The Goji berry (also Goji or wolfberry) is a member of the nightshade family (Solanaceae eg: potato, tomato, eggplant, deadly nightshade, chilli pepper, and tobacco) and is native to southeastern Europe and Asia.
The ripe goji fruit turns orange-red, is somewhat oblong in shape and each is around 10 mm long and looks a bit like a fat birdseye chilli.
The plant grows wild in many parts of Europe and also throughout Victoria where it was once used as hedges to keep stock in.
Goji Berry Uses
Traditional Asian Cuisine
- Young wolfberry shoots and leaves are harvested commercially as a leaf vegetable.
- It is one of the richest nutritional foods in China and is used in many of their medicines.
- Since the early 21st century, the dried fruit has been marketed in the Western world as a health food, amidst scientifically unsupported claims regarding such benefits. In the wake of those claims, dried and fresh goji berries were included in many snack foods and food supplements, such as granola bars, yoghurt, tea blends, fruit juices and juice concentrates, whole fruit purées, and dried pulp flour. There have been also commercial products of whole and ground wolfberry seeds, and seed oil.
- Its uses include antioxidant drink but due to heavy use of pesticides and herbicides in their cultivation, be careful what you purchase!
- As with many other novel “health” foods and supplements, the lack of clinical evidence and poor quality control in the manufacture of consumer products prevent goji from being clinically recommended or applied
- Most of the Australian Goji is imported from northern China. The dried fruits are sold in Asian shops or can be found also as juice or concentrate.
- Gojis can be found at most major supermarkets such as Woolworths or some online merchants
- In recipes substitute dried cranberries or currants
Interaction with other drugs
In vitro testing suggests that unidentified wolfberry phytochemicals in goji tea may inhibit metabolism of other medications, such as those processed by the cytochrome P450 liver enzymes. Such drugs include warfarin, or drugs for diabetes or hypertension.
Pesticide and fungicide residues
Agriculture in the Tibetan plateau (where many “Himalayan” or “Tibetan”-branded berries supposedly originate) conventionally uses fertilizers and pesticides, making organic claims for berries originating here dubious.
Since the early 21st century, high levels of insecticide residues (including fenvalerate, cypermethrin, and acetamiprid) and fungicide residues (such as triadimenol and isoprothiolane), have been detected by the United States Food and Drug Administration in some imported wolfberries and wolfberry products of Chinese origin, leading to the seizure of these products.
Nutrition Facts - Dried Goji Berry
- Servings Per Container1
- Serving Size100 g
- Amount per serving
- % Daily Value*
- Total Fat1.8 g2.31%
- Polyunsaturated Fat0.68 g
- Cholesterol0 mg0%
- Sodium532 mg23.13%
- Total Carbohydrate59 g21.45%
- Dietary Fiber13 g46.43%
- Total Sugars53.6 g
- Added Sugars0 g0%
- Sugar Alcohal0 g
- Protein14.3 g28.6%
- Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol)0 mcg0%
- Calcium190 mg14.62%
- Iron6.8 mg37.78%
- Potassium49 mg1.04%
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)48 mg53.33%
- Vitamin E (Tocopherol)2.1 mg14%
- Vitamin K0 mcg0%
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)0.013 mg1.08%
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.028 mg2.15%
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin)0.55 mg3.44%
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)0.04 mg3.08%
- Folate0 mcg0%
- Vitamin B12 (Cobalamine)0 mcg0%
- Phosphorus8 mg1.14%
- Iodine0 mcg0%
- Magnesium4 mg1%
- Zinc0.1 mg0.91%
- Selenium0.6 mcg1.09%
- Chromium0 mcg0%
- Molybdenum0 mcg0%