Experimental Farm Network - Black Goji Berry

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11/22/2023 10:24:54
Black goji is the super-nutritious, arid-land-loving cousin of the more famous red goji (or wolfberry), boasting even higher phenolics & antioxidant capicity than its popular fellow-nightshade cousin. A thorny perennial with succulent leaves, it is well-adapted to its high-altitude, low-rainfall native range, including Tibet, Xinjiang, China, India, Russia, and central Asia. It's also sometimes called Russian box thorn, siyah goji, black fruit wolfberry, and kaokee. The Chinese name is hei guo gou qi.

The fully-ripe fresh, dried, or cooked fruits of black goji are used in food and beverages (including a lovely blue-colored tea). They are rich in vitamins A, C, and E, along with various flavanoids, essential fatty acids, and other bioactive compounds. According to Plants for a Future, it's being "investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers." It's also reportedly used for diabetes and kidney problems. In at least one part of Kashmir, the berries are made into an ointment to treat blindness in camels!