Black Goji Berry – And What It Can Do For Your Health
Most of us know about red goji berries, but did you know there’s another type? The black goji berry or black wolf berry are very rare and only grown in extreme environments.
Originally from the Himalayan Mountains in Central Asia, they grow in a remote desert terrain of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. This vast elevated plain is often called “The roof of the world”, where they are revered for their health benefits.
Black goji berries are used most often in Chinese medicine for treating hypertension, heart disease and menstrual issues. In comparison to red goji berries, the black goji has a much higher nutritional value.
For any goji berry lovers out there, I’m sure you will agree this is exciting news. Read on to find out more.
Table of Contents
Black Goji Berry – what are they?
As a perennial shrub the black goji berry bush grows up to 2 meters. It is so nutrient packed, that it is often used for cancer prevention. In fact, in comparison to the Lycium barbarum (red goji berry), the Lycium Ruthenicum (black goji berry) is richer in vitamins and minerals, which is why it is such an asset when it comes to disease prevention.
The round fruit has a green color and turns purple and black when fully ripened. Black goji berries are the fruit of a shrub that reaches 4-6 m high. The fruits ripen from summer until the beginning of autumn.
Black goji berries or wolf berry species can be grown in many regions and climates, but still remain relatively unheard of. Black goji berries are also known as black wolf berries, “vine of black Berber marriage”, “tea tree of the Duke of Argyll”, or “black marriage vine”.
What do black goji berries taste like?
The shape of black goji berries are slightly different to the red ones, with more of a rounded shape rather than being elongated. The flavor is somewhat herbal, and some people say it’s taste is reminscent to a huckle berry. Depending on the region it is grown – it can be sweeter than the red goji berries. However, as with all goji berries, colder climates can bring a bitter note to the fruit.
Black goji berry nutrition
Goji black berries contain vitamins A, C and E, and includes some essential fatty acids which is unusual in fruits. They also have large amounts of OPC (oligomeric Proanthocyanidin), so large that they are the richest known vegetable source on the planet.
Why is this important? Because OPC has superb antioxidant abilities, it is one of the most effective water-soluble free radical scavengers there is. It is 20 times more potent than vitamin C and 50 times more potent than vitamin E. As a result, black goji berries can slow the aging process, reduce cholesterol and prevent and slow cancer growth.
The nutritional value of black goji (or wolf berries) is much higher than the red goji berries, with which they are closely related. The content of minerals and trace elements is also much higher than red goji berries. It is known that black goji berries increase melanin levels in the body and reduce free radicals through their high level of antioxidants.
Nutritional information about black goji berries
So what is the nutrients in black goji within black goji berries? Below you can see why these berries are regarded as being nutrient packed.
Black goji berries contain:
Contains 18 amino acids
Contains 21 minerals
Contains more protein than whole wheat
Loaded with B vitamins
Has a full spectrum of antioxidant carotenoids, including beta-carotene and zeaxanthin. Goji berries are the richest source of carotenoids of all known foods.
Packed with high amounts of OPC’s
Contains vitamin C at higher levels than those found in oranges
Black goji berry tea
The fruit can be eaten fresh, dried, or infused in hot water to make a tea. Just add a few dried berries to some water and it transforms into an intense purple color before your eyes.
Not only is black goji berry tea 100% organic and super healthy, but (perhaps it’s the child in me) it’s also entertaining to watch it change color when mixed with lemon or lime juice! Just add a squeeze and it changes from purple to pink.
Again, this is completely natural without any chemicals: black goji berry tea is pure nature. Its color changes depending on whether the water is more alkaline or more acidic.
Preparation instructions for goji berry black tea:
Boil a few black goji berries, approximately 5-7 berries per cup, and let stand for 3-4 minutes. Your cup of tea will start turning blue in a minute. If you want your blue tea to change color, simply add a drop of lemon or lime juice to your drink and it will magically turn pink.
Other ways to eat black goji berries
Black goji berries can be just eaten straight from the packet or you can add some to your muesli for a healthier breakfast. They can also substitute for raisins when baking muffins and bread. Not only will this reduce your sugar intake, black goji berry bread provides more nutrients than bread baked with raisins.
What about as a savory option? Black goji berries can also be used in stews, just add a handful of the berries 15 minutes before the stew is ready to give a delicious sweet taste.
Black goji berries have numerous benefits, making it truly stand out among the superfoods. With the botanical name Lycium Ruthenicum and the Chinese name Hei Guo Gou Qi, Black goji berries can be used in an array of conditions such as:
It is attributed properties in heart disease, and menstrual disorders.
Known for having powerful antioxidant and anti-aging properties.
Delays the aging process and helps you look young.
Nourishes the liver and kidney and regulates its functioning. This protects the liver and treats all disorders associated with this organ.
Cure fatigue and weakness in the knees and waist.
