goji berry

Common Chinese Name: 枸杞 / 枸杞子, Gou Qi / Gou Qi Zi

Scientific Name: Lycii Fructus

Common Form: Dried fruit

TCM Five Flavors: Sweet

TCM Energetics: Neutral

Nutritional Science:

  • Nutrients: per 100g contains 14g protein, 77g carbohydrate (13g dietary fiber, 46g sugar), 0.4g fat, thamin, vitamin A, vitamin B, calcium, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc

  • Function: helps with stress, sleep, vision, high blood sugar and cholesterol, heart health, and weight management

TCM Benefits:

  • Tonifies Kidney and Liver Yin: treats sore low back and knees, impotence, nocturnal emission, diabetes, dizziness, prematurely gray hair

  • Brightens the eyes: treats blurry or diminishing vision (gou qi zi is the best herb for deficient patients with visual disorders, who need a mild tonic for a lengthy period of time)

  • Moistens the lungs: treats coughing due to lung yin deficiency

Cooking Suggestions:

  • Rinse well before using, then soak for 5 minutes in room temperature water

  • Make tea by stewing in boiling water

  • Add to porridge, soup, baked goods, etc. Use them as you would for dried fruits. They can be used for both sweet and savory dishes.


Generally, it is very safe if consumed in moderation (6-18g/day). 


Gou Qi is one of the most common TCM ingredients. The best Gou Qi is produced in the Chinese province, Ning Xia. Its name appeared first in The Book of Songs (诗经) two thousand years ago.


Written by Five Seasons TCM

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