Mango - western medicine

The fruits, bark and seeds of mango plants have been scientifically shown to possess a range of health-giving properties.


Mango fruits can help to prevent colon cancer, especially in cases where there is a lack of fibre in the diet. The fruits also contain a compound called mangiferin, which has several medicinal attributes. It is particularly useful in promoting the action of the heart and excretion of urine, calming inflammation, treating diabetes and as an antioxidant. Fruits also contain the chemicals gallic acid and quercetine, which give protection against viruses.
A photograph of mango tree bark from Kew's Economic Botany Collection.
Image: Compounds have been found in the bark of mango trees that have beneficial medicinal properties.

Chemical compounds in extracts from the bark of mango trees have been shown to protect against diarrhoea. The powdered seeds also have antimicrobial activity.


The only toxic parts of the mango plant are various substances that are found in the skin of the fruit and the sap of the trunk. Mango is in the same family as poison ivy (Anacardiacaeae) and, like many other species in this family, can cause allergic reactions in sensitive people. Contact with the skin of the fruit can irritate the skin, and it may be toxic if eaten.

This information is provided for general interest only. It is not intended as guidance for medicinal use. Further information on using herbal medicines is available.