Goji Berry

Wolfberry, commercially called goji berry, is the common name for the fruit of two very closely related species: Lycium barbarum (Chinese: 寧夏枸杞;pinyinNíngxià gǒuqǐ) and L. chinense (Chinese枸杞pinyingǒuqǐ), two species of boxthorn in the family Solanaceae (which also includes the potato,tomatoeggplantdeadly nightshadechili pepper, and tobacco). It is native to southeastern Europe and Asia.[1]

It is also known as Chinese wolfberrymede berrybarbary matrimony vinebocksdornDuke of Argyll’s tea treeMurali (in India),[2] red medlar, ormatrimony vine.[3] Unrelated to the plant’s geographic origin, the names Tibetan goji and Himalayan goji are in common use in the health food market for products from this plant.

Uses

Wolfberries are usually sold in open boxes and small packages in dried form.

Culinary

As a food, dried wolfberries are traditionally cooked before consumption. Dried wolfberries are often added to rice congee and almond jelly, as well as used in Chinese tonic soups, in combination with chicken or pork, vegetables, and other herbs such as wild yamAstragalus membranaceusCodonopsis pilosula, and licorice root. The berries are also boiled as an herbal tea, often along with chrysanthemum flowers and/or red jujubes, or with tea, particularlypu-erh tea,[citation needed] and packaged teas are also available.

Various wines containing wolfberries (called gǒuqǐ jiǔ; 枸杞酒) are also produced,[22][23] including some that are a blend of grape wine and wolfberries.

At least one Chinese company[citation needed] also produces wolfberry beer, and New Belgium Brewery makes their seasonal Springboard ale with wolfberries used as flavoring. Since the early 21st century, an instant coffee product containing wolfberry extract has been produced in China.[citation needed]

Young wolfberry shoots and leaves are also grown commercially as a leaf vegetable.[citation needed]

Preliminary medical research

Marketing literature for wolfberry products including several “goji juices” suggest that wolfberry polysaccharides have biological effects and possible health benefits, although no such claims have been supported by peer-reviewed research or approved by any regulatory agency.

A 2008 pilot study[24] indicated that parametric data did not show significant differences between subjects receiving Lycium barbarum berry juice and subjects receiving a placebo; the authors, nevertheless, concluded that subjective measures had been affected. This study was subject to various criticisms concerning its experimental design and interpretations.[25]

Published studies have also reported biological effects of Lycium barbarum in animal models,[26] and inferred from this basic research that there may be potential benefits against cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases,[27][28] vision-related diseases[29] (such as age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma[30]) or from neuroprotective,[31]anticancer[32] or immunomodulatory activity.[33]

In Traditional Chinese MedicineLycium leaves may be used in a tea,[34] together with the root bark (called dìgǔpí ). A glucopyranoside (namely (+)-Lyoniresinol-3α-O-β-d-glucopyranoside) and phenolic amides (dihydro-N-caffeoyltyramine, trans-N-feruloyloctopamine, trans-N-caffeoyltyramine and cis-N-caffeoyltyramine) isolated from wolfberry root bark have inhibitory activity in vitro against human pathogenic bacteria and fungi.[35][36]

 

{Information courtesy Wikipedia}