Wolfberry (also known as goji berry, barbary matrimony vine, bocksdorn, Duke of Argyll’s tea tree, red medlar or matrimony vine)
Traditional Chinese Name: 杞子(gǒuqǐzi)
Targets: Kidney and liver
This is one of the those basic Chinese ingredients that you need in your pantry. They pair nicely with most soups and herbal teas! You can check out this post and video on “The basic ingredients for your Chinese Soup pantry”.
This ingredient is a must have in your Chinese soup pantry. It is used in soups, stews, porridge, sweet soups, teas and a variety of Chinese dishes. My mom will use this for most chicken soup stocks, especially during my confinement and quite frankly, these little things don’t taste that bad either, slightly sweet, slightly tart, with a bit of crunch from the seeds. I actually really do enjoy eating them!
What are goji berries?
Dried goji berries are actually the fruit from the goji berry plant (or wolfberry plant), which range from bright red to bright orange in colour.
The dried berries are typically 1-2 cm in length and are predominantly grown, cultured, and processed in China and then exported to other countries.
They are common in both Eastern medicine and western health supplements, showing up in dried to powdered form.
How do you prepare them?
For use in soups, you can presoak or rinse in warm water to rinse any processing residue. I normally just drop them directly into soups and teas.
They travel very well, so it is something I do recommend you can take with you in little bags or reusable containers to make teas in hotels and away from home. You can check out this video here on how to make herbals teas with wolfberries if you’re traveling.
Where can I buy it and cost?
- You can purchase these from most Asian supermarkets prepackaged
- You can also purchase this in bulk from specialty stores (online herbal shops)
- Be sure that you’re buying from a reputable source
- The prices will vary but generally cost around $10 USD for 150g
- You can check out this product I’ve found and used myself from Amazon as I was bulk ordering some stuff anyways!
- From a Traditional Chinese medicine perspective, dried goji berries (or wolfberries) help tonify the yin of the liver and kidneys
- These are amazing for eye health and brightens the eyes. You’ll hear this very commonly in Asia from old ladies and men from the wet mart!
- Wolfberries are high in antioxidants and contains a significant percentage of daily macronutrient needs such as: carbohydrates, protein, fat and dietary fiber
- They also contain 6 essential vitamins, Beta-Carotene, Calcium, Potassium, Iron and Zinc
- It is a natural supplement for improving eyesight and may assist with eye strain for frequent computer users
- It is also known to be beneficial for the liver
There are many positive medical claims that involve the consumption of wolfberries, however for many claims, very little (if any) have been verified by western medicine
The consumption of pills and ground wolfberries should be under the consultation of a physician
Excess consumption of wolfberry tea may lead to bleeding in the elderly
Looking to build your basic Chinese Soup Pantry?
Check it out in my video to learn more!