#Know your Herb: Luo Han Guo

Updated: Feb 4

Durian season is here again and best of all, the durians this year are cheap! Are you unable to resist durians, but often get a sore throat or fall sick after a durian feast? Read to find out how to avoid the unpleasant aftereffects of getting too heaty from durians!

Durians, durians, durians!

The king of fruits, durians, are well known to be delicious, fleshy, addictive and also, very heaty. Some people develop a sore throat and mouth ulcers as soon as the day after eating durians. If you want to indulge in durians, the following Chinese herb just might help you to alleviate or completely avoid such ailments.



Luo Han Guo (罗汉果) or Monk fruit, native to southern China and northern Thailand, is famous for its distinctive taste. Due to its natural sweetness, many people around the world use it as a sweetener in their food recipe and drinks. In addition, it is also low in calories and has a low glycemic index.


The reason why Luo Han Guo can come into play during the durian season is because it is cooling in nature. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is used for clearing excessive heat in the Lung and Large Intestine meridians, where symptoms manifest as sore throat, throat inflammation, heaty cough and excessive yellowish phlegm. It also has a mild laxative effects that can alleviate constipation. However, do seek a licensed TCM physician to get an actual diagnosis. For professionals who speak a lot and strain their vocal chords,

such as teachers and lawyers, luo han guo can be a excellent remedy to help to soothe the throat.


Here’s a fun fact for you to stomach - Ancient people saw that Luo Han Guo looked like the sunburnt, round belly of the Arhat/ Luo Han (罗汉), and hence they named the fruit Luo Han Guo!


Here's how to prepare Luo Han Guo Tea:


1. Wash clean and crush 1 – 2 dried Luo Han Guo

2. Boil for 10 mins until the sweet smell of the Luo Han Guo is detectable

3. Enjoy the tea!


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This article is written by Physician Derrick Soh.

Place of practice: Richlife Chinese Medical Centre (Hougang)