Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Boxthorn fruit (kei chi) 杞 子

Description: sweet, warm affects the liver, lung and kidneys

Boxthorn fruit or Chinese wolfberry is the fruit of the Chinese boxthorn or matrimony vine. It is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavonoids and other bioactive compounds. It is also a good source of essential fatty acids, which is unusual for a fruit. In Chinese, it is called kei chi or gouqi therefore the name goji is probably a westernized version of this.

In European folklore, boxthorn planted near a home would cause discord between a husband and wife, thus the name ‘Matrimony Vine’.

Best known to correct poor eyesight and eye strain therefore drinking soup or a drink made with wolfberries would benefit people who read or stare at computer screens for long periods of time. When used in conjunction with other herbs it is effective for improving energy and strength to alleviate aching back and legs, diabetes, premature white hair and improve sexual function and fertility. You can even eat the dried fruit, uncooked, as a health snack.
Currently there is research to find out if it is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.

Known as 'gau kei choy' in Cantonese; the tender, slightly bitter leaves are stir fried or used in soups. It is useful for relief of hot flushes, pain in the joints and skin in addition to removing toxins from boils.

As with many other natural health food products, there is evidence that goji berries may interact with anticoagulant drugs such as warfarin and if taken together may cause dangerous bleeding. Do not use if having loose stools or diarrhoea.

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