The Chinese wolfberry also is known as the goji berry, and according to “The Herbal Medicine-Makers Handbook,” is one of the most nutritionally dense plants on the planet. Chinese wolfberry contains many vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential and nonessential amino acids and fats. Chinese wolfberry has many purported health benefits, but clinical research does not support all of them.
The Chinese have used the Chinese wolfberry as an herbal supplement for thousands of years. According to “The Herbal Medicine-Makers Handbook,” Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners believe that Chinese wolfberry has a balancing effect on the chi because the berry does not warm or cool. Traditional Chinese uses of the berry include improvement of eyesight, kidneys, liver, blood and lungs. Additionally, many Chinese practitioners claim the berry can prolong life. Currently available clinical evidence does not support these traditional uses of the Chinese wolfberry.
The wolfberry contains vitamins A, B-1, B-2, B-5, C and E. Additionally, the Chinese wolfberry has protein, essential fatty acids including polyunsaturated fats, and carbohydrates. The carbohydrates in this berry are complex carbohydrates essential for sustainable energy. Further, the berry offers polysaccharides and dietary fiber. The minerals available in Chinese wolfberry include iron, phosphorus, copper, calcium, germanium, manganese, magnesium and zinc.
The Food and Drug administration does not offer daily recommended guidelines for Chinese wolfberry, but “The Herbal Medicine-Makers Handbook” recommends a daily dosage between 10 and 15 g. You can purchase Chinese wolfberry supplements in pill, powder and liquid form. The best source for Chinese wolfberries, however, is the actual berry. Processing the fruit through grinding or liquidation might decrease the health benefits of the berry. Additionally, the Chinese wolfberry can spoil, and you should avoid consuming any Chinese wolfberry that smells like alcohol.
How to Take Wolfberries
The traditional preparation method for the wolfberry is to boil the berries in hot water. After boiling the berries for approximately five minutes, you will consume the beverage eating any wolfberries that have not dissolved in the water. You also can eat the Chinese wolfberry in its raw form.