is essential for promoting and maintaining healthy and youthful looking skin. The anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidizing properties of this fruit are very important for minimizing the risk associated with skin aging, allergies, bacterial infections, skin inflammation and eczema. Mangosteen rinds paste is effective for treating eczema and other skin disorders.
8. Anti-cancer properties
Mangosteen pericarp contains xanthones that possess anti-cancer properties, which are capable of inhibiting the growth of cancer cells in the body. Studies reveal that this fruit is very effective against colon cancer.
9. Facilitates Easy Flow of Blood
Mangosteen regulates blood flow in the body by ensuring that the blood vessels are properly dilated for easy flow of blood. The fruit also boosts the red blood cells, reduces the onset of anemia as well as fights against certain diseases such as chest pains, atherosclerosis, heart congestion and high cholesterol.
10. Anti-inflammatory properties
Mangosteen contains anti-inflammatory properties due to its constituent of xanthones. The extracts are anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic in nature and therefore inhibits the release of prostaglandin and histamine that are connected with body inflammation. Its anti-inflammatory properties are equally essential for individuals suffering from sciatica pains. It is recommendable to consume mangosteen fruit at least 2 to 4 times on a daily basis so as to reduce the effects of pain caused as a result of body inflammation.
11. Cardio-protective Properties
Researchers reveal that mangosteen is cardio-protective in nature in the sense that it is essential for preventing and lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, coronary heart diseases, high blood pressure and myocardial infarction. Its cardiovascular effects is as a result of its constituent of essential minerals such as magnesium, copper, manganese and potassium.
12. Treatment of Gastrointestinal Diseases
Mangosteen is highly important for treating gastrointestinal diseases such as stomach disorders, dysentery, diarrhea, stomach ache. Mangosteen dried rind powder and decoction can be used for treating dysentery, stomach ache and diarrhoea.
13. Anti-diabetic Properties
Several studies have supported the use of mangosteen as an anti-diabetic herbal remedy for treating diabetes and regulating glucose sugar level in the blood.
14. Weight Maintenance
Regular intake of mangosteen has been revealed to be effective in fighting against excessive weight as well as for promoting the overall well being and functioning of the body. Mangosteen fruit has very minimal amount of calories without any traces of cholesterol or saturated fats thus highly important for individuals that are conscious of maintaining healthy body weight.
15. Promotes Healthy Eye
Due to its blood regulating ability, this fruit can increase the flow of blood to the eye thereby enhancing good vision. Moreover, its rich constituent of vitamin C is equally essential for fighting against cataracts and boosting healthy vision and eyesight.
16. Regulates the Cholesterol Level
Mangosteen is a powerful fruit for regulating the cholesterol level in human body as well as for controlling the triglycerides level thereby promoting the healthy functioning of the cardiovascular system such as the heart.
17. Culinary Purposes
Mangosteens can be eaten fresh, dried or frozen and can be used for preparing assorted dishes. It can also be used for making drinks, juice, sauces, puree, jam and seasonings.
18. Other Uses of Mangosteen
Mangosteen wood can be used for producing spears, rice pounders and cabinetry, the bark, leaves and gums can be used for leather tanning, the exocarp can be used for dyeing, the tender parts of the sticks can be used as chewing sticks while the tree is colourful thus can be used for ornamental purposes.
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This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnostic and treatments. Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.
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