Mammea americana

scientific name: 
Mammea americana L.
Botanical family: 

Botanical description

Tree, up to 20 m high.  Leaves opposite, 8-25 cm x 10 cm, elliptic to obovate, glossy, dark green with pellucid dots, exuding a milky sap when broken; Flowers axillary, solitary or few together, fragrant, with white obovate petals ca. 20 mm long; fruit a globose drupe ca. 15 cm in diameter, skin rough, brown and thick; seeds 1-4 fibrous coated stone embedded in sweet, yellow pulp.





  leaf, natural, applied locally1

The fruit of Mammea americana is widely used for human consumption.

For rheumatism:

There is no available information establishing a means of preparation and dosage other than that referred to by traditional use.

According to published and other information:

Use for rheumatism is classified as REC, based on the significant traditional use documented in the TRAMIL surveys and toxicity studies.

The use of this resource for rheumatism can be considered complementary to medical treatment, unless it is contraindicated.

TRAMIL Research19

The topical application of crushed fresh leaf and of 1 mL of freshly prepared solution of fresh leaf (10.57 g) liquefied in 20 mL of water (528.5 mg/mL) on the shaved back of male New Zealand rabbits (in groups of two) for 4 consecutive days, showed no signs of skin irritation.

The acute toxicity of various extracts from other plant parts has been described in the literature16.

There is no available information documenting the safety of medicinal use in children or in women during pregnancy or while breast feeding.

The leaf contains a cyclitol: pinitol2 and isoprenoids: solanesol3.

The seed contains coumarins: mesuagin, seselin derivatives, mammea-coumarin derivatives4, 4-hydroxyxanthone, euxanthone5, mammeigin6-7, isomammein8, neomammein9, 1,5- and 2-hydroxyxanthone10; diterpenes: mammeol7; miscellaneous: succinic acid and sucrose10.

The fruit mesoderm contains triterpenes: friedelin; coumarins: 2-hydroxyxanthone11 and mammeigin6.

The entire plant contains coumarins: mammein12.

TRAMIL Research13 (will be translated in 3rd Ed.)

El extracto acuoso liofilizado, concentración 0.135 g/mL en agua destilada-desionizada obtenido por decocción de hoja se administró por vía tópica, en ambas caras de la oreja derecha de 5 grupos de ratones albinos de la cepa Hsd: ICR (CD-1), 6 hembras y 6 machos por grupo, dosis de 0.5, 2 y 3.33 mg/oreja respectivamente (10µL/oreja). Como control negativo se usaron 12 ratones (6 hembras y 6 machos) a los que se les puso 10 µL/oreja de acetona, al grupo control positivo se le puso 10 µL de indometacina (25 mg/mL). A todos los ratones (grupo tratamiento y grupos control positivo y negativo) se les aplica al inicio del ensayo 10 µL de TPA (phorbol 13, miristato acetato) a una concentración de 0.125 mg/mL. A las 4 horas de administrado el TPA, se observó una inhibición de la inflamación estadísticamente significativa (p ≤ 0.05) en los grupos tratados con una aplicación del extracto de 200 mg/mL (4 mg/ratón) con un porcentaje de inhibición de 36.41 % con respecto al grupo control negativo y no se observó diferencia estadísticamente significativa con respecto al grupo control positivo.

The entire plant was effective as an insecticide against Aedes aegyptii14; the seed has reported larvicidal activity against Laphygma sp and Plutella sp15.

Extracts of the plant were described as having in vitro cytotoxic and antimicrobial properties16.

The extracts and compounds obtained from this plant are claimed to be insecticidal and larvicidal17-18.

Mammein and other coumarins derived from phloroglucinol are claimed to have antitumor properties; the natural seed oil (derived directly from the seed) had cytotoxic activity in vitro in Sarcoma 180-asc, with ID50 = 0.3 µg/mL6. (ID refers to inhibitory dose).




1 GERMOSEN-ROBINEAU L, GERONIMO M, AMPARO C, 1984 Encuesta TRAMIL. enda-caribe, Santo Domingo, Rep. Dominicana.

2 PLOUVIER V, 1964 L-inositol, L-quebrachitol, and D-pinitol in some botanical groups. The presence of shikimic acid in Mammea americana. CR ACAD SCI 258(10):2921-2924.

