seeds of Siraitia grosvenorii, Momordica grosvenorii, Luo Han Guo
Siraitia grosvenorii Samen
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Siraitia grosvenorii, also called luo han guo, is an herbaceous plant species of the family Cucurbitaceae. The plant’s synonyms include Momordica grosvenorii and Thladiantha grosvenorii. The other common name for the plant is monk fruit. Siraitia grosvenorii has its origins in both Northern Thailand and Southern China. The plant’s cultivation is currently distributed all over the world, most notably in Europe and farther off in the Americas. Siraitia grosvenorii is a vine that is capable of growing to a height of 3 to 5 metres. The plant achieves a five metre-height by supporting itself on other firmly rooted plants as it climbs to the top. The leaves are heart-shaped and measure 10 to 20 cm long. Fruits are glabrous, striated, round-shaped and are either greenish-brown or yellowish-brown. Seeds are elongated and almost round-shaped. Each fruit has a sweet edible pulp that one can eat fresh. The sweetness present in the fruit is due to the many sugars it contains in addition to the mogrosides which are also present. A large percentage of the sugars present in the fruit mostly comprise glucose or fructose. The rind, on the other hand, is used to make tea. A traditional practice of the Chinese people involves drying the fruit in ovens to get rid of its aromas. What follows next is the development of astringent and bitter flavours which have a variety of purposes. The fruit can now be used to flavour tea and soups. An additional use involves the fruit’s flavour serving as a substitute sweetener for foods that would have otherwise used honey or sugar. The dried fruit is also used in traditional Chinese medical practices to prepare a remedy for sore throats and coughs. Siraitia grosvenorii grows best in the shade in fertile, well-drained soils. The plant owes it survival to the constant cultivation throughout the centuries given it doesn’t grow well in the wild.
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