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What Is Dragon Eyes Fruit?

Dragon eyes fruit is native to China.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2014
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Dragon eyes fruits, also called longans, are tropical fruits that are native to China. The name longan, which means dragon eyes in Chinese, is appropriate because the fruit’s appearance resembles that of a large eye when cut in half. Longan fruit grows on trees that are best suited to warm climates, but they can withstand some colder temperatures. This fruit is used in traditional Asian medicine and people eat it in a variety of ways, including fresh, canned, and dried. They are also frequently used in meals and desserts.

The unique appearance of dragon eyes fruit is responsible for its name. They are small, round, and covered with brown skin. The skin covers a white, slightly see-through fruit that has characteristics similar to those of a peeled grape. Dragon eyes fruit looks like the eye of a dragon because of the large black seed in the middle of its flesh. When sliced in half, it looks like a large eye, with the black seed as the pupil and the white fruit as the white of an eye.

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Dragon eyes fruit grows in clusters on tall trees that bloom most successfully in warm climates, but they can also survive colder temperatures as long as frosts are not heavy. It can be beneficial for the tree to have cold winters, as the rest this weather provides allows it to produce more fruit in the spring. These trees, however, do not produce fruit every year. Although they are native to China, they are grown around the world in places like Hawaii and various countries in Asia.

People often use this fruit fresh, dried, or as an ingredient in meals and desserts. In China, they are also used in traditional Chinese medicine. In fact, the dragon eyes fruit is more often used in traditional medicine in China than it is for eating. People in other parts of Asia use it as medicine as well.

When used in medicine, the dragon eyes fruit has many uses, including the relief of pain in the stomach area and some types of swelling. The white part of the fruit can be used for treating some types of poisoning while the flesh may be useful for people struggling with insomnia. In parts of Asia, many believe the seed of this fruit can remove snake venom from the body.

Nutritionally, these fruits are also high in antioxidants, which provide protection from illness, help the body store iron, and promote healing of wounds. The main antioxidants in this fruit are vitamin C and polyphenols. Antioxidants help boost the immune system, keep cells healthy, and prevent cancers. Besides containing antioxidants, this fruit is also low in calories, fat, sodium, and cholesterol.

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