Monk fruit (Siraitia grosvenorii), or Luo han guo, is a fruit native to southeast Asia and a member of the gourd (Cucurbitaceae) family. It is a natural sweetener with many health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer effects, promoting heart and liver health and reducing fatigue. Read more to learn about the benefits and side effects of this fruit.
Monk fruit extract is derived from the pulp of the fruit and is used to sweeten foods and beverages without the calories of sugar. In addition, the extract appears to lower both blood sugar and blood lipids in experimental models of animal diabetes.  The active sweet substances appear to be the mogrosides which are about 2- 300 times the as sweet as table sugar. The mogrosides also function as antioxidants, potentially limiting the oxidative damage caused by high levels of blood glucose.
Along with its magical sweetening powers, monk fruit has long been regarded as the “longevity fruit” thanks to its high antioxidant levels. Throughout history, it was also used medicinally as an expectorant, cough remedy and for help with other respiratory ailments.