Family • Guttiferae - Garcinia mangostana Linn. - MANGOSTEEN - Shan zhu

Scientific names

Garcinia mangostana Linn.
Mangostana garcinia Gaertn.

Common names

Mangosteen (Engl., Chabakano)
Mangostan (Tag., S. L. Bis.)
Mangostao (Portugese)
Kanabla (C. Bis.)
Manggis (Sulu)
King’s fruit (Engl.)
Purple mangosteen (Engl.)
Queen of Fruits (Engl.)
Dao nian zi (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

DUTCH: Manggis, Manggistan
FRENCH : Mangostan, Mangostanier, Mangoustan, Mangoustanier.
GERMAN: Mangostane (tree), Mangostin (fruit).
ITALIAN : Garcinia, Mangostana (fruit), Mangostano (tree).
JAPANESE : Mangosuchin, Mangoosutin, Mangosutin.
KOREAN : Mang ko seu t’in.
MALAY : Mangis, Manggis (Indonesia), Semetah, Sementah.
PORTUGUESE : Mangostão.
SPANISH : Mangostán (tree), Mangustán (fruit).
THAILAND: Mangkhut.
VIETNAMESE : Cây măng cụt, Măng cụt, Trái măng cụt.

Mangosteen is a smooth, conical tree growing up to 10 meters high, outer bark smooth, dark brown, inner bark yellowish, branches nearly horizontal; leaves opposite, thick, leathery, 15 to 25 centimeters long, 6 to 11 centimeters wide, lanceolate, base tapering, apex acuminate, upper surface glossy, under surface dull, lighter color, petioles about 1 centimeter long; fruit a berry, dark purple, globose, 5 to 7 centimeters in diameter, smooth; rind firm, spongy, thick, resinous; seeds 4 to 8, dark brown, flattened, each surrounded by white or pinkish-white, juicy, sweet, edible pulp.

fresh mangosteen

Distribution and Production
– Usually planted in parts of Mindanao and in the Sulu Archipelago, occasionally in other regions, as far as Sorsogon.
– Probably introduced from Malaya.
– Propagated by seeds which are immediately sown after extraction to obtain a high percentage of germination. Grows well in high rainfall area like Mindanao, with deep, fertile, and well-drained, slightly acidic soils. Under optimal conditions, maximum fruit yield ranges from 200 to 800 fruits per tree per cropping season.


• Rind contains 5.5% tannin, and a resin.
• Also from the rind, a bitter principle, mangostin.
• Fruit flesh (aril) contains saccharose 10.8%; dextrose, 1%; and kerrelose 1.2 %.
• Acidity of fruit due to malic acid.
• Xanthones isolated from from peel, whole fruit, bark and leaves. y• Recent studies have isolated a new xanthone from the pericarp, mangostinone, and a new polyoxygenated xanthone, mangostanol, from the fruit hulls.
• From the green fruit hulls, 3 new xanthones: mangostenol, mangostenone A and mangostenone B.
• Bark yielded a new xanthone, mangosharin (2,8-dihydroxy-6-methoxy-5-(3- methylbut-2-eny1)-xanthone) together with six other xanthones, a-mangostin, Pmangostin, garcinone D, xanthone 1, 1,6-dihydroxy-3,7-dimethoxy-2-(3-methylbut-2- eny1)-xanthone and mangostanol and one triterpenoid, friedelin.

Parts utilized
– Pericarp (peel) and seeds.
– Pericarp which is used as medicine is separated from the edible portion and is sliced into desired sizes immediately after the fruit is opened. The pericarp pieces are strung and dried (air-drying, sun-drying, and “tapahan” method where the pericarp is dried by smoking) immediately to avoid fungi infestation. Sun-dried pericarp yield the highest tannin concentration of 5.5%.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) A review of Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) Linn. / Anthony C. Dweck

(2) A Geranylated biphenyl derivative from Garcinia mangostana 

(3) Mangosteen / Cancer Information / Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

(4) Antimicrobial effects of Thai medicinal plants against acne-inducing bacteria / Mullika Traidej Chomnawang et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology • Volume 101, Issues 1-3, 3 October 2005, Pages 330-333 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2005.04.038

