Plant Description  

Mangoes are an evergreen tree which measures 10 to 30 m tall and trunk circumference of above 12 feet with dense crown, symmetrical and rounded canopy which ranges from low and dense to upright and open trunk and dense taproot. It has glabrous and brown branchlets. Leaves are alternate which borne in petioles of 2 to 6 cm long and is shallowly grooved apically as well as inflated basally. It has simple and variable lamina in lanceolate to ovate or oblong to oblong lanceolate measuring 12 to 45 cm long by 3 to 12 cm wide. It has acute to long acuminate apex, cuneate to obtuse base with 18 to 30 pairs of lateral veins and midrib distinct on both sides. Leaves are light green when young which turns into deep green when mature. It bears narrowly to broadly conical inflorescences, pseudoterminal, 20 to 45 cm long, glabrous to tomentose pilose having lanceolate, pubescent bracts which bears hundreds of fragrant and subsessile to shortly pedicellate male and hermaphrodite flowers. The small hermaphrodite flowers are 5 to 10 mm having four to five ovate lanceolate, four to five oblong, lanceolate and yellowish petals. Fruit is a fleshy yellow to orange drupe which is smooth to firbrous mesocarp which is surrounded by a leathery laterally compressed by endocarp which contains single seed. Fruit are globose to ovate, obovate to oblong to elongate in shape. It has green to pale green and yellow skin. When ripe it have blushes of orange, pink, purple and red which depends on variety.

Mango is regarded to be one of the best tropical fruits. This species was domesticated in India around 2000 BC. From India, the species was brought around 400 to 500 BCE to East Asia, in 15th century to Philippines and in 16th century to Africa and Brazil by Portuguese. In 1753, the species was described by Linnaeus for science. It is the national fruit of Pakistan, India and Philippines. The tree is regarded as the national tree of Bangladesh. India and Pakistan is considered to be the main suppliers of Western Asia & Thailand and Philippines are the main suppliers of Western Asia. Pharmacological activities such as antitumor, antioxidant, antiallergic, immunomodulatory, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antiulcer, antibacterial, antifungal and antiparasitic properties are found in Mangifera indica L. It contains indicol, pentacyclic terpene, sugars, β-sitosterol and glycosidic substance. Leaves possess volatile oil which contains ethyl, methyl, isobutyl and amyl alcohols and ethyl acetate.

Tree

Mango tree is evergreen grows from 10 to 40 m high with symmetrical and rounded canopy which ranges from low and dense to upright and open. It has dark grey to brown to black bark which is smooth and superficially cracked. Exudate of live bark is transparent, drying brown, dark yellowish brown which consists of resin combined with gum. Bark consists of 15% gum and 78% resin with tannic acid. The twigs are smooth, glabrous, apically angular, dark green and glossy.

Root

Tree has long and unbranched taproot which measures up to 6-8 m and dense mass of superficial feeder root that develop at trunk base or slightly deeper. It produces anchor roots and feeder roots sometimes develop above water table. Fibrous root system broader away from drip line.

Leaves

Leaves are simple, alternately arranged, exstipulate and measures 15 to 45 cm long. It has 1 to 12 cm long petioles which are swollen at base. It is grooved on upper side. Leaves are arranged closely at tips which appear to be whorled. Leaves are oval to lanceolate, oblong, lanceolate, ovate, linear to oblong, roundish to oblong and obovate to lanceolate. An apex is acuminate to nearly round. The entire margin is slightly wavy, undulated, folded or rarely twisted. An upper surface is dark green and shiny and lower surface is glabrous light green. The leaves are flaccid, pendulous while young and appear in flushes. Young leaves are tan-red, yellow to brown and pink in color. The color later on chances from tan-red to green and pass through various shades becomes dark green when mature.

Inflorescence

The tree bears an inflorescence which is narrowly to broadly conical panicle measuring 45 cm long that depends on cultivar and environmental conditions. It is bracteates or ebracteate. Bract is elliptical, concave and leafy. The panicle is yellowish to green or light green having crimson patches. An inflorescence is pubescent which might be glabrous sometimes. The panicle bears about 500 to 600 flowers in which 1 to 70% are bisexual and remaining are male depending on cultivar and temperature during development.

