Goji | 枸杞

Common Chinese Name: 枸杞 (gou qi zi)

Common English Name: Ningxia goji berry; lycium fruit

Scientific Name: Lycium barbarum

Common Form: Rusty red dried berries with the size and texture of raisins

TCM Five Flavors: Sweet

TCM Energetics: Neutral

Meridian Affiliation: Liver; Lungs; Kidneys

Nutritional Information:

77% carbs, 12% fiber, 15% protein. Contains iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, thiamine, copper, magnesium, selenium. 

TCM Benefits:

  • Tonifies Liver Yin
  • Tonifies Kidney Yin
  • Moistens the Lungs
  • Improves vision and brightens eyes


  • Improves immunity
  • May prevent cancer
  • May slow signs of aging through antioxidant properties
  • Liver Yin support: Can be used to treat aching lower back and knees, impotence, nocturnal urination, diabetes, dizziness, premature graying, blurry or diminishing vision
  • Kidney Yin support: Can help brighten eyes and alleviate blurry or diminishing vision
  • Moistens Lungs: Can treat coughing due to Lung dryness and Lung Yin deficiency

Cooking Suggestions:

  • Average serving size: 6-18g
  • Rinse well before using, then soak for 5 minutes in room temperature water
  • Make a tea by steeping in boiling water, or add to other herbal teas for sweetness
  • Add to porridge, soups, or a stir fry dish in the last 5-15 minutes of cooking. Add to baked goods
  • Consume on their own as a dried fruit snack

Five Seasons TCM Recipes

Notes and Safety:

  • Generally safe for consumption in moderation. It has a very long history of culinary and medicinal use. 

Background and History:

Goji is one of the most common TCM ingredients. The best goji is grown the western Chinese province of Ningxia, where the hot sun and dry climate produces sweet berries dense with nutrition. Its name appeared first in The Book of Songs (诗经) two thousand years ago.

Written by Five Seasons TCM