21 Amazing Benefits Of Litchis (Lychees) For Skin, Hair, And Health

Reviewed By Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and certified Personal Trainer Alexandra Dusenberry, MS, RDN
by Tanya Choudhary
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition

The blazing summers bring along a variety of juicy and water-based fruits that are enough to tantalize our taste buds. I’m sure most of you await the arrival of the exotic litchis. They may be small in size, but as they say, ‘big surprises come in small packages’. Did you know that in ancient China, gifting litchi to kings and queens was considered to be a great honor?

There are numerous beauty and health benefits of litchi fruit, from aiding weight loss and digestion to treating influenza and reducing the signs of aging. First let us know small brief about what is lychee and are lychees good for you.

Litchi – A Brief

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Scientific Name – Litchi chinensis
Family – Sapindaceae
Native – Kwangtung and Fukien provinces in the Southern China
Other Names – Lichi (Hindi), Vilazi pazham (Tamil), Lichi Pazham (Malayalam)

Litchi or lychee is grown in tropical and subtropical regions and is popular all over the world. This flavorful and juicy fruit grows in clusters on a slow-growing medium-sized evergreen tree that bears this fruit for a limited time only. This tree also bears pretty spring flowers that are really short-lived.

It has a round or oval shape with a pinkish-brown rind, translucent to white flesh, and an inedible seed. It may have a short shelf life, but this juicy summer treat has more than just taste to offer. Is lychee healthy? Yes It is highly rich in nutrients and offers numerous benefits for your skin, hair, and health that make it all the more irresistible.

Lychee Nutrition Facts

Litchis have a high nutritional value. They are very rich in vitamin C, containing about 71.5 mg per 100 grams. They are also rich in copper and phosphorus. What makes litchis unique is that they contain the polyphenol oligonol that has antioxidant and antiviral properties.

For a more detailed overview of the nutritional value of litchis, refer to the chart below.

PrincipleNutrient ValuePercentage of RDA
Energy66 kcal3.3%
Carbohydrates16.53 g12.7%
Protein0.83 g1.5%
Total Fat0.44 g2%
Cholesterol0 mg0%
Dietary Fiber1.3 g3.5%
Folates14 µg3.5%
Niacin0.603 mg3.5%
Choline7.1 mg1%
Pyridoxine0.100 mg9%
Riboflavin0.065 mg5%
Thiamin0.011 mg1%
Vitamin A0 mg0%
Vitamin C71.5 mg119%
Vitamin E0.07 mg0.5%
Vitamin K0.4 µg0.3%
Sodium1 mg0%
Potassium171 mg3.5%
Calcium5 mg0.5%
Copper0.148 mg16%
Iron0.31 mg4%
Magnesium10 mg2.5%
Manganese0.055 mg2.5%
Phosphorus31 mg4.5%
Selenium0.6 µg1%
Zinc0.07 mg0.5%
Carotene-ß0 µg
Crypto-xanthin-ß0 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin0 µg

Benefits Of Litchis

Skin Benefits

  1. Prevent Signs Of Aging
  2. Help Remove Blemishes
  3. Reduce Sunburns

Hair Benefits

  1. Promote Hair Growth
  2. Provide A Distinct Shine To Your Mane

Health Benefits

  1. Have Anticancer Effect
  2. Promote Cardiovascular Health
  3. Improve Digestion
  4. Prevent Cataract
  5. Act Against Influenza
  6. Aid Weight Loss
  7. Regulate Blood Circulation
  8. Prevent Blood Vessel Rupture
  9. Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  10. Provide Instant Energy
  11. Protect From Herpes Virus
  12. Strengthen Immunity
  13. Regulate Blood Pressure
  14. Provide Stronger Bones
  15. Prevent Anemia
  16. Increase Libido

Litchi Benefits For Skin

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Litchis are simply amazing for our skin. Whether you are suffering from ugly wrinkles or dry skin, these exotic fruits have a solution for everything.

1. Prevent Signs Of Aging

As you grow older, your skin starts to show the first signs of aging. Litchis, when used topically, can help delay their appearance.

What You Need
  • 4-5 litchis, deseeded and peeled
  • ¼ ripe banana
What You Have To Do

1. Mash the banana and litchis. Mix well so that they form a smooth paste.
2. Gently massage the paste on your face and neck using circular motions.
3. Keep the mask on for 15 minutes and rinse with cold water.

