A native of Asia, the goji berry has been prized for centuries for aiding in general health and well-being.
The highest quality goji berry is Himalayan, but many other varieties, including those grown in Western China, Mongolia and Tibet also have powerful effects.
There are many types of goji berry, and in Tibet alone, there are 40 different varieties. The best goji products use goji berries that have the active ingredients, Polysaccharides, which facilitate the communication between cells. These products have been tested through cellular analysis to ensure that the highest quality goji berries are used.
Imagine a small red berry, about the size of a grape, growing on a vine in the hills of Tibet and Inner Mongolia. A small red berry that harvesters are careful to avoid touching with their bare hands so as not to oxidise the flesh of the fruit. It is just a small red berry containing more amino acids than bee pollen, more protein than whole wheat and more beta-carotene than carrots. A little red berry that will dry to the size of a currant in the shade of the mountains within which it has grown before being exported across the globe to those who have only recently, despite its 2000year plus traditional history, discovered it.
Goji comes in many forms these days, including juice, goji bars, goji cream and goji capsules. An excellent tea can be made from goji leaves and goji flowers are decorative and beautiful.
It is said that the Himalayans were the first natural healers, and that they shared their wisdom with the ancient herbalists of China, Tibet, and India. One of their most prized secrets was the fruit of the native goji vine, which had been flourishing in the Himalayan valleys since the beginning of time.
Those who came there to learn took the goji home with them and planted it in their own valleys, thus spreading the legend of this most marvelous and healthful fruit.
Goji is packed with anti-oxidants, powerful molecules that mop up free radicals before they can damage body cells. In Chinese trials, goji shut down cell aging in as little as six hours after the first dose. The credit goes to goji's poly-saccharides. They boost the body's production of human growth hormone, which helps build toned muscle and repair skin cells.
Experts say sipping of goji juice daily for as little as three weeks, improves your immune system's ability to fend off infections. How? Goji's amino acids and minerals trigger a 300% boost in white blood cell function and double production of infection-fighting proteins. Goji's polysaccharides actually make viruses more visible to the immune cells that are trying to destroy them.
Research has shown that many of the world's longest living people consume regular daily helpings of a tiny red fruit that may just be the world's most powerful food - the goji berry.
It is interesting to have a look at what the plant contains:
Contains 19 amino acids -- the building blocks of protein -- including nine that essential to the body.
Contains 21 trace minerals.
Contains more protein than whole wheat
Contains Vitamin C at higher levels than oranges.
. Contains complete spectrum of antioxidant carotenoids, including beta-carotene (a better source than even carrots) and zeaxanthin (protects the eyes). Goji berries are among the richest source of carotenoids of all known foods.
Contains Solavetivone, a powerful anti-fungal and anti-bacterial compound.
Contains essential fatty acids, which are required for the body's production of hormones and the smooth functioning of the brain and nervous system.
Contains Beta-Sitosterol, an anti-inflammatory agent.
The fruit is eaten either fresh or dried and can be added to cooking, cereals, trail mixes or smoothies as well as being eaten alone. The flavor of the Goji berry is difficult to describe ? sweet with a slight tartness (similar to a cranberry but sweeter).
Incredibly high in iron, Goji berries are exceptionally nutrient rich. They are especially high in Vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2 and B6, and contain considerably more Vitamin C than an orange. The Goji berry has also been found to contain other complex compounds, such as Betaine (useful for improving liver function and reputed to enhance memory), Solavetivone (a compound containing anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties), and Beta-Sitoserol (an anti-inflammatory agent that may also help in the treatment of hypertension). An average daily serving of a cup of dried Goji berries would also contain 4grams each of dietary fiber and protein.
Wolfberry fruits contain phytochemicals with antioxidant activity and could slow the ageing process. A study showed that wolfberry fruit phytochemicals help to prevent oxidation of DNA and helps to restore damaged DNA.
Studies suggest that wolfberry extracts could inhibit DNA mutation and stop the growth of cancer cells. All studies show that regression of many types of cancer could be obtained with patients, treated with LAK/IL-2 and LBP.
The phytochemical zeaxanthin dipalmitate showed a hepaprotective effect on liver cells treated with carbon tetrachloride induced hepatotoxicity.
Wolfberry fruits have traditionally been used in China to improve vision disorders such as cataracts, retinopathy and macular degeneration. Studies have shown that wolfberry reduce dark adapting time and improve vision under subdued light. This action may be attributed to the phytochemicals lutein and zeaxanthin, which neutralizes the free radicals formed by sunlight.
Goji berries grow naturally wild and in profusion in the remote ills and valleys of the Himalayas of Tibet and Inner Mongolia and can be harvested with ease.