Also called Gou Qi Zhi, and Chinese Wolfberry, these yummy small fruits have been getting a lot of attention recently in the CAM press. They’ve a taste that’s somewhere between liqorice and caramel, and I eat them by the handful. Whilst walking around the organic products trade show in london a couple weeks ago there were numerous stalls displaying these small gems. So, I felt compelled to write a little something about them.

TCM

In traditional Chinese medicine, was used to treat inflammation, , nose bleeds, pain, and a was used as a sedative agent. In western herbal medicine it is used chiefly in treating of eye ailments together with bilberry (vaccinium mertylis). This is mainly because of their high flavanoid content, which functions as a potent and slows down several types of degeneration of the eye. Additionally, there are protective activities attributed to Lycium.

This is mainly a defense against oxidants, again on account of the flavanoids and another representative – cerebroside. This constituent has been demonstrated to block the release of glutamic pyruvic transaminase and sorbitol dehydrogenase. Among the most exciting facts that has come to light from research into Goji is its potential inclusion in therapies.

This is a result of the existence of long chain polysaccahrides. These substances have been known as something which will greatly influence the action of the immune system. The polysaccharides in Goji have been demonstrated to increase the expression of interleukin 2 and TNF-alpha, which are included in orchestrating specific responses as well as the recruitment of certain cells within the immune system that really identify cancerous cells and destroy them. These polysaccharides also have been demonstrated to inhibit the development of leukemia HL-60 cells, and the Human hepatoma QGY7703.

Final note

There’s also been a fair amount of attention put on the cholesterol reducing effects of Goji. This is a result of the existence of a constituent called betasitosterol. This substance really helps to prevent the absorption of choleterol from the gut. In light of those findings, and how these berries are such a tasty treat, they will become a valuable tool for professionals of all kinds of therapy. As they are a they may be easily implemented into a patients treatment program, and I havent met anyone yet that does not them. If you havent had the pleasure of tasting these superfoods, you dont know what you’re missing!