GOJI – A Small Fruit WITH BIG BENEFITS but buyers beware!
by Dr. Lindsey Duncan, N.D., C.N

Many of the legendary health-giving properties of Lycium barbarum (goji’s Latin name) are today being confirmed in modern scientific studies, and this has led to the possibility of even more farreaching benefits.

Over 50 studies have already been published in prestigious health journals, including in the British Journal of Nutrition, Internal Immunopharmacology, Journal of Chinese Herbal Medicine and China Pharmacology and Toxicology.

In this article for Healthy Living, I’ll look at: The Most exciting Health Benefits of the Goji Berry!

Anti-Aging & Life Extension— Your body’s ten trillion cells are under constant attack by free radicals. These harmful agents can accelerate aging by destroying vital body cells faster than they can be replaced. Goji is known as the “longevity fruit.” It contains powerful polysaccharides and antioxidants to help defend against premature aging and to support the body to fight free-radical damage throughout the body.

Look & Feel Younger— Goji may help to stimulate the release by the pituitary gland of human growth hormone (hGH), the youth hormone. The benefits of hGH are extensive and include reduction of body fat, better sleep, improved memory, accelerated healing, restored libido and a more youthful appearance.

Get Better Sleep— Goji has been historically used in Asia for the natural treatment of insomnia. In several medical study groups with elderly people, nearly all patients taking goji reported better quality of sleep.

Protect Your DNA— DNA is the most important chemical in your body. It carries the blueprint for all the traits inherited from your ancestors, and also ensures that, as they need replacement, your ten trillion cells are faithfully reproduced as healthy, exact duplicates. Exposure to chemicals, pollutants and free radicals can cause DNA damage and breakage, leading to genetic mutations, cancer, and even death. Goji’s betaine and polysaccharides can support the restoration and repair of damaged DNA.

Support Your Liver— Goji contains a cerebroside (a type of enzyme) that may protect liver cells, even from highly toxic chlorinated hydrocarbons.

Improve Immune Response— Research reveals Goji may have the ability to regulate immunity by commanding and controlling many of the body’s important defense functions. Goji polysaccharides help to enhance and balance the activity of all classes of immune
cells, support inflammatory processes in the body including T-cells, cytotoxic T-cells, natural killer (NK) cells, lysozyme, tumor necrosis factoralpha and the immunoglobins IgG and IgA and interleukins-2 (IL-2).

Improve Digestion— Goji has long been used in those with atrophic gastritis, a weakening of digestion caused by reduced activity of stomach cells. Goji itself is easily digested and assimilated, especially when taken in its highly bioavailable juice form.

Improve Your Memory— Goji is the premiere “brain tonic” in Asia. It contains betaine, which is converted in the body into choline, a substance that helps enhance memory and recall ability.

Support Kidney Health— In Chinese medicine, the kidneys are most important and are believed to control the brain and other organs. Goji has traditionally been used as a kidney super tonic, supporting ultimate kidney health and function.

Support a Stronger Heart— Goji contains cyperone, a sesquiterpene that benefits the heart and blood pressure. Its anthocyanins help to maintain
the strength and integrity of coronary arteries.

Combat Fatigue & Lethargy— Goji is one of Asia’s historic adaptogens. Goji may help increase exercise tolerance, stamina and endurance. It also helps to eliminate fatigue, especially when recovering from illness.

Support Healthy Blood Pressure Levels— Nearly one in four adults has high blood pressure (hypertension). Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure and kidney failure. A 1998 research study indicated that high blood pressure could be managed by the polysaccharides in goji.

Support Healthy Cholesterol Levels— Goji contains beta-sitosterol, which may help to lower cholesterol levels. Its antioxidants keep cholesterol from oxidizing and forming arterial plaques. The flavonoids in goji help to keep your arteries open and functioning smoothly.

Support & Balance Healthy Blood Sugar Levels— Goji has been used in China for those with adult-onset diabetes for many years. Its polysaccharides may help to balance blood sugar and insulin response. Goji contains betaine, which can help prevent fatty liver disease and vascular damage often seen in diabetics.

Enhance Libido & Sexual Function— Goji has been used historically in Asia as a premier sexual tonic. Components of Goji can help to markedly increases testosterone in the blood, thereby increasing libido in both men and women.

Help Reduce & Alleviate Anxiety & Stress— Traditionally used as an adaptogen, goji may help the body to adapt to and cope with stress. It can provide the energy reserves to help with any type of difficulty, both mental and physical.

Support & Enhance a Healthy Mood & Brighten Your Spirit— In Asia, goji is known as the “happy berry.” It has been historically used in China to uplift and elevate. It is said that constant consumption of goji brings about a cheerful attitude.

Combat Inflammation & Joint Problems— When there is acute and chronic inflammation, free radicals like superoxide are produced at a rate that overwhelms the capacity of the body’s superoxide dismutase enzyme defense system to remove them. Such an imbalance results in pain and damage to joints and tissues. Goji can help to restore the balance of the important anti-inflammatory SOD enzyme.


Oftentimes people will read or hear all of the things that Goji can help and ask, “Is this a panacea or a cure-all?”
My answer is always the same: The entire body is connected; if something can heal or affect us on a deep level, will it not affect every cell, tissue and organ in our bodies? Our bodies are not made of separate parts, but are whole, interconnected entities. Goji juice was first introduced to America through MLM (multi-level), pyramid, or other types of marketing. In conducting comprehensive research and thorough analysis, I determined that every single one ofthese companies that had introduced goji juice to the West had all added other fruit juices (such as apple, grape, pear, or others), chemical preservatives (such as sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate), water (which is a dilutive) and other inexpensive, unwanted and even unhealthy additives. As I researched deeply and intensely into the rich historical use of goji berries and goji juice, one thing quickly became very clear and very evident to me—for the past 3,000 years throughout all of Asia, I could not find one individual, one pharmacy, one healer or one doctor that mixed their goji juice with sweeteners, fruit juices, chemicals, preservatives orany of the common dilutives found in other goji juice products in the U.S.


The goji fruit contains polysaccharides, specifically four that are quite unique (LBP 1, 2, 3 and 4), which have been demonstrated to strongly fortify the immune system. These same polysaccharides are believed to be powerful secretagogues, that is, substances that stimulate the secretion in the pituitary gland of human growth hormone (hGH), a powerful innate anti-aging hormone. Pure goji juice is the richest source of carotenoids, including beta carotene (more beta carotene than carrots), of all known foods or plants on Earth! Goji has powerful antioxidant properties and is traditionally believed to fortify the body against disease and to provide the energy to overcome difficult obstacles in healing. Beta-carotene can be transformed into vitamin A under the influence of human liver enzymes. Being rich in trace minerals, goji juice contains significant amounts of zinc, calcium,germanium, selenium and phosphorus, plus many other novel compounds, such as solavetivone, not found in other foods or plants. The more we delve into the history and scientific research conducted on goji over the past several decades and the historical use over the past 3,000 years, the more one realizes that this small but powerful berry is worthy of trial and further investigation.

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