(5) ANTI-INFLAMMATORY AND ANALGESIC ACTIVITIES OF THE EXTRACT FROM GARCINIA MANGOSTANA LINN. / N Pongphasuk et al / III WOCMAP Congress on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Volume 6: Traditional Medicine and Nutraceuticals

(6) Formulation and evaluation of topical polyherbal antiacne gels containing Garcinia mangostana and Aloe vera / Gowda Bhaskar et al / Pharmacognosy Magazine, 2009 | Volume : 5 | Issue : 19 | Page : 93-99

(7) Sorting Garcinia names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher, / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE

(8) Chemical Constituents From Annona Muricata (Linn.) and Garcinia Mangostana (Linn.) and Their Biological Activities / Daud, Shaari, 2005, Master Thesis

(9) Garcinia mangostana L.: a phytochemical and pharmacological review. / Obolskiy D, Pischel I, Siriwatanametanon N, Heinrich M. / Phytother Res. 2009 Aug;23(8):1047-65. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2730.

(10) Antibacterial activity of xanthones from Garcinia mangostana (L.) and their structure-activity relationship studies / Dharmaratne HR, Sakagami Y, Piyasena KG, Thevanesam V. / Nat Prod Res. 2013;27(10):938-41. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2012.678348. Epub 2012 Apr 11.

(11) Preliminary Study on the Possible Use of Garcinia Mangostana L. (Fam. Guttiferae) Hulls as Colorant / Judilynn N. Solidum + and Jea Giezl N. Solidum / 2012 2nd International Conference on Environment and BioScience IPCBEE vol.44 (2012) © (2012) IACSIT Press, Singapore / DOI: 10.7763/IPCBEE. 2012. V44. 9

(12) Antileptospiral activity of xanthones from Garcinia mangostana and synergy of gamma-mangostin with penicillin G / Weeranuch Seesom, Amornmart Jaratrungtawee, Sunit Suksamrarn, Chantana Mekseepralard, Piniti Ratananukul and Wasana Sukhumsirichart* / BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:182 doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-182

(13) Cathecins in ethanolic extracts of Garcinia mangostana fruit pericarp and anti-inflammatory effect in atherosclerotic rats / Dwi Laksono Adiputro, Husnul Khotimah, M. Aris Widodo, Rochmad Romdoni, Djanggan Sargowo. / J Exp Integr Med. 2013; 3(2): 137-140doi: 10.5455/

(14) ANTICANCER ACTIVITY OF MANGOSTEEN PERICARP DRY EXTRACT AGAINST MCF-7 BREAST CANCER CELL LINE THROUGH ESTROGEN RECEPTOR -α / Agustina Setiawati, Florentinus Octa Dika Riswanto, Sri Hartati Yuliani, Enade Perdana Istyastono / Indonesian J. Pharm. Vol. 25 No. : 119 124 ISSN-p : 2338-9427 / DOI: 10.14499/indonesianjpharm25iss3pp119


(16) Cathecins in ethanolic extracts of Garcinia mangostana fruit pericarp and anti-inflammatory effect in atherosclerotic rats / Dwi Laksono Adiputro, Husnul Khotimah, M. Aris Widodo, Rochmad Romdoni, Djanggan Sargowo. / J Exp Integr Med. 2013; 3(2): 137-140doi: 10.5455/

(17) Alpha-mangostin, the Major Compound from Garcinia mangostana Linn. Responsible for Synthesis of Ag Nanoparticles: Its Characterization and Evaluation Studies / P. Karthiga, R. Soranam and G. Annadurai / Research Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 2012, Volume 2, Issue 2, Page No.: 46-57 / DOI: 10.3923/rjnn.2012.46.57




– Abdominal pain and diarrhea.
– Decoction of roots used for dysmenorrhea and genitourinary ailments.
– Bark and young seeds used in diarrhea, dysentery, and GI problems; also, a wash for stomatitis.
– Decoction of leaves and bark used as febrifuge and to treat thrush.
– Decoction of powdered rind used for external astringent application.
– In Cambodia, the bark and fruit rind are used for diarrhea and dysentery.
– In Malaya, infusion of leaves mixed with unripe banana and benzoin used for the circumcision wound.
– Used for cystitis and gonorrhea.
2004 Rage
Now, it is XANTHONES, an ingredient in the mangosteen fruit that is being touted as the new “miracle” supplement-drink. As much hype and fanfare as the “Noni” juice craze that spawned a short-lived industry that flooded many a distant shore. See: Xanthones.html
Dye: In Malaya, a black dye is obtained from the shell. Aqueous extract of pericarp of Garcinia extracted a camel brown to dark chocolate brown dye for dyeing cotton silk and wool yarn.
Chewstick: In Ghana, mangosteen twigs used as chewsticks.


