Scientists look at the purple mangosteen to treat malaria
07/24/2018 // Edsel Cook // Views

An Indonesian study investigated the ability of the purple mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) to suppress malaria. In addition to reporting that the extract and fractions found in the fruit's rind showed promise as antimalarials, the study added that the natural bio-active compounds improved the effects of the antimalarial compound artemisinin.

The study was conducted by the Maranatha Christian University. Its findings were published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • The dry rind of ripe purple mangosteens provided the base materials. Extraction and fractionation produced ethylacetate, buthanol, ethanol extract, hexane, and water fractions.
  • The mangosteen-derived extract and fractions were diluted in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). Each was administered in vitro against the protozoan parasites (Plasmodium falciparum) that caused malaria. Their effectiveness at reducing the parasite growth was measured.
  • Furthermore, each extract and fraction was also tested alongside artemisinin, the standard antimalarial. The synergy between the tested extract/fraction and artemisinin was used to calculate the fractional inhibitory concentration 50 (∑FIC50).
  • The extract and all of the fractions exhibited antimalarial activities. The hexane fraction showed the greatest effectiveness, with parasite growth limited to 0.12 micrograms per milliliter (μg/mL).
  • In addition, the mangosteen extract and fractions demonstrated very good synergy with artemisinin. Their ∑FIC50 scores were all less than one, indicating that they could improve the antimalarial effect against artemisinin-resistant parasites.

The researcher believed that future studies should track down the specific means by which the bioactive compounds of purple mangosteen suppress malaria. Identifying the most important compounds could lead to the development of a complementary treatment that boosts the effectiveness of artemisinin-based combination therapy.

You can browse the full study at this link. If you want to find out more about the medicinal uses of fruits, visit

Journal Reference:

Tjahjani S. ANTIMALARIAL ACTIVITY OF GARCINIA MANGOSTANA L RIND AND ITS SYNERGISTIC EFFECT WITH ARTEMISININ IN VITRO. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 28 February 2017;17(131). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-017-1649-8.

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