Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), also known as the purple mangosteen, is a tropical evergreen tree with edible fruit native to tropical lands surrounding the Indian Ocean. Its origin is uncertain due to widespread prehistoric cultivation. It grows mainly in Southeast Asia, southwest India and other tropical areas such as Colombia, Puerto Rico and Florida, where the tree has been introduced. The tree grows from 6 to 25 metres (20 to 82 feet) tall. The fruit of the mangosteen is sweet and tangy, juicy, somewhat fibrous, with fluid-filled vesicles (like the flesh of citrus fruits), with an inedible, deep reddish-purple colored rind (exocarp) when ripe. In each fruit, the fragrant edible flesh that surrounds each seed is botanically endocarp, i.e., the inner layer of the ovary. Seeds are both almond-shaped and -sized.
Kokum is a tree with a dense canopy of green leaves and red-tinged tender emerging leaves. It is indigenous to the Western Ghats region of India, along the western coast. The tree is large and handsome, having elliptic, oblong or oblong-lanceolate, deep-green glossy leaves, 5.5-8 cm long and 2.5-3 cm broad. The flowers are fleshy, dark pink, solitary or in spreading cluster. The fruit is brownish or brownish-gray, marbled with yellow, and is crowned by the 4-parted, stalkless stigma. There are from 6 to 8 seeds, and the pulp is juicy, white, and delicious in taste and odor. It is about the size of an orange. An average kokum tree bears hundreds of fruits during summer. When they are tender, they are green in color. As they ripen, they get the beautiful purple color. The fruits are plucked when they are ripe. The tree is a source of kokam butter which is used in cosmetics and confectionary. Flowering: November-February.
The rind is astringent and has been used internally to treat dysentery, diarrhoea, cystitis and gonorrhoea. It is applied externally to treat eczema and other skin disorders.
The rind of partially ripe fruits yields a polyhydroxy-xanthone derivative termed mangostin, also ß-mangostin. That of fully ripe fruits contains the xanthones, gartanin, 8-disoxygartanin, and normangostin. A derivative of mangostin, mangostin-e, 6-di-O-glucoside, is a central nervous system depressant and causes a rise in blood pressure. A decoction of the leaves and bark is used as an astringent, febrifuge and to treat thrush, diarrhoea, dysentery and urinary disorders.
A bark extract called 'amibiasine', has been marketed for the treatment of amoebic dysentery. An infusion of the leaves, combined with unripe banana and a little benzoin, is applied to the circumcision wound. A root decoction is taken to regulate menstruation.