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Luo Han Guo

Scientific Name(s): Momordicae grosvenorii (Swingle)., Siraitia grosvenorii (Swingle) A.M. Lu and Zhi Y. Zhang., Thladiantha grosvenorii (Swingle) C. Jeffrey
Common Name(s): Arhat fruit, Big yellow's fruit, Buddha fruit, Ge Si Wei Ruo Guo, Lo Han Guo, Lo Han Kuo, Longevity fruit, Lor Hon Kor, Magic fruit, Momordica fruit, Monk fruit, Na Han Gwa, Ra Kan Ka

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Nov 30, 2022.

Clinical Overview


In Chinese folk and traditional medicine, S. grosvenorii has been used for upper respiratory tract conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, coughing, pharyngitis, and sore throat. In addition, it has also been used for obesity, gastritis, and constipation. Antibacterial, antioxidant/immunomodulatory, antifatigue, and antihyperglycemic effects have been demonstrated in animal and in vitro studies. However, there are no clinical trials to support use of luo han guo for any indication.


Clinical data are lacking to provide dosing recommendations.


Contraindications have not been identified.


Avoid use. Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.


None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

Potential adverse effects are unknown.


Certain luo han guo refined fruit extracts are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as sweeteners. No definitive information is available regarding the toxicity of luo han guo fruit for clinical uses.

Scientific Family

  • Cucurbitaceae


Luo han guo is the fruit of S. grosvenorii, a perennial, herbaceous, dioecious climbing vine that grows 2 to 5 m in length with tendrils. The roots of the plant are large and fusiform or subglobose. The leaves of the plant are heart shaped (10 to 20 cm in length) and the fruit is round (5 to 7 cm in diameter), smooth, and yellow-brown or green-brown in color. The seeds are numerous, pale yellow, broadly ovate, and compressed. The female inflorescence is in the form of axillary clusters; the male inflorescence is racemose.Swingle 1941 The plant is native to southern China and is found in the provinces of Guangxi, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hunan, and Jiangxi, as well as in northern Thailand.Swingle 1941


The common names "luo han guo" and "monk fruit" might derive from the belief that Buddhist monks were among the first people to cultivate the fruit; in Chinese culture, monk fruit is also associated with the saints that surrounded Buddha.Hossen 2005, Swingle 1941, Tsang 2001 The fruit is traditionally associated with abundant health, and its uses as food by Asian populations and in traditional Chinese medicine are well documented.Swingle 1941 The skin, flesh, and seeds of monk fruit are sweet and have a unique taste. The fruit, generally sold in dry form, is usually boiled or simmered in water and consumed as an herbal tea or used in the preparation of soups and stews.Swingle 1941 Luo han guo is also used as a plant-derived substitute for sucrose.Pawar 2013 In Chinese traditional and folk medicine, S. grosvenorii has been used for treatment of cough, phlegm, asthma, bronchitis, pharyngitis, sore throat, obesity, acute gastritis, and constipation. It is believed to act as a pulmonary demulcent.

In 1941, the then newly published species was given the name M. grosvenorii in honor of Gilbert Grosvenor who, as president of the National Geographic Society, helped fund an expedition in the 1930s to determine where and how the plant was being cultivated.Swingle 1941


S. grosvenorii contains numerous triterpenoids, flavonoids, vitamins, proteins, saccharides, and a volatile oil. Mogrosides are a group of triterpenoid glycosides from the fruit of the plant and are regarded as the main active ingredient responsible for the sweet taste and biological effects of S. grosvenorii.Li 2014 The main mogrosides include the following: mogroside IV, mogroside V, siamenoside I, iso-mogroside V, and 1-oxomogroside-V.Chen 2005, Hussain 1990, Kinghorn 1987, Makapugay 1985, Pawar 2013, Tsang 2001 Mogroside V is the most abundant of the major sweet-tasting constituents and is a cucurbitane-type triterpenoid glycoside.Soejarto 2019 Siamenoside I is the sweetest among the cucurbitane glycosides.Li 2014 Mogroside V and siamenoside I are 300 and 563 times as sweet as sucrose, respectively.Pawar 2013 These compounds work by modulating the heterodimer T1R2-T1R3 sweet taste receptors.Soejarto 2019

A number of cucurbitane tetracyclic triterpenoid acids, such as siratic acids A-F, have also been isolated, as well as momorgrosvin, a ribosome inactivating protein.Li 2014, Tsang 2001 Other compounds include siraitiflavandiol from the flavandiol classZheng 2009 and a saponin named siraitic acid IIB.Li 2009

Uses and Pharmacology

Animal studies have revealed antiatherosclerotic and antiallergy activities of S. grosvenorii extracts.(Murata 2010) In addition, luo han guo has been suggested to have antitussive, antiasthmatic, antioxidant, liver-protectant, glucose-lowering, immunostimulant, immune-regulating, anticancer, antibacterial, and antifatigue properties.(Li 2014)

Antibacterial activity

Animal and in vitro data

In vitro, siraitiflavandiol demonstrated antibacterial activity against oral bacterial species, such as Streptococcus mutans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Candida albicans.(Zheng 2009) In vitro data demonstrate that bioactive phytochemicals in the leaf of S. grosvenorii are a source of antibacterial activity and that activity against Streptococcus mutans is likely due to the inhibition of glucosyltransferase.(Zheng 2011)

