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Mango (Mangifera indica) - Uses, Health Benefits, Dosage, Medicinal Properties

magnifera indica natural

English: Mango tree

Hindi: Aam

Sanskrit: Aamra

The mango is one of the most popular of all tropical fruits. Most parts of the tree are used medicinally and the bark also contains tannins, which are used for the purpose of dyeing.


It is native to tropical Asia and has been cultivated in the Indian subcontinent for over 4000 years and is now found naturalised in most tropical countries.

Botanical description

A large evergreen tree which grows to a height of 10-45 m, dome shaped with dense foliage (Plate 36). The leaves are linear-oblong and release an aromatic odour when crushed. The bark is thick, grey to brown in colour and with age exfoliates in the form of flakes. The inflorescence occurs in panicles consisting of about 3000 tiny whitish-red or yellowish-green flowers. The fruit is a well-known large drupe, but shows a great variation in shape and size. It contains a thick yellow pulp, single seed and thick yellowish-red skin when ripe. The seed is solitary, ovoid or oblong, encased in a hard, compressed fibrous endocarp.

Parts used

Fruit, seeds, pulp, stem bark, roots, leaves.

Traditional and modern use

Ripe mango fruit is considered to be invigorating and freshening. The juice isa restorative tonic and used in heat stroke. Various parts of the plant are used as a dentifrice, antiseptic, astringent, diaphoreti? stomachic, vermifuge, tonic, laxative and diuretic and to treat diarrhoea, dysentery, anaemia, asthma, bronchitis, cough, hypertension, insomnia, rheumatism, toothache, leucorrhoea, haemorrhage and piles. The seeds are used in asthma and as an astringent.

Ethnoveterinary usage

The bark is used in haemorrhage and the seed kernel, leaf, fruit and pulp are used as feed in ruminants. All parts are used totreal abscesses, broken horn, rabid dog or jackal bite, tumour, snakebite, stings, datura poisoning, heat stroke, miscarriage, anthrax, blisters and wounds in the mouth, tympanitis, colic, diarrhoea, glossitis, indigestion, bacillosis, bloody dysentery, liver disorders, excessive urination, tetanus and asthma. Major chemical constituents

Saponins, hydrocarbons and triterpenes

Indicoside A and B, manghopanal, mangoleanone, taraxerol, friedelin, cycloartan-3?-30-diol and derivatives, mangsterol, manglupenone, mangcoumarin, n-tetacosane, n-heneicosane, n-triacontane and mangiferolic acid methyl ester and others have been isolated from the stem bark of Mangifera indica.

Xanthones and phenolics

Mangostin, 29-hydroxymangiferonic acid and mangiferin have been isolated from the stem bark, together with common flavonoids. The flowers yielded alkyl gallates such as gallic acid, ethyl gallate, methyl gallate, n-propyl gallate, n-pentyl gallate, n-octyl gallate, 4-phenyl-n-butyl gallate, 6-phenyl-n-hexyl gallate and dihydrogallic acid.


The root contains the chromones, 3- hydroxy- 2-( 4' -methylbenzoyl)-chromone and 3-methoxy-2-(4' -methylbenzoyl)-chromone.

Fatty acids

An unusual fatty acid, cis-9, cis-15-octadecadienoic acid was isolated from the pulp lipids ofmango.

Essential oil

The leaf and flower yield an essential oil containing humulene, elemene, ocimene, linalool, nerol and many others.

Vitamins and carotenoids

The fruit pulp contains vitamins A and C, ?-carotene and xanthophylls:

Medicinal and pharmacological activities

Antiinflammatory activity: An alcoholic extract of the seed kernel of Mangifera indica exhibited significant antiinflammatory activity in acute, subacute and chronic cases of inflammation.

Antimicrobial activity: Moderate antibacterial activity has been observed in the seed kernel extracts. The leaf extract exhibited antibacterial activity against Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus albus and Vibrio cholerae.

Antioxidant activity: The extract showed a powerful scavenging activity of hydroxyl radicals and acted as a chelator of iron. It also showed a significant inhibitory effect on the peroxidation of rat brain phospholipid and prevented DNA damage caused by bleomycin or copper-phenanthroline systems.

Antiviral activity: Mangiferin was effective in controlling herpes simplex virus type 2, in vitro. Virus replication was significantly reduced and the study indicated that mangiferin did not act directly on the virus but inhibited the late events in HSV- 2 replication.

Effect on a-amylase: Ethanolic extracts of Mangifera indica were tested on a-amylase activity in vitro and showed an effect.

Hepatoprotective activity: Mangiferin exhibited protection of liver against CCl.-induced liver damage.

Immunomodulatory action: Mangiferin induced both in vivo and in vitro activation of peritoneal macrophages by a mechanism not yet clear. The induction of interferon release from the macrophages by mangiferin, its potent metal-chelating activity, inhibitory effect on monoamine oxidase and lymphoproliferative effect on macrophage activation established the therapeutic potential of mangiferin as an immunomodulator and possible anticancer agent.

Hypoglycaemic activity: A 50% ethanolic extract of the leaves produced a significant hypoglycaemic effect at a dose of 250 mg/kg, both in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic animals. The stimulation of ?-cells to release insulin was thought to be part of the mechanism of action.

Anticancer activity: Significant cytolytic activities were demonstrated by the stem bark extract against the breast cancer cell lines MCF 7, MDA-MB-435 and MDA-N, as well as against a colon cancer cell line (SW-620) and a renal cancer cell line (786-0).

Antiinflammatory activity: The aqueous extract of stem bark (50-1000 mg/kg PO) exhibited a potent and dose-dependent antinociceptive effect using the acetic acid test in mice. The extract (20-1000 mg/kg POI also dose dependently inhibited the second phase of formalin-induced pain, although not the first phase, being more potent than indomethacin at doses of 20 mg/ inhibited oedema formation of both carrageenan- and formalin-induced oedema in rats, guinea pigs and mice, in a similar manner to that produced by indomethacin and sodium naproxen. The polyphenols found in the extract were thought to account for the activity reported.

Safety profile

Exposure to mangoes, their skin, sap or trees may give rise to mango dermatitis. Four patients with urticaria and eczematous rash developed with exposure to mangoes or the trees were observed." The LDso of the 50% ethanolic extract of the leaves was found to be greater than 4.64 g/kg.


  • Pulp: As required Bark: 3-6 g

Ayurvedic properties

  • Rasa: Kashaya (astringent) Guna: Laghu (light), ruksha (dry) Veerya: Shita (cold)
  • Vipaka: Katu (pungent) Dosha: Pacifies kapha and pitta