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Long Yan Rou

English Name: longan fruit

Literal Translation: “dragon-eye flesh”

Pharmaceutical Name: Arillus Longan

Medica Category: Blood-Tonifying Herbs

Properties: Long Yan Rou enters the Heart and Spleen channels; it is sweet in nture and warm in temperature.

What is Long Yan Rou?:

The Chinese Herb Long Yan Rou is the fruit of a tropical tree of the Sapindaceae family (Euphoria Longan (Lour.) Steud.) similar to the lychee fruit. Longan fruit, traditionally revered in China as a potent sexual/love tonic for women (said to calm the spirit and enhance the radiance of the eyes), is harvested in the fall when ripe. The outer skin is removed, revealing a translucent, pulpy fruit through which the dark brown seed can be seen (hence the moniker “dragon-eye”). The seeds are removed and the pulp is then dried in preparation for use as medicine. Longan fruit can also be consumed raw as food, but keep in mind that sugar is very often added to longan fruit that is sold as snacking food in markets.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Therapeutic Actions of Long Yan Rou:

Long Yan Rou tonifies the Heart and Spleen to revitalize withered shen (spirit) when there is insomnia, palpitations, difficulty falling and staying asleep, and forgetfulness presenting (as in the formula Gui Pi Wan).

Long Yan Rou benefits qi and blood and is used in this regard as a gentle tonic for the chronically ill and the elderly that present with signs of general qi & blood deficiency (e.g. pale/sallow complexion, fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, and spontaneous sweating).

–safety/clinical notes:

Contraindicated for persons with phlegm-fire and/or dampness and stagnation in the middle jiao.

Contraindicated in cases of excess or deficiency heat.

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