Longan or Lamyai – The Dragon eyes

In this post I’ll introduce the Thai lamyai or longan fruit to you. In the Cantonese language the longan fruit is called phinyin which means “dragon eyes”. The reason for that is when the fruit is peeled, its dark seed shines through the translucent pulp which resembles an eyeball. In Thailand the fruit is usually called lamyai. Under very good conditions the tree can grow up to 30 meters but usually the tree just reaches the height of 7-12 meter. As this plant requires a cool season it is widespread in northern Thailand, though the fruit is grown all over Thailand and in most parts of Southeast Asia. Thailand produces over 80 % of the worlds longan supply, which makes it the biggest exporter in the world. The fruits are ready to harvest in a quite short period between July and August. The fruit tastes similar to the lichee and both trees are closely related to each other. The main difference is while the lichee tastes sweet and sour the longan fruit is just sweet and missed that sour taste component of its relative. As all described fruits so far, the lamyai is widely used for medical purposes. The fruit is rich in iron, calcium and Vitamin C. It’s components have a relaxing effect on the nervous system and an anti-depressant impact.The fruit can be used to counter insomnia, stomach aches and even ulcers.

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