gǒuqǐ (枸杞) is the Chinese name for the more commonly known English version Wolfberry.
Goji (pronounced "go-gee") is a nutritionally dense bright orange-red berry shaped like a ellipsoid. They have a tangy taste that is slightly sweet and sour, and have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 1,900 years since the Tang Dynasty (1000 - 1400 A.D.). There is much lore and mysticism, but recent studies are at least confirming goji as one of the most valuable antioxidants available. Millions of berries are cultivated all across China regions every year.
The goji berry has gone by the following names, Chinese wolfberry, barbary matrimony vine, bocksdorn, Duke of Argyll's tea tree, and matrimony vine. They have even been nicknamed "red diamonds".
Lycium barbarum fruit
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Division: Magnoliophyta
- Class: Magnoliopsida
- Order: Solanales
- Family: Solanaceae
- Genus: Lycium
Also found wild in the United Kingdom
"The plant continues to grow wild in UK hedgerows. On 15 January 2003, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (of the United Kingdom Government) launched a project to improve the regulations protecting traditional countryside hedgerows, and specifically mentioned Duke of Argyll's Tea Tree as one of the species to be found growing in hedges located in Suffolk Sandlings, Hadley, Bawdsey, near Ipswich, and Walberswick." (Wiki)
Many studies indicate goji as a great antioxidant, especially because of its red pigment. "Goji berries are rich in antioxidants, particularly carotenoids such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin. One of zeaxanthin's key roles is to protect the retina of the eye by absorbing blue light and acting as an antioxidant. In fact, increased intake of foods containing zeathanthin may decrease the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people over the age of 65." (Alt Med)
Goji berries have been on Msn's The 10 best foods you are not eating.
Goji berries are most commonly eaten in raisin form, and used as a juice extract. One such drink is eXfuze. They can also be used in teas, soups, and as garnish.
Due to their delicacy, the berries can not be picked by hand. Instead, they are shaken off the vine when harvested.