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Compilation by Armando Gonzalez Stuart, PhD

Scientific Name:

Lycium barbarum

Botanical Family:


Other Common Name:

Matrimony vine, Chinese wolfberry, Tibetan goji berry, Gou Qi Zi.

Where is it found?

Tibet, Mongolia, and China.

Parts of the plant used:

  • Fruit (berry), root bark, and sometimes the leaves.

How is it used?

  • The berries can be eaten alone, but are also processed into juices and tablets.
  • The leaves are a tea substitute.
  • The fruit has a mildly sweet licorice-type flavor and may be eaten raw or cooked.

What is it used for?

  • As an energy-restoring tonic
  •  For skin rashes and eyesight problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Against coughs
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Go ji is valued in Chinese traditional medicine for its benefits to anti-aging, vision, kidney and liver
  • Natural antioxidants theoretically have the potential for use in retarding the aging process and preventing damage to the nervous system
  • Goji’s various active ingredients also possess important antibacterial and antifungal effects
  • The Go ji berry and root bark are taken internally in the treatment of chronic fevers, internal hemorrhages, nosebleeds, tuberculosis, coughs and asthma


Safety / Precautions


  • Only the fully ripe fruits should be eaten, as the unripe fruits could theoretically be toxic
  • Products made from Go ji have not been thoroughly evaluated in pregnancy and lactation
  • Potential herb-drug interactions may exist certain medications known as blood thinners
  • Caution should be exercised if taking root bark preparations along with medications to treat diabetes
  • Commercially available products containing Go ji berry juice may also contain orange or grape juice, which are usually high in sugar

Before you decide to take any medicinal herb or herbal supplement, be sure to consult with your health care professional first. Avoid self-diagnosis and self-medication: Always be on the safe side!



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