Mangosteen is a dark purple tropical type of fruit which is 2 to 3 inches in diameter, and contrary to the popular belief it is not related to mangos. It grows primarily in humid and hot climates of southeastern regions of Asia. The leading exporters of mangosteen include Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. In order to open a mangosteen, one just needs to press it firmly or twist its outside until it breaks apart. Mangosteen has a hard rind which may be up to an inch in thickness. The center is made of soft white opaque fruit which may be similar to a head of garlic and is characterized by a slightly tart and sweet taste.
Mangosteens cannot be imported legally into United States due to concerns that they may transport certain species of insects into the country. The rind of mangosteen has been used for numerous medicinal purposes for many centuries. Some cultures have used for the preparation of tea which was meant to be of great help for all those who suffered from gonorrhea, bladder infections and diarrhea. Rind can also be used for the preparation of an ointment which is very beneficial for all those who suffer from different types of skin rashes.
Mangosteen is very healthy because it contains certain types of xanthones known as garcinone E, garcinone B, beta-mangostin and alpha-mangostin. These substances are very efficient in preventing most different types of cancer. They are also known for their potent antioxidant property, which means that they may come in very handy when it comes to fighting off the free radicals and reducing the amount and severity of damage they cause. Besides all the aforementioned health benefits of mangosteen, it is also known for its very potent antiseptic, antifungal, antimicrobial and anti inflammatory properties.
In spite of all the health benefits, mangosteen can also be associated with certain types of side effects. Xanthones may sometimes be responsible for interferences of normal blood clotting. They may also interact with blood thinning medicaments and lead to unwanted bleeding. Higher doses of these substances may also be responsible for sedation and depression of the central nervous system. These harmful properties may also be enhanced by certain other herbs or medicaments.
It is largely unknown how much research on mangosteen and all its effects have really been done. There is still a great deal of mangosteen research to be done in the future, due to the growing popularity of this fruit.