There has been article after article written on certain foods and how they can be beneficial for health.  But it is important to always remember BALANCE!  To every action and benefit there is a reaction and a caution.  Before you jump on any bandwagon, please know your body and look deeper.  Over the next few weeks we will be taking an in-depth look at the benefits and cautions of some common foods and supplements.  This week: goji berries!


Common Name: Goji Berries

Pharmaceutical Name: Lycii Fructus

English Variants: Lycium Fruit, Chinese Wolfberry, Matrimony Vine Fruit

Chinese Name: Gou Qi Zi

TCM Classifications:

  • Category: tonify Blood
  • Meridian Tropism: Liver, Lungs, Kidneys
  • Taste: Sweet
  • Temperature: Neutral

TCM Functions & Indications:

  • Enriches Liver & Kidney Yin: sore back and legs, low-grade abdominal pain, impotence, nocturnal emission, wasting & thirsting disorder (diabetes), and consumption
  • Benefits Essence, Brightens the Eyes: dizziness, blurred vision, diminished visual acuity
  • Moistens Lung Yin: consumptive cough, wasting & thirsting disorder (diabetes)

Western  Medicine Uses:

  • Antidiabetic
  • Antihyperlipidemic
  • Anxioloytic
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Immunostimulant
  • Metabolic.

Also, goji berries have recently been hailed as a “super food”, high in antioxidants and anti-aging properties.


Who should TAKE Gou Qi Zi?

Goji berries are sweet little nuggets of dried fruit that are tasty and full of benefits.  They are especially useful for those with Yin Deficiency symptoms (dizziness, tinnitus, vertigo, poor memory, hard hearing, night sweating, dry mouth and throat at night, lower back ache, aching in the bones, nocturnal emission, constipation, scanty dark urine, infertility, premature ejaculation, tiredness, lassitude, depression, slight anxiety) or Blood Deficiency symptoms (paleness: lips, nails, tongue, face; dry skin, numbness, weak muscles, dizziness, poor memory, depression, lack of strength).


Who should AVOID Gou Qi Zi?

While Goji berries are beneficial, there are some people who should avoid taking these berries because believe it or not, they are difficult for the body to digest.  Therefore those with a Spleen Qi Deficiency, especially those with Dampness (poor appetite, slight abdominal distention after eating, tiredness, lassitude, pale or sallow complexion, weakness of the limbs, loose stools/diarrhea, slight depression, tendency to obesity, abdominal fullness, a feeling of heaviness, a sticky taste, poor digestion, undigested food in the stools, nausea, dull frontal headache, excessive vaginal discharge) should avoid eating goji berries.


Goji berries are a sweet treat and beneficial in many ways, but if you find you easily have food sensitivities, have loose stools/diarrhea, or easily get bloated and an uncomfortable feeling in your tummy, it might be a better idea to limit your intake of goji berries, cook them before eating them or take them out of your diet until your digestive issues have been resolved.  Otherwise, have fun staying happy and healthy!


For more information or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!


Caroline Prodoehl, R.Ac, R.TCMP



TCM ClinicAid iPhone App


Like” us on Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletter (below).