3 SASAK W, CHOJNACKI T, 1973 Long chain polyphenols of tropical and subtropical plants. Acta Biochim Pol 20:343-350.

4 GAMES DE, 1972 Identification of 4-phenyl and 4-alkylcoumarins inMammea americana L.,Mammea africana G. Don. andCalophyllum inophyllum by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Tetrahedron Lett 31:3187-3190.

5 FINNEGAN R, PATEL J, BACHMAN P, 1966 Constituents ofMammea americana L. V (1). Some simple mono- and di-hydroxyxanthones. Tetrahedron Lett 49:6087-6092.

6 FINNEGAN R, MERKEL K, BACK N, 1972 Constituents ofMammea americana L. VIII: Novel structural variations on the mammein theme and antitumor activity of mammein and related coumarin and phloroglucinol derivatives. J Pharm Sci 61(10):1599-1603.

7 FINNEGAN R, MUELLER W, 1965 Constituents ofMammea americana L. IV. The structure of mammeigin. J Org Chem 30(7):2342-2344.

8 CROMBIE L, GAMES D, HASKINS N, REED G, 1972 Extractives ofMammea americana L. Part IV. Identification of new 7,8-annulated relatives of the coumarinsMammea A/AA, A/AB, B/AA B/AB, and new members of the 6-acyl family A/BB, B/AB, and B/AC. J Chem Soc Perkin Trans 18:2248-2254.

9 FINNEGAN RA, MERKEL KE, 1972 Constituents ofMammea americana L. IX. Oxidation of mammein and mammeisin. J Pharm Sci 61(10):1603-1608.

10 FINNEGAN R, PATEL J, 1972 Constituents ofMammea americana L. Part X. The isolation of some mono- and di-hydroxyxanthones. Observations on the synthesis of 1,5-; 3,5-; 1,6-; and 1,7-dihydroxyxanthone. J Chem Soc Perkin Trans I 15:1896-1901.

11 CROMBIE L, GAMES D, Mc CORMICK A, 1967 Extractives ofMammea americana L. I. The 4-N-alkylcoumarins. Isolation & structure ofMammea B/BA, B/BB, B/BC and C/BB. J Chem Soc C 23:2545-2552.

12 DJERASSI C, EISENBRAUN E, FINNEGAN R, GILBERT B, 1960 Naturally occurring oxygen heterocyclics. VII. The structure of mammein. J Org Chem 25:2164-2169.

13 PAZOS L, COTO T, GONZALEZ S, 2006 Antiinflamatorio, tópico, en ratón, de la decocción de hoja de Mammea americana. Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio de Ensayos BiológicosLEBi, Escuela de MedicinaUniversidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro, Costa Rica.

14 SIEVERS AF, ARCHER WA, MOORE RH, MC GOVRAN BR, 1949 Insecticidal tests of plants from tropical America. J Econ Entomol 42(3):549-551.

15 PLANK HK, 1944 Insecticidal properties of mamey and other plants in Puerto Rico. J Econ Entomol 37(6):737-739.

16 FINNEGAN RA, MERKEL KE, PATEL JK, 1973 Constituents ofMammea americana L. XII. Biological data for xanthones & benzophenones. J Pharm Sci 62(3):483-485.

17 GRAINGE M, AHMED S, 1988 Handbook of plants with pest-control properties. New York, USA: John Willey & Sons. p178.

18 SUKH D, OPENDER K, 1997 Insecticides of natural origin. Amsterdam, Holland: Overseas Publishers Association. p197.

19 GarcIa GM, Coto MT, GonzAlez S, OCAMPO R, Pazos L, 2000 Irritabilidad dérmica del extracto acuoso de hoja fresca de Mammea americana. Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio de Ensayos Biológicos LEBi, Escuela de Medicina, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro, Costa Rica.


The information provided is for educational purposes only for the benefit of the general public and health professionals. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations. Since some parts of plants could be toxic, might induce side effects, or might have interactions with certain drugs, anyone intending to use them or their products must first consult with a physician or another qualified health care professional. TRAMIL has no responsibility whatsoever towards the user for any decision, action or omission made in relation to the information contained in this Pharmacopoeia.