Study Findings
• Antifungal activity: Xanthones isolated from the fruit hulls of GM showed antifungal activity.
• Antibacterial: Extracts of GM showed inhibitory effects against S aureus.
• Antioxidant: The methanol extract of fruit hulls was found to possess potent radical scavenging effect.
• Acne vulgaris: Effect of Garcinia mangostana on inflammation caused by Propionibacterium acne: Study showed that G mangostana possess significant antioxidant activity – highly effective in scavenging free radicals and suppressing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. It suggests a potential source of an agent for the treatment of acne vulgaris.
• Geranylated Biphenyl Derivative: Extracts of root bark, stem bark and latex yielded compounds with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antifungal activities supporting its use in indigenous medicine.
• Antiproliferative / Antioxidant / Apoptosis Inducing: Study on human breast cancer cell line showed the methanolic extract from the pericarp of G mangostana had strong antiproliferation, potent antioxidation and induction of apoptosis and suggests a potential use for cancer chemoprevention.
• Tuberculosis: Antimycobacterial Activity of Prenylated Xanthones from the Fruits of Garcinia mangostana: Prenylated xanthones, alpha- and beta- mangostins and garcinone B showed strong inhibitory activity against M tuberculosis.
• Antioxidant / Cytoprotective: Antioxidant and Cytoprotective Activities of Methanolic Extract from Garcinia mangostana Hulls: Study suggests GM extract possess antioxidant and chemoprotective activities through a reducing mechanism and inhibition of intracellular oxidative stress.
• Antimicrobial / Anti-Acne: In a study of Thai medicinal plants against the etiologic agents of acne vulgaris, Garcinia mangostana was one of the plants with strong inhibitory effects against Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermis. One of the active compounds in G mangostana could be mangostin, a xanthone derivative.
• Free Radical Scavenging / Cytokine Reducing: Study showed G mangostana possessed significant antioxidant activity and reduced reactive oxygen species production. It was able to suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
• Panaxanthone / Anti-Tumor / Antimetastatic: Study showed the antitumor effects of panaxanthone were associated with elevation of apoptotic cell death, antiproliferation and antiangiogenesis. The antimetastatic activity of panaxanthone may be of clinical significance as adjuvant therapy in metastatic breast cancer and also useful as a chemopreventive of breast cancer development.
• Antioxidant / Cytoprotective: Study showed the methanolic extract of the hulls of G mangostana possessed antioxidant and chemopreventive activities via a reducing mechanism and inhibition of intracellular oxidative stress.
• Anti-Inflammatory: In a study of extracts from G. mangostana, N. arbortristis, C. rotundus and C. nutans, the G. mangostana showed the highest anti-inflammatory activity in mice using carrageenan induced paw edema model. The dose response was dose-dependent.
• Antiproliferative / Anti-Cancer: Study showed EtOAc extract with strong antiproliferative activity and induced apoptosis in human ovarian SKOV3 cells, suggesting a possible important role in cancer chemotherapy. Results indicate cancer in-vitro and in-vivo antiproliferation from active components of mangosteen.
• Topical Treatment for Acne vulgaris: Study concludes that the aqueous extract of Garcinia mangostana and Aloe vera can be formulated in an aqueous based gel system for the topical treatment of mild acne vulgaris. The microbial assay of the formulations demonstrated better inhibitory activity against Propionibacterium acne and Staph epidermis.
• Cytotoxicity / Anti-Cancer: The crude hexane extract of G. mangostana showed activity against the CEM-SS cell-line with an IC50 value of 17 pg/ml. The pure compounds a-mangostin, mangostanol and garcinone D also exhibited significant activities with ICso values of 5.5,9.6 and 3.2 pg/ml against CEM-SS cell line, respectively.
• Phytochemical and Pharmacologic Review: 2009 Review looked at the phytochemistry and pharmacology of mangosteen. Central to the biological activity of the species are xanthones which are reviewed in detail. Its potential for development of novel drug leads is assessed. The review acknowledges a weakness due to a lack of clinical data and how present knowledge relates to potential clinical relevance.
• Xanthones / Antibacterial: y-Mangostin has shown antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), MSSA, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus and VSE. The combination of C-6 and C-3 hydroxyl groups with tetraoxygenated xanthones from G. mangostana is essential for its high antibacterial activity.
• Colorant / Antibacterial: Study evaluated the potential of fruit hulls as source of paint for use on paper or incorporated in cosmetics. Phytochemical analysis yielded tannins, carbohydrates and glycosides. Safety assessment showed zero rating for erythema and edema formation. Results showed promise as colorant for lip sheen and as paint on paper.
• Antileptospiral Activity / Xanthones / Synergy with Penicillin: Study evaluated the inhibitory activity of purified xanthones and crude extracts from G. mangostana fruit pericarp against non-pathogenic and pathogenic leptospira. Results showed showed significant antibacterial activity. The combination with antibiotic enhances the antileptospiral activity.
• Fruit Pericarp / Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated the effect of fruit pericarp ethanolic extract on markers of inflammation (NBF-kB), TNF-a levels, NO in an atherosclerotic rat model. Results suggests the extract inhibited inflammation in atherosclerotic rats via inhibition of distribution NF-kB p65/p50 into the nucleus and decreases TNF-a and NO levels.
• Anticancer / MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cell Line / Pericarp: Study evaluated the molecular mechanism of anticancer activity of mangosteen pericarp extract on ER-α. Estrogen receptor is one of the biomarker in breast cancer progression, more than 60% breast cancer overexpress ERa. Results showed anticancer activity which may be mediated by other gene involved in ER-α signaling pathway in breast cancer cells.
• Antimicrobial / Pericarp: Study of G. mangostana extract of pericarp powder for antimicrobial activity. showed activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus albus, and Micrococcus luteus.
• Catechins / Anti-Inflammatory: Study of evaluated an ethanolic extract of fruit pericarp on several markers of inflammation. Results showed EE of fruit pericarp inhibits inflammation in atherosclerotic rats due to inhibition of distribution of NF-kB p65/p50 into the nucleus and decreases TNF-α and NO lesions.
• Alpha-Mangostin / Nanoparticles: Study reports an easy biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles from the rind extract of Garcinia mangostana. Silver nanoparticles of the rind extract of G. mangostana exhibited strong bactericidal and fungicidal activity. Results present of potential for wide application in medicine.