Treat dizziness and relieve stress.
Has been known to clarify eye vision -Can regulate the circulation of blood throughout the body. This in turn reflects in smoother skin and a better functioning body.
Black gojis are also used to treat impotence -Increases immune system function
Highly effective for those suffering from anemia
Helps with cancers and their reversal
Black gojis are also Anti diabetic
Black goji berries and OPCS
As mentioned earlier, Black goji berries are extremely high in the oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs). If you are looking to improve your health this is really good news. OPC’s reduce the aging of blood vessels and keep them elastic and flexible over time.
This association with a decrease in the levels of a oxidative stress markers, suggests that the compounds exert their anti-aging effect by protecting DNA.
In particular, OPCs decreased levels of DNA damage marker and DNA endpoint (gamma -H2AX), which has been observed to increase as cells age.
OPC, a three-letter acronym for complex oligomeric proanthocyanidins, which is commonly known as a super antioxidant, 20 times more potent than vitamin C and 50 times more potent than vitamin E.
Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (PCO) are recommended for their superior antioxidant power, in addition to other conditions.
Other sources of the OPC are the extract of pine albar (PYCNOGENOL), grape seed, red wine, etc. But nevertheless the black Goji berries remain the best known source of OPC to date. Proanthocyanidins are widely present in the plant kingdom and are also found in cocoa, dark chocolate, apples, peanuts, almonds, blue and red cranberries, pine bark, green tea and black tea, among other vegetable sources.
Some of this OPC valuable benefits are:
• powerful antioxidants
• immune system support.
• VHI antivirus (AIDS).
• Sweeps away free radicals.
• Slows down symptoms of aging
• Alleviates urinary tract infections
• Helps to form soft tissues such as: tendons, ligaments, bone matrix, etc.
• Very good for the vascular system.
• Helps with airway problems
• Has regenerative effects on cells and tissues.
• Reduces bad cholesterol.
• Can help heal skin disorders
• Reduces inflammation connected to osteoarticular
• Aids in reversing cardiovascular diseases.
• Helps to smooth skin wrinkles
• Brightens skin discoloration
• Prevents brain aging.
• Sharpens the mind and helps with concentration.
• Prevents memory loss.
• Aids in preventing dementias
• Rejuvenates eyes and stops the appearance of cataracts.
• neutralizes pathologies caused by free radicals.
• Reverse capillary dysfunctionality.
• Helps with reversing cancer.
• Helps with allergies
• heart disorders
• As it makes vessels more flexible, OPC aids in thrombosis.
• It is especially effective in neutralizing hydroxyl radicals, superoxide radical, simple oxygen and peroxynitrate.
• Reduces incidences of hypertension.
• Calms body and therefore helps with stress.
• relaxes blood vessels
• It is especially important for capillaries, as it has been shown to strengthen the vascular walls and open them, thus increasing the bloodstream. Therefore, this means that all body tissues benefit.
• Prevents platelet antiaggregant.
• increases the activity of the natural “killer” cells of our immune system. A type of immune cells that destroys viruses and even cancer cells.
• It is very effective in strengthening the capillary walls prevents the extravasation of water, coming from the capillaries, in the legs, thus preventing swelling and relieving the symptoms of heaviness and pain.
• Helps in cases of Alzheimer disease.
• Patients with newmanpick’s disease have reported improvement.
• chronic fatigue
• repairs oxidative lesions caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
• It also promotes the production of collagen and elastin, two essential substances to keep the skin and capillaries flexible and healthy.
• Prevents macular degeneration
• Diabetic retinopathy.
• wound healing
• crosses the blood-brain (blood-brain) barrier thus destroying free radicals that penetrate inside the brain.
• It improves the collagen lining of blood vessels, thus reducing spills and improving circulation.
• OPC is a substance that is unrivaled for previously weak blood vessels becoming stronger and less likely to break. No other nutrient or medication has an effect of this magnitude.
• It is the most effective nutrients at our disposal to minimize diabetic damage.
• They are effective in a wide range of diabetes-related problems, including: retinal damage, due to tiny capillaries that break. This condition is also known as diabetic retinopathy. Bad circulation, especially in feet and lower limbs. Renal injury, also known as nephropathy.
• significantly reduce the risk of damage to your vision (diabetics).
• Diabetics with extremely bad circulation with numbness, pain and cold in the lower limbs find PCO very useful.
• It gives longevity.
• Great for the eyes.
• Useful in bronchial asthma.
• Aids with reversing eczema.
How to use black goji berries
You can make a simple tea heated water at a temperature not very high, preferably not more than 50 degrees. Put in a cup between 5 or 6 berries, let them stand 6 minutes and drink. Save the berries so you can simply eat afterwards, or use them in another tea.
Black goji berries can also be eaten just as they are dried, or soak the dried berries and put them in salads, soups, breakfasts, desserts, etc.