Why This Works

As you age, your body produces more and more free radicals. These free radicals damage your skin and cause wrinkles. Litchis are rich in antioxidants that combine with the free radicals and prevent them from damaging your skin (1).

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2. Help Remove Blemishes

Blemishes are the bane of anyone who seeks flawless skin. Applying litchi juice can help fade away the blemishes and marks, leaving you with clear skin.

What You Need
  • 4-5 litchis, peel and seed removed
  • 2-3 cotton balls
What You Have To Do

1. Mash the litchis to make a paste.
2. Soak the cotton balls in the paste, and apply to your face or just the affected areas.
3. Keep for 15 minutes, and wipe off with a clean washcloth soaked in cold water.

Why This Works

Blemishes are basically spots bearing the signs of hyperpigmentation. Litchis are excellent sources of vitamin C (2). This makes them a potent cure for blemishes (3).

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3. Reduce Sunburns

Spending too much time in the sun can cause redness and blisters. Sunburns can cause pain and irritation, and applying litchi infused with vitamin E can help soothe your inflamed skin.

What You Need
  • 3-4 litchis, peel and seed removed
  • 1 vitamin E capsule
What You Have To Do

1. Extract the juice from the litchi pulp. To do this, you need to mash the pulp and pass it through a strainer.
2. Puncture the vitamin E capsule and add it to the juice.
3. Apply to the affected areas and rinse with cold water after 30 minutes.

Why This Works

Litchi is effective for treating sunburns because of its vitamin C content. A combination of vitamins C and E has been proven to treat the effects of the sun on the skin (4).

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Litchi Benefits For Hair

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Apart from being a blessing for your skin, litchis also add shine and bounce to your hair.

4. Promote Hair Growth

Be it stress or pollution, a host of factors can wreak havoc on our hair. Litchis, when used topically, can help promote hair growth.

What You Need
  • 7-8 litchis, juice extracted
  • 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel
What You Have To Do

1. Mix the litchi juice and aloe vera in a bowl.
2. Massage the mixture into your scalp.
3. Keep it on for 60 minutes, and then wash it off with a mild shampoo.

Why This Works

Your hair grows when the hair follicles are properly nourished. Copper peptides enlarge the hair follicles, which drastically reduces the resting phase of hair growth (5). Since litchi is an excellent source of copper, it helps stimulate the hair follicles and makes your hair grow.

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5. Provide A Distinct Shine To Your Mane

Is your hair losing its natural shine owing to the harsh weather conditions? Start using litchi pulp as a conditioner for your hair.

What You Need

The pulp of 8-10 litchis

What You Have To Do

1. Mash 10 litchis to make a pulp and apply this pulp to your hair.
2. Wash thoroughly after 15 minutes to achieve shiny and beautiful hair.

Why This Works

Litchi is rich in vitamin C that enables it to refurbish the shine in our hair. It is also full of copper and iron that are responsible for maintaining the original hair color.

Health Benefits Of Litchis

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The exotic and the gorgeous litchi is full of health benefits ranging from aiding weight loss to preventing cancer. Let’s take a look.

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6. Have Anticancer Effect

One of the most important benefits of litchi is that it has anticancer effects. Having it on a daily basis in any form, including litchi juice, can actually help prevent the occurrence of this fatal disease.

Why This Works

Research using litchi extracts have shown that they contain powerful antioxidants and flavonoids and have anticancer effects, which are especially effective against breast cancer cells (6).

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7. Promote Cardiovascular Health

Researches state that the antioxidants present in litchis can help promote cardiovascular health.

Why This Works

Litchis contain a compound named oligonol that promotes the production of nitric oxide (7). Nitric oxide or NO is a vasodilator, which means it helps expand the blood vessels to allow blood to flow through properly. This reduces the pressure on your heart to pump blood, reduces the wear and tear your heart goes through, and improves the overall cardiovascular health.

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8. Improve Digestion

If you frequently suffer from constipation or other disorders related to the GI tract, try consuming litchis to ease your digestion.

