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  • MangosteenPosted 3 years ago under Uncategorized

    Mangosteens are a rare, tropical fruit with a number of health benefits. They are not found as a fresh fruit in the United States because of a ban on importation due to concerns that they would bring in invasive species of insects. Compounds in mangosteens have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties. (1) The xanthone compounds found in the rinds have been shown in laboratory studies to trigger cancer cell death in breast cancers. (2)

    Taxonomy

    The mangosteen grows on the Garcinia mangostana tree.

    Kingdom (Plantae) –> Angiosperms –> Eudicots –> Rosids –> Order (Malpighiales) –> Family (Clusiaceae) –> Genus (Garcinia) –> Species (Garcinia mangostana)

    Description

    The mangosteen grows on an evergreen tree that ranges in height from 20 to 82 feet. The bark is a dark brown to almost black color and very flaky. The leaves are 3.5 to 10 inches long and a glossy dark green on top and dull yellowish-green on bottom. The flowers can be male or hermaphrodite. Male flowers are green and red on the outside while yellowish-red on the inside. Hermaphrodite flowers are yellowish-green with a red edge. The fruit is reddish-purple or dark purple and up to three inches in diameter. The rind is up to almost a half-inch thick and reddish-purple in color. Inside the fruit are 4-8 edible white sections of flesh that are mild or slightly acidic in flavor. (3)

    Distribution

    Mangosteens have a very restricted, tropical environment that they cannot grow outside of. Its exact origins are unknown but are guessed to be the Sunda Islands and the Moluccas. It grows in Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, parts of the Philippines, and parts of Southwestern India. Attempts have been made to grow it in other tropical environments with no real lasting success. They thrive in rich, organic soil and can only tolerate temperatures between 40 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit and needs at least 50 inches of rain a year. They also need to have partial shade. (4)

    Nutritional Information

    Mangosteen is a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is high in B vitamins, vitamin C, copper, manganese, and magnesium. It is relatively low in calories as well, making it a healthy choice. (5) Mangosteen contains a number of antioxidant compounds in their rind called xanthones including alpha-mangostin, beta-mangostin, garcinone B, and garcinone E. These compounds may help fight certain cancers. (6)

    Commercial Cultivation

    Mangosteens are typically grown from seed. The tree may only take 7-9 years to fruit but usually takes 10-20 years to produce fruit. (7) Typically it is harvested in summer but can be harvested as late as November or December if the tree is shaded. (8)

    Diseases, Pests, Predators

    Mangosteens emit a bitter latex from the bark which protects them from most pests and diseases. (9) The biggest threat are animals such as bats, monkeys, and rats that eat the fruits. Some leaf-eating caterpillars have been found in India and a particular ant in Puerto Rico. (10)

    Sources

    (1) http://altmedicine.about.com/od/completeazindex/a/mangosteen1.htm
    (2) http://www.naturalnews.com/046110_mangosteen_fruit_breast_cancer_apoptosis.html
    (3) https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/mangosteen.html
    (4) http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/mangosteen/mangosteen-fruit-trees.htm
    (5) http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/mangosteen.html
    (6) http://altmedicine.about.com/od/completeazindex/a/mangosteen1.htm
    (7) http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/mangosteen/mangosteen-fruit-trees.htm
    (8) https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/mangosteen.html
    (9) http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/mangosteen/mangosteen-fruit-trees.htm
    (10) https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/mangosteen.html

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