Goji berries are the fruit from a vine plant also referred to as wolfberries. This plant is native to south-western Europe and Asia. There are two forms of goji berries sold and these are called Tibetan goji berries and Himalayan goji berries, but this name does not refer to where they are grown. The fruit or berries are a bright orange red color they are only about 1 to 2 cm big. The fruits begin to ripen in July and can be continually harvested through October. The spoil easily, which means they have to be harvested very carefully.
Are they good for you?
There are reports that show goji berries to be high in antioxidants. This has lead to studies showing the berries to be anti-cancer, as well as helpful to make other diseases included vision related diseases and inflammatory diseases. Studies have been done to try and prove, or disprove, all of these claims, but none have come through with any conclusive evidence.
Ancient Chinese Medicine
Goji berries are a traditional part of Chinese medicine. The leaves and the root bark are both used in Chinese medicine. Typically a tea is made with these two parts of the plant. This has been proven to work in clearing up bacteria and fungus in the human system. The Chinese also use this fruit as an everyday part of mealtimes. Goji berries have a nut like taste and they are full of vitamins, carbs, and protein. Most often they can be found dried; very rarely will the fresh fruits be sold.
The health effects of this fruit are still widely under scrutiny by the public. Statements have been made that drinking the goji berry juice will prevent breast cancer, while other statements are on record stating that goji berries have no health benefits. What has been seen in testing is that goji berries do have an effect on cancer and cancer prevention. There is no wonder cure for cancer at this point, but goji berries and goji berry juice can help with prevention.
Of course in the United States the FDA is unwilling to make any claims on the effectiveness of goji berries as a treatment for anything. They require that any goji berry products sold must reflect the fact that the claims made have not been proven by the FDA. The FDA also continues to prevent the berries from being sold as a health substance, because they are a new drug and must be put through more studies by the FDA.
There is also debate about what strain of berries are used and which are better. The Himalayan gojibär want you to believe their fruit is superior to the Tibetan goji berries and vice verse. To this point there has been no significant evidence to prove either is better. Most these claims are just marketing fodder to try and get more money coming their direction.