Traditional and modern uses of Mangosteen

Mangosteen fruitMangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) is a tropical fruit that has been traditionally used as an indigenous medicine across Southeast Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia and Sri Lanka) for treatment of a wide range of ailments including fighting infections, healing wounds and treating diarrhoea and related gastrointestinal complaints. Mangosteen is known to contain a wide range of naturally occurring polysaccharide and xanthone compounds within the fruit, leaves, heartwood, and especially the pericarp (rind/peel/hull) with widespread biological activities, including anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial/antiviral effects in a number of experiments.

The pleasant taste (sweet and slightly acidic) and medicinal qualities of the reddish-purple mangosteen fruit have led to its common name as ‘Queen of Fruits’.

The demonstration of widespread biological effects of mangosteen-derived compounds, and especially of the family of bioactive xanthones (polyphenolic compounds, of which more than 1,000 have been described in nature, 18 isolated from mangosteen fruit, and 60 from the pericarp), suggest a scientific basis for the historical medicinal use of mangosteen preparations in Southeast Asian traditional medicine systems, including Ayurvedic medicine.

 More ‘modern’ health benefits of mangosteen preparations have been described in cases of arthritis, cancer, wounds, inflammation, ulcers, eczema, acne, allergies, and abdominal pain, among many others.

Mangosteen fruits have exhibited many health properties Scientific Evidence

Extensive laboratory and human clinical research has suggested a strong link between the mechanisms by which oxidative stress leads to chronic inflammation, which in turn may mediate a wide array of chronic diseases of ‘ageing’ including cancer, obesity, diabetes, and diseases of the cardiovascular, pulmonary, and neurological systems. Oxidative stress is known to activate numerous inflammatory pathways and transcription factors, including those for growth factors, cytokines, and cell cycle regulatory molecules, which may lead to transformation of a normal cell to a tumour cell. Reducing inflammation in overweight and obese individuals may be valuable in preventing the progression to metabolic syndrome with associated risks for heart disease and diabetes.

Inflammatory conditions are typically multi-factorial in their etiology. In obesity, for example, central adipose tissue is known to produce inflammatory cytokines including CRP and IL-6, which further influence insulin activity and glucose homeostasis. Systemic chronic inflammation has emerged as a significant and specific predictor of cardiovascular disease, risk for myocardial infarction and the development of metabolic syndrome. Therefore the ability to reduce inflammation with mangosteen/xanthones may be an important and valuable preventive measure against the development of diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and inflammatory diseases of the lungs, digestive tract, and skin.

The pharmacological options for treating inflammation are numerous; including steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen – but their long-term use is associated with a range of potential adverse side effects including reduced resistance to infection and gastrointestinal bleeding. As natural anti-inflammatory agents, mangosteen-derived xanthones, particularly alpha- and gamma-mangostins, are supported by a large body of scientific literature for their effects in various inflammatory pathways, including:

  • Inhibition of both IgE-mediated histamine release and prostaglandin E2 synthesis from arachidonic acid as well as COX-2 activity in rat cancer cell lines.
  • The major xanthone in mangosteen, alpha-mangostin, has shown antiplasmodial activity and anti-larval activity in vitro.
  • Various extracts of mangosteen (water, ethanol, ethyl acetate, methanol) have demonstrated antioxidant and neuroprotective activity in cell culture.
  • Antioxidant activity of mangosteen-derived xanthones has been demonstrated in direct free radical scavenging, decreasing the oxidation of human low density lipoproteins (LDL) induced by peroxyl radical, and prevention of alpha-tocopherol consumption during LDL oxidation. Such antioxidant effects have also been linked to neuroprotective activity.

“The mangosteen is one of the few natural therapeutics from ancient traditional medicine systems that has stood the scrutiny of modern scientific evaluation.”

  • Mangostin has shown antibacterial effects (in vitro) against staphylococcus aureus, Enterococci, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis as well as a range of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria including methicillin-resistant S. Aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin resistant Entercocci (VRE).
  • Chemopreventive effects of mangosteen extract have been demonstrated against rat colon carcinogenesis and against various human cell cultures of hepatic, lung, and gastric carcinomas.
  • In cell culture, alpha-mangostin induces apoptosis in a variety of human cancer cell lines, possibly due to antioxidant and/or anti-inflammatory activities.
  • Direct anti-inflammatory activities of xanthones have been shown in rats challenged with the carrageenan-induced paw oedema, and in cell cultures where both alpha- and gamma-mangostins inhibit histamine release.
  • Interestingly, a mouthwash containing mangosteen extract was found to reduce levels of volatile sulfur compounds associated with bad breath and topical application of mangosteen xanthones has been shown to reduce acne and eczema.

