Wolfberry Fruit Facts and Health Benefits 101

Facts about Wolfberries

The wolfberry is a woody perennial tree, called Lycium barbarum botanically. It can grow until 1 m tall. The thorny stem of the wolfberry has lance shaped green leaves, while it blooms little purple flowers.

You may have heard of the name goji berries, another name the berries are often called. The goji berry or wolfberry is indigenous to China, and is among several other plants applied in Chinese medicine.

The fruit when cultivated for commercial purpose is usually called goji berry. The names Himalayan goji and Tibetan goji do not suggest their geographic origins. Various other names of goji berry include barbary matrimony vine, mede berry, Chinese wolfberry, bocksdorn or red medlar. The ripe wolfberry turns orange red in color, with approximately 10 mm long oblong shape.


Health Benefits of Eating Goji Berries

Fresh and Dried Red Goji Berries or WolfberriesWhat are goji berries good for? Wolfberries are among the most significant traditional Chinese medicines. They have been applied for thousands of years in China to take care of the liver, improve eyesight, fortify weak legs and increase longevity.

Health Benefit of Goji Berries to Immune System

Laboratory research indicates that goji berries enhance macrophage phagocytic function as well as lymphocyte transformation rate.

Health Benefit of Wolfberries on Anti-Aging

Wolfberries have phytochemicals along with antioxidant activity that can slow down the aging process. Research indicated that phytochemicals from wolfberries help prevent DNA oxidation and revive damaged DNA.

Goji Berries are Good for Cancer Prevention

Scientific studies claim that extracts from goji berries can prevent mutation of DNA and eliminate the expansion of cancer cells. Studies also showed that regression of numerous kinds of cancer can be observed with patients who were given the treatment of LAK/IL-2 and LBP.

Wolfberries are Good at Protecting Liver

Research in China found that the hepaprotective element (zeaxanthin dipalmitate) contained in wolfberries helps combat hepatotoxicity induced by carbon tetrachloride.

Meanwhile, another research from China discovered LBP exerts hepaprotection by way of suppressing the lipid peroxidation or oxidative degradation of lipids in aging mice's liver cells. LBP helps fix liver cell damage caused by CCl4 and encourages restoration from hepatic necrosis.

Health Fact of Goji Berries on Vision Enhancement

Goji berries have been used traditionally in China to treat vision problems like cataracts, macular degeneration and retinopathy. Research indicates that goji berries lessen dark adapting time of your eyes and enhance eyesight under subdued light. All these can be related to the phytochemicals zeaxanthin and lutein, which neutralizes the effects of free radicals created by sunlight.

Wolfberry Nutrition

Wolfberries consist of various phytochemicals and nutrients including:
  • 22 trace and 11 essential minerals
  • 18 amino acids
  • 6 vitamins
  • 6 monosaccharides and 8 polysaccharides
  • 5 unsaturated fatty acids, linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid
  • 5 carotenoids, such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, lutein, cryptoxanthin and lycopene, a xanthophyll
  • beta-sitosterol along with other phytosterols
  • a number of phenolic pigments related to antioxidant properties 
Nutrition Value of 100 g Dried Goji Berries
Calcium 112 mg
Potassium 1,132 mg
Iron 9 mg
Zinc 2 mg
Selenium 50 mg
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 1.3 mg
Vitamin C 29-148 mg
Beta-carotene 7 mg
Zeaxanthin 2.4-200 mg
Polysaccharides up to 3100 mg


Goji Berries Side Effects

There could possibly be some potential herb-drug interactions with wolfberries. When you consume warfarin, you should avoid the fruit. Wolfberries may interact with drugs for diabetes and blood pressure as well.
Likewise, for people with pollen allergies, you should avoid wolfberries. However, when consumed sparsely, the berries are most often safe. Consult your physician in case you have any queries.

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