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Garcinia.—Mangosteen.

Related entry: Cambogia (U. S. P.)—Gamboge

The fruit of Garcinia mangostana, Linné, and other species of Garcinia.
Nat. Ord.—Guttiferae.
COMMON NAMES: Mangosteen, Mangostan.
ILLUSTRATIONS: Botanical Magazine t., 1847. Of G. indica, Bentley and Trimen, Med. Plants, 32.

Botanical Source, Description, and History.—The tree furnishing the mangosteen is large and handsome, having elliptic, oblong or oblong-lanceolate, deep-green glossy leaves. The bark of the tree is bitter and exceedingly astringent. The fruit is brownish or brownish-gray, marbled with yellow, and is crowned by the 4-parted, sessile 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.

Garcinia pedunculata, Roxburgh, yields a yellow fruit having an acidulous taste. It is of an inferior quality.

Garcinia Kydia , Roxburgh, yields a small fruit of a deep-yellow color. It is of better quality than the preceding variety.

Garcinia indica, Choisy (Garcinia purpurea, Roxburgh; Brindonia indica, DuPetit-Thouars).—The fruit of this species is of a dull or purplish-red or purple color, having also a purple, acid pulp. The pulp, dried in the sunlight and slightly salted, is a commercial article, and when fresh the fruit is used in a currie in India, where a purple syrup, for use in bilious affections, is also prepared from it. The juice is occasionally used as mordant for dyeing purposes. The fruit, seeds and bark are all employed in India (Dymock, Mat. Med., Western India). The seeds, when bruised and boiled with water, yield the concrete oil of mangosteen, known as kokam, or kokum, butter. It is hard and friable at all ordinary temperatures, has a crystalline structure, and comes pressed in the form of hand-molded, egg-shaped cakes. It has a greenish-white or yellowish color, and produces the unctuous touch of spermaceti. The fat, as found in market, must be strained before being employed in pharmaceutical operations. This removes particles of seed, fruit, etc., with which it is usually mixed. This butter is sometimes used for cooking purposes in India, but is more valuable in the preparation of ointment of nitrate of mercury, for, when added to lard, it gives it a good consistence for hot climates (Dymock, Mat. Med., Western India).

Garcinia mangostana is found in the Malay islands. It was grown in the gardens of the Duke of Northumberland in 1855, and produced both blossom and fruit (see illustration in Bot. Mag. t., 1847). The fruit of this tree is the famous mangostan or mangosteen, said to be among the most luscious of tropical fruits. Its rind is about the fourth of an inch in thickness, contains a very astringent juice, from which, during wet weather, a yellow gum exudes, which is a variety of gamboge. The Chinese use the bark of the tree to produce a black dye, and it is also used in dysentery.

Chemical Composition.—The bitter and astringent rind of the fruit of Garcinia mangostana, according to W. Schmid, contains tannin, resin, and crystallizable mangostine (C20H22O5., forming golden-yellow, tasteless scales, melting at 190° C. (374° F.), readily soluble in alcohol or ether, insoluble in water. Basic lead acetate precipitates it from its alcoholic solution. Its solution in alkalies reduces gold and silver solutions. The acidity of the fruit is due to malic acid. The resinous exudation of the trunk of the tree was investigated, in 1858, by N. Reitler in Wittstein's laboratory (Vierteljahresschr. f. prakt. Pharm., Vol. VII, p. 170), and found to consist of 88 per cent of resin, soluble in alcohol and in ether. Ammonia differentiates it into a soluble and an insoluble resin.

Kokum butter exists in the seeds of Garcinia purpurea to the extent of 30 per cent, and consists chiefly of tristearin and the glycerides of oleic and myristic acids (Jahresb. der Pharm., 1896, p. 71).

Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—The rind of the fruit is highly recommended for dysentery, and has been extensively employed in India for that disease. A few years ago the rind was introduced into Europe by Gruppe, of Manila, who prepared an extract which was administered in the Vienna hospitals, as an astringent, with success in catarrhal conditions of the throat, bladder, urethra, and uterus, etc. The dose of the solid extract is 1 grain, repeated 6 or 8 times per day, in pill form, or rubbed up with syrup,

Related Products.—KOLA BITTER or MALE KOLA. These seeds have a coffee-like, astringent and bitter taste. They are produced by the Garcinia Kola, Heckel, of western Africa (see Kola).

MAMMEE APPLE.—A subglobular, brownish-yellow fruit, about the size of a large orange, the pulp of which is yellow and aromatic, and the rind coriaceous and bitter. The seeds are 3 or 4 and rough. It is the product of the West Indian Mammea americana, Linné, Nat. Ord.—Guttiferae. Another fruit is also known in the West Indies as mammee. It is the rusty-brown, oblong-ovoid berry of Lucuma mammosa, Jussieu, of the Nat. Ord.—Sapotaceae. It has one large polished seed of a yellow-brown color. The pulp of the fruit is sweet and mucilaginous, and of a yellowish or reddish color.


King's American Dispensatory, 1898, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D.



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