Other Names of Longan:

  • Dragon's Eye
  • Eyeball
  • Mamoncillo Chino

Useful Parts of the Plant:

  • Wood
  • Seeds
  • Rind
  • Fruits
  • Leaves

Longan is a small tropical fruit that closely resembles the lychee, both in terms of taste and appearance. This fruit is believed to have originated in either the area between India and Burma or in China. It is now grown in various parts of the world such as Sri Lanka, South India, several Southeastern Asian countries as well as South China. The fruit is either round or oval with a translucent pulp and contains one single, black seed. The longan tree is an evergreen tree which grows to a height of about 9-12 meters. There are many varieties of the Longan fruit now, such as "Kohala" which is found in Hawaii and 'Hei ho shih hsia' and 'Chin ch' i ho shih hsia'.

Nutritional Information and Properties of Longan:

The Longan fruit is a rich source of many vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. This fruit contains vitamins B1, B2 and B3 as well as Vitamin C. It has a high content of minerals such as copper, iron, potassium and magnesium. It is a good source of dietary fiber and protein as well. 100 grams of longan fruit will give you about 1.3 grams of protein, 83 grams of water, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1.1 gram of dietary fiber, and approximately 60 calories. The nutrients found in 100 grams of raw Longan are as follows:-

  • Vitamin A 28IU
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.031 mg
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.3 mg
  • Vitamin C 84 mg
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.14 mg
  • Potassium 266 mg
  • Magnesium 10 mg
  • Zinc 0.05 mg
  • Calcium 1 mg
  • Iron 0.13 mg
  • Phosphorous 21 mg
  • Manganese 0.05 mg
  • Carbohydrates 16-25g
  • Protein 1 g
  • Niacin 0.6mg

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses of Longan:

There are many health benefits and therapeutic uses of the longan fruit. These various health benefits are listed below.

  • Longan has long been used as a remedy for stomach problems such as infections and pain. Eating longan fruit is regarded a natural remedy for treating a stomach ache. The fruit helps to improve and boost the immune system and this helps the body fight against various diseases.
  • Longan also helps to improve the working of the cardiovascular system as well as the heart.
  • Longan is rich in potassium and is therefore helpful in maintaining one's blood pressure and keeping it normal.
  • Eating longan is also a good way to cure anemia as it helps to improve the rate at which iron is absorbed into the body.
  • The leaves of the longan tree contain quercetin which has antiviral and antioxidant properties. They are therefore used to treat various cancers, allergies as well as in treatment for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
  • Consuming dried longan fruit is believed to help cure people of sleeping disorders like insomnia.
  • It is also used to treat health conditions such as amnesia and neurasthenic neurosis.
  • Longan fruit also helps to improve the functioning of the nerves as well as calm the nervous system.
  • The kernel of this fruit contains fat, tannin and saponin which act as a styptic.
  • Longans also contain phenolic acids which act as powerful antioxidants and also contain antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties.
  • The fresh fruit of the longan tree is often consumed to reduce and bring down high fevers.
  • The seeds are often given to persons to consume if they suffer from heavy and excessive sweating.
  • Longan also helps to reduce aging and helps to improve one's skin, particularly, around the eyes. It is believed to improve one's complexion and prevent skin from peeling as well.
  • This fruit is also believed to nourish the blood as well as invigorate the spleen.
  • The fruit also helps to reduce fatigue and lowers irritability in people as well.

Other Uses:

The seeds and rind of the longan are burned and used as fuel. The seeds once crushed, produce foam which is then used as shampoo. The wood is used to make furniture, agricultural implements, posts and for construction purposes.