Mangosteen, a delicious tropical fruit, is widely grown in Mindanao and is abundant during the months of July to September. It is one of the most praised of tropical fruits because of its amazing health benefits.
Mangosteen is eaten fresh. The white, juice pulp around the seeds can be made into preserves after boiling in brown sugar. It is reach in protein, minerals and carbohydrates. Mangosteen peeling, when dried and boiled, is a very effective cure to diarrhea and dysentery.
Soil and climate requirement. A warm, humid environment is ideal for growing mangosteen. Rainfall should be well-distributed throughout the year, unless sufficient irrigation is available. The soil should be rich in organic matter, porous, deep, moist and well-drained. Ideal type of soil is heavy clay with sand and silt.
Mangosteen can thrive at elevations of up to 500 meters above the sea level.
Planting. Mangosteen seeds can be planted whole or cut into pieces. They are first sown in seedboxes, seed plots or pots, bamboo tubes, or plastic bags. Keep them under partial shade for about two weeks and water four times a week. transplant after two years when plants are about 30 cm tall.
In the field, plant them at the distance of 7 meters in rows and 9 meters between rows. Place the seedling in holes 15 cm deep.
Cultivation. Weed at a distance of one meter around the plants. Apply nitrate or other nitrogenous fertilizer for longer periods of fruiting. Composts may also be broadcast to enrich the soil with humus.
Common intercrops with mangosteen are peanut and other legumes, abaca, banana , marang and lanzones trees. Dapdap and durian trees also serve as partial shades.
Insect and disease control. Control pests with Methyl Parathion and Diazinon at the rate of 2 1/2 tablespoon per five gallons of water. For disease, use Manzate and Dithane Z-78.
Harvest. Mangosteen bear fruit after 10 to 15 years. Pick the fruits together with the peduncle or main stalk, then bind together in elongated cluster of 15 pieces.
Medicinal use of Mangosteen. For treatment of diarrhea, prepare 4 teaspoon of chop mangosteen peeling and boil with two glasses of water for 15 minutes. For children from 7 to 12 years, use two teaspoon of chopped mangosteen peelings; for children from 2 to 6 years, use one teaspoon. Cool the mixture and strain. Divide it in four parts and drink one part every 2 or 3 hours.
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