Lycium barbarum, also known as Goji berry, is an amazing Chinese superfood tonic herb that not only helps to support health and longevity, but is also delicious to eat!
Goji berries grow mainly in Tibet and northwestern China. These countries have some of the most pure, nutrient-rich soil on earth. These bright red berries are usually harvested in late summer or early autumn and have been used extensively for at least 5,000 years. They have been mentioned in Ancient Chinese medical texts, starting with the seminal work in Shen Nong’s Emperor’s Classic of Materia Medica which dates back to around 300 BC.
Lycium has been esteemed by Chinese healers and the world as an herb, a health food, a superfruit, and a superfood. Scientific analysis has discovered that lycium contains a high level of many important nutrients including polysaccharides, carotenoids, vitamins such as B1, B12, C and E, minerals, 18 amino acids, including all eight essential amino acids, sterols, micronutrients, phytochemicals, antioxidants, tetraterpenoids , antibacterial agents, and 21 trace elements important to the body, including copper, zinc, calcium, selenium, and phosphorus. In fact, it is considered to be one of the most nutritional foods in existence. Lycium is low in calories and is great for people on diets who may not get enough vitamins and minerals.
Research has shown that polysaccharides are excellent sources of the essential sugars necessary for healthy immune function and intercellular communication. These polysaccharides enhance health by maintaining normal cell growth and may help slow the aging process. Polysaccharides are a source of probiotic fiber.
The five unsaturated fatty acids, including the essential fatty acids in goji berries, help the body produce hormones and assist the smooth functioning of the brain and nervous system. The beta-sitosterol acts as an anti-inflammatory agent while the five carotenoids protect your eyes. The phenolic pigments in lycium are associated with antioxidant properties that help in maintaining strong cardiovascular health. The vitamins are necessary to help convert food into energy.
While Lycium does grow wild in North America, it is usually not convenient for most people to go out and harvest it. Benefiting from this amazing herb is easily done using the dried goji berry powder which can be added to warm or cold beverages or other recipes.
Lycium fruit has traditionally been used to increase life span, brighten the eyes, enhance the appearance of the skin, and treat many other issues, such as boosting the immune system, protecting the liver, reducing fatigue, fighting free radicals, curbing the appetite, and more.
As a Yin replenisher, Lycium is perfect for summertime when we tend to lose moisture due to the heat. Lycium is well-known for building fluids and maintaining hydration as well as building and nourishing blood. It is the perfect tonic herb superfood for staying healthy, energized, and replenished in the hot summer month of August.
Article Courtesy of Jing Herbs, found here