Longan - Euphoria Fruit - what kind of health benefits does it have?
December 22 2015 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.


Euphoria Fruit (Euphoria longan) is a small, round, undistinguished-looking fruit. The brittle light brown skin encloses delicious translucent, juicy soft flesh around a single large, black inedible pit. The Chinese name for this fruit is long yan rou, which literally means “dragon eye flesh”. In the grocery markets, Euphoria fruits are simply known as longans. Longan is consumed throughout Asia and is a major crop in Thailand.


Chemical Composition of Longan fruit
Longan fruit contains several vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, and large amounts of vitamins A and C. Euphoria fruit also has phenolic compounds in the fruit, such as gallic acid, corilagin, and ellagic acid, indicating that the fruit may have antioxidant, chemo-preventive, and liver protective properties. The Euphoria seed contains the highest levels of the three phenolics, and pulp contains the lowest.
     From the pulp of Euphoria longana (Longan Arillus), three cerebroside molecular species have been isolated. Six known cerebrosides, soyacerebrosides I and II, 1-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl lignoceroylamino octadecadiene diol (longan cerebroside I) and its 8Z isomer (longan cerebroside II), momor-cerebroside I, and phytolacca cerebroside, were identified as major components of these cerebroside molecular species.


Colon cancer

J Agric Food Chem. 2013. Inhibitory effects of dried longan (Euphoria longana Lam.) seed extract on invasion and matrix metalloproteinases of colon cancer cells.


Daru. 2014. Alteration in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) after treatment of mice with herbal mixture containing Euphoria longana, Houttuynia cordata and Dioscorea japonica. Literature data indicate that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), cyclic-AMP response element-binding protein (CREB) and phospho-CREB (pCREB) may have a place in depression. BDNF belongs to the neurotrophin family that plays an important role in proliferation, survival and differentiation of different cell populations in the mammalian nervous system. The herbal mixture used in the present study consists of Euphoria longana, Houttuynia cordata and Dioscorea japonica. The purpose of the present study was to determine the neuroprotective effect of herbal mixture. We also tested the hypothesis that administration of herbs reverses memory deficits and promotes the protein expression of BDNF in the mouse brain. Mice were randomized into four different treatment groups. Normal and stress groups received regular lab chow without stress and under stress conditions, respectively, for 3 weeks. The animals in the stress group were immobilized for 4 hours a day for 2 weeks. Different doses of herbal mixture (206 and 618 mg/kg) were administered for 3 weeks to those mice under stress conditions. Mice were analyzed by behavioral tests and immunoblotting examination in the hippocampus and cortex. An additional in vitro investigation was performed to examine whether herbs induce neurotoxicity in a human neuroblastoma cell line, SH-SY5Y cells. No significant toxicity of herbs on human neuroblastoma cells was observed. These herbs demonstrated an inductive effect on the expression of BDNF, pCREB and pAkt. For spatial working memory test, herbal mixture fed mice exhibited an increased level of spontaneous alternation compared to those in stress conditions. Moreover, herbal mixture produced highly significant reduction in the immobility time in the tail suspension test. Mice in the herbal mixture groups demonstrated lower serum corticosterone concentration than mice in the stress group (p < 0.05). Effects of the oral administration of herbal mixture on protein levels of BDNF in the hippocampi and cortices were significant. Our study showed that herbal mixture administration has antidepressant effects in mice. It is proposed that adverse events such as stress and depression can modulate the expression of molecular players of cellular plasticity in the brain.


J Ethnopharmacol. 2010. The memory-enhancing effects of Euphoria longan fruit extract in mice.

Longan fruit research
Adenosine, the anxiolytic-like principle of the Arillus of Euphoria longana - Longan fruit.
Planta Med. 1999. Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chiba University, Japan
According to traditional usage, the extract of Longan Arillus was tested for its anxiolytic-like effect by application of the Vogel-type anti-conflict method in mice. The extract indicated significant activity at a dose of 2 g/kg, s.c., and results of the bioassay-oriented isolation revealed adenosine to be the active principle. Adenosine produced the anti-conflict effect significantly at a dose of 30 mg/kg, s.c. Adenine, uridine, and 5-methyluridine did not exhibit the effect, although these compounds were isolated from the Euphoria longana extract. Some other related compounds such as AMP and c-AMP showed no effect, except for inosine. Adenosine also contributed to the analgesic effect which was observed in the extract by the writhing method.