A recent human feeding trial evaluated the effects of a proprietary mangosteen (fruit plus pericarp) juice blend (XANGO®,XANGO® LLC) on markers of inflammation (highly sensitive C-reactive protein, hs-CRP levels). The study was an 8 week randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled design of 40 obese subjects that showed a significant change from baseline values (reduced CRP) in the subjects consuming mangosteen juice (XANGO®) compared to placebo.


This brief overview of the traditional use and scientific evidence for mangosteen and mangosteen-derived xanthones demonstrates a long history of use of the fruit in traditional medicine systems around the world, as well as a detailed and extensive profile of the phytochemical constituents and pharmacological effects of the bioactive xanthone components that are richly and widely distributed in the mangosteen fruit and pericarp. The emerging clinical data suggests that whole mangosteen fruit preparations (fruit plus Pericarp as contained in XANGO ® Juice) containing a family of xanthone compounds may have important and considerable clinical potential in treating inflammation and a range of inflammatory conditions in human subjects.

As such, the mangosteen is one of the few natural therapeutics from ancient traditional medicine systems that has stood the scrutiny of modern scientific evaluation. Further research should help elucidate and extend the health benefits of mangosteen to a wider population.

Mangosteen fruits have exhibited many health properties

About XANGO® Juice – a Functional Health Beverage

XANGO Juice is the original – the category creator. It’s the first global mangosteen product to deliver a proprietary, whole-fruit puree matching sensational taste with proven scientific research. It’s delicious; it’s XANGO’s flagship product and it’s the cornerstone of XANGO’s constantly growing line of wellness products.

While used for thousands of years by the indigenous people of Asia both topically and in traditional preparation, the phytonutrients found in the mangosteen fruit—including xanthones, antioxidants, catechins, flavonoids and proanthocyanidins—are among the most researched today. Here’s a little bit of what modern science has been able to substantiate regarding the mangosteen and XANGO Juice.Harnessing mangosteen’s remarkable whole-fruit properties, XANGO® Juice provides biological compounds and phytonutrients – including xanthones, catechins, flavonoids and proanthocyanidins.

  • Xanthones, found naturally in the mangosteen fruit, are among the most powerful phytonutrients known today.
  • A credible scientific method is established for testing and measuring xanthones in the rind of the mangosteen fruit.
  • Research demonstrates that the body absorbs xanthones in low dosages and long-term daily use of XANGO Juice increases levels of xanthones in the body.

Based in Utah, USA, XANGO, LLC is privately owned and powered by a global network of over 2,000,000 independent distributors. XANGO’s expansive operations include the U.S. and numerous international markets such as Canada, Mexico, Japan, Germany and Malaysia. It is now also available in South Africa.


Shawn M. Talbott PhD, David A. Morton PhD, & J. Frederic Templeman MD. 2011.

Mangosteen – Traditional and Modern Uses [Online]

Journal of Integrative Medicine (Vol 16 No 1 – March/April 2011), p. 10-11

Jenni Spinner, Senior Editor – Packaging Digest. 5/1/2012.

Nutritional supplement bottle gets healthy overhaul [Online]

ECO Smart Packaging FAQ [Online]

Further Reading:

Does mangosteen extract show promise in the prevention of certain cancers? [Online] Posted on 28 January 2013 under Cancer Myths, Research Findings

Young-Won Chin and A. Douglas Kinghorn. 2011, May 9

Structural Characterization, Biological Effects, and Synthetic Studies on Xanthones from Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), a Popular Botanical Dietary Supplement [Online]

Mini Rev Org Chem. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2011 May 9.

Published in final edited form as: Mini Rev Org Chem. 2008 November 1; 5(4): 355–364.

US National Library of Medicine | National Institutes of Health



mangosteen xanthones:

For more information on XANGO® Juice, contact  Michélle Strydom, XANGO ID: 12083566 on Cell: 076 156 7577 | Tel: 021 975 2903 | Email: