The Royal Fruit Mango
Written by Dr. Parveen Kumar   

Mango is a delicious fruit with its yummy taste. Mango is considered as the “King of fruits.” It is rich in minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus and vitamins like A, B & C. A tropical tree cultivated in many regions of India, mango is now distributed worldwide in many continents.

It is the most popular fruit in the world. Mango fruit is rich in pre-biotic dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals and poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidant compounds.
Fresh mango is a very rich source of potassium, which is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps in controlling heart rate and blood pressure. It is also a very good source of Vitamin-B6, Vitamin-C and Vitamin-E. Vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen free radicals. Mango peels are quite rich in phytonutrients, such as the pigment antioxidants like carotenoids and polyphenols.

Benefits of Mangoes
Anti-Cancer: According to researches, mango fruit has been found to protect against cancers of colon, breast, prostate and the leukoemia. It has been found that polyphenolic anti-oxidant compounds in mango were most effective on the breast and colon cancers.

Rich in vitamins and minerals: Mango fruit contains ample quantity of Vitamin-A and flavonoids like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for healthy vision. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotenes is known to protect body from lung and oral cavity cancers.
 
Mango as Medicine
1. The insoluble fibre, present in mangoes, helps the elimination of waste from the colon and prevents constipation.
2. The tartaric acid, malic acid, and a trace of citric acid found in the fruit help to maintain the alkali reserve of the body.
3. A milk-mango shake used in the summers help people gain weight.
4. Extracts of leaves, bark, stem and unripe mangoes are believed to possess antibacterial properties against some micro-organisms
5. Dried mango flowers are used in the treatment of diarrhoea, chronic dysentery and some problems of the bladder.
6. The seed (kernel) of the mango fruit is used widely in Ayurvedic medicines for treatment of different ailments
7. Antioxidants present in the mango fruits are believed to play an important role in the prevention of cancer and heart disease.
8. Some of the flavonoids present in the fruit are believed to strengthen the immune system of human body.
 
Mango Home Remedies:
1. Grind the bark of a mango tree; for one part of that grinded bark, add four parts of water. Boil it for 10 to 15 minutes. This is called mango decoction. Take this daily twice to get relief from menstrual cramps and heavy menstruation.
2. Mix lemon juice to the gum of mango; make it as a paste and use it to treat skin diseases like scabies.
3. Consume a pickle made from fresh tender mango leaves to strengthen the functioning of liver.
4. Mango leaves decoction is useful for Asthma and cough. It works as antiseptic and heals wounds.
5. Grind the inner part of the mango seed; mix it with equal quantity of jaggery. Give 2 gm. of it to children daily twice to treat Amoebiasis.
6. Dry mango flowers powder. 1gm. daily twice with honey is used to reduce diabetes.
7. Amchur (dried unripe mango pieces) can be useful to cure Scurvy.
8. Next time when you eat too much fish don’t worry of indigestion. Eat a piece of raw mango to help digest it.
 
According to Ayurveda apart from the fruits, leaves, branches, flowers etc also have medicinal values in mango. These parts of mango tree can be used as home remedy for various diseases.
Precaution with mango: Mango latex allergy especially with raw, unripe mangoes is common in some sensitized individuals. Immediate reactions may include itchiness at the angle of the mouth, lips and tip of the tongue. In some people the reactions can be severe with manifestations like swelling of the lips, ulceration at the mouth angles, respiratory difficulty, vomiting and diarrhoea. This reaction develops because of anacardic acid present in raw, unripe mangoes. It is quite rare with fully ripen fruits. However, people with known case of mango fruit allergy may have to avoid them. People with this type of allergy should seek immediate medical advice.
 
Lecturer,
Department of Panchakarma,
Dayanand Ayurvedic College,
Jalandhar.