Not to be confused with a Mango, the Mangosteen is a highly tropical fruit that can only be grown in equatorial regions such as South America, Tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, Hawaii and similar tropical islands. Growing them in South Florida is likely possible if you’re an extreme green thumb.
According to some sources, all attempts to grow Mangosteen north of 20 degrees latitude have failed. (Around Cuba) Global Warming may make growing Mangosteen at higher latitudes possible in the not-too-distant future… so… yay?
There are several varieties of Mangosteen including Yellow, Orange and Purple varieties, but this article will cover specifically the Purple Mangosteen.
Since Mangosteen is difficult to grow in captivity outside tropical regions this article will be less about growing the plant and more about finding it and using it.
The Mangosteen gets the name Queen of Fruits for being one of the best tasting fruits in the world. Possibly the noble title also comes from the story that the Mangosteen was the queen of England’s favorite fruit.
It is said that a Mangosteen Fruit tastes like a Strawberry mixed with a Peach mixed with Vanilla Ice cream. It also has a slightly bitter almost pineapple-like taste.
At least one other site claims: “Pregnant women should avoid consuming this, since it can be harmful to the fetus.”
I cannot guarantee that any of these uses have any scientific validity, it is simply a list of things other people are using it for.
- “Fights Cancer” Okay this one is widely claimed, and might have a hint of validity in scientific studies, but when I see someone claim something fights cancer I usually walk the other way.
There is actually an entire site dedicated to it. It can be found here: https://www.cancertutor.com/mangosteen/
- Antioxidants (hence the fights cancer claim, Tuberculosis, Anti-aging)
- Lowers Bloodsugar, Improves Heart Health
- Fights Acne
- Boosts Immunity
- Aids in digestion
- Helps fight against Alzheimers
- Weight Loss
- Urinary Tract Infections
Getting them Fresh
Unfortunately, fresh Mangosteen can rarely be found in the United States outside of Hawaii.
Strict US import laws require that Mangosteen be treated for fruitflies before being imported.
Buying them online in America may be possible at some times of the year. Example: Fresh Mangosteen (Price Varies)
Mangosteen packed into a can loses some of the great flavor in the canning process, but it is available in the US.
Oddly it seems as seasonal as the fruit itself.
An example can be found here, but it is unavailable as of the time of writing this: Canned Mangosteen, 14.5oz, 6 cans (Price Unknown)
Finding fresh Mangosteen in the US is pretty unlikely, so another form is Mangosteen juice.
Mangosteen juice is available online, but it’s usually not cheap.
An example of some “top shelf” Mangosteen juice: Xango Mangosteen Juice, 750 ml, 4-Count (~$90)
Some less pricey stuff: Mangosteen 100, 32oz (~$30)
By far the most affordable way to get whatever health benefits Mangosteen my offer is in the form of tea. (Assuming said health benefit is still around in the tea form)
Mangosteen Tea can be picked up for relatively cheap online and is probably sold at some health food stores or Asian food markets.
Lowest priced Tea I could find: Mangosteen Tea – 25 Tea Bags (~$9)
There’s also green tea blended with Mangosteen: Stash Green Tea With Mangosteen – 100 Tea Bags (~$13)
There must be something good going on with Mangosteen for it to come in pill form. Or who knows maybe it’s just snake oil.
Just to cover all the bases here’s the pill form for whoever should happen to want it: Mangosteen Suplement – 100 Count (~$11)
However, the government site below determined: “Despite the numerous health claims on advertising sites for producers and retailers of products and beverages containing mangosteen, there is insufficient scientific evidence at this time to support the use of mangosteen containing supplements as enhancers of health and useful adjuvants for treatment of various pathophysiological illnesses.”
This site tries to provide the information that your average internet browser may find useful in as simple a format as possible,
for a more in depth look at Mangosteen here is a link to a government website with way more info than you’ll ever need as well as clinical trial information: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov