Is Mangosteen the Holy Grail?

Dear Friend,

Thank you for dropping by I am glad you did, as this site has been specially prepared by me to be a source of invaluable information on the Mangosteen; more so it’s an educational site with a purpose of furnishing the reasons as to why this South East Asian fruit has so many applications. You may be reading this because you may have heard something of this superfruit and curious to learn more of it. As British Lexicographer, Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) once put it,

‘Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect’

That being said, curiosity can be a good thing.

When I was preparing this site, I envisaged a comprehensive Mangosteen Source where a visitor will leave having gained some value out of the time spent in reading this material. Hence the name of this site came naturally as But more than that, what if a person wanted to try the fruit in a format ideal for absorption to enjoy the health benefits of Mangosteen? With this in mind, I intended to just not provide information on this South East Asian fruit, but also a ready source to try the whole fruit hassle free by getting it delivered at the doorstep.

So how did I come to prepare a site on the Mangosteen? Did I just discover this fruit a few years ago, just like most Americans? Actually, I was born and raised in Singapore, a South-East Asian country surrounded by countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia, and I have always known the Mangosteen fruit.

If you have not heard of Singapore, I do not blame you, as it’s a very small country; but one thing is sure to jog anyone’s memory, and that being Singapore is the first country to host a F1 night race and also the first to host the Youth Olympics to be held in 2010. Singapore is also remembered for one of its iconic buildings for the arts, ESPLANADE, as can be seen to the right. A number of tourists and even the locals have commented the uncanny resemblance of the esplanade to the much loved durian fruit among Asians.

Mangosteen is sold locally here in the fruit shops and is always placed side by side with the thorny durian fruit, the King of fruits (as can be seen in the photo just below).

This is so because the durian fruit is said to be ‘heaty’, a colloquial term used here attributing to the yin and yang that the Chinese believe in, and the Mangosteen fruit is to complement the durian fruit by ‘cooling’ the body. Is it any wonder then that Queen Victoria upon tasting the Mangosteen fruit was so enamoured by the taste and looks that she called it the ‘Queen of fruits’ being a perfect opposite and complement to the durian? Ever since then, the Mangosteen has enjoyed a steady growth of admirers from all walks of life, especially more so with Asians, as the durian being already a well loved fruit for its tasty flesh, was sharing its limelight with the Mangosteen.

I still recall as a young boy when I first set my eyes on the Mangosteen and tasted it for the very first time. The fruit is a deep purple on the outside, with a soft pearly white succulent flesh on the inside; when you first set your taste buds on the flesh, its like a fruit punch in a fruit, a mixture of sweet with an exotic punch to it.

Nothing quite describes the taste precisely, but I assure you, Queen Victoria named it well after tasting it. What amazed me as a young boy was that it was so easy to eat the fruit, very unlike the thorny durian! My mother placed one of the fruits in my palm and asked me to gently press the fruit in the centre with both my palms, and it took very little effort for the fruit to crack open silently, exposing its rich, white flesh within. It was a delight ‘opening’ each fruit and having a ‘go’ at the exquisite taste that awaited within, and amazingly you never get tired of the taste.

Another somewhat curious feature of the fruit is the purple stain it leaves behind. When you open the fruit, it colors your hand purple and it was fun as a young child seeing my hands turning purple. It’s almost like I had participated in some coloring contest! The only thing which spoilt my delight then was my mother’s words on not touching my clothing with my hands, as she said that the stains cannot be washed away once it touches fabric. So I had to be extra careful when eating the fruit on not touching any of my clothing, lest I invite a fearful scolding from my mother. But even that was fascinating to me, a fruit that leaves behind a purple stain, wow! I was wondering then, is that how they make purple crayons?

As time went by and I grew up, the Mangosteen came to be one of the fruits I have always known, like the apple or orange, but even among South-East Asians, its exotic, as its not always available and usually only appears for sale during the durian season. It was roughly about the year 2006, when I first heard that an American, Joe Morton, had actually brought the fruit to market in a juice format, with a primary emphasis on its health benefits derived from the pericarp and seeds of the Mangosteen.

Although I have always known the Mangosteen over the past three decades and have not heard or seen anyone using the skin of the fruit for health reasons, it was not something that I could just pass on by as another noni hogwash. You see, I have always been curious about the skin of this fruit, as it was the only fruit I knew of where the pericarp leaves a purple stain that cannot be washed away when it touches linen. The skin of the fruit had always remained special in my mind, not that it was ever used to make crayons! On top of that, in Chinese medicine, the color purple has always been associated with something medicinal, and that prior knowledge also piqued my curiosity even more.