• Mangosteen / Cancer Information / Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: Despite claims by marketeers, the efficacy and safety of mangosteen products for cancer treatment in humans have not been established. Studies have shown antiinflammatory, cytotoxic, aromatase-inhibitory, antioxidant, antiproliferative and apoptotic effects. However, there is no data from clinical trials to verify these effects in humans. Caution is given that mangosteen products may interfere with certain chemotherapeutic drugs. For diabetics, the caution is because of its high sugar content. (July 2008)
• Severe Lactic Acidosis Associated With Juice of the Mangosteen Fruit Garcinia mangostana: A case of severe lactic acidosis associated with the use of mangosteen juice as a dietary supplement. (Mar 2008)
• Toxicity Study / Pericarp Extract: Ethanolic extracts from the fruit pericarp have been shown to possess many biological and pharmacological activities. A six-month study in Wistar rats showed of high dose mangosteen pericarp extract affected both liver and kidney. Although the MPE did not produce overt pharmacotoxic signs and hematologic abnormalities, , higher doses affected hepatic and renal laboratory parameters. There was also hepatocellular degeneration after higher dose withdrawal which may suggest persistence in liver pathology. Safety constituents in the extract should be further investigated before use for health promotion.

Cultivated for its fruit.
Extracts, pills, and liquid botanical supplements in the cybermarket.