Longan fruit is a common Chinese herb prescribed to women for its blood warming and beautifying effect. The fresh fruit is juicy and sweet with a round black shiny seed inside surrounded by white succulent pulp. Because the fruit resembles the eye of legendary dragon, hence the fruit is named “Dragon’s eye” in China.
Dried longan fruit is used for medicinal purpose. The fruit is picked in the summer when mature. Then, the shell and pit are removed and the remaining fruit pulp is dried. Nutrition wise, dry pulp contains 21% of glucose, 4.5% of protein, 19% insoluble fibers, fruit acids, amino acids, vitamins B, C, and P, minerals including calcium, phosphorus and iron, adenine, and an abundant of antioxidants.
Longan has been used for medical purpose as early as the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE). The China’s first pharmacy monograph “Shen Nong’s Herbal Classic” prescribes longan for weight loss and anti-aging application. According to the record in The Chinese Materia Medica, longan fruit is warm in properties, tonifies heart and spleen, replenishes qi and blood, and therefore could be used to encourage circulation, warm the blood and promote a healthy and rosy complexion. The herb is often used to treat a sallow facial complexion due to deficiency of blood, irregular menstruation, and uterine bleeding. Suggested dosage is from 10 to 15 grams, or even 30 to 60 grams in large dosage, in decoction, soaked wine, cream, pills, and powder.
Here are a few beauty recipes using longan fruit:
- Longan fruit can be formulated with American ginseng. Blend two herbs together with small amount of water to make a paste. Consume daily, the paste is know to nourish blood, anti-aging, and promote a healthy complexion.
- Soak Longan fruit in a jar of liquor to make longan wine. The wine is used to invigorate spleen and stomach and warm the blood.
- Dilute the longan wine with twice amount of water, a small amount of glycerin and a few drops of essential oil to make a longan fruit toner. The toner promotes micro-capillary circulation on the skin and supports a well-nourished skin.
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