The Goji Berry, pronounced “go-gee”, is a recent Super Fruit discovery in the health food industry. These delicate red berries, traditionally grown in the Himalayan valleys of China have been featured on national television shows and used by various celebrities. Numerous goji berry products have appeared on the market, promising youth and good health. A Google search for “goji berry” yields 456,000 results, many of them for various products containing goji berries or goji berry juice. So are goji berries a miracle superfood, just another product of the hype machine or something in between?
Goji berries also called wolfberries, have been grown in the Himalayan valley for hundreds of years. Traditional Chinese folk medicine uses them to cure a variety of ailments. Goji berries have also long been used in various Asian cuisine as an ingredient. Goji berry bushes grow to be one to three meters high. Because the berries are very delicate when on the plant, they cannot be picked by hand. Instead they are gently shaken from the vine. Frequently they are set out in the sun to dry, whereupon they become slightly chewy. Besides eating the berries, you can also drink the goji berry juice. It is especially popular in the regions where the berries are grown, and can be combined with tea to make a tonic.