The Fruit of Longevity
Read and download the PDF product profile for Goji Berries
Read and download the profile on the Three Sacred Asian Berries
Gou Qi Zi, translated as goji berry, aka Lycium barbarum or wolfberry, is a 12–15 foot bush growing naturally in the cool, fertile valley regions of Mongolia and Tibet. Research on Tibetan medicine (conducted by Tanaduk Botanical Research) speaks of the 41 classified varieties of this highly cherished berry of which Phang.ma is the principal type. Yearly festivals in Tibet honor the plump Gou Qi Zi which grow in abundance around old monasteries in fertile soils. The Goji Berry Cooperative, a fair trade organization, provides an outlet for Tibetan and Mongolian berries to ensure the safety, tradition, continuity, growing, and proper handling of this treasure. Most goji grown in China comes from Ningxia province. Much of the research on goji has been conducted in China.
Goji, the “happy berry,” is a superior fruit due to its tonic nature of radiating good health and vitality. This fruit of longevity corrects and balances many chi deficiencies. Low-level energy conditions such as insomnia, anxiety, and nervousness are helped by the blood-clearing and regulating properties of goji. It stimulates T-cell function (which helps conditions of anemia) by building blood and encouraging lymphocyte activity and keeps the blood clean thus supporting the circulatory system. Kidney and adrenal stress and weakness, showing up as dry eyes, chronic dry cough, thirst, low-grade fever, high perspiration, and soreness in the back, knees, and legs are helped by proper water hydration, nourishing adaptogenic foods, rest, and proper exercise. Goji is a good adjunct in alleviating these series of conditions. Goji helps support the proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients which is fundamental to our health.
Goji contains 250 IUs of carotene per gram (20 grams serving is 5000 IU) and has particularly high levels of zeaxanthin making it quite rich in carotenoids. Goji contains 18 amino acids (protein building blocks) and is 13% protein. It contains many minerals (including Ca, Mg, P, Ge, Cr, Se, Zn, Cu), and is rich in B vitamins, vitamin E, essential fatty acids, vitamin C, and a wide array of rich polysaccharides (long chain sugars in a water soluble nutrient matrix) and flavonoids (plant pigment nutrients), particularly the anthocyanidins. The latter work on capillary and collagen structure, inflammation, bacterial, viral, and immune function modulation, and cardiovascular conditions. These phytonutrients (called polysaccharide glyconutrients) inhibit lipid peroxidation and contain and increase levels of SOD (superoxide dismutase) and glutathione rich components to keep cells working at optimal levels. They help support the building of muscle tissue, assist with DNA repair and restoration, and support our general well-being. Traditionally, goji is used in both China and Tibet in wines, soups, teas, and rice porridge. The bright red berry is truly the happy berry!