Botanical Name :: Mangilera indica
Indian Name :: Aam
The mango enjoys a unique status among the fruits. It is the most popular fruit of the tropics and is called ‘The King of Asiatic fruits’. It is regarded as a valuable item of diet and a household remedy. The mango is fleshy drupe, variable in size and shape. with varying mixtures of green, yellow and red color. Inside the fruit is stony endocarp, variable in size. Mango grows on a large, erect, branched, evergreen tree. The leaves, when fully grown, are stiff, pointed and deep glossy green. These are used in ceremonial decorations. The dry twigs are used to light sacred fires. The worst type of mangoes are very fibrous with turpentine flavor, but the best are juicy, sweet, with very little fibre and a deliciously piquant flavor
Origin and Distribution
The mango is indigenous to India. It has been cultivated here for over 4000 years. In Vedas, mango is praised as a heavenly fruit. In Hindu mythology; it is believed that when Lord Shiva and Parvati came from Himalayas, they missed this heavenly fruit. Parvati who was very fond of mango, requested her husband to create mango tree by his Divine Power. Lord Shiva fulfilled her desire and mango appeared in India.
Alexander and his army men were the first Europeans who saw mango fruit in India in 327 Be. It was probably taken to Malaya and neighboring East Asian countries by Indians in the fifth century BC and to the East African coast by Persians about 10th century AD.
Besides India, the fruit is now widely grown in China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philippines, Haiti, Mexico and Brazil. Numerous varieties are cultivated. In India alone, there are over 500 varieties, but only about 35 varieties are extensively cultivated.
The mango is used as food in all stages of its development. Green or unripe mango contains a large portion of starch which gradually changes into glucose, sucrose and maltose as the fruit begins to ripe. It disappears completely when the fruit is fully ripe. Green mango is a rich source of pectin which gradually diminishes after the formation of the stone. Unripe mango is sour in taste because of the presence of oxalic, citric, malice and succinic acids.
Minerals and Vitamins
|Moisture – 81.0%||Calcium – 14 mg|
|Protein – 0.6%||Phosphorus – 16 mg|
|Fat – 0.4%||Iron – 1.3 mg|
|Minerals – 0.4%||Vitamin C – 16 mg|
|Carbohydrates – 16.9%||Small amount of Vitamin B Complex|
|Fibre – 0.7%|
|* Value per 100 gm’s edible portion||Calorific Value – 74|
The raw mango is a valuable source of vitamin C. It contains more vitamin C than half ripe or fully ripe mangoes, It is also a good source of vitamin B1 and B2 and contains sufficient quantity of niacin. These vitamins differ in concentration in various varieties during the stages of maturity and environmental conditions. The ripe fruit is very wholesome and nourishing. The chief food ingredient of mango is sugar. The acids contained in the fruit are tartaric acid and malic acid, besides a trace of citric acid. These acids are utilized by the body and they help to maintain the alkali reserve of the body.
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties
The mango is well-known for its medicinal properties both in unripe and ripe states. The unripe fruit is acidic, astringent and anti scorbutic. The skin of the unripe fruit is astringent and stimulant tonic. The bark is also astringent and has a marked action on mucous membranes. Mango pickles preserved in oil and salted solution is used throughout India . However, these pickles, if extremely sour, spicy and oily. are not good for health and should be specially avoided by those suffering from arthritis, rheumatism, .sinusitis, sore throat and hyperacidity. The ripe mango is anti scorbutic, diuretic, laxative, invigorating, fattening and astringent. It tones up the heart muscle, improves complexion and stimulates appetite. It increases the seven body nutrients, called ‘dhatus’ in Ayurveda. They are food juice, blood. flesh, fat, bone marrow and semen. The fruit is beneficial in liver disorders, loss of weight and other physical disturbances.
Natural benefits of Unripe Mango
- Heat Stroke:- The unripe mango protects men from the adverse effects of hot, scorching winds. A drink, prepared from the unripe mango by cooking it in hot ashes and mixing the pith with sugar and water, is an effective remedy for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Eating raw mango with salt quenches thirst and prevents the excessive loss of sodium chloride and iron during summer due to excessive sweating.
- Gastro-Intestinal Disorders:– Unripe green mangoes are beneficial in the treatment of gastro-intestinal disorders. Eating one or two small tender mangoes in which the seed is not fully formed with salt and honey is found to be very effective medicine for summer diarrhea, dysentery, piles, morning sickness, chronic dyspepsia, indigestion and constipation.
- Bilious Disorders:- Unripe mangoes are an excellent fruit remedy for bilious disorders. The acids contained in the green mango increase the secretion of bile and act as intestinal antiseptic. Therefore, eating green mango daily with honey and pepper cures biliousness, food putrefaction i.e. when proteins are decomposed by bacteria; urticaria and jaundice. It tones up the liver and keeps it healthy.
