Monk fruit, or luo han guo, as it is known in China is cultivated mountain-side in the beautiful sub-tropical city of Guilin. For reference, Guilin is 1,900km from the capital of China, Beijing. Far from industrial sites, Guilin has clean and beautiful air, and the monk fruits of Guilin grow in a clean and untouched agricultural environment. A small sample of the monk fruit’s flesh delivers an intense sweetness. It is this sweetness that makes the monk fruit so unique.
Guilin is famous for its picturesque views surrounded by mountains. The beauty of nature in Guilin has never stopped attracting people to visit the city. It is still one of the most visited cities in China and is proudly voted as one of “the world’s most beautiful cities”.
The origin of Guilin goes back approximately 2000 years, during the Qin Dynasty era. Qin Shi Huang successfully conquered China and placed the municipality of Guilin as the centre of politics, economics and culture for the region. Guilin is actually named after the sweet osmanthus flower, literally meaning the Forest of Sweet Osmanthus. Visitors to the city are amazed by the number of blossoms during the autumn months that fill the air with their floral and fruity fragrance.
An old story of how it came to be that monk fruit is known as the longevity fruit says that during the Qin Dynasty, there was a doctor called Luóhàn of Mien (Yao) in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. He used monk fruit as a medicine to treat coughs and sore throats and the fruit was named after him as luo han guo. Current research continues to study the luo han guo’s health related benefits. Read more about them here (link to benefits post).
The monk fruit that Lakanto uses to this day is still cultivated in the mountains of Guilin, China. To meet the growing demand for this wonder fruit, Saraya built a local factory in Guilin to produce Lakanato directly near the source of monk fruit.