(Lycium barbarum, wolfberry) grow on an evergreen shrub found in temperate and subtropical regions in China, Mongolia and in the Himalayas in Tibet. They are in the nightshade (Solonaceae) family. Goji berries
are usually found dried. They are shriveled red berries
that look like red raisins
. Goji berries
are rich in antioxidants
, particularly carotenoids
such as Beta-carotene
. One of zeaxanthin's key roles is to protect the retina of the eye by absorbing blue light and acting as an antioxidant
. Goji berries
have been used for 6,000 years by herbalists in China, Tibet and India to: protect the liver
, help eyesight
, improve sexual function and fertility
, strengthen the legs, boost immune function, improve circulation, and to promote longevity
Dong JZ, Lu da Y, Wang Y. Analysis of flavonoids from leaves of cultivated Lycium barbarum L. 1. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2009 Sep;64(3):199-204.
Leaves of Lycium barbarum are widely used as medicine vegetables and functional tea in China. The main flavonoids present in the leaves were separated and identified by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry (LC-(APCI) MS) and ultraviolet-visible spectra with shift additives. The predominant flavonoid was identified as rutin. Leaves are the rutin-rich parts (16.03-16.33 mg/g). In the wild and cultivated L. barbarum fruits, contents of rutin were determined very low (0.09-1.38 mg/g). The contents of total flavonoids (21.25 mg/g) of cultivated L. barbarum leaves were much higher than those in the wild L. barbarum leaves (17.86 mg/g), so cultivated barbarum leaves are a suitable source for medicine vegetables and functional tea.