Herb Name: Luo Han Guo
(also called Buddha Fruit, Monk Fruit, Longevity Fruit, or Momordica Grosvenorii by scientific name)
Herb Name in Chinese: 羅漢果 (Luó Hàn Guǒ)
- Luo han guo is a very sweet, round dried fruit of a viny plant that grows in southern Chinese provinces like Guangdong (廣東), Guizhou (貴州), Hunan (湖南), and Jiangxi (江西). The plant is rarely found in the wild, and records as early as 1813 mentions the cultivation of luo han guo in the Guangxi (廣西) province.
- The fruit is also called “buddha fruit” or “monk fruit” (“羅漢”果) since according to Chinese history, the fruit was first mentioned in the records of 13th century Chinese monks who discovered and used the fruit.
- Luo han guo has a thin brown hard shell and it is slightly larger then a golf ball. It contains a sweet edible pulp that chambers multiple seeds inside.
- The fresh fruit is ripe in the fall but are sold dried year-round.
Luo Han Guo Benefits and Uses:
- Luo han guo’s sugar is almost 300 times sweeter than regular sugar, and it has been used in China for almost a millennium as a low calorie and low sugar sweetener by those with diabetes and obesity.
- Luo han guo is also used in Chinese medicine, herbal teas, and soups to treat chronic bronchitis and coughs.
- The dried fruit has a neutral property in Chinese medicine, and is classified by the US Food and Drug Administration as a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) food.
- See a list of soup recipes using luo han guo.
- Rinse the outside of the fruit.
- Due to its strong sweetness, cut and use only a portion of the luo han guo in soups. Follow your recipe’s guide for proportions.
- Store the unused portions of the luo han guo in a dry clean sealable sandwich bag and put in a cool dry place.
Where to Buy:
- Dried luo han guo can be purchased in Chinese grocery stores and herb stores.
- They are also available online.
How do you use your Luo Han Guo? Leave a comment below to share your ideas.
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Resources and further reading: Wikipedia