Sunday, February 09, 2014

Mangosteen of Southeast Asia

The mangosteen (botanically name Garcinia mangostana L.) is a type of fruit unfamiliar in the United States but highly prized in many other parts of the world.

It was described as Mangostana Garcinia by Gaetner in 1790, but Linnaeus description of the genus Garcinia meant that the valid taxonomic name is Garcinia magostana L.

Believed to have originated in Southeast Asian origin, the Sundaes Islands and the Moluccas, the mangosteen is widely cultivated in the tropics.

The latest study by A.J Richards on the origin of mangosteen indicated that Peninsular Malaysia was probably the area of origin due to original parent having possibly arisen as a hybrid G. hombroniana and G malleccensis.

Often referred to as the queen of fruits, eating mangosteen is believed to have a ‘cooling’ effect, thought to counteract the ‘heatiness’ of the king of fruit, the durian.

Mangosteen is known as mangostanier in French, mangostan in Spanish, mangostao in Portuguese and mangostane in German.

It was introduced into Sri Lanka about 1800 and thrives there in moist regions. It was first cultivated in India during the eighteenth century and between 1880 and 1890 plantings were made at the Kallar and Buliar stations in Madras State.

Historically, the mangosteen has been used for centuries in Asian countries as a traditional remedy for many health problems. Today, its use continues in developed and undeveloped nations as both a delicacy and a medicine.
Mangosteen of South East Asia