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Scientific Name(s): Garcinia mangostana
Common Name(s): Mangostan, Mangosteen

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 23, 2021.

Clinical Overview


Mangosteen possesses possible antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antihistamine properties, but clinical data are lacking. An herbal formulation containing extracts obtained from mangosteen and Sphaeranthus indicus has been evaluated for weight loss; however, attributing positive findings to either of the individual constituent extracts is difficult.


Clinical data are lacking to provide dosing recommendations. Mangosteen is available in capsule, tablet, and cream doseforms, and has also been used as an ingredient in nutraceutical beverages.


Avoid use if hypertensive to any constituents of mangosteen.


Avoid use. Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.


None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

None well documented.


No data.

Scientific Family

  • Guttiferae


The genus Garcinia comprises nearly 400 species of evergreen trees and shrubs. Mangosteen is a slow-growing and shallow-rooted evergreen tree reaching up to 25 m in height. The leaves are thick and leathery, while the flowers are fleshy and 4 to 5 cm in diameter. The flowers are often green on the outside and yellow to red on the inside, with 4 sepals and 4 petals. Many of the species of the Guittiferae family bear edible fruit; however, mangosteen is the most valued tropical fruit.Akao 2008, Chin 2008, Ramage 2004

The fruit is round, 2.5 to 7.5 cm in diameter, and weighs about 75 to 150 g. The rind is smooth and 0.6 to 1 cm thick. The exterior is pale green when immature and dark purple when fully ripe. The inner pulp contains 4 to 8 juicy white segments that are sweet and faintly aromatic. The fruits may or may not contain seeds.Akao 2008, Chin 2008, Ramage 2004

Mangosteen is thought to be native to Southeast Asia or Indonesia and remains largely indigenous to the Malay Peninsula, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Moluccas. During the past 2 centuries, mangosteen has been cultivated in tropical areas such as India, Honduras, Brazil, and Australia. The species thrives in warm and humid or tropical climates and has a narrow range of adaptability.Akao 2008, Chin 2008, Ramage 2004

Mangosteen species are of economic and commercial interest, with tremendous demand for the fruit in domestic and export markets. Thailand is responsible for approximately 85% of the total production of 150,000 tons per year. Malaysia and Indonesia are also major commercial producing countries. Depending on the growth cycle, a single tree may produce 500 to 800 fruits in 1 year. Other commercial uses include landscape material (the crown) and natural dye for cotton and silk yarn.Akao 2008, Chairat 2007, Chin 2008, Ramage 2004


The rind, leaves, fruit, and bark of mangosteen have been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. The rind and leaves have been used medicinally to treat thick mucus, cystitis, diarrhea, dysentery, fever, and thrush, as well as intestinal and skin ailments such as eczema and pruritus.Akao 2008, Chin 2008, Chomnawang 2007, Gopalakrishnan 1997, Ji 2007, Suksamrarn 2003, Yu 2007 Concentrates of mangosteen bark have been used medicinally to treat GU disorders, including gonorrhea and stomatosis.Akao 2008, Chin 2008, Yu 2007


Numerous studies have found high concentrations of xanthones, a class of polyphenolic compounds, in mangosteen.Fu 2005, Ji 2007, Mahabusarakam 1987, Nilar 2002, Nilar 2005 Xanthones have antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antiplatelet aggregation, antithrombotic, and vasorelaxant properties. They also prevent oxidative damage of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), histamine, and serotonin receptor blocker activity and inhibit HIV.Ji 2007 The xanthones and tannins of the mangosteen pericarp protect against insects, fungi, plant viruses, bacteria, and animals while the fruit is still immature. Of the 200 known xanthones, nearly 50 are found in mangosteen.Akao 2008 The major xanthones are alpha-mangostin, beta-mangostin, gamma-mangostin, and methoxy-beta-mangostin,Akao 2008 and the most abundant is alpha-mangostin.Chin 2008, Ji 2007 Calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and ascorbic acid are also found in mangosteen.

Uses and Pharmacology

Antibacterial activity

In vitro data

Several xanthones isolated from the fruit hulls of mangosteen have demonstrated antifungal activity against 3 phytopathogenic fungi, Fusarium oxysporum vasinfectum, Alternaria tenuis, and Dreschlera oryzae.Gopalakrishnan 1997 Mangosteen also has activity against the dermatophytes Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Microsporum gypseum, and Epidermophyton floccosum.Mahabusarakam 1983, Mahabusarakam 1986

Mangosteen has strong antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus.Iinuma 1996 Alpha-mangostin from the stem bark of mangosteen was active against vancomycin-resistant Enterococci and methicillin-resistant S. aureus, with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of 6.25 mcg/mL to 12.5 mcg/mL.Sakagami 2005Activity against the acne-inducing bacteria Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis is also documented.Chomnawang 2005, Chomnawang 2007

