Goji Berry Background
Grown on a shrub that is indigenous to China, goji berries have been by traditional Chinese healers for a vast array of health issues. These Chinese healers use goji extracts, tinctures and goji berry juice to treat their patients.
The traditional Chinese healers used goji berry to treat medical conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and other types of pain. Western medicine is now conducting various studies to show the health benefits of goji berry. These studies are ongoing and continue to show promise and proof to what the Chinese already knew about goji berry, and that is that is works to improve your health.
History of Goji Berry
The history of goji berry dates back more than 2000 years. Traditional Chinese healers have been using goji berry to help boost immune system response, improve blood circulation, improve eyesight and it has even been used to increase sperm count. In addition to these believed health benefits, the Chinese healers used goji berries to increase longevity and protect the liver, help treat various forms of body pain, such as back pain, and goji has been used to treat dizziness, eliminate chronic coughing and help with dry skin.
Modern Day Uses of Goji Berry
Today the uses of goji berry continue as well as they have expanded to treat other health concerns. Currently individuals are taking goji berry to help treat eye conditions such as macular generation, high cholesterol and sexual dysfunction. Goji berry also shows promise in helping to treat the effects of dementia and it is still used today to protect and the liver.
While research is still ongoing, goji berries are also being used to treat mild burns, anemia, reducing inflammation of joints, skin infections and coughs. Goji can also be used as a mild sedative to help those who suffer from insomnia.
Function of Goji Berry
Goji berries contain the active substances polysaccharides, betasitosterol and cerebrosides, which are responsible for goji berry's health benefits. The polysaccharides in goji berries, specifically lyceum barbarum polysaccharide, have potential cancer-fighting powers. The polysaccharides are also responsible for goji berry's antioxidant effects and actions in reducing blood sugar levels, triglycerides and cholesterol levels. In addition to this, they also help to combat fatigue and boost immune system function.
The betasitosterol component in goji berries also helps to lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting absorption in the stomach and intestines. The polysaccharides and erebroside help to protect the liver as well. Finally, goji berries also contain zeaxanthin, which helps to protect your eyes from diseases or conditions of the retinas.
Scientific Evidence of Goji Berry's Benefits
The research into the health benefits of goji berry is ongoing. To date the majority of the goji research has been conducted on animals with very few research studies completed with human subjects. While the number of studies is limited to humans, the animal studies have shown much promise.
With respect to the liver-protecting abilities of goji berry, a 2002 study showed that the zeaxanthin in goji berry helped to protect the liver in rats, while a 2007 study revealed that goji's polysaccharides prevented rats from developing fatty liver.
In 2004, a study was published that highlighted that goji berries have hypoglycemic, antioxidant and cholesterol lowering effects. These can help those who suffer from diabetes and high cholesterol. In a published 2005 study concluded that goji berries provided neuroprotective effects that may have a the ability to prevent Alzheimer's disease. Based on all these findings as well as the new studies that being published on a frequent basis, you should always consult your family doctor before adding goji berries to your treatment for any aliment. While goji berries have proven to be very effective and have many health benefits, your doctor will know if any conflicts may occur between the medication you are currently taking and goji berry.
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