The fruit hull of mangosteen, Garcinia mangostana L. has been used as a Thai indigenous medicine for many years. However, its mechanism of action as a medicine has not been elucidated. The present study was undertaken to examine the effects of mangosteen extracts (100% ethanol, 70% ethanol, 40% ethanol and water) on histamine release and prostaglandin E2 synthesis. We found that the 40% ethanol extract of mangosteen inhibited IgE-mediated histamine release from RBL-2H3 cells with greater potency than the water extract of Rubus suavissimus that has been used as an anti-allergy crude drug in Japan. All extracts of mangosteen potently inhibited A23187-induced prostaglandin E2 synthesis in C6 rat glioma cells, while the water extract of Rubus suavissimus had no effect. The 40% ethanol extract of mangosteen inhibited the prostaglandin E2 synthesis in a concentration-dependent manner with relatively lower concentrations than the histamine release. In addition, passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA) reactions in rats were significantly inhibited by this ethanol extract as well as by the water extract of Rubus suavissimus. These results suggest that the 40% ethanol extract of mangosteen has potent inhibitory activities of both histamine release and prostaglandin E2 synthesis.