Wolfberry Fruit

Wolfberry fruit, also known as goji berry is dried and used as a herb. Keep reading to learn about the various health benefits of wolfberry...
Wolfberry is a wild bush which is found in the Northwest region of China. It's fruit has been used for Chinese herbalism for thousands of years. During the Tang Dynasty, wolfberry was considered as Yin and used for many health benefits which included strengthening vision, liver, and kidney. It was also used for nourishing the blood. Growing goji berry on a commercial purpose is also done to make tea and wine. It is also used for making stews and soups. Dried fruits are also eaten like raisins. In China this fruit is used in different forms - as a fresh fruit, as a tea, or as an ingredient for making bread, stews, soups, or wine.

Wolfberry is known in the commercial market as goji berry, it is also known as barbary matrimony vine, mede berry, Chinese wolfberry, red medlar, or bocksdorn. It grows on a deciduous woody perennial plant, which has leaves that are formed in one of two ways. They will either grow in groups of three or alternately up the stem. They also appear long and narrow or egg-shaped with either blunt or rounded tips. The plant gets lavender color flowers, which has five to six lobes that form before producing the orange-reddish berries that ripen from the month of July to October depending on the geographical location. The seeds inside the berries can be 10 - 50. When the food is ripe, it is picked and dried till it shrinks, then it is placed under strong sunlight till the outside gets crusted while the inside pulp remains soft. The young wolfberry plant shoots and leaves are also grown commercially and eaten as leaf vegetable.

Goji berries contains many macro nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and dietary fiber. For a serving of 100 grams of wolfberry, there are around 370 calories. It also contains many micronutrients and phytochemicals. There are around 18 amino acids, 6 essential vitamins, 8 polysaccharides, and 6 monosaccharides present in it.
  • The fruit has been used since long time in China to improve vision-related disorders like retinopathy, macular degeneration, and cataracts. Many studies show that wolfberry helps to reduce the dark adapting time and helps improve vision under subdued light. These health benefits can be attributed to the phytochemicals like lutein and zeaxanthin, which help in neutralizing the free radicals effect which are formed by sunlight.
  • The phytochemicals with antioxidant properties can help in slowing down the aging process. As antioxidants act as scavengers against free radicals present in the body.
  • Many studies suggest that wolfberry extract can inhibit the DNA mutation and stop the growth of cancerous cells.
  • Many laboratory studies show that it helps in improving lymphocyte transformation rate and macrophage phagocytic function.
  • Other benefits include liver protection and painkilling action which occurs due to a deficient kidney.
Side Effects
While taking wolfberry, one needs to take precautions. As goji juice is believed to lower blood pressure, it can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting in a person who already have low blood pressure problems. If you are on pre-existing medication, consult your doctor before taking any herbal medicine, as it can interact with your pre-existing medication. People who are diabetic should also be careful with the amount of wolfberry intake, as it can affect their blood sugar levels.

Wolfberry is available as fresh fruit and as dried fruit. It is also available in oil, juice extract, and capsule form. Make sure you take the necessary precautions while taking wolfberry fruit or its extract to avoid any side effects.