Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mangosteen fruit (mangustan)

The Mangosteen fruits are the fragrant edible flesh can be described as sweet and tangy, citrusy with peach flavor and texture. The Mangosteen fruit, capped by the prominent calyx at the stem end and with 4 to 8 triangular, flat remnants of the stigma in a rosette at the apex, is round, colored dark-purple to red-purple and smooth externally; size 1 1/3 to 3 in (3.4-7.5 cm) in diameter round. The rind is 1/4 to 3/8 in (6-10 mm) thick, red in cross-section and purplish-white on the inside.

It contains bitter yellow latex and a purple, staining juice. There are 4 to 8 triangular segments of snow white, juicy, soft flesh and are actually the arils of the seeds. The fruit may sometime be seedless or have one to five fully developed seeds, shaped ovoid-oblong, somewhat flattened, 1 in (2.5 cm) long and 5/8 in (1.6 cm) wide, that cling to the flesh. The flesh is slightly acid and mild to distinctly acid in flavor and is acclaimed as exquisitely luscious and delicious.

The fruit can be kept safe for a few days without refrigeration. To extends the life about 20 days, keep the storage area at 10oF. Refrigeration sometime causes cold damage; and to minimize this, wrap the fruit in a newspaper and keep it in the upper part of a refrigerator.

Eating the Fruit

Hold the fruit with the stem end downward and with the help of a sharp knife cut around the middle completely through the rind, and lift off the top half, which leave the fleshy segments exposed in the colorful 'cup' in the bottom half of the rind. The flesh segments are lifted out by fork and the can be easily eatable.

Mangosteen seeds are germinate as soon as they are removed from the fruit and die quickly if allowed to dry. So the seeds must be kept moist to remain viable until germination.
[image: mangosteen fruit is now ready to eat]

The Tree

The mangosteen tree must be grown in consistently warm conditions. And if any exposure to temperatures below 40oF (4oC) will generally kill a mature plant.

Uses of Mangosteen

The seedless/ seed-removed flesh segments are boiled with an equal amount of sugar and a few cloves for 15 to 20 minutes will produces mangosteen jam.

In the Philippines, a preserve is made by simply boiling the flesh segments with brown sugar, and then the seeds may be included to enrich the flavor.

The seeds are sometimes eaten alone after boiling or roasting.

The rind is rich in pectin. After treatment with 6% sodium chloride to eliminate astringency, the rind is made into a purplish jelly.

Mangosteen twigs are used as chewsticks in Ghana. The fruit rind contains 7 to 14% catechin tannin and rosin, and ii can be used for tanning leather. It also yields as a black dye.

Applying mangosteen juice on cloths, that producing stubborn stains can be near impossible to remove.

Medicinal Uses

Mangosteen is a rich source of antioxidants.

The rind decoction can be taken to relieve diarrhea and cystitis, gonorrhea and gleet and is applied externally as an astringent lotion. The decoction of the leaves and bark as a febrifuge and can be used to treat thrush, diarrhea, dysentery and urinary disorders. The root decoction can be taken to regulate menstruation.

The dried mangosteen rind is powdered and administered to overcome dysentery. Making the rind into an ointment form, it is applied on eczema and other skin disorders. A portion of the rind is steeped in water overnight and the infusion given as a home remedy for chronic diarrhea.

In Malaya, an infusion of the leaves combined along with the unripe banana and a little benzoin is applied to the wound of circumcision.

The bark extract called as amibiasine and has been used for the treatment of amoebic dysentery.

Laboratory Tests and Findings

Mangosteen contains some unique chemicals called xanthones(a collective compound of alpha-mangostin, beta-mangostin, garcinone B, and garcinone E), which appear to have potent anti-inflammatory effects when tested in laboratory. Along with 'xanthones', the fully ripe fruits also contains gartanin, 8-disoxygartanin, and normangostin.

A derivative of mangostin, mangostin-e, 6-di-O-glucoside, is a central nervous system depressant and causes a rise in blood pressure.