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What are Lycium Berries?

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  • Written By: Sara Schmidt
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2016
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China is home to a number of juicy fruits and berries. Lycium berries, more widely known as goji berries, are one prime example. These bright red-orange berries are a popular item on the health food market.

Goji berries are small, at only two-fifths to four-fifths of one inch (one to two centimeters) in circumference. The tiny yellow seeds found in each berry vary in number. One berry may contain as many as 60 seeds, though some may have as few as 10. Considered a superfruit, the lycium berry is filled with various nutrients and antioxidants. It is typically sold as a dried fruit, a supplement, or a juice.

In culinary uses, dried lycium berries are used in everything from soups to herbal teas to wines. The fruits are most popular as an herbal remedy, largely due to their nutrient and antioxidant content. Amino acids, calcium, beta-carotene, potassium, iron, zinc, and over a dozen other trace minerals can be found within each berry. The fruits have been linked to preventing or alleviating various cancers, diabetes, bacteria, fungi, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, and many other health issues.

Lycium berries are also known as wolfberries, mede berries, bocksdorn, red medlar, Murali, barbary matrimony vine, Chinese wolfberries, and Duke of Argyll's tea tree. When eaten, lycium berries can be soft and chewy, similar to raisins. Some species of the fruit may have a hard texture.

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When sold for health supplements, they are often called Himalayan goji and Tibetan goji. In addition to Asia, lycium berries are also native to parts Europe. In Asia, the berries are known as "red diamonds," as they are a particularly lucrative crop. Most goji berry plants are harvested on plantations in north-Central China, in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, or in western China, in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The plant is also grown in other Chinese regions, such as Gansu, Mongolia, Shaanxi, Qinghai, and Hebei.

The deciduous lycium plants are perennials. They can grow three to 10 feet (one to three meters) in height. Lycium flowers are arranged in five petals, while the plant's oval leaves are arranged in groups of three or less. Lycium plants flower in the summer, leaving berries ripe for picking in the fall. The tender berries are either shaken from the vine or gently picked before being preserved and dehydrated prior to sale.

In Ningxia, an annual wolfberry festival is held every August. It usually takes place during the berry harvest itself. In addition to celebrating the berries' plentiful nutrients, source of income, and medicinal uses, locals also appreciate the plants' use in erosion control during the festival.

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julies
Post 2

If you are looking for a juice like this, it can be a little bit overwhelming because there are so many of them being sold, and all of them advertise themselves as being the best one.

I think it is important to do your own research and don't rely just on the information from the company or the person who is trying to sell it to you.

A pure goji berry juice can provide significant health benefits and many people will see results within a few days or weeks of drinking some on a daily basis. Just be sure the product you are spending your money on is a good one and has pure ingredients in it.

SarahSon
Post 1

Juice drinks such as those made from lycium berries have become very well known for their health benefits. I drink a goji juice that is said to help with a wide range of health problems such as high blood sugar, arthritis and vision problems.

One bottle of a good juice like this can be a little expensive, but I only drink an ounce or two a day. I gave up drinking soda pop a few years ago, and figure I am still spending less money on one bottle of juice for a month than I was spending on pop.

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