There are some berries which are native to Tibet, whose botanical name is Lycium barbarum, but they are known as Goji berries and have been researched on by researchers at the faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sidney, Australia.
This type of berry is an ancient Tibetan remedy, which is renowned for its officinal properties and considered a fundamental part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In Italy, instead, Goji berries are mainly famous for being food supplements aimed at people’s general wellbeing.
Asian populations have known for centuries what beneficial effects Goji berries have on health, so they are widely grown and eaten there. This product is considered to be a pillar of traditional Chinese medicine, which uses it as a treatment for many health troubles. These berries are very often mentioned in ancient and modern medicine essays.
Goji berries are a powerful remedy against ageing, thanks to their very high content in antioxidants. These berries are also very rich in carotenoids (as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, which protects retinal cells), proteins and mineral nutrients (e.g. magnesium and potassium), and they contain 18 different amino acids, some of which are essential to human beings (since our body is not able to synthesize them, so they must be introduced through food). Goji berries are also rich in vitamin E, group B vitamins (B1, B2, B6) and vitamin C. In particular, Goji berries contain several hundred times as much vitamin C as oranges.
Thanks to their nutritional properties, Goji berries are thought to be able to prevent the signs of cell ageing, the onset of cancer and to slow down macular degeneration, which can cause blindness even in old age. Goji berries are also thought to help hair to be shinier and healthier. They can help lose excess weight, when on a diet. Moreover, they are considered to boost the immune system and to reduce nausea during the first months of pregnancy, as well as to treat infertility and cases of sexual dysfunctions.
Fruit, yogurt and a handful of Goji berries are the best way to start a new day, marked by health and wellbeing. You can buy them in herbalist’s shops, specialized stores and supermarkets and you can eat them both dried or rehydrated, after soaking them in water for 10 minutes. Goji berries are also excellent for preparing herb teas: put two teaspoons in a cup, pour boiling water and wait for about 10 minutes. You can sweeten it either using sugar or honey.
The recommended daily amount is about 20g.