Closely allied to the lychee, the longan has been referred to as the ‘little brother of the lychee’. Longan is slightly smaller than lychee, and with a dull brown skin which is smoother than that of the lychee. The fruit taste is similar, and the value of longan on the market is due to the fact that its season follows that of the lychee, extending the period when this type of fruit is available. According to the esteemed scholar, Prof. G. Weidman Groff, the longan is less important to the Chinese as an edible fruit, more widely used than the lychee in Oriental medicine. – Longan is used as remedy for stomach ache, insomnia, amnesia, and dropsy. – The fruit is said to invigorate the heart and spleen, nourish the blood and have a calming effect on the nervous system. – A spoonful of longan tonic made of equal quantities of longan flesh and sugar simmered in water till it is reduced to a syrup consistency is recommended twice a day. – A decoction of the dried flesh is taken as a tonic and treatment for insomnia and neurasthenic neurosis. – In Vietnam, the “eye” of the longan seed is pressed against snakebite in the belief that it will absorb the venom.