MANILA, December 13, 2005
 (STAR) By Perla Aragon-Choudhury - Mangosteen, an exotic Asian fruit noted for its excellent flavor, has been a treasure trove of oriental medicine for centuries.

This was the gist of a recent talk given by noted primary care physician J. Frederic Templeman who was recently in the Philippines as part of a global research and launching of a book on the healing properties of mangosteen.

In his new book, "Mangosteen, The X-Factor: A Comprehensive Look at the Health Benefits, Science and Xanthones of Garcinia Mangostana," Templeman describes this fruit as vital to health.

"Mangosteenís value for the health problems of our times is confirmed by modern scientific investigation. In my opinion, its daily use, along with a good multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, is the optimal choice for those who recognize the value of supplementation," Templeman writes in his book that was launched recently in Manila.

A certified doctor both in the United States and Canada, Templeman has checked out independent laboratory studies, or those not sponsored by any company with an interest in marketing the fruit.

The book, now on its fifth edition, contains scientific studies on mangosteenís medicinal properties spread out over the last 20 years.

Preparations from its rind also treat psoriasis, inflammation, eczema and hyper-keratotic skin marked by the overgrowth of horny tissues.

In India, Thailand and China, mangosteen works as antibacterial and anti-parasitic treatments for dysentery and other forms of infectious diarrhea. In Thailand, it is used against infected wounds, tuberculosis, malaria, urinary tract infections, syphilis and gonorrhea.

Nowadays, the fruit is grown in tropical regions in both the eastern and western hemispheres, and on a commercial scale in the Philippines, Thailand, India and Malaysia. The Philippines belongs to a narrow band of land where mangosteen grows which includes Sri Lanka, Vietnam Indonesia, the Gold Coast and Ghana, among others. It is also produced on a smaller scale in other countries in Asia and South America.

Doubtful at first

Templeman was not always enthusiastic about the medicinal properties of mangosteen and other natural products because of his profession as an allopathic doctor, or one who practices Western medicine.

"A patient came to me in terrible pain. For three days, his mouth and lips were hurting as if they were on fire if they had been burned by flame or caustic acid. The skin of his lips and the inside of his mouth were covered with fluid-filled blisters. The inflammation appeared to extend to his larynx, and he could swallow only with pain," he recounts.

Templeman then proposed a mangosteen formula to the patient, who was almost dehydrated. After three days of swishing an ounce around his mouth and swallowing it three times a day, the patient could swallow and talk better even if he was still sore.

After a week, the patientís blisters and mouth and throat inflammation had cleared up completely, and the skin on his feet and hands were growing back.

After positive results with many patients, Templeman often recommends mangosteen as the first intervention.

"In the mid-20th century, over 75 percent of medications came from plants, and in the í90s it was the time of synthetically-made designer drugs, such as anti-depressants. Now high-powered chromatography machines break down molecules of plants, and I find out what works. God is better than men at making things, and centuries of evolution have done a better job," he pointed out.

These positive developments have excited the scientific community because of the presence of some 40 xanthones, or biologically-active group of molecules, in the fruit.

Templeman said mangosteen is so versatile because of the variety of xanthones which allows the fruit to possess healing properties. Each xanthone has a unique chemical formula that performs a specific biological function.

"One study indicated that xanthones have pharmacological properties such as anti-depressant, anti-tubercoloric, anti-microbial, bacteria and fungus, anti-viral, anti-leukemic, anti-ulcer and anti-diabetic," he writes.

In addition, there are also significant amounts of catechins and polyphenols, which are documented to be powerful antioxidants.

Other key ingredients are polysacharines, which are responsible for antibacterial and antifungal effects. Mangosteen also boasts of potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron and Vitamins B1, B3, B6 and C1, which are essential in maintaining the bodyŪs natural balance.

Templeman also noted the positive effects of mangosteen on the bodyís musco-skeletal, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, respiratory, central nervous, immune, and the skin systems.

"I recommend a good multivitamin and daily mineral supplement, since the fruit does not provide adequate supplemental amounts of vitamins and minerals," Templeman concludes, echoing his earlier call for supplementation for optimal health.

For more information on the healing properties of mangosteen, call the Isle of Paradise Mangosteen Center at 729-4421, or log on to

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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