Flowers

The male and hermaphrodite flowers are formed in same panicle which is usually larger. Male and hermaphrodite flowers measures about 6 to 8 mm diameter. It is rarely pedicellate, subsessile and possesses sweet smell. The short pedicles are articulate having panicle branch of same diameter. Calyx is fivepartite and lobes are concave and ovate to oblong. Corolla has five pale yellow petals and three to five ridges on ventral side. It bears pink anther which turns to purple at the time of shedding. It has sessile and one celled ovary which is oblique and is slightly compressed. An ovule is pendulous and antrapous showing one sided growth.

Fruit

Fruit is a fleshy drupe which is more or less compressed and varies in shape, size, color, flavor and taste. The main characteristic feature of this fruit is the formation of small conical projection that develops laterally at proximal end of fruit which is called beak. Above the beak, a wide sinus is present. A pistillate area of fruit is found near the base of beak called nak. The fruit is rounded to ovate-oblong or longish and its length varies from 2.5 to 30 cm in contrasting varieties. The base is elevated or depressed or intermediate. The skin color shows different mixtures of yellow, green and red shades. Skin might be rough or smooth.

Use and Preparation

Traditional uses

  • In Philippines, decoction made from root is used as an astringent and resin obtained from tree is used to cure aphthae.
  • In Kampuchea, bark is astringent and used for leucorrhoea and rheumatism.
  • Swallow the gum obtained from bark for dysentery in India and Kampuchea.
  • Mix the gum resin with coconut oil and apply it to scabies and other parasitic diseases of skin.
  • The bark infusion is used as an aid for mouth infections in Samoa.
  • Leaf juice is used for bleeding dysentery.
  • Use the decoction made from leaves by adding honey for loss of voice.
  • Young leaf infusion is used for chronic diseases of lungs, coughs and asthma.
  • The ashes of leaves are used as an aid for scalds and burns.
  • Leaves are used to prepare tea in Philippines.
  • The dried flowers of mango are used in decoction for diarrhea, gleet and chronic dysentery.
  • Consume a half ripe fruit with salt and honey to treat gastro-intestinal disorders, blood disorders, bilious disorders and scurvy.
  • The juice of ripe mangoes useful for treating Vitamin A deficiencies such as night blindness and treat constipation and atomic dyspepsia.
  • In India, resins are used to cure scabies and cutaneous affections.
  • The powdered form is used for chronic dysentery, obstinate diarrhea, asthma and bleeding piles.
  • In Johore, Malaysia, seeds are used for menorrhagia, roundworms and piles.
  • Mango can cause contact dermatitis.
  • In Ayurveda, it is used to clear acidity and digestion due to pitta.
  • Drink an infusion to lower blood pressure and treat various conditions such as asthma, angina, diabetes and coughs.
  • Use the leaves externally in convalescent bath.
  • Prepare mouthwash from leaves for hardening gums and treat dental problems.
  • Leaves are useful in treating skin irritations.
  • Leaves (charred and pulverized) are used to eradicate warts.
  • It is used for treating colds, coughs, bleeding piles and obstinate diarrhea.
  • It is used to treat throat problems and hemorrhage.
  • Use the decoction prepared from leaves to treat diarrhea, fever and toothache.
  • Young leaves are used for diarrhea in Chittagong.
  • In India, bark is used to treat rheumatism and diphtheria.
  • The resinous gum obtained from trunk is used on crack of feet and scabies.
  • In Caribbean, decoction made from leaves is an aid for fever, diarrhea, diabetes, chest complaints, ills and hypertension.
  • Use the decoction of mango and other leaves after childbirth.
  • Mango assist resistance to counteract germs and afflictions.
  • It is used to soothe stomach.

Precautions      

  • The ingestion of mango might cause rash similar to poison ivy in sensitive people.
  • Avoid over consumption of this fruit.
  • If consumed more, it enhance the level of blood sugar, cause diarrhea and gain in weight.
  • A white substance found in raw mangoes may cause allergy to some people.
  • People might experience runny nose, watery eyes and anaphylactic shock.
  • The sap of mango causes allergies and blisters.
  • Allergic people should avoid it.

