Longan was cultivated as a native fruit and Chinese traditional medicine for more than 2000 years before spreading to India and other South Asian countries from the 18th century onwards. Currently, over 300 cultivars are known. The longan cultivated in Guangxi, Yunnan, Guangdong, Fujian, and Sichuan provinces is the same as the wild litchi found throughout China. Its fruit can be eaten fresh, or dried for preservation to be used in a tonic called "Guiyuan." In traditional Chinese medicine, this fruit has been used for the treatment of anemia, heart palpitations, insomnia, forgetfulness, neurasthenia, and postpartum frail embolism, as well as for promoting beauty and longevity.
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