Goji Berries – The goji berry, also known as the wolfberry, is a member of the Solanaceae or nightshade family of plants. It’s a bright orange-red berry commonly grown in the north-central and western areas of China. The ripe berry is easily damaged during picking, so it’s common for them to be carefully dried to preserve them before export. In the UK they are commonly eaten as the dried fruit or as a component of fruit juice.
Goji berries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine to manage diabetes, high blood pressure, fever, age-related eye problems and fatigue associated with living at high altitudes. Goji berries are eaten raw, cooked, or dried (like raisins) and are used in herbal teas, juices, wines and medicines. The benefits of goji berries on human health are limited at the moment, although purified extracts from these berries seem to show some health benefits in animal research and a limited number of human studies.
The blue-red colours found in goji berries, blueberries, acai berries, cranberries, strawberries, and cherries are natural anti-oxidants which may help protect the body against oxidative damage. In addition Goji berries contain complex starches called Lycium barbarum polysaccharides which may benefit the immune function, and may reduce fatigue associated with living at high altitude.