- Blood Disorders:- The green mango is valuable in blood disorders because of its high vitamin C content. It increases the elasticity of the blood vessels and helps the formation of new blood cells. It aids the absorption of food-iron and prevents bleeding tendencies. It increases body resistance against tuberculosis, anemia, cholera and dysentery.
- Scurvy:- The amchur, a popular article of diet in Indian houses, consists of green mangoes skinned, stoned, cut into pieces and dried in the sun. 15 gm. of it is believed to be equivalent to 30 gm. of good lime on account of its citric content. It is valuable in the treatment of scurvy.
Natural benefits of ripe Mango
- Eye Disorders:- Ripe mangoes are highly beneficial in the treatment of night blindness in which one cannot see properly in dim light. This disease is caused by vitamin A deficiency. It is very common among children who are victim of malnutrition due to poverty. Liberal use of mangoes during the season will be very effective in such conditions. It will also prevent many other eye diseases which may ultimately cause total blindness. Eating mangoes liberally will also prevent development of refractive errors, dryness of the eyes, softening of the cornea, itching and burning in the eyes.
- Infections:- All bacterial invasions are due to poor epithelium the tissue that covers the external surface of the body. Liberal use of mangoes during the season contributes towards formation of healthy epithelium, thereby preventing frequent attacks of common infections such as colds rhinitis and sinusitis. This is attributable to high concentration of vitamin A in mangoes.
- Loss of Weight:- The mango-milk cure is an ideal treatment for loss of weight. For this mode of treatment, ripe and sweet mangoes should always be selected. They should be taken thrice a day-morning, noon and evening. The mangoes should be taken first and then followed by milk. The mango is rich in sugar but deficient in protein. On the other hand, milk is rich in protein but deficient in sugar. The deficiency of the one is made up by the other. Mango thus combines very well with milk and exclusive mango milk diet taken for at least one month, will lead to improvement in health, vigour and gain in weight. The quantity of milk and of the mangoes to be consumed in this mode of treatment should be carefully regulated according to the condition of the patient. For rapid gain in weight, about 4 to 5 litres of milk should be consumed with 3 to 4 kg. of mangoes.
- Diabetes:- The tender leaves of the mango tree are considered useful in diabetes. An infusion is prepared from fresh leaves by soaking them overnight in water and squeezing them well in water before filtering it in the morning. This infused water should be taken every morning to control early diabetes. As an alternative to infusion. leaves can be dried in the shade, powdered and preserved. Half a teaspoonful of this powder should be taken twice a day, in the morning and evening.
- Diarrhea:- The mango seeds are valuable in diarrhea. The seeds should be collected during the mango season, dried in the shade and powdered and stored for use as medicine. It should be given in doses of about one and a half gram to two grams with or without honey. Juice of fresh flowers when taken with one or two teaspoonful of curds, is also valuable in diarrhea.
- Female Disorders:- Mango seeds are considered useful in certain disorders connected with women reproductive organs. According to Dr. Aman, ‘A teaspoonful,of the paste of the decorticated kernel of mango is applied inside the vagina to cure leucorrhoea, vaginitis, and relaxed wans due to multiple pregnancies. Its use half an hour before conjugal union gives a virgin feeling and acts as a safe contraceptive. This has been tried many times with gratifying results.
Juice of the fresh mango bark is also valuable in heavy bleeding during menstruation, i.e. menorrhagia, leucorrhoea, mucus and pus discharges from the uterus and bleeding or hemorrhage from uterus. The juice is given with the addition of white of an egg or some mucilage a kind of vegetable glue obtained from plant and a little opium in these diseases. In the alternative, a mixture of 10 ml. of a fluid extract of the bark and 120 ml. of water is given in doses of a teaspoonful every hour or two.
- Throat Disorders:- The mango bark is very efficacious in the treatment of diphtheria and other throat diseases. Its fluid is locally applied and also used as a gargle. The gargle is prepared by mixing 10 ml. of the fluid extract with 125 ml. of water
Unripe mangoes should not be eaten in-excess. Their excessive intake may cause throat irritation, indigestion, dysentery and abdominal colic. One should, therefore, not consume more than one or two green mangoes daily. Water should not be drunk immediately after eating the green mango because it coagulates the sap and makes it more irritant. Sap or milky juice which comes out on breaking the stalk of the green mango is irritant and astringent. Eating green mangoes without draining the sap may cause mouth, throat and gastro intestinal irritations. The sap should, therefore be fully squeezed out or the skin should be peeled before using raw mango.
Excessive use of mangoes produce ailments like constipation, eye affections, blood impurities and seasonal fever. Children who use the fruit in excess generally suffer from skin disease in its season.