The medicinal power of boxthorn or goji berry

Boxthorn is the real name of what is sold as goji berry. Boxthorn is a nightshade plant. It was discovered around 800 AD by Tibetan monks in the Himalayas. The monks attribute many health aspects to the berry, many of which are not unjustified. From China it was transported to Europe where it was cultivated for its medicinal qualities. The berry soon grew wild. Even now you can encounter the boxthorn in Belgium or the Netherlands. It mainly grows along rivers and in the dunes. The plant has also gone wild in the US. The main uses in Chinese traditional medicine are for high blood pressure, to regulate blood sugar levels, for eye problems and for problems with the immune system.
NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.

Botanical drawing of boxthorn / Source: Public domain, Wikimedia Commons (PD)


  • Use in traditional Chinese medicine
  • Naming
  • Active substances
  • Goji berry, good for overall health
  • Goji berries, good for your eyes
  • Goji berry, good for sperm
  • Goji berry, a must for type 2 diabetes patients
  • Further positive facts about the goji berry
  • Dose and safety

Use in traditional Chinese medicine

In traditional Chinese medicine, the boxthorn berry or goji berry is used in many ways. The following conditions are treated