Antifatigue effects

Animal data

In a study evaluating effects of S. grosvenorii fruit extracts (100, 200, or 400 mg/kg body weight) on physical fatigue in mice, significant dose-dependent antifatigue effects were observed.(Liu 2013)

Antihyperglycemic effects

Animal data

Antihyperglycemic effects of the crude S. grosvenorii extract in rats via the inhibition of maltase have been demonstrated, with effects at least partially exerted by triterpene glycosides.(Suzuki 2005) Improved glucose, lipid utility, and increased insulin sensitivity were observed as a possible result of adenosine monophosphate–activated kinase (AMPK) activation by crude mogrosides isolated from luo han guo in several diabetic rodent models.(Chen 2011) Findings also demonstrated that the hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activities of mogroside-rich extracts are probably attributed to the attenuation of insulin resistance and activation of hepatic AMPK signaling.(Liu 2019)

Antineoplastic activity

Animal and in vitro data

Antineoplastic activity has been attributed to the norcucurbitacins isolated from the plant. Siraitic acids IIB and IIC have shown antitumor effects in several lung and liver cancer cell lines.(Li 2009) The extract has also been reported to have suppressive effects on dicyclanil-promoted hepatocellular proliferative lesions in mice models.(Matsumoto 2009) Several studies have indicated anticancer effects, such as delayed development of papillomas in skin carcinogenesis models. Inhibition of Epstein-Barr virus activation has also been observed in vitro.(Ukiya 2002) In vitro, siraitic acid IIB demonstrated antitumor activity against lung cancer cells A-549 and liver cancer cells Hep-G2. Siraitic acid IIC has also inhibited liver cancer cells Hep-G2.(Li 2009) In vivo results suggest that mogroside V inhibits hyperglycemia-induced lung cancer cell migration and invasion through reversing epithelial-mesenchymal transition and damaging cytoskeleton.(Chen 2019)

Antioxidant and immunomodulatory activity

Animal and in vitro data

Antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties have been demonstrated.(Suzuki 2005) Polysaccharides from S. grosvenorii promoted the proliferation of spleen cells and regulated the level of reactive oxygen species in vitro. In mice, it also raised superoxidase dismutase activity and regulated the cytokine levels of the spleen and thymus in vivo.(Zhang 2011)


Clinical data

The American Diabetes Association's updated guidelines on the standards of medical care in diabetes (2021) recommends an individualized medical nutrition therapy program as needed to achieve treatment goals for all people with type 1 or 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes (level A) with low-calorie or non-nutritive sweeteners used only as a short-term replacement strategy for those who consume sugar-sweetened beverages regularly. Overall, a decrease in both sweetened and non-nutritive-sweetened beverages and use of other alternatives, with an emphasis on water, should be encouraged (level B).(ADA 2021)

Sweetening properties

Animal data

The natural sweetening abilities of PureLo, a noncaloric sweetener that is the dried concentrate of luo han guo, was tested on mice at dose levels ranging from 0 to 100,000 ppm. This 28-day dietary study resulted in no associated toxicity.(Marone 2008)


Clinical data are lacking to provide dosing recommendations. However, the fruit is consumed in normal amounts in the form of herbal teas or soups. The sweetener PureLo is intended for use at a fraction of 1%, far lower than the 10% constituting the highest level tested. Research with PureLo has shown it is aversive to humans at extremely high concentrations.Marone 2008

Pregnancy / Lactation

Avoid use. Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.


None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

Several toxicity studies have been performed with the dried fruit concentrate in mice and dogs.Qin 2006 These studies did not reveal any adverse reactions or toxicity with dietary use of luo han guo.Marone 2008


Certain luo han guo refined fruit extracts are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) according to the US FDA, for use as sweeteners.Soejarto 2019 The acute toxicity of mogrosides was found to be lower than that of table salt and citric acid (median lethal dose, 3 and 6.73 g•kg−1, respectively) following oral administration to rats.Liu 2018

Index Terms

  • Momordicaceae



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This product may adversely interact with certain health and medical conditions, other prescription and over-the-counter drugs, foods, or other dietary supplements. This product may be unsafe when used before surgery or other medical procedures. It is important to fully inform your doctor about the herbal, vitamins, mineral or any other supplements you are taking before any kind of surgery or medical procedure. With the exception of certain products that are generally recognized as safe in normal quantities, including use of folic acid and prenatal vitamins during pregnancy, this product has not been sufficiently studied to determine whether it is safe to use during pregnancy or nursing or by persons younger than 2 years of age.

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Murata Y, Ogawa T, Suzuki YA, et al. Digestion and absorption of Siraitia grosvenorii triterpenoids in the rat. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2010;74(3):673-676.20208371
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Qin X, Xiaojian S, Ronggan L, et al. Subchronic 90-day oral (gavage) toxicity study of a luo han guo mogroside extract in dogs. Food Chem Toxicol. 2006;44(12):2106-2109.17011100
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Ukiya M, Akihisa T, Tokuda H, et al. Inhibitory effects of cucurbitane glycosides and other triterpenoids from the fruit of Momordica grosvenorii on epstein-barr virus early antigen induced by tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate. J Agric Food Chem. 2002;50(23):6710-6715.12405766
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