I came to learn that the whole Mangosteen fruit was being crushed, mixed into a juice format with nine other fruits and sold under the brand Xango as xango mangosteen fruit juice. Also, there were numerous testimonials coming by from largely doctors living in the west, on having used this juice successfully for various ailments from crones disease (Chrones or Crohn’s Disease) to the somewhat unknown 5th disease (fifth disease) and even Hand Foot Mouth Disease!

As I did more research as to how the Mangosteen fruit had so many applications, I realized that the rind of the Mangosteen had all four properties which fights infections, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitical and anti-fungal. In fact it had shown to kill the MRSA virus, a superbug, when mixed in a cocktail of drugs in a Petri dish! This all seemed very amazing, more so because this fruit was right under the noses of Asians like myself and not realizing the wealth it possessed. And I knew that other than bacterial infections, where we have various antibiotics to combat them, the other infections arising from parasites, fungi and virus were more difficult to treat as they involved more specialized drugs and sometimes there is really no treatment available, with the only remedy being rest.

I knew I had to experience and confirm the Mangosteen juice for health benefits, and with a tinge of skepticism coupled with excitement, I decided to use my mother as the main test patient. She seemed the best candidate to me, not that I still fear her scolding for dirtying my clothing with the purple stain of Mangosteen, but over the years she had had to deal with arthritis of the knees and other joints, a loss of youthful vigor, weight issues, removal of the thyroid glands due to cancer and subsequently hormonal therapy due to the loss of the thyroid glands. So if the rind of the fruit can do any good as claimed, it will be most noticeable in her. In the meantime, I also started taking it for myself to observe any changes within me.

That was in the beginning of year 2007 and it didn’t take long for me to arrive at an undeniable conclusion. Initially, my mother complained of all kinds of strange aches in her body when she took the juice, and she thought of stopping consumption, but after encouraging her by saying that its only a fruit juice, it can do no harm and if there is no pain, usually there is no gain, she carried on. It was only later that we discovered that the juice was clearing toxins that have accumulated over the years in her body and she should have consumed more water to clear the toxins sooner to get over the initial discomfort.

After about two weeks, my mother started singing praises about the juice, as it had given her a tremendous boost in energy, largely reduced her arthritic pain to the point that she can climb more than four flights of staircase when previously she was unable, given her a clear mind and even lose some weight after about five months of regular consumption, when previously she could not even lose weight by cutting down on meals. For those who have had their thyroid glands removed, you would know that this gland produces a hormone which controls metabolic rate, hence a big problem in weight control without it! For years, her doctor had advised her to lose more weight, as this will lessen the weight in her joints, lessen the workload of the heart and also provide an overall improvement in health; no matter how hard she tried, it just did not happen. So you can imagine, how she felt when mangosteen juice did the trick with her weight.

The real telling sign came when she had to renew her hormonal therapy medication, which occurs once every six months, for the past 12 years. For the first time ever, the doctor performing a check on her appeared surprised, adjusted her dosage of drugs and asked her to come four months later, instead of the usual six. When she went back four months later, the doctor gave her an improved bill of health and prescribed her an adjusted amount of drugs for her hormonal therapy; she also commended my mother for having lost weight. View 6 min Video on Let Food be your Medicine

As I write this, its currently July 2008 and during this period of time I have passionately spoken of the Mangosteen juice to many of my friends, relatives and acquaintances as a must try if you are serious about improving your health. There have been some friends who have been concerned about the hassle of taking it everyday, but I always tell them that in my life I have gotten over that by regarding it as another function like brushing my teeth or shaving everyday. It costs under US$2 per day to consume just for myself and unlike a visit to the local Macdonald’s joint, its money well spent!

Another way I have looked at it is, its real health insurance which I take everyday for prevention, as compared to health insurance that kicks in only after the fact in covering expenses for a cure. Rather than taking a whole assortment of pills in maintaining my health, this juice has kept it simple with the only thing to be certain about being the consumption amount on a daily basis. Mangosteen is a natural trailblazer on all counts in the nutritional arena and it will take sometime before another serious contender comes by to knock it off its gold pedestal – its truly prevention and cure with the gold standard.

I was a skeptic to begin with, but a skeptic won over will usually become a die-hard evangelist. I hope, like me, this fruit takes you on a path of self discovery and a marvel on the best kept secret mother nature has put a seal……until now.

Baski in the Swiss Alps

Your Friend,

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