What Are The Health Benefits Of Lychee (Litchi chinensis)?

JEROME MICHAEL EBRUPHIYO Monday, September 27, 2021 Science and Nature

This post will provide information on "What are the health benefits of lychee (Litchi chinensis)?" as well as provide answers to questions like: Where are lychees originally from? What does lychee symbolize? What country eats the most lychee? When did lychee come to America? What happens if you eat too much lychee? When should we not eat lychee? Does lychee have side effects? Why we should not eat litchi?

History of Lychee (Litchi chinensis)

Cultivation of lychee began in the region of southern China, going back to 1059 AD, Malaysia, and northern Vietnam. Unofficial records in China refer to lychee as far back as 2000 BC. Wild trees still grow in parts of southern China and on Hainan Island. The fruit was used as a delicacy in the Chinese Imperial Court. In the 1st century during the Han dynasty, fresh lychees were a popular tribute item, and in such demand at the Imperial Court that a special courier service with fast horses would bring the fresh fruit from Guangdong. There was great demand for lychee in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), according to Cai Xiang, in his Li chi pu (Treatise on Lychees). It was also the favorite fruit of Emperor Li Longji (Xuanzong)'s favored concubine Yang Yuhuan (Yang Guifei). The emperor had the fruit delivered at great expense to the capital. The lychee attracted the attention of European travelers, such as the Spanish bishop, explorer, and sinologist Juan González de Mendoza in his History of the great and mighty kingdom of China (1585; English translation 1588), based on the reports of Spanish friars who had visited China in the 1570s gave the fruit high praise: They haue a kinde of plummes, that they doo call lechias, that are of an exceeding gallant tast, and neuer hurteth any body, although they shoulde eate a great number of them. Later the lychee was described and introduced to the West in 1656 by Michal Boym, a Polish Jesuit missionary (at that time Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth). Litchi chinensis is an evergreen tree that is frequently less than 15 m (49 ft) tall, sometimes reaching 28 m (92 ft). Its evergreen leaves, 5 to 8 in (12.5–20 cm) long, are pinnate, having 4 to 8 alternate, elliptic-oblong to lanceolate, abruptly pointed, leaflets, The bark is grey-black, the branches a brownish-red. Its evergreen leaves are 12.5 to 20 cm (4.9 to 7.9 in) long, with leaflets in two to four pairs. Lychee are similar in foliage to the family Lauraceae, likely due to convergent evolution. They are adapted by developing leaves that repel water, and are called laurophyll or lauroid leaves. Flowers grow on a terminal inflorescence with many panicles on the current season's growth. The panicles grow in clusters of ten or more, reaching 10 to 40 cm (3.9 to 15.7 in) or longer, holding hundreds of small white, yellow, or green flowers that are distinctively fragrant.

Health Benefits of Lychee (Litchi chinensis)

  • Lychee has more than 100% of the daily requirement of ascorbic acid (ABA) in a single serving which works exceptionally well for boosting your immunity
  • It stimulates gastric and digestive juices promoting efficient nutrient absorption
  • The proanthocyanidins present in lychee are known to lend strong antiviral capabilities
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Lychee helps lowering high blood pressure by maintaining the fluid balance
  • Lychee can help fight signs of ageing
  • Aid weight loss
  • Being rich in flavanol, lychee extracts are known to treat inflammation and tissue damage caused by inflammation
  • Lychee is full of essential nutrients like magnesium, phosphorus, iron, manganese and copper that support stronger bones

Side Effect of Lychee (Litchi chinensis)

In some people, lychee might cause allergic reactions. Itchy red skin and shortness of breath are some examples of these allergic reactions.

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