The xanthones alpha- and beta-mangostins and garcinone B, isolated from the fruit hulls and the edible arils and seeds of mangosteen, exhibited strong inhibitory activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, with an MIC value of 6.25 mcg/mL.Suksamrarn 2003

Prenylated xanthones from mangosteen exhibited potent antiplasmodial activity against Plasmodium falciparum.Mahabusarakam 2006 Additionally, mangosteen rind extract demonstrated synergistic effects against P. falciparum when used with artemisinin.Tjahjani 2017

Clinical data

One study of 60 participants found that an herbal mouthwash containing the pericarp extract of mangosteen may be used, in addition to other treatments, for improving oral malodor.Rassameemasmaung 2007

A small split face study (N=10) evaluated the nanoparticulate delivery of mangostin extract in Propionibacterium acnes related to acne vulgaris. Significant improvement in acne vulgaris was observed with mangostin nanoparticles.Pan-In 2015

Antihistamine activity

In vitro data

Several studies found potent inhibitory activity on both histamine release and prostaglandin E2 synthesis by mangosteen fruit extract. In one study, a crude methanolic extract of the fruit hull of mangosteen inhibited contractions of isolated thoracic rabbit aorta induced by histamine and serotonin.Chairungsrilerd 1996 In another study in rat glioma cells, gamma-mangostin demonstrated potent inhibitory activity of induced prostaglandin E2 synthesis.Nakatani 2002 A pharmacological study of G. mangostana showed that alpha-mangostin is a selective and competitive H1 receptor antagonist, while gamma-mangostin is a selective and competitive 5-HT2A receptor antagonist.Chairungsrilerd 1996, Furukawa 1997 Alpha-, beta-, and gamma-mangostin suppressed the upstream degranulation (release of allergic mediators) process in rat basophilic leukemia cells.Itoh 2008

Anti-inflammatory activity

Reviews of the anti-inflammatory activities of mangosteen xanthones have been published.Gutierrez-Orozco 2013, Obolskiy 2009

Animal and in vitro data

The xanthone gamma-mangostin potently inhibited prostaglandin E2 release and competitively inhibited the activities of cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2 enzymes in C6 rat glioma cells. These enzymes are major mediators in regulating inflammation.Nakatani 2002 Gamma-mangostin also inhibited IkappaB kinase activity associated with expression of the COX-2 enzyme.Nakatani 2004 In addition, alpha-mangosteen has potent inhibitory activity against prostaglandin E2 release.Chen 2008 Both alpha- and gamma-mangostin inhibited nitrite production of lipopolysaccharide activated macrophage cells.Wang 2004

In studies of induced paw edema or asthma in rodents, positive findings were observed with mangosteen xanthones.Gutierrez-Orozco 2013, Obolskiy 2009

Clinical data

Limited clinical evidence has been published. A study reported clinical improvement in periodontal inflammation following topical application of mangosteen pericarp extract.Gutierrez-Orozco 2013, Obolskiy 2009

Mangosteen in combination with other fruit juices has been evaluated for its effect on biomarkers of inflammation, with reduced C-reactive protein reported in 44 overweight individuals.Udani 2009

Antioxidant activity

Animal and in vitro data

The phenolic compounds from the hull of mangosteen had strong antioxidant activity in 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging activity assays.Yu 2007 One study documented neuroprotective activity of extracts of the fruit hull.Weecharangsan 2006 Similar studies document antioxidant and ferric-reducing activity of mangosteen compared with various fruits.Okonogi 2007, Patthamakanokporn 2008 A study in rats fed high-cholesterol diets noted positive effects of mangosteen on plasma lipid levels and plasma antioxidant activity.Leontowicz 2007

Clinical data

In a 60-day study of 20 healthy women, improvement in age-related changes in skin smoothness were observed with a cream containing 3 antioxidants, including mangosteen, compared with a placebo cream.Hsu 2007


Reviews on the anticancer activities of mangosteen xanthones have been published.Gutierrez-Orozco 2013, Obolskiy 2009

Animal and in vitro data

Alpha-mangostin, mangostanol, and garcinone D extracts from the stem and root bark of G. mangostana were cytotoxic against the CEM-SS cell line.Ee 2006, Ee 2008

The efficacy and potency of garcinone E, a xanthone from mangosteen, was compared with 6 chemotherapeutic drugs used to treat 4 hepatoma cell lines. Garcinone E is equal to or more potent than mitoxantrone in terms of cytotoxicity against hepatoma cell lines, and may be more effective than methotrexate, vincristine, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), and cisplatin.Ho 2002

