Wolfberry Health Benefits

Wolfberry Health benefits, Side Effects

What is Wolfberry is a woody plant whose fruits are used in Chinese medicine to promote long life.
Wolfberry Health Benefits Wolfberry has been traditionally used to treat sexual dysfunction, fever, inflammation and many others.


Wolfberry Side effects and warnings. Wolfberry is considered safe with mild side effects such as vomitting and nausea

What is Wolfberry

Scientific Name: Lycium Barbarum

Other Names: Goji berry, Chinese wolfberry, mede berry, barbary matrimony vine, bocksdorn, Duke of Argyll's tea tree, Murali, red medlar, or matrimony vine.

Wolfberry (also known as goji berry) is a woody perennial plant native to Asia and Southeastern Europe. Wolfberry is a popular Chinese herb used for over 2000 years as a health tonic that promotes longevity.

Wolfberry is deciduous woody perennial plants that grow about 3 m high. The leaves are lanceolate, alternate or in bundles about 7 cm in length and 3.5 cm width. The wolfberry flowers bloom from June to September in groups. The calyx consists of bell-shaped sepals forming short triangular lobes, the corolla about 10 cm wide are lavender or light purple. The flowers are followed by berry-like fruits about 5 - 10 cm wide, bright red to orange red in color with about 20 to 30 yellow seeds depending on cultivars

Traditional Health Benefits of Wolfberry

Wolfberry has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine as a general health tonic that promotes varieties of health benefits including longevity, sexual stimulant, analgesic, antibacterial, improvement of visual acuity, stronger muscle and as an immune system booster.

Recent medicinal uses and claimed health benefits include treatment for diabetes, oxidative stress, liver damage, cancer and vision degeneration.

Scientific Studies of Wolfberry Health Benefits

Anti Inflammatory and Anti-angiogenic Benefits of Wolfberry.

The Food and Function July 2012, reported about the anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic effects of flavonoids isolated from Lycium barbarum Linnaeus on human umbilical vein endothelial cells. The study reported that the flavonoids extract attenuated the intracellular adhesion of inflammation causing compounds. It also exhibit anti-angiogenic effect, preventing the creation of new blood vessels as well as inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factor.

Anti Cancer Benefits of Wolfberry

The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture June 2012 reported that Lycium barbarum polysaccharide inhibits the proliferation of HeLa cells by inducing apoptosis.
The results of a study suggest that Lycium barbarum polysaccharide (LBP), the most important constituent of wolfberry can inhibit the proliferation of HeLa cells by inducing apoptosis through the mitochondrial pathway. The results showed that wolfberry constituent LBP can be developed as a potential chemotherapeutic agent candidate against human cervical cancer. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry.

Neuroprotective Effects of Wolfberry

The journal PLoS One. Issue 2012, reported that Lycium barbarum extracts protect the brain from blood-brain barrier disruption and cerebral edema in experimental stroke.
Ischemic stroke is a destructive cerebrovascular disease and a leading cause of death.
Results from the study suggests that a seven day oral LBP pre-treatment of mice subjects effectively improved neurological deficits, decreased infarct size and cerebral edema as well as protected the brain from blood-brain barrier disruption, aquaporin-4 up-regulation, and glial activation. The present study suggests that LBP may be used as a prophylactic neuroprotectant in patients at high risk for ischemic stroke.

In another study the neuroprotective effects of polysaccharides from wolfberry provide protection against  homocysteine-induced toxicity in rat cortical neurons. Suggesting that wolfberry has potential in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20157238

Anti Fatigue and Anti oxidative stress Benefits of Wolfberry

The International Journal of Molecular Sciences, February 2011 reported a study done in Zhejiang University, China on the effects of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP) on exercise-induced oxidative stress in rats. Results have shown that rats given wolfberry LBP exhibited a prolonged endurance under exhaustive exercise compared to normal control group. This is indicative that LBP can prevent oxidative stress after exhaustive exercise.

