Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Cerisier de Chine, Lechia, Leechee, Lichee, Lichia, Lici, Litchi, Litchi chinensis, Litchi de Chine, Litchia, Litchibaum, Litchipflanze, Nephelium litchi.


Lychee is a tree. The fruit is eaten as a food and used for medicine.

People take lychee for cough, fever, pain, to invigorate the body, and to promote urination.

In foods, lychee fruit is peeled and eaten alone or as part of a dish.

How does it work?

Lychee might lessen swelling and reduce feelings of pain. It might also stimulate the immune system and work as an antioxidant.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Coughs.
  • Fever.
  • Pain.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of lychee for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

It isn't known if lychee is safe. In some people, lychee might cause allergic reactions.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of lychee during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

"Auto-immune diseases" such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Lychee might cause the immune system to become more active. This might increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have an auto-immune condition, it's best to use lychee cautiously until more is known.

Allergies: Lychee might cause allergic reactions in people who are allergic to birch, sunflower seeds and other plants from the same family, mugwort, and latex.

Diabetes: Lychee extract might lower blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes and take lychee extract, monitor your blood sugar levels closely.

Surgery: Lychee extract might lower blood sugar levels. There is some concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using lychee extract at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Lychee extract might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking lychee extract along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Lychee might increase the immune system. By increasing the immune system, lychee might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.

Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.


The appropriate dose of lychee depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for lychee. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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