What Is Monk Fruit?

Posted: 04/06/2021

Monk fruit (Siraitia grosvenorii, also known as luo han guo) is a small, round melon that is native to Southern China and Northern Thailand. It is cultivated for its fruit extract, called mogrosides, which can be used as a natural sweetener. Below, learn how this zero-calorie sugar alternative can enhance your tea sipping experience.

Delicious, Guilt-Free Sweetness from Fruit

Monk fruit is prized for its sweet fruit extracts, which have long been used as both a medicinal ingredient and a natural sweetener. Monk fruit juice is 15-20 times sweeter than sugar, while powdered monk fruit extract is 150-200 times sweeter than sugar. It has a clean flavor profile with no lingering aftertaste, as some other natural sweeteners do. Monk fruit can be used to replace added sugar in a wide range of foods and beverages, such as tea. 

Citizens can experience the delicious, zero-calorie sweetness of monk fruit in these premium products from The Republic of Tea:

Wellness Benefits of Monk Fruit

In the Chinese herbal healing tradition, monk fruit is believed to be a longevity aid and to soothe coughs and sore throats.* The first recorded use of monk fruit in the West did not occur until 1938. An unpublished manuscript written by G. Weidman Groff and Hoh Hin Cheung outlined the fruit’s use as an ingredient in “cooling drinks,” i.e. remedies for fever, heat exhaustion, inflammation and other dysfunctions associated with warmth or heat.* 

Today, monk fruit is primarily used as a natural, low or no-calorie sweetener. It is GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) affirmed by the FDA, and has become a popular ingredient for individuals following a ketogenic diet.* Monk fruit is also an ideal sugar substitute for anyone managing their weight or sugar intake, as it is rated zero on the glycemic index.*

Monk Fruit Origins and History

Monk fruit has been cultivated in the mountains of Southern China for hundreds of years. This region is warm, lush and frequently shrouded in mist, making it an ideal climate for growing this delicate fruit. The earliest records of luo han guo have been found in the writings of 13th-century Buddhist monks in Guilin, hence the name “monk fruit” or “Buddha fruit.”

For centuries, these monks studied and cultivated luo han guo, hand-picking the fruit and drying it before incorporating it into healing infusions. Throughout Asia, monk fruit has also long been used as a low-calorie functional beverage and sugar-free sweetener. 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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