Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., LAc., Dipl.Ac.
Gou Qi Zi (苟杞子) or Chinese wolfberries (Fructus Lycii) have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years as a medicinal and a longevity food. They’re sweet and tart and according to TCM theory, have an affinity for the Liver, Kidney and Lung meridians. The medicinal action of goji berries is to supplement the Kidneys and Liver, moisten the Lungs and brighten the eyes. In Chinese Medicine the indications for its use are: Lumbago, sore knees, dizziness, blurred vision, cough, diabetes, and seminal emission. From a Biomedical perspective the action of goji berries may originate from the high antioxidant levels contained in the fruit; like vitamin C and Vitamin A. Antioxidants are known to protect against free –radical damage, for up-regulating immune functions, and for their cancer protective properties. Gojis are also a great source for iron, potassium, and protein.
Goji berries can be incorporated into your diet in many ways. You can eat a handful a day, soak a couple of table spoonful’s in hot water or use them whole in your daily smoothie; they can be added to main dishes, salads, salsas, and soups or you can add several to a cup of hot tea. There’s no limit to the ways they can be used, and no matter how you consume them, you end up reaping the nutritional benefits offered by this tiny berry!