Although mangosteen is a type of tropical fruit, it may have several medicinal properties. For instance, it is claimed to have astringent properties, cancer-fighting properties, antihistamine effects, and serotonin-blocking effects. However, there is little scientific evidence that it is effective for most of these uses. Although it is a "natural" product, it may not be safe for everyone, so make sure to talk to your healthcare provider before using this fruit medicinally.
What Is Mangosteen?Mangosteen is a tropical fruit, prized for its intense, sweetly sour flavor. Like many other fruits, it can be eaten or made into juice. However, it is often promoted as a functional food (a food claimed to have health benefits) or sold as dietary supplements. Mangosteen fruit, juice, and dietary supplements have become increasingly popular in the United States, due to increased availability of the fruit.
(Click Health Benefits of Mangosteen for more information on what the supplements are used for.)
How Does It Work?Mangosteen is known to contain several medicinally active compounds. These various compounds have several different medicinal properties, such as:
- Astringent properties
- Antioxidant activity
- Cancer-fighting properties
- Anti-tuberculosis properties
- Antihistamine effects
- Serotonin-blocking effects (serotonin is an important chemical messenger in the brain and other areas of the body).
However, it should not be assumed that mangosteen (which is a complex mixture of many different substances and compounds) has the same medicinal properties as its isolated compounds.
Is It Effective?In general, there is little scientific evidence to suggest conclusively that the product really is effective for most uses (see Does Mangosteen Work? for more information).