Why This Works

As a fruit native to the region, litchis were

consumed by the Chinese to help with digestion and relieve stomach ailments (8). Litchis have a lot of water content, which has a soothing effect on the stomach. They also have a considerable amount of fiber, which helps in digestion (9).

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9. Prevent Cataract

Cataract is a visual impairment that is caused due to the clouding of the lens in the eyes. Since cataract affects millions, there have been numerous studies conducted regarding it. One study concluded that litchis might help inhibit cataract.

Why This Works

Litchis contain phytochemicals that exhibit antioxidant and antineoplastic properties. This means that they help prevent abnormal growth of cells, which helps prevent cataract (10).

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10. Act Against Influenza

Influenza is caused by viruses and is an extremely communicable disease. Due to certain strains of these viruses showing resistance to traditional antiviral drugs, there is a need to develop new medications. Litchi fruit extracts have shown to be effective against these viruses.

Why This Works

Litchis exhibit antiviral properties due to the presence of oligonol that stops the virus from multiplying (11).

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11. Aid Weight Loss

Being a low-calorie fruit, litchi is ideal for those who are looking to lose weight.

Why This Works

Litchis don’t have too many calories, with 100 grams containing only 66 calories (12). They also contain a lot of water, a significant amount of fiber, and have negligible fat content. This makes them ideal for those looking to lose weight.

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12. Regulate Blood Circulation

Litchis have been found to help in proper blood circulation throughout our body, thus ensuring smooth functioning of organs and organ systems.

Why This Works

The presence of a variety of nutrients, including magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, folate, and vitamin C, plays an important role in making litchis a blessing for our circulatory system (13).

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13. Prevent Blood Vessel Rupture

Consuming litchis or litchi juice can help in controlling abnormal bruising owing to blood vessel rupture.

Why This Works

Litchi is rich in abundant polyphenols like the bioflavonoid called rutin. This makes it a necessity when it comes to the strengthening of the blood vessels (14). This property also makes it useful in treating conditions like varicose veins and hemorrhoids.

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14. Anti-Inflammatory Agents

Including delicious litchis in your diet can help treat inflammation and tissue damage that can happen due to various factors, including vigorous exercise.

Why This Works

It has been found out that flavanol-rich litchi fruit extracts (FRLFE) possess anti-inflammatory properties (15).

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15. Provide Instant Energy

Having litchis in the morning can provide the much-needed kick start to your day.

Why This Works

Litchi is rich in vitamin C, which serves a number of important functions in the body including being an important co-factor in all enzymatic reactions. It plays an essential role in the production of collagen and carnitine that are required to break down fat, providing us with instant energy (16).

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16. Protect From Herpes Virus

Litchis can also protect us from the deadly herpes virus.

Why This Works

This wonderful fruit has proanthocyanidins that carry very powerful antiviral properties. These properties make it effective against rare and troublesome viruses like herpes or coxsackie (17).

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17. Strengthen Immunity

Does a slight weather change make you prone to cold and cough? It’s quite possible that you have a weak immunity. Have litchis to strengthen your immunity.

Why This Works

The presence of vitamin C in litchi makes it very effective in strengthening our immunity (18). This water-soluble vitamin is full of antioxidants that protect our body from foreign germ invasion. Hence, it is a highly recommended fruit for young kids.

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18. Regulate Blood Pressure

We generally avoid pulpy fruit to maintain blood pressure. However, litchi is amazing if you want to get your blood pressure under control.

Why This Works

Litchis carry balanced potassium and sodium levels, which is absolutely necessary for maintaining proper blood pressure. Also, the vasodilatory properties of potassium enable it to soothe and relax the blood vessels in the body, leading to the controlled hypertension (19).

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19. Provide Stronger Bones

Consuming litchis regularly can make your bones stronger.

Why This Works

Litchis are full of essential compounds required for healthy bones, such as magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, iron and many others. These minerals actually increase the calcium absorption in the bones, thus making them healthy.

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20. Prevent Anemia

Litchis play an important part when it comes to the prevention of anemia.

Why This Works

This fruit contains an essential amount of copper, which increases the RBC count in the blood. We all know that anemia occurs due to decrease in the hemoglobin levels. This can be avoided by consuming litchis (20).

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21. Increase Libido

Many studies have concluded that litchi can enhance sexual desires in humans.

