Medicinal properties of mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana)

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Food and Chemical Toxicology
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Medicinal properties of mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana)
José Pedraza-Chaverri *, Noemí Cárdenas-Rodríguez, Marisol Orozco-Ibarra, Jazmin M. Pérez-Rojas
Facultad de Química, Departamento de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Ciudad Universitaria, 04510 Mexico, DF, Mexico

Article history:
Received 14 May 2008
Accepted 25 July 2008

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Many tropical plants have interesting biological activities with potential therapeutic applications. Garcinia mangostana Linn. (GML) belongs to the family of Guttiferae and is named “the queen of fruits”. It is cultivated in the tropical rainforest of some Southeast Asian nations like Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and Thailand. People in these countries have used the pericarp (peel, rind, hull or ripe) of GML as a traditional medicine for the treatment of abdominal pain, diarrhea, dysentery, infected wound, suppuration, and chronic ulcer. Experimental studies have demonstrated that extracts of GML have antioxidant, antitumoral, antiallergic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral activities. The pericarp of GML is a source of xanthones and other bioactive substances.

Prenylated xanthones isolated from GML have been extensively studied; some members of these compounds possess antioxidant, antitumoral, antiallergic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Xanthones have been isolated from pericarp, whole fruit, heartwood, and leaves. The most studied xanthones are alpha-, beta-, and gamma-mangostins, garcinone E, 8-deoxygartanin, and gartanin. The aim of this review is to summarize findings of beneficial properties of GML’s extracts and xanthones isolated from this plant so far.


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