Goji Berries - Lycium Chinense 枸杞子
If you love berries for their health benefits, check out goji - an ancient berry native to China. Also known as Gou Qi Zi, Lycium barbarum, or Lycium chinense, goji has a rich healing history dating back to at least the third century AD. Today goji retains its popularity in traditional Chinese medicine as this tiny berry has mighty benefits.
Goji Berry Benefits for Health
Chinese legend says that the Ningxia region of Northern China, the goji capital of the world, has 16 times more people over 100 than the rest of China. Their secret? They drank water from a well where ripe goji berries fell.
Indeed, in TCM, the goji berry was endowed with many healing properties. This plant belongs to the “Tonic herbs for Yin Deficiency” category and therefore it tonifies the liver and kidney Yin as well as moistens lung Yin. Since Yin Deficiency leads to burnout, TCM practitioners also believed that goji berry consumption promotes well-being and prosperity. Over time, many scientists have joined in identifying the health benefits of this miracle berry.
Eye Health Protection
Goji berries contain zeaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant that, among other things, is able to protect the lens and retina of the eye from damage caused by external factors such as smoke and radiation. The same property helps to cope with age-related eye diseases. A study conducted among 150 elderly people showed that a three-month intake of goji berries significantly reduced central retinal hypopigmentation and yellow deposits in the eyes.
The antioxidants in goji berry boost our immunity by fighting free radicals and inflammation. Other immune-boosting components of this berry are vitamin C and vitamin A. So the study proved that the consumption of 120 ml of goji berry juice per day for a month improved overall well-being and increased the level of immune cells.
Although goji is not a substitute for diabetic medications, their supporting effect is amazing. Scientists claim they help control blood sugar levels, balance insulin and glucose levels, and increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels.
In one experiment, researchers asked participants to drink goji berry juice for two weeks and record changes in their well-being and psychological and neurological health. At the end of the experiment, participants reported increased energy, improved mood, improved concentration and quality of sleep, and a sense of calmness.
How to Eat Goji Berries?
You can eat dried or raw goji berries in their pure form. But the most popular way to consume them is in the form of a drink. We recommend steeping a small handful into tea or hot water to improve the bioavailability. If you are looking to boost immunity, try making Eight Treasure Tea, which features goji as one of the ingredients. It's also a versatile ingredient that can be used in savory or sweet dishes. We love sprinkling some goji in our apple pies for a dash of super berry power.
Note! Just because it's a super food does not mean you can consume it abundantly. Some goji berries warnings are worth considering: if you are pregnant, have GI issues, or on blood thinners, or plan to combine goji berries and diabetes medications you should check in with your physician first.
Goji Berry Extract for Skin Beauty & Health
Shennong Bencaojing, an ancient Chinese book on herbs and medicine, said that goji berries can be used to slow down aging. Until now, the fight against aging is the main (but not the only) effect of goji on your skin.
There are three goji berries benefits for skin rejuvenation. First, the antioxidants in their composition fight free radicals and oxidative stress that contribute to skin damage and aging. Second, the betaine component reduces photodamage of the skin and fights wrinkles caused by ultraviolet radiation. Finally, the high content of vitamin C helps goji to increase the level of elastin and collagen, thus giving the skin firmness and youth.
Removal of Inflammations
Another property of the mentioned betaine is the fight against inflammation. This means that goji berry skin care products are suitable and beneficial for sensitive and hypersensitive skin that is easily irritated and often prone to chronic inflammation (eczema and inflammatory acne, etc).
Skin Barrier Strengthening
The fatty acids in goji strengthen the skin barrier. This barrier performs important functions such as preventing water loss and protecting the skin from infections, external irritants, and allergens. Thus, cosmetics based on goji berries make your skin moisturized and improve its overall condition.
The healing properties of goji berries have long been famous outside of Asia. Today, they have received enough scientific evidence to become part of the self-care ritual of many beauties. A small berry and a huge benefit for your health, beauty, and well-being!