Goji Berries Benefits

Goji Berries
Latin Name

Lycium barbarum

Also Known As

Wolf Berries

Origin

China, Tibet, Nepal

Parts Used

Berries

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Revered for time immemorial, the goji berry has an ancient history in China. It has been used for over 6,000 years as an all round health tonic and made its first appearance in recorded history in 250 BCE, courtesy of the Emperor Shen Nong in his book “Shen Nong Ben Cao Jin”.

Goji berries were used for anything from liver support, male impotence and premature greying to eye disorders. One of the newest “ancient” discoveries, the goji berry is enjoying a renaissance in the modern world with various parts of the plant used for teas, tinctures, creams, energy bars and much more.

Goji Berry Benefits

Antioxidant

With an oxygen radical antioxidant capacity (ORAC) score of 3,290, goji berries are in the premier league of superfruits. Not only that, they are packed with antioxidant vitamins and minerals – coupled with phytonutrients that have a strong antioxidant capacity - the goji berry is a useful weapon in your arsenal if you are embarking on a detox and cleanse.

In a 2011 study by Bucheli P et al, it was concluded that a daily portion of goji berries increased levels of the antioxidant zeaxanthin by 26% and increased overall antioxidant capacity by a whopping 57%. The study was conducted with healthy elderly men and women who drank a milk based goji berry drink for 90 days.

Eye Health

Providing over 40% of the RDI of vitamin A, goji berries can help to protect against all manner of age related eye diseases. Vitamin A is notorious for its role in eye health – not only does it produce the pigments in the retina, it enables eyes to adjust to light changes, keeps eyes moist and improves night vision. The aforementioned zeaxanthin has been proven to protect the retina from the damaging effects of light.

Immune System

Goji berries contain unique compounds known as Lycium barbarum polysaccharides, with research showing these compounds enhance the body’s ability to resist disease. They are also rich in vitamin C – crucial to the body in its efforts to fight infections (both bacterial and viral), white blood cells contain 20 times the amount of vitamin C than other cells and require constant replenishment to keep the immune system working to its optimum capacity.

Goji berries support the immune system in that they promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. They contain pre-biotic fibre which feeds the probiotic bacteria which in turn will enhance the function of the immune system.

Liver Health

The reputation of goji berries to support liver health is now backed up by science. The have been found to contain betaines – neutral chemical compounds shown to reduce fatty deposits in the liver. This is why you will find goji berries making a regular appearance in liver cleansing tonics and detox programmes.

Stabilise Blood Sugar

With a low glycaemic index (GI) of just 29, goji berries are one of the few fruits that can be enjoyed by diabetics. They won’t cause a spike in blood sugar and there have been some studies that show goji berries may have a positive impact on reducing insulin resistance.

Typical Use
SUGGESTED DOSAGE   Wildcrafted Berries from China They can be eaten every day and a typical daily dose range is 8-30 grams.   Goji Berries Herbal Tincture 2-4mls up to 3 times a day Or as recommended by a herbal practitioner.  
Folklore and History
" The Bao Shu Herb store recorded a wolfberry elixier that promotes longevity..The formula was passed on to an elderly man… who lived for over 100 years, this man could walk extremely fast as if he was flying, and his grey hair turned black again. The herb is mellow and can be taken often to eliminate excessive heat in the body, and will also improve vision" La Shiz Hen, Chinese Physician, published in 1593 AD. The famous Chinese LI Qing Yuen lived to 252 years old and was reported to eat Goji berries.   Goji Berries
Constituents
  • Contains 19 amino acids the building blocks of protein including all eight that are essential for life.
  • Contains 21 trace minerals, including germanium, an anti-cancer trace mineral rarely found in foods.
  • Contains more protein than whole wheat (13 percent).
  • Contains a complete spectrum of antioxidant carotenoids, including beta-carotene (a better source than even carrots!) and zeaxanthin (protects the eyes). Goji berries are the richest source of carotenoids of all known foods.
  • Contains Vitamin C at higher levels than even those found in oranges.
  • Contains B-complex vitamins, necessary for converting food into energy.
  • Contains Vitamin E (very rarely found in fruits, only in grains and seeds).
  • Contains Beta-Sitosterol, an anti-inflammatory agent. Beta-Sitosterol also lowers cholesterol and has been used to treat sexual impotence and prostate enlargement.
  • Contains essential fatty acids, which are required for the body's production of hormones and for the smooth functioning of the brain and nervous system.
  • Contains Cyperone, a sesquiterpene that benefits the heart and blood pressure, alleviates menstrual discomfort, and has been used in the treatment of cervical cancer.
  • Contains Solavetivone, a powerful anti-fungal and anti-bacterial compound.

  • Precautions
    Not advisable for those taking blood thinning agent walfarin. Can cause diarrhea and skin irritation if taken in excess. Wolfberries have no toxicity, but should be avoided if one has a spleen deficiency.