The Goji berry is a nutrient-rich fruit which grows in China. It is mostly found along the Himalayan valleys of China, Tibet, and Mongolia, and on plantations in the Ningxia and Xinjiang regions. Goji berries have recently picked up popularity as the West has come to discover this superfruit.
The name goji comes from the Chinese gǒuqǐ (枸杞), indicating the plant where goji berries grow. The berries are a staple of traditional Chinese medicine. Goji berries are also known as wolfberries in English.
Legends detail how the fruit leads to increased life-span. Legendary Chinese herbalist and martial artist, Li Ching-Yuen, was born in the 1600s. He lived straight into the 20th century, a lifespan of 256 years. He is believed to have eaten goji berries as part of a herbal diet.
The best goji berries grow in Ningxia, along the Yellow River. People who live there eat them on a daily basis. You will notice a difference in the older people there. They live long and healthy lives full of energy, and living past 100 is more common there than anywhere else in China.
Besides long life, goji berries help maintain health in many ways. In Chinese traditional medicine they are believed to strengthen the functions of the eyes, liver and kidneys. They have also been notable for helping people fight cancer, lose weight, control diabetes, lessen fatigue, and improve sleep.