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Types of Goji Berries

Aug 17, 2007
There are more then 41 types of Goji berries all over the world. Most of these types are cultivated in the orient. The most famous and widely spread are Lyceum barbarum, Lyceum Chinese and Lyceum ferocissimum.

Lycii berry, otherwise known to Chinese herbalists as Chinese Wolfberry is a bright red, almost chewy berry with a taste very similar to Raisins. It has been used as a general nutrient tonic for many years and Chinese medicine refers to it as a cooling tonic. It contains beta-sitosterol, Betaine, Beta-carotene, Niacin, Pyridoxine, and Ascorbic acid.

They come from the Solanaceae family which also includes the tomato, green pepper, eggplant and potato that most Americans are familiar with. Lycium chinense is sometimes referred to as Chinese wolfberry, matrimony vine or Chinese boxthorn. It is very closely related to Lycium barbarum and mainly grows in the Hebei province of China.

Lycium barbarus grows in various regions of Asia such as Tibet and Inner Mongolia but it thrives in an area called the goji belt. There are several provinces of China and areas in Tibet where these vines grow in the wild. In these areas the Lycium barbarum goji berry is highly revered. Ningxia, China is found in this goji belt and is considered one of the finest places for the goji vines to grow.

In Ningxia the soil is usually alkaline and very fertile. The temperatures can get very cold and very hot. It is this type of soil and climate that grows the largest, plumpest, most beautiful goji berries. The fruits are a deep red color, contain few seeds and have an exquisitely sweet taste. (As a side note, it is the rich, fertile, yet harsh climate of Alaska that brings the highest antioxidant blueberries found in the US.

Studies done at New Brunswick Labs which extensively investigated blueberries grown in the US have shown a direct correlation between harsh climate and antioxidants in their fruit. It seems the plant, if it has all the nutrients it needs to be healthy, will actually make more substances to protect it from the harsh environment.)

The people of Ningxia are simply crazy about their goji berries, which have always grown wild on the hillsides and which they have been cultivating for more than 500 years. In Ningxia, goji legends based on history and tradition abound. Years ago the residents of Nanqui, a town in the province of Ningxia, were bestowed with the title Long Life Village by the emperor because they had so many centurians (people over the age of 100) living in their village.

Another area which lays at the foot of the Tianshan mountains (a mountain range nearly equal to the Himalayan mountain peaks) called Xinjiang, where there is pure snow runoff and harsh temperatures similar to those in Ningxia, also has goji berries of similar quality to those found in Ningxia.

Of course the regions of Hebei, Gansu, Qinghai and Shanxi, also in the Chinese goji belt, respectfully disagree that either of these two provinces have berries that are any better than theirs. All these provinces are located along mountain ranges in one particular area of China.Goji supremacy is also claimed by the Tibetans. There are also Inner Mongolians, Koreans, and Japanese who grow and harvest the highly revered goji berry.

Ningxia, China is legendary for amazingly healthy people. The Chinese national census recently reported that the number of Ningxia residents living more than 100 years exceeds the national average by an amazing 400%. Ningxia locals now admit their health secret lies in the locally grown goji berries - wolfberries.

Goji Berries - Wolfberries - are a Chinese national treasure. The good health and vitality of the Ningxia elderly has long been attributed to goji berries - wolfberries. To the people of the province, a bowl of fresh goji berries - wolfberries - a day is part of life. Its health benefits have been extolled for generations. In fact even today, the Ningxia goji berry - wolfberry - is considered a national treasure.

In ancient times, the Chinese people were said to have three cherished tonics for health. They were ginseng, ling tzi, and goji berries - wolfberries.

According to ancient Chinese texts, goji berries - wolfberries:

Nourish the yin
Support the blood
Help support the kidneys and liver
Strengthen the eyes
Fortify the muscles and bones
Enhance the chi or life force

The people who consumed this fruit apparently lived free of common diseases like arthritis, cancer and diabetes. Moreover, their life expectancies reached over 100 years.

Both the wolfberry and ginseng have been highly regarded for centuries as the foremost nutritional and therapeutic plants in China. In fact, the Chinese hold a strong belief that human life might be extended significantly by using either of these herbs for an extended period of time.

The Chinese Wolfberry contained over 18 amino acids (that is six times higher in proportion than bee pollen), 21 trace minerals, more beta carotene than carrots, and an astonishing 500 times more vitamin C by weight than oranges. It is also packed with vitamin B1, vitamin B6 and vitamin E.

Fruits and pedicels of Chinese Wolfberry were effective in increasing white blood cells, protecting the liver and relieving hypertension. The alcoholic extract of wolfberry fruits inhibited tumor growth in mice by 58%, and the protein of wolfberry displayed an insulin-like action that was effective in promoting fat decomposition and reducing blood sugar.
About the Author
There are over 41 types of wolfberries, but the himalayan goji berry in the most nutritionally dense; visit Goji Berry Guide | Why Himalayan Goji Berries
Himalayan Goji Juice really works; Find details at Goji Berry Guide | Why Himalayan Goji Juice Works
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