Why This Works

Litchi is known to stimulate the libido because of the abundance of important components like potassium, copper, and vitamin C (21).

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Litchi Fruit Side Effects

  • Litchis have high sugar content, which is why people suffering from diabetes should have them in moderation.
  • They might cause allergic reactions in some people. So, if you have had some history with it, you should totally avoid consuming litchis.
  • Litchi is also known to disturb the hormonal balance in the body. So, consume it in moderation as it can cause internal bleeding, fever or many other troubles.
  • Pregnant ladies should avoid having litchis until they are in the breastfeeding stage as they can cause hemorrhage and infections and harm your baby.

How To Store Lychee?

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Litchis are mostly grown in tropical and sub-tropical regions. They are seasonal fruits, and are usually available from June through October. They are highly perishable, and once plucked from the tree, do not ripen any further.

A pinkish-brown shell indicates that the fruit is fresh. Select litchis that are firm, feel heavy, and have a dry shell. Avoid the ones that feel soft, or have cracked shell or black spots.

Litchis don’t have a long shelf life. When stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag, they can last about 10 days. Refrigeration usually turns the shell of the litchi darker without affecting the fruit.

Recipes Using Litchis

These flavorful fruits can be used to whip up many scrumptious concoctions. Take a look:

Image: Shutterstock

1. Litchi Lemonade

Make a refreshing summer drink by adding litchi to the classic lemonade.

What You Need
  • 12 litchis, peeled and pitted
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
What You Have To Do

1. Blend the litchis till a puree is formed.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend or use a shaker to combine.
3. Serve in a tall glass with ice cubes.

2. Litchi Pudding

Who doesn’t love pudding? Here’s a quick recipe to make yummy litchi pudding.

What You Need
  • 50 g pomegranate
  • 1 ½ cups chopped litchis
  • 200 ml fresh cream
  • 1 tbsp
  • gelatin
  • 3 tbsp
  • custard powder
  • 3 cups
  • milk
  • 1 tin
  • Milkmaid sweetened condensed milk
What You Have To Do

1. Mix the custard powder in a little milk. Now, add this thick paste to rest of the milk and let it boil. Make sure the consistency is thick.
2. Soak gelatin in a dash of water and add this to the custard. Mix well. Now, add milkmaid and stir properly. Let the mix cool for some time.
3. Take another bowl and whisk the cream in it and pour it in the custard. Add pomegranate and litchi and refrigerate it for two to three hours.

Your custard is ready!

3. Litchi Iced Tea

Benefits Of Litchi

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Here’s a recipe for litchi iced tea to quench your thirst.

What You Need
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp black tea
  • 5 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 8 tbsp litchi crush/ litchi puree
  • Ice cubes
What You Have To Do

1. Boil water in a pan.
2. Add tea leaves and cover it for 20 minutes. You can add more tea if you like your tea strong.
3. Let the mix cool for half an hour and then strain it. Add litchi crush and sugar to it. You can increase or decrease the quantities of sugar and crush according to your taste.
4. Take a glass and fill it with ice cubes. Now, pour the litchi tea over it and serve chilled.

4. Other Uses

Usually, litchis are eaten with their shell and seed removed. Their sweet taste makes them a great addition to smoothies, salads, and desserts.

1. Peeled and chopped litchis can be served on a cheese platter.
2. Litchis can be added to ice cream, custard, and yogurt and served as dessert.
3. They can be dried with the rind intact so that the pulp shrinks. Dried litchis are also known as litchi nuts.

Litchi fruits are so delicious that people don’t need to be prompted to include it in their diets.

Hope you liked our post on lychee benefits. Do you know any other health benefits of lychee fruit fruit? Tell us about it in the comments section below

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Tanya Choudhary

The one with a constant energy that can leave you awed, Tanya can jump around and talk for the whole day. If not found writing away the desired articles, she can easily be spotted glued to the youtube, eyes wide, spazzing over the perfection of her favorite singer. Functioning without music (Bollywood, Hollywood, Spanish, German, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and what not- Because music is music), and a big cup of tea is an impossibility for her. Ever heard of a totally weird soul that could go frenzy over the smell of a book, especially if it's a Dan Brown or Lee Child? Yep! That would be her.