Thursday, December 6, 2007

Organic Wolfberry!

Mom bought another goodie for us! WOLFBERRY aka Gou (3) Ji (3). Mom is throwin this together with our organic veggies to be blended together.

Organic Wolfberry (250g $3.15 after disc)

Wolfberry (from chinese medical halls. 180g $6.50)


Wolfberries have long played important roles in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) where they are believed to enhance immune system function, improve eyesight, protect the liver, boost sperm production and improve circulation, among other effects.

In TCM terms, wolfberries are sweet in taste and neutral in nature. They act on the liver, lungs, and kidneys and enrich yin. They can be eaten raw, consumed as juice or wine, brewed into an herbal tea or prepared as a tincture. The berries are also used in traditional Korean medicine, traditional Japanese medicine and traditional Tibetan medicine.

Wolfberry leaves may be used to make tea and Lycium root bark (called dìgǔpí; in Chinese) photo for TCM treatment of inflammatory and some types of skin diseases. A glucopyranoside and phenolic amides isolated from wolfberry root bark have inhibitory activity in vitro against human pathogenic bacteria and fungi.

An early mention of wolfberry occurs in the 7th century Tang Dynasty treatise Yaoxing Lun. It is also discussed in the 16th century Ming Dynasty Compendium of Materia Medica of Li Shizhen.

From marketing literature for wolfberry products including several "goji juices", a reputation exists for wolfberry polysaccharides having extensive biological effects and health benefits, although none of these has been proved by peer-reviewed research. Wolfberry polysaccharides show antioxidant activity in vitro and might also have biological activities in vivo currently under research (20 publications on this topic since 1991; PubMed, February 2007). As a source of dietary fiber, however, polysaccharides would yield products from bacterial fermentation in the colon, such as several short-chain fatty acids, e.g., butyric acid, which may provide health benefits. Although the macromolecular structure of wolfberry polysaccharides has not been elucidated, preliminary structural studies appear to indicate that they exist in the form of complex glycoconjugates .

Wolfberry fruits also contain zeaxanthin, an important dietary carotenoid selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering roles. A human supplementation trial showed that daily intake of wolfberries increased plasma levels of zeaxanthin.

Several published studies, mostly from China, have also reported possible medicinal benefits of Lycium barbarum, especially due to its antioxidant properties, including potential benefits against cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, vision-related diseases (such as age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma, having neuroprotective properties or as an anticancer and immunomodulatory agent.

However, in the west, none of this research has been scientifically verified, confirmed in clinical studies, or accepted by regulatory authorities.

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