Doctor's Note

For more on mangosteen juice:
Safety of Noni and Mangosteen Juice

For further context, see my associated blog posts: Is Noni or Mangosteen Juice Safe? and Soy milk: shake it up!

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  • JJ

    I drink various flavored green and white teas (also herbals). I don’t like green tea straight as I’m very sensitive to bitter tastes (eating leafy greens is a huge challenge), but I have developed a taste for the flavored teas.

    One of my favorites is a Stash tea: Mangosteen Green Tea. I actually groaned out loud when I saw this video. Will I have to give up one of my favorite teas?

    But maybe not all is lost? Here are the ingredients as listed on the package:
    . green tea, orange peel, rosehips, safflower, hibiscus, lemongrass, mangosteen flavor, pear flavor, Japanese matcha, and citric acid.

    Hmmm. “Mangosteen flavor” I don’t know what that means. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the tea has any actual real mangosteen in it. On the other hand, “mangosteen flavor”, may in actuality be super concentrated mangosteen – maybe even concentrating the part that is not healthy. Or maybe even if that is true, it would be such a small amount as to not worry?

    Yes, there is a question in there: When teas talk about being “such and such flavor”, do you know what that really means? And is it something to be concerned about when it comes to mangosteen green tea?


    • Michael Greger M.D.

      JJ, that is an excellent question. I don’t know how that’s defined. Would you do me a favor and contact the company and post what they said here so everyone can benefit. Otherwise sounds like a great tea! (the citric acid is fine).

  • JJ

    I e-mailed the company with my question. The next two paragraphs was the initial reply (I wish I knew how to indent or something):

    “Unfortunately it’s proprietary information with our suppliers; however we do require natural statements from our suppliers. We use the Code of Federal Regulations as far as our definition of natural

    According to the Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR), the term natural flavor means “the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juices, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible years, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in t food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”

    I follow up with the following e-mail:
    “I appreciate you taking the time to reply and let me know the situation. Just to clarify are you saying that you can’t tell me how much of the mangosteen is actually in a tea bag? Or even give me an upper range so that I can check with my doctor to see if is safe?”

    The reply was:
    “No I am sorry, we do not measure for that.”

    I can’t say that I fully understand the mumbo-jumbo in the first reply, but I think the gist is that it is truly real mangosteen, but they won’t tell me what parts of the mangosteen are included or how much.

    The purpose of drinking the tea is to get a health benefit. Do you think I should give up this tea? Or is the amount likely to be small enough not to matter? Also, I’ve hooked others on this tea over the last couple of years. Should I warn them not to drink it?

    I know you can’t know the answer to the questions above. I’m just wondering if you have a gut instinct.


  • veegun

    I used to eat mangosteen in India when I was a kid and I never knew that’s what it was called because we always used the word for it in our native language. My mom recently made the connection when she saw pictures of mangosteen. It is grown in parts of India and my mom cooked the rind in water along with one or two other ingredients for a simple tangy, sourish dish that was a deep purplish/pink color. This was served over rice along with any other side dish(es). I also just read that the tartness comes from tannis – same stuff found in tea and unripened fruit. I never recall falling sick from eating it. I do recall drinking the stuff because I liked it so much. Could cooking the rind negate any negative effects? Also, does the juice sold as a health drink come from the rind or the inner core or both?

    • Sara

      The fruit itself is good for you (so long as you don’t eat the rind!).

      Eating the rind causes health issues, and it is the main ingredient in mangosteen juice, otherwise the juice would be white/clear like the flesh of a mangosteen.

      • Bret Iron

        Is Mangosteen the same thing as Garcinia Cambogia?

  • mpbailey

    I have become aware of another drink which is similar to mangosteen.  It is called Limu.  The health claims are similar to mangosteen and it is marketed the same as mangosteen.  I was wondering if you have come accross any research pertaining to this drink.

    • Toxins

      I would keep away from all of these “superfoods” and miracle drinks as most of them are either toxic or no better than your average fruit.

  • Bret Iron

    Is Mangosteen the same as Garcinia Cambogia? Thanks for your time!

  • NormanAllen

    If Dr. Oz and the Fox News promotes Garcinia Cambogia as weight control mechanism, it MUST BE GOOD…LOL. The Wizard of Fox Oz said it blocks fat from absorbing into the body and converts fat in one’s body into muscles. Any studies to support the Wizard of Fox Oz?