How to Eat        

  • Mango fruit is consumed in immature green or when ripe.
  • Immature mangoes are consumed as pickled mangoes or also used in curries.
  • Add green mangoes to the fruit salad.
  • It is added to various recipes.
  • The Vietnamese recipe of green mango salad consists of ram-ram, sliced green mangoes, sliced red onion, mint, coriander, brown sugar or grated palm sugar, fried shallots, lime juice, crushed garlic, vinegar or fish sauce.
  • Thai recipe consists of dry shredded unsweetened coconut, julienned green mango, sliced spring onions, bean sprouts, chopped fresh coriander, fresh basil, cashews or chopped peanuts, soy sauce or fish sauce, lime juice, chilli, Thai chilli sauce and brown sugar.
  • Green mango is consumed with sauce or shrimp paste in Philippines.
  • Mango is consumed green with pepper, salt and hot sauce in Central America.
  • In Guatemala, green mangoes are followed with ground and toasted pumpkin seed with salt and lime.
  • An unripe green mango could be cooked or processed into various products.
  • Make chutney by peeling, slicing and parboiling green mangoes with salt, sugar and various spices and cook with other fruits and raisins.
  • It could be sun dried, salted and used in pickles.
  • Make a relish with ripe or green mangoes.
  • In India, green mango is used as pickle, amawat, murraba, amchur, chatni, sukhawata or chutney.
  • In Malaysia, India and Thailand, unripe flesh of green mango is popular.
  • The peeled and sliced green mature mangoes are used as a filling for pies, sauce, used for jelly and also converted into sherbet.
  • In Philippines, green mango is made in green mango jam, dried green mangoes, green mango wine and puree.
  • In Australia and India, mangoes are used to make alcoholic beverages such as liquors and wines.
  • In Java, flour is made from seeds.
  • In Indonesia, young tender leaves are consumed fresh.
  • It is used to make preserves, jams, chutney, pies, jellies and ice cream.
  • Eat unripe mango with fish sauce, bagoong, soy sauce, vinegar or with dash of salt.
  • In Central America, it is consumed with vinegar, salt, hot sauce and black pepper.
  • Mash mango and use it as a topping on ice cream or blend it with milk or ice as milkshakes.
  • Seed is useful for pitta, cough, chronic diarrhea, helminthiasis, haemorrhages, dysentery, haemorrhoids, haemoptysis, bruises, ulcers, diabetes, menorrheagia, vomiting and heat burn.

Other Facts        

  • The mango blossoms are a source of nectar for honey bees.
  • Leaves are fed to rabbits.
  • Mango is considered to be the national fruit of Pakistan, India and Philippines.

Recipe

Recipe

This is a complete meal in a bowl. Raw mangoes add bite to a citrusy broth flecked with fiery red chiles. Raw mangoes are available in many Asian markets.

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cooking Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (500 g) skinless red snapper fillets, cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) cubes
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 bird's eye red chiles, finely sliced
  • 4 scallions, finely sliced
  • 2 in (5 cm) fresh ginger, finely shredded
  • 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 4 small raw green mangoes, or under-ripe mangoes, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 quart (1 liter) fish stock
  • 8 kaffir lime leaves, torn in half
  • 1 tbsp Asian fish sauce
  • 4 oz (100 g) medium egg noodles
  • 4 oz (100 g) thin green beans, halved
  • salt to season
  • 1 lime juice to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tbsp shredded fresh mint leaves

For the Marinade

How to Make It

  1. Combine the soy and fish sauce, sesame oil, mirin, sugar, and lime juice, and spoon over the fish. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Pound the lemongrass to a paste with a dash of water, using a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or large pan and cook the chiles, scallions, ginger, and garlic for 30 seconds over high heat. Add the mangoes and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the sugar until it begins to caramelize. Add the vinegar, lemongrass, stock, lime leaves, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in the noodles, beans, and fish pieces (not the marinating liquid). Simmer for 3–5 minutes, until the noodles are cooked and the fish flakes easily. Season with salt, sharpen with lime juice, and add the herbs.

Nutritional value

Health Benefits of Mango

Mangoes are a great source of dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins and poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidants. It also possesses an adequate amount of Vitamin A and potassium. Vitamin A assist in bone growth, vision, healthy mucous membranes and skin. The serving size of 100 grams of mangoes provides 156 mg of potassium and 2 mg of sodium. Potassium is essential to normalize blood pressure and heart rate. It controls level of homocystiene in blood. Bark, leaves, stem and roots contain mangiferin which prevents harmful effects of radiation. Bark possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties.

