Longan (龍眼) (scientific name: Dimocarpus longan), aka “Dragon eye”, is a delicious fruit similar to the lychee and rambutan. Although often eaten fresh and raw, the dried form of longan is used in Chinese soups and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Dried longan is supposed to help in relaxation, revitalize and strengthen the human body. Therefore, it can help promote sleep and calmness. It is also used to maintain heart health, rejuvenate the blood, prevent stomach ache and help the skin by providing shine and sweetness.
Longan can help with qi insufficiency and consequences of qi insufficiency such as feelings of anxiousness and memory lapses. Another interesting anecdotal use for longan is to promote sex drive. Apparently, it has a 2000-year reputation as a sex tonic.
Recent studies show that extracts of the outer layer of tissue around the fruit, known as the pericarp, can fight against bacteria, viruses, oxidants, inflammation and cancer. Longan extracts can then be used to treat inflammatory-related diseases such as asthma and fight against cancer cells found in the liver, lung and digestive area.