Is Mangosteen Seed Edible? Is It Safe To Eat?

The mangosteen fruit contains a soft, juicy, white aril that is commonly eaten. But what about the large seed inside? Can you eat mangosteen seeds too or are they toxic? This exotic superfruit has unique properties.

Mangosteens originate from Southeast Asia and are now available globally. The purple rind encases creamy white aril segments surrounding a pit. Many disregard the pit, but it may have nutritional value.

Are Mangosteen Seeds Edible?

Technically, yes, the seeds are edible. They contain no toxins and can be consumed safely. However, eating them raw provides an unpleasant, bitter taste.

The seed’s extremely hard texture also makes it difficult to chew or digest. Attempting to bite into a whole seed would be futile. The chalky, dry mouthfeel contrasts the aril’s juicy flesh.

So while the seeds aren’t toxic, the unpalatable taste and hardness deter most people from eating mangosteen seeds.

Nutrition Found in Mangosteen Seeds

Though not as desirable to eat as the aril, mangosteen seeds supply certain nutrients:

  • Dietary Fiber – The seeds’ tough cell walls contain insoluble fiber that aids digestion.
  • Antioxidants – Seeds have antioxidant compounds like xanthones, tannins and oligomeric proanthocyanidins. These help counter inflammation and free radicals.
  • Plant Sterols – Phytosterols in the seeds can help reduce cholesterol absorption.
  • Folate – Mangosteen seeds provide some dietary folate. This B vitamin is important for cell function and tissue growth.

However, the bioavailability of these nutrients remains unclear. The hard seeds often pass through the body undigested. Eating ground seed powder may improve nutrient absorption.

Potential Medicinal Uses

In traditional medicine, mangosteen seed extracts have been used for various applications:

  • Anti-microbial effects to fight bacteria, fungi and intestinal worms
  • Anti-diarrheal and anti-dysentery properties
  • Reducing histamine and allergy symptoms
  • Lowering fever and internal inflammation

The seeds may also have antifungal, antioxidant and wound healing actions. More research is still needed on the seeds’ medicinal efficacy and safety. Always consult a doctor before using them.

Considerations and Precautions

Before eating mangosteen seeds, keep these precautions in mind:

  • Pregnant women should avoid mangosteen seeds, as their safety is uncertain during pregnancy.
  • People with diabetes or taking blood sugar lowering medication should use caution and monitor levels closely. Mangosteen may affect blood sugar.
  • Start with small quantities first to assess digestive tolerance. Stop if you experience stomach upset.
  • Mangosteen seed extract supplements exist, but side effects and drug interactions are possible. Only use under medical supervision.

Overall, mangosteen seeds are not hazardous, but remain an acquired taste and provide marginal nutrition compared to the aril. The seeds may have some yet unproven health benefits, but research is still limited. For most people, the aril is the tastiest and safest part to enjoy. The seeds can be discarded or used for other purposes like planting. But if you wish to experiment with the seeds, try processing methods to improve edibility and introduce slowly.

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