The love for sugar is irresistible! While we may blame our taste buds for the fondness of all sweet things and nonstop sugar cravings, do we know the reason behind that insatiable and eager sweet tooth is genetic factors? Yes, we can blame them.

Thanks to the bounteous world of herbs that provide many alternatives for us to try and use the best one to beat sweet pangs. Instead of white sugar which is made from corn, cane, or sugar beet and processed heavily, natural sweeteners are relatively safer and do not have any side effects even if used for a long time. One such natural sweetener is monk fruit, or Lo Han Guo, a petite green melon native to China. Member of the Cucurbitaceae family (better known as the gourd family), this fruit is believed to have been named after monks who began its cultivation centuries ago. The sweetener is made from dried fruit extract by removing the outer skin and seeds, and then drying it into powder form. It is considered about a hundred times sweeter than an artificial sweetener and can easily be added to coffee, tea, salad dressings, juices, cereals, and smoothies.
Monk Fruit

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Health Benefits

In traditional Chinese medicine, the benefits of using monk fruit (also known as swingle fruit) as a sweetener have been well-known. Some of them are:

Free From Chemicals

Just like all-natural sweeteners such as stevia, honey, or gudmar that have no added chemical products and do not interfere with the physiological processes of the body, monk fruit is also a dried version of the plant and is precisely what is and can straight away be dipped into a beverage or added into a meal

Augments Metabolism Process

Monk sweetener as compared to most of its artificial counterparts is easier to metabolize and does not give the body any strenuous activity when it comes to digesting it or breaking it up.  This help in aiding metabolism.

Source Of Energy

Any sweetener be it natural or artificial is a potent source of energy as all sweeteners tend to break down and become an energy source. Monk fruit also provides ample energy to the body to perform many bodily functions without getting accumulated in the form of fats. 

Diabetic Friendly

Monk fruit contains a natural compound called mogroside which is responsible for the sweet flavour it provides.  This glycoside is generally considered safe for people suffering from chronic diabetes. Therefore, monk fruit extracts do not spike blood sugars levels instantly.

Also Read: Diabetes: 5 Incredible Herbs For Controlling Blood Sugar Levels- Infographic

Side Effects Of Monk Fruit Sweetener

While there are not any severe known side effects and monk fruit allergies are rare, if one is allergic to gourds then there could be some side effects such as difficulty in breathing, extremely rapid or a very feeble pulse, hives, nausea, and, wheezing problems. You should consult your doctor before starting with this sweetener.


Monk fruit is a tiny round fruit belonging to the herbaceous perennial vine of the gourd family. Not very popular until about a decade, now this natural sweetener is making its way into the wellness mainstream. It can be used to prepare tea, or coffee or added to any beverage or food item. Though it has many health benefits and is a great sweetener, the fruit has many drawbacks. Firstly, it is a scarce fruit and extracts are not easily available.  Though Asian markets do sell imported dried monk fruit since it is imported, it makes monk fruit an expensive sweetener and not everyone can find it and afford it. For some people, the aftertaste of monk fruit is not very pleasant, and some may take time to acquire the taste of this sweetener. However, it is indeed one of the best natural sweeteners available to mankind and can be safely used by people who are advised to cut down on their refined sugar content.