Benefits of The Goji Berry

Did You Know that the goji berry has numerous health benefits have been shown to promote longevity, reverse aging, inhibit cancer growth and provide a multitude of extraordinary healing benefits?

The goji berry, also called the wolfberry, is a tangy/sweet, red-orange colored fruit that comes from an evergreen shrub found in temperate and subtropical regions of China, Mongolia and in the Himalayas of Tibet. It also goes by the names lycium barbarum, gou qi zi or fructus lycii.

It is considered by many as the world’s most nutrient-dense food — and is rich in antioxidants, particularly carotenoids such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin.

Goji Berry Health Benefits

goji berry benefits Goji berries have a long history of health benefits. For over 6,000 years, they have been prescribed by herbalists in China, Tibet, and India to:

  • Inhibit cancer growth
  • Support normal liver and kidney function
  • Improve eyesight — protect against macular degeneration and cataracts
  • Restore libido and improve fertility
  • Strengthen the legs
  • Boost the immune system
  • Improve circulation
  • Promote longevity

In recent years, dried goji berries have become a popular health food, and goji juice has become an equally popular health beverage — counting celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, Victoria Beckham, Elizabeth Hurley and Mischa Barton as some of their avid consumers, right along with famous athletes and supermodels.

Goji berries’ popularity can perhaps be traced back to 2003 when Dr. Earl Mindell, R.Ph, Ph.D, MH, a leading nutritionist and bestselling author of The Vitamin Bible and dozens of other books; wrote a pamphlet in which he told the story of Li Qing Yuen, who lived to be 252 years old.

Dr. Mindell attributed Li’s longevity to goji berries, and called Li’s story “a powerful testimony to [this] remarkable berry…”

In Asia, goji berries have been consumed for generations because they are considered the “longevity fruit”. This may be because of goji berries’ high antioxidant content.

Eating foods high in antioxidants has been shown to slow the aging process. Furthermore, antioxidants eliminate the destructive power of free radicals, and this helps to reduce the risk of some serious diseases.

This may be one reason why people have used goji berries to treat many common health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, fever, and age-related eye problems.

We found a few published studies on goji berries’ benefits on humans.

One study, published in the Chinese Journal of Oncology in 1994, found that 79 people with cancer responded better to treatment when goji was added to their regimen. Patients taking a cancer drug together with goji exhibited 250% higher recovery rate than patients taking the drug alone.

The types of cancer that were shown to respond well to goji include malignant melanoma, renal cell carcinoma, colorectal carcinoma, lung cancer, nasopharyngeal carcinoma and malignant hydrothorax.

Remission of cancers in patients treated with goji berries lasted significantly longer than those treated without goji.

Several Studies on Goji Berry Benefits That Suggest That…

  • Goji berry extracts may prevent the growth of cancer cells, reduce blood glucose, and lower cholesterol levels.
  • Goji berries have compounds rich in vitamin A that have anti-aging benefits. These special compounds help boost immune function, protect vision, and may help prevent heart disease.
  • Goji berry extracts boost brain health and may protect against age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
  • Goji can be an effective aid to weight loss. In a study where obese patients were given goji juice twice a day, most patients lost a significant amount of weight. It appears that polysaccharides in goji reduce body weight by converting food into energy instead of fat.

Whole goji berries are sold at Chinese herbal shops. Most people consume the more readily available dried goji berries (shriveled berries that look like red raisins) and goji juice, which can be found in some health food stores (including Whole Foods), as well as online stores.

Note: There may be some possible drug interactions with goji berries.

People who take anticoagulant drugs (also called “blood thinners”), such as warfarin (Coumadin®) may want to avoid goji berries. Goji berries may also interact with diabetes and blood pressure medicines.