Six xanthones were extracted from the pericarps of mangosteen and examined for cell growth inhibition of the human leukemia cell line HL60. All xanthones had documented inhibitory effects on growth, but alpha-mangostin showed the most potent inhibitory activity.Matsumoto 2003 In another study, both mangosteen peel extract and alpha-mangostin were selective for leukemia HL60 and K562 cell lines.Novilla 2016 ) The mechanism of action is associated with alpha-mangostin activating caspase-9 and caspase-3, but not caspase-8, and mediating the mitochondrial pathway in the apoptosis.Chiang 2004, Matsumoto 2004

Alpha-mangostin inhibited growth of DLD-1 human colon cancer cells with potency similar to 5-FU. The mechanism of action of xanthones from mangosteen is associated with cell-cycle arrest by affecting expression of cyclins, cdc2, and p27; G1 cell cycle arrest by alpha-mangostin and beta-mangostin; and S cycle arrest by gamma-mangostin. Alpha-mangostin also induces apoptosis that is mediated by the intrinsic pathway through mitochondria and modulates growth-related signal transduction pathways.Akao 2008 Another study noted a synergistic growth reduction in human colon cancer DLD-1 cells with combined treatment of alpha-mangostin and 5-FU.Nakagawa 2007

In one study, an extract from the pericarp of mangosteen inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells through apoptosis.Moongkarndi 2004 In another experiment, alpha-mangostin exhibited the most potent effects among the isolates studied.Suksamrarn 2006

In one study in mice with induced skin cancer, alpha-mangostin reduced the incidence rate and suppressed tumor formation and growth.Wang 2017 A study on putative preneoplastic lesions in rat colon carcinogenesis found that dietary administration of alpha-mangostin inhibited the development of aberrant crypt foci (P<0.05 for 0.02% crude alpha-mangostin, P<0.01 for 0.05% crude alpha-mangostin). Rats treated with 0.05% crude alpha-mangostin had decreased dysplastic foci (P<0.05) and beta-catenin accumulated crypts (P<0.05).Nabandith 2004

GI disorders

In vitro data

The xanthones from mangosteen may be useful in treating Helicobacter pylori digestive tract disorders, such as peptic ulcer, gastritis, and gastric cancer.Hasegawa 1996

Heart disease

Animal data

A study in rats documents the efficacy of alpha-mangostin against cardiotoxicity and beta-adrenergic catecholamine-induced myocardial toxicity and oxidative stress.Sampath 2008 Mangosteen also inhibits oxidative changes in human LDL by acting as a free radical scavenger to protect LDL.Li 2006, Williams 1995

Hepatic disorders

Animal data

In rats fed a high-fat diet, alpha-mangostin demonstrated reduction of hepatic steatosis and significantly reduced triglyceride levels.Tsai 2016


In vitro data

Noncompetitive inhibition against HIV-1 protease is documented for mangostin and gamma-mangostin.Chen 1996


Animal data

In a 9-week study in rats fed a high-calorie diet, the 2 groups treated with mangosteen extract (200 mg/kg and 500 mg/kg of body weight) demonstrated reduced weight gain compared to the control group (orlistat-treated and normally fed group).Abuzaid 2016

Clinical data

An herbal formulation containing extracts obtained from mangosteen and S. indicus has been evaluated for weight loss. Although positive findings have been reported, attributing the findings to either of the individual constituent extracts is difficult.Stern 2013, Kudiganti 2016


Clinical data are lacking to provide dosing recommendations. Mangosteen is available in capsule, tablet, and cream doseforms, and has also been used as an ingredient in nutraceutical beverages. Amounts of mangosteen vary by product and doseform. Numerous patents exist for mangosteen nutraceutical applications in beverages,Fugal 2006, Garrity 1996 animal products,Wadsworth 2007 and cosmetic and dermatological preparations.Gupta 2004, Moffett 2006

Pregnancy / Lactation

Avoid use. Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.


Mangosteen products have antioxidant activity and may interact with chemotherapeutic drugs such anthracyclines, platinum compounds, and alkylating agents. Patients taking antihistamines may note an additive affect with mangosteen.

Adverse Reactions

Avoid use if hypersensitive to any constituents of mangosteen. Individuals with diabetes should be aware of the high sugar content in mangosteen juice. Theoretically, mangosteen may interfere with the action of certain chemotherapeutic drugs and radiation therapy.

Severe lactic acidosis was reported in a 58-year-old man ingesting mangosteen juice daily for 12 months, possibly resulting from alpha-mangostin–associated mitochondrial dysfunction.Wong 2008


No toxicity studies have been reported in humans. In one experiment, the seed oil was not found to be toxic to the liver, heart, or spleen when fed to rats. Kidney lesions observed in some rats were mild and not limited to the test rats.Ajayi 2007 An older report found decreased serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase and serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase levels in rodents administered mangostin.Obolskiy 2009


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