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goji May 8, 2010

Filed under: Live Space — cnesgreen @ 7:50 pm

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Wolfberry is also another name for the western snowberry, Symphoricarpos occidentalis. Renowned in Asia as one of nature’s most nutritionally dense foods, wolfberries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for nearly 2,000 years. This special herb comes from from Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, and the Tian Shan Mountains of western Xinjiang, China.

 

 

Chinese Name: Goji

 

Goji Tea Benefits have been recognized for centuries. Goji has been mentioned in the traditional Chinese medicinal records as being an augmentor for the yin, as well as a tonic for general well-being.

In recent years, goji berries have often been included in the list of so-called "superfoods" or foods that combine nutrient richness with appealing taste and antioxidant strength.

Goji is a spiny and spiky, deciduous perennial shrub that is extensively cultivated in the northwestern provinces of China such as Ningxia , Qinghai and Gansu, as well as in Mongolia and the Himalayas.

 

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Also known by its official names of lycium barbarum andlycium chinense, as well as its common name wolfberry, the goji is cultivated primarily due to its fruit, the goji berry. The goji berry is a bright red, chewy, ellipsoid fruit with a pleasantly sweet and tangy taste. Each berry contains anywhere from 20 to 60 tiny yellow seeds. The goji berries become ripe between the months of July and October.

 

In the past few years, the use of goji juice has become popular in the United States and many Western countries. Marketers often cite the numerous health benefits of goji juice, although there have been few published clinical trials in humans.

However, goji berries have traditionally been eaten raw, made into liquid extracts, added to soups, made into goji tea, and often mentioned as a "cooling tonic" in the annals of Chinese traditional medicine.

 

As a food, dried wolfberries are traditionally cooked before consumption. Dried wolfberries are often added to rice congee, as well as used in Chinese tonic soups, in combination with chicken or pork, vegetables, and other herbs. Various wines containing wolfberries are also produced, including some that are a blend of grape wine and wolfberries.

 

 

 

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Wolfberries have long played important roles in traditional Chinese medicine where they are believed to enhance immune system function, improve eyesight, protect the liver, boost sperm production and improve circulation, among other effects. In TCM terms, wolfberries are sweet in taste and neutral in nature. They act on the liver, lungs, and kidneys and enrich yin.

 

Wolfberry fruits also contain zeaxanthin, an important dietary carotenoid selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering roles. A human supplementation trial showed that daily intake of wolfberries increased plasma levels of zeaxanthin. Several published studies, have also reported possible medicinal benefits of Lycium barbarum, especially due to its antioxidant properties, including potential benefits against cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, vision-related diseases (such as age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma), having neuroprotective properties or as an anticancer and immunomodulatory agent.

 

The active constituents of the wolfberry are beta-sitosterol, carotenoids (beta-carotene and zeaxanthin), betaine, niacin, pyridoxine, and ascorbic acid.

 

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Nutrition Table (per 100g)

Calcium

112.50mg

Coarse Fibre

7.78g

Carbonhydrate

57.82g

Phosphate

203.10mg

Coarse Fat

7.14g

Ascorbic Acid

18.4g

Iron

8.42mg

Coarse Protein

12.10g

Nicoacid

4.32g

Thiamine, Vitamin B1

0.153mg

Riboflavin, Vitamin B2

1.27mg

Carotene

7.38g

Sugar

46.50mg

Calorie

362.20Kcal

Amino Acid Total Quantity

8.48mg

 

The following are the health benefits attributed to Goji (Wolfberry) tea:

 

Promote overall well-being and longevity.

Strengthen the kidneys.

Clear the eyesight.

Protect the liver.

Boost the immune function.

Improving blood circulation.

Enhance sexual functions and fertility, especially among men.

 

 

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Wolfberries could be used directly, and do not need to be rehydrated prior to use. The berries are also boiled as an herbal tea, often along with chrysanthemum and/or red jujubes.

 

Doji, Chrysanthemum, Red Jujubes–Blended Tea

 

Things you need: 1 tsp Giji (wolfberry), 1tsp chrysanthemum, red jujubes 2-3 pcs.

 

  1. Place the red jujubes into a teapot with cold water. 
  2. Boil the water together with the red jujubes.
  3. Put the Giji and Chrysanthemum into a infuser, pour hot water over them and wash them up.
  4. Put the clean Goji and Chrysanthemum into the boiling water.(put the  Giji, chrysanthemum, red jujubes together into the teapot )
  5. Brew them for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Drink the soup directly without straining the herbs.
  7. You can eat the Goji and  red jujubes when you finish drinking.

 

 

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Once a bag of herbals or flowers is opened, The herbals could be kept in ambient and dry conditions such as in the living room, the study or the office, but it must be completely away from light, moisture, smell and heat.

 

An airtight container or a vacuum tank is an ideal storage solution.

 

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Sealed Clips are also a good choice for opened packaging bags.

 

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The quality of the herbals lasts longer if they are kept in the fridge. But please make sure the package is sealed and cover with a box to insulate from temperature change.

 

In addition, if the bag is taken in and out from the fridge very often, this will cause heat stress to the herbals as temperature is increased and decreased very frequently. Air will be drawn from outside and condensation will occur.

 

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That is why we packed our herbals into small sealed packaging bags instead of large bags or boxes. You could open a small bag of the herbal and enjoy its freshness while the other bags are sealed and well kept in the fridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Many alternative medicine health care providers feel that using certain herbal teas during pregnancy is a great way to support optimal pregnancy health. Herbal teas can often provide an additional source of nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and iron.

 

However, due to the lack of studies on most herbs, the FDA encourages caution when consuming herbal teas during pregnancy.

 

It is always best to talk with a qualified medical professional about any herbal teas that you are interested in drinking.

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