COMMON NAME (Chinese Name)
Goji Berry (Gǒu Qǐ Zi)
Goji berries are rich in ﬂavonoids and carotenoids which act as antioxidants and stabilize small capillaries. They can be used to treat or prevent varicose/spider veins, peripheral neuropathies, cold feet, and intermittent claudication (it increases circulation to the legs and feet.) They are also useful for anemia due to dysfunctional uterine bleeding.
Goji, or Lycium, berries are categorized in Chinese medicine as an herb that tonifies the blood, which accounts for their use in anemia. They are classified as sweet and warm and primarily affect the Liver, Lung and Kidney channels. Goji berries are considered antioxidant, chemoprotective, liver protective, raise blood sugar, mildly lower blood pressure, are an immune tonic, and a nourishing food. Not all of these uses are adequately studied. The plant is high in flavonoids, Zeaxanthine and Cryptoxanthine, Polysaccharides, Linoleic Acid, and Vitamins B1, B2 and C.
Go qi zi is believed to nourish the Chinese Liver to improve the eyesight: its flavonoids stabilize the integrity of the small capillaries and can be used for red, dry, tired eyes, diabetic retinopathy, poor night vision, detached retina, wet macular degeneration, spots in the eyes, excessive tearing, cloudy vision, and it helps prevents glaucoma & cataracts.
Because it is a potent antioxidant, various preparations of goji berries (and their derivatives including goji berry juice, supplements, and decoctions) show significant promise for use in anti-aging skincare products, especially for treating sun-damaged skin. What’s more, drinking goji berry juice can lead to improved overall feelings of well-being, better cognitive performance*, and more regular, comfortable gastric function. Additionally, drinking goji berry juice daily can improve sleep quality, increase energy levels, and even boost athletic performance (though these effects are not immediately apparent after one dose).
As a dietary supplement, goji berry juice may do more than merely regulate gut flora to ease digestion; it may also help balance natural insulin levels while also lowering blood sugar and cholesterol, especially in people who are overweight or who follow a high-fat diet. Contrary to many claims, drinking goji berry juice hasn’t been confirmed to increase metabolism or help burn stubborn abdominal fat, slimming users’ waistlines.
* Notably, recent research suggests that Calabrian goji berry fruits, supplements, juice, and decoctions may have even better cognitive health benefits than similar Chinese goji berry derivatives.
PREPARATION & ADMINISTRATION
Eating the whole fruits and/or drinking the juice are the most popular ways to incorporate goji berry into your diet, with many recipes available online for adding whole goji berries to everyday meals. Nevertheless, goji berries are also available for purchase dried, powdered, and decocted (for use in teas) as well as in capsule form.
Though the chances of having an allergic reaction are rare, people who have a history of allergic reactions to food, especially nightshades and foods containing LTP (like stone fruits and tomatoes), are at a greater-than-average risk of having allergic reactions to goji berry derivatives. Additionally, due to the risk of interaction, people taking warfarin and similar blood-thinning medications should not ingest goji berry supplements, fruits, or juices except under medical supervision.
You should consult with a certified herbalist, physician or other qualified healthcare professional before taking goji berry.
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