Anti Cancer Benefits of Wolfberry

The Med Oncol March 2011 reported a study made in Ningbo University, China about the anticancer effects of wolfberry polysaccharide on colon cancer. The study demonstrated the inhibiting effects of wolfberry polysaccharide against colon cancer cell lines in a dose dependent manner. The study suggests that wolfberry can be used as an anti cancer agent to interrupt cell cycle in human carcinoma cells.

Benefits to Sexual Performance of Wolfberry Extract

Wolfberry has been used as a traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of infertility and sexual dysfunction. A study has been done to investigate this use in the University of Hong Kong, PRC as published in PLoS One, 2012 issue, where a group of rats were given wolfberry LBP for 21 days. Results have shown that there is an s significant improvement in the male copulatory performance including increase of copulatory efficiency, increase of ejaculation frequency and shortening of ejaculation latency in male rats. Furthermore, sexual inhibition caused by chronic corticosterone was prevented by wolfberry LBP. This study suggests that wolfberry can increase sexual performance in rats and recommended further studies in human subjects.

Weight Loss Benefits of Wolfberry Juice

A study done in FreeLife International Inc. Phoenix Arizona as published in the journal of the American College of Nutrition, Oct 2011 reported that wolfberry has been shown to increase metabolic rate and to reduce body-weight gains as well as to produce clinical improvements in general feelings of well-being including energy level. Results have shown that the daily intake of 120 ml standardized wolfberry juice cam reduce the waist circumference and increase metabolic rates on humans relative to placebo control group.

Health Benefits of Wolfberry for Diabetes

The African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative. July 2009 reported a study done in Quijing Normal University, Yunnan, China, about the benefits of polysaccharides extracted from wolfberry in hypoglycemic rats. Results of the study showed that various parameters including body weight, fasting blood glucose levels, total cholesterol and triglyceride in diabetic mice have significantly improved when given 40 mg/kg body weight  of wolfberry extract.

Anti Oxidant Benefits from Wolfberry.

In a study done in College of Public Health, Wuhan China reported that wolfberry polysaccharides extracts were found to possess strong antioxidant activity in a study involving rabbits. Wolfberry has been found to contain antioxidants such as carotenoids, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, thiamine, nicotinic acid and others that exhibited increased radical oxygen absorption. This study published in Life Science, November 2004 confirmed the antioxidant benefits from wolfberry.

Eye Health Benefits from Wolfberry

A study made in the University of Michigan suggests that wolfberry can provide health benefits against macular degeneration that is associated to blindness due to ageing. Wolfberry is rich in carotenoid, known as zeaxanthin that is known to improve the function of the retina.

Wolfberry Availability and Preparation

Wolfberries are available from Chinese medical shops or in the traditional medicine chains of major shopping centers.

Wolfberries can be bought fresh or dried. But the best wolfberries are those that are bright red colored, plump ones.

Wolfberry is also available in tablets and liquid extract forms.

Wolfberry can be chewed, cooked with other vegetables or meat. Or can be made as soup or tea.

To make wolfberry tea, boil 15grms of wolfberry for every cup of water. Consume everything while warm.

Wolfberry can also be made into wine. To make wolfberry wine, mix 200 grams of wolfberry for every 1 liter of Chinese cooking wine. Seal and let it ferment for 30 days before using.

According to most Chinese herbalists, the recommended uptake of wolfberry is about 10 to 15 grams per day. Or you can follow the advice of a competent medical practioner or what is recommended in the product label

Wolfberry Side Effects and Warnings

  • Wolfberry is considered safe when taken by mouth for most people.
  • Wolfberry may cause minor side effects such as nausea and vomiting.
  • Wolfberry is not safe for pregnant and breast feeding mothers because it contains a compound called betaine that may cause miscarriage.
  • Wolfberry has a blood pressure lowering effects that can compound other medications taken to lower blood pressure.
  • Wolfberry can lower blood sugar levels and can compound other medications for diabetes.
  • Wolfberry can interact with warfarin, a blood thinning drug and may cause bleeding side effects or bruising.

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