  1. Overall health

Mangoes are loaded with vitamins which promotes overall health. It is rich in magnesium and potassium which helps to cure high blood pressure. It possesses calcium, selenium, phosphorus and iron. This fruit is rich in Vitamin B6, riboflavin, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, folate, niacin and pantothenic acid. It assists to prevent host of diseases which arises from deficiency of minerals and vitamins. Vitamin E promotes sex life by enhancing the activity of sex hormones. The present study showed multifaceted activities of mango and its phytochemicals which helps to counteract pro-inflammatory molecules and health problems such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, aging and neurodegenerative disorders. (1)

  1. Lowers cholesterol

The methanol extract of Mangifera indica L. showed cholesterol lowering activity when provided 90 mg/kg for 6 weeks treatment and lowered in plasma triglycerides which was also examined on the treatment with extract. 3β-taraxerol, mangiferin, and iriflophenone-3-C-β-glucoside was found in leaf methanol extract in 0.49% w/w, 4.6% w/w and 2.37% w/w respectively. Methanol extract of Mangifera indica leaf is considered to be safe after oral examination of single dose of 5000 mg/kg body weight to female albino Wistar rat. (2)

  1. Breast cancer

The extract of Mangifera indica found to be cytoxic to both estrogen negative and positive breast cancer cell lines in comparison to normal breast cells. An antioxidant bioactives provide synergistic effects that contribute to cytotoxic effects of extract. Mangifera indica extract possess anticancer activities against breast cancer cells. The therapeutic potential is tremendous and could be used as an alternative for various therapy used currently to treat breast cancer. Yet it is required to identify actual components which are responsible for cytotoxicity and isolate them and to study its effect in vivo to make sure its effectiveness or any side effects. This extract could play a vital role in future studies for managing breast cancer. (3)

  1. Treat diabetes

Mango kernel flour is a great source of flavonoids as well as phenolic acids and its methanolic extract helps to inhibit some enzymes associated to pathology complications associated with type 2 diabetes. The study shows antidiabetic activities when fed to type 2 diabetic rats. The supplementation of Mango kernel flour showed a significant improvement in blood glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, hepatic glycogen, lipid profile, hepatic and pancreatic malonaldehyde, plasma electrolytes and liver function markers of diabetic rats in comparison to diabetic control rats. The conclusion shows that Mangifera indica kernel flour provide antidiabetic effects on type 2 diabeteic rats and promising nutraceutical therapy to manage type 2 diabetes as well as its complications. (4)

  1. Cardiac health

The study was conducted to evaluate cardio protective effect of alcoholic leaf extract of mangoes against cardiac stress which is caused by doxorubicin (DOX). It is concluded that DOX induced cardiac stress could be prevented with the use of alcoholic extract of mango leaves to higher extent. No preset guidelines are there to prevent cardiotoxicity caused due to anticancer agents. It is helpful for the patients of chemotherapy associated complications of heart. The studies could be further conducted or designed clinically. (5)

  1. Promote brain health

Mangoes are packed with ample amounts of Vitamin B6 that is essential to maintain and improve brain function. It supports amalgamation of vital neurotransmitters which helps to determine mood and modify sleeping patterns. It naturally provides meaningful amounts of Vitamin when included in diet. It results in healthy brain with effective functioning of nerves. It is better to avoid medicinal supplements that provide various side effects. Mangoes have glutamine acid content that promotes memory and concentration.

  1. Cure for acne

Mangoes are useful to maintain skin health. It helps to provide a healthy glow to face and also lightens the skin color. This fruit helps to enhance the beauty if consumed regularly. It helps to treat acne by opening the clogged pores on skin. When the pores are opened the formation of acne will stop eventually. The most effective way to erase acne is to unclog the pores of skin. Besides its consumptions, apply the pulp on the skin for about 10 minutes and then wash it.

  1. Losing weight

The studies have shown the importance of mango fruit with its skin. The phytochemicals are found on peel of fruit which acts as natural fat busters. Mango peel also assists in weight loss. It contains fiber which contributes a huge role towards weight loss. It is proved that the dietary fiber obtained from the intake of fruits and vegetables supports weight loss. It is associated to the ability of fiber to lower the intake of food.