About Himalayan Goji Berries and What They’re Used For
The wolfberry plant contains leaves and flowers which produce the small, round, red-colored goji berry. What exactly is goji berry juice good for?
Goji berry juice is made using Himalayan goji berries (Lycium barbarum), also referred to as Chinese wolfberries, which are native to southeastern Europe and Asia. The goji berry, as it’s commercially called, is part of the Solanaceae flowering plant family that also includes tomatoes, potatoes, chili pepper, eggplant and tobacco. There are Himalayan goji berries and Chinese goji berries. The Himalayan berries are a bit more plump and more sweet than the Chinese berries.
Health Properties of Goji Berries
In Chinese medicine, goji berries are believed to “enhance immune system function, help eyesight, protect the liver, boost sperm production, and improve circulation, among other effects.” Goji berries are also believed to have anti-cancer properties, but according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, “the efficacy and safety of lycium products for cancer treatment in humans have not been established.” Further research and clinical studies will need to be conducted in order to determine if these berries can truly help any cancer patient.
Like the acai berry, the goji berry has been thought of as a “superfruit,” which basically means that a certain food has exceptional antioxidant quality, is very nutrient dense and has a good taste. Goji berries contain beat-carotene, vitamins C, B1 and B2, among others, 19 amino acids, essential fatty acids and antioxidants. Betasitosterol can also be found in goji berries, which is thought to help lower cholesterol levels.
Goji Berry Juice
Because goji berries have been found to be another fruit that is nutrient dense and one that contains antioxidants, internet marketing companies around the world have started developing goji berry juice products that promise one thing or another. Some products are 100% goji berry juice while others will be a blend of goji berry and may not even state the actual amount of goji berry that the juice contains. Companies who manufacture and sell goji berry juice promise that the product will help to ease aches and pains, promote weight loss, treat burns, elevate and strengthen metabolism, reduce skin irritation and inflammation and/or reduce nosebleeds. There is currently no scientific evidence that confirms or denies these claims.
Goji berry products are regulated by the FDA, but unlike these FDA approved weight loss pills, goji berry products are not closely monitored, meaning the amounts on the nutrition labels may actually be incorrect and the product may even be contaminated. Goji berries have no reported side effects. Lycium may increase the effects of any anticoagulant drugs that are currently being used. Cancer patients need to speak with an oncologist prior to starting any kind of supplement use.