Sometimes called a berry and sometimes called a nut, longans are actually neither. Instead, they are a fruit related to the lychee. They grow in clusters on trees. The fruit is very round and about the size of a large grape.
Beneath the tough, tan shell, you’ll find the white flesh of the fruit surrounding a dark seed. This structure is the source of its nickname — dragon’s eye. The flesh of the longan fruit resembles that of a grape in taste and texture, but longans have a hint of musk in the flavor.
Native to China, longans are very popular in Asia, and an Asian market may be your best bet for finding fresh fruit. Traditional Chinese medicine uses both the fruit and the seed for healing and for general health.
According to a senior Chinese medicine doctor, when a patient suffering from chronic insomnia visited him, instead of prescribing medicine, he asked the patient to go home and drink water boiled with dried longans. After a short period of time, the patient’s insomnia was successfully cured.
Stress or fatigue
According to The Book of Changes, longans are the best remedy when you are fatigued. Whenever I feel fatigued, burned out, or over-stressed, I boil some water with longans and drink it. Or I eat 20 to 30 pieces of dried longans; by doing so, I feel instantly refreshed.
Dizziness and headaches
While studying Chinese medicine, I found the remedy to cure my dizziness and headaches.
I peeled 30 pieces of dried longans and then boiled them with the seeds for 20 minutes from when the water started boiling. I then took out the longans and seeds, let the water cool down, and drank it. In less than two hours, I felt very refreshed. I then went out and bought a box of dried longans for use at home.
One winter afternoon, I caught a cold after washing my hair. I felt my head was heavy, but I didn’t mind it much as I thought that it wasn’t a big deal and that I could get over it soon. However, the next day, I was a lot worse. As usual, I grabbed a handful of dried longans and boiled them with water. After drinking it, I recovered quickly.
Remedy for long-term insomnia
Boil the flesh of 10 pieces of longans along with two eggs and some white sugar. Eat this soup before breakfast every morning. It will nourish your spleen and heart, benefit blood circulation, and will help you to have delicate skin. Longans also have anti-aging effects and strengthen the immune system. They are especially good for women.
Eating 10 pieces of longans before going to bed every night can help nourish the heart and calm the mind, as well as stop palpitations, and this helps relieve insomnia.
Marinate 200 grams of longan flesh in 500 ml of white sorghum liquor for a month. Drinking 15 ml of this before going to bed every night can help you recuperate from fatigue, as well as relieve stress and calm your mind.
Add 30 pieces of longan flesh, 10 pieces of red dates, 100 grams of rice, and a small amount of brown sugar to some water and boil. This will make 2 bowls of porridge. Eating one bowl in the morning and then one in the evening every day will nourish your spleen, cleanse your blood, nourish your heart, and clear your mind. It’s especially good for the elderly.
Translated research by Billy Shyu and Kathy McWilliams