Wednesday, February 15, 2006

What the Heck Is A Chinese Wolfberry?

One of my favorite Chinese herbs is the Chinese Wolfberry Fruit, also known as Lycii Berries, or Gou Qi Zi, or Lycium Chinensis.

They are a small red fruit, which look a little like very red raisins, with a similar texture, at least when relatively fresh.

The berries are used in many traditional herbal remedies related to old age. In fact, some Chinese sources say that these berries "prevent old age." One of China's most famous herbalists, Li Zhi Shen, who lived well past 100 years, attributed his longevity to eating a handful of these berries daily.

The Chinese wolfberry is also used for back pain and weak legs and is said to "brighten the eyes."

Most Chinese herbs are not used individually, but as part of specific formulae, refined through the years, or even centuries. Lycii berries are part of many traditional formulae or recipes, but they are also eaten by themselves, and are an enjoyable snack, if you can obtain them while they are still fresh. (The color of fresh berries is brighter, and the texture is soft, much like plump raisins, or a little firmer. If the berries are old, they become duller in color, and the texture can become quite hard. At this point, they are not a good choice to eat as is, but better cooked with other herbs as part of a traditional herbal remedy.

The material presented in this blog is for informational use only and should in no way be used as a substitute for needed medical treatment. I am not a doctor, I do not diagnose or treat disease. If you need medical care, please consult the appropriate medical professional. And please discuss with your doctor if you are taking or planning to take any herbal preparations

No comments: