Why goji berry sounds like a scam?
Anything having more fuzz about can become fishy in time. I've done research for herbal teas "curing" high blood pressure, herbal teas that make you lose weight by magic. Akai berries used as a miracle diet and many other overfuzzed things that claim to be healthy. So...
Why miraculous goji berry sounds like a scam?
Claim: Unique antioxidant.
Goji berries have many polysacharides and vitamins. It is claimed they are stronger antioxidant than pomegranates, blueberries and oranges.
Most "antioxidant fruits" in nature are rich in 3 vitamins - A, C and E. They are not the only antioxidants the body can utilize and/or synthesize, but they claim to be the best obtainable via dietary source.
Nothing unique here. The other 3 fruits have their powers too. Eating any fruits, vegetables and fish is far better than using Goji berry exclusively for its claimed antioxidant properties.
And apart from this - there are few more compounds the body synthesizes and uses as an antioxidant. Those can't be taken as food. You need to live healthy life and eat well to allow your body to create them:
- Uric acid
- Lipoic acid
- Ubiquinol (conezyme Q)
Claim: More iron than in spinach.
This is quite true. Goji berries have 8.3 mg iron per 100 grams serving, while spinach has 3-4 mg per 100 grams. The only problem is - I DON'T recommend you eat 100 grams of Goji Berries each day (read below). While the spinach can be cooked or eaten raw with no risk of cardiac arrest, arrhythmia or hypertensive crisis, goji berries can hurt you badly if they are abused.
Allowed Iron in diet by any real dietitian is 18-20 mg daily. You actually don't need that much Iron at all. Having a steak gives you more than enough.
So, this claim is true but not what you really want to include in your diet just to get enough Iron. Even if you are suffering from anemia - choose another dietary source.
Side-effects and overdose
"Adverse reactions to atropine include ventricular fibrillation, supraventricular or ventricular tachycardia, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, loss of balance, dilated pupils, photophobia, dry mouth and potentially extreme confusion, dissociative hallucinations and excitation especially amongst the elderly."
Claim: Super food.
They are actually NOT a good food at all! And I can't stress this enough:
Never, EVER consume more than 25-30 raw or dried fruits per day!
Especially if you are of older age and use prescription pills for high blood pressure, diabetes, anticoagulants or beta blockers.
The fruits of older plants are rich on atropine and this herb is really far from being regulated or approved by any agency. You can't be sure from where the fruits have been gathered.
Eat goji berries only from proven sources and with moderation. If you feel any of the side effects (see the blue text) - promptly call emergency and explain them you may have possible atropine poisoning.
Claim: Exceptional levels of vitamin C.
Actual fact - vitamin C in goji berry varies between 30 and 150 mg in 100 grams of fruits. Far from exceptional:
Amount (mg / 100g)
Chili pepper (green)
Guava (common, raw)
Chili pepper (red)
Wolfberry (Goji berry)
Persimmon (native, raw)
Amount (mg / 100g)
(source: Wikipedia article)
Claim: Longevity of Li Qing Yuen.
In the past century a popular Chinese magazine published an article about Li Qing Yuen. Republished in NY magazine, the article claims he lived more than 250 years starting the day with a handful of goji berries and QiGong meditation.
The emperor supposedly gave him a certificate about his year of birth - 1677. The fact is - this was just a hoax from a Chinese journalist who wanted to promote an article. What is the actual truth about Li Qing Yuen's age can never be determined. His body is not preserved for scientific analysis but most articles you will find by searching will tell you the same - a journalist hoax for better magazine sales.
What goji berries actually are?
Not much more than many other berries.
- Mild antioxidant.
- Source of vitamins.
- Good winter tea.
- Food. But not a food you want to abuse.
What goji berries aren't?
- Cheap source of the above mentioned.
- Longevity miracle.
Goji berry tea
Apart from what I said above, a spoonful of the berries can still make a good winter tea.
- 1 tablespoon of goji berries.
- 1 tablespoon of honey.
- Few drops of lemon juice.
Boil some water and pour it over the berries in a cup. Cover and let it sit for 10 minute. Drop the lemon juice and honey and drink it. It will help you get warm and give you some energy due to the mix of polysaccharides inside the honey and berries. Most vitamin C is destroyed when heated, so you better add the lemon juice when the tea is lukewarm.
In summer days, you may also ice this tea and use it as a tonic.
Goji berry winter liquor
This is something you can do for winter months too.
- 50 grams of dried goji berries
- 1 bottle Vodka
- 2 tablespoons honey
Unlid the bottle. Pour out a small glass (1 ounce). Put the berries inside the bottle and add the honey. Close the bottle tightly again and shake.
Leave in a dark stove far from sunlight. The liquor is ready when all the dried berries soak vodka and sink to the bottom.
Drink 1 small glass each day. It is a very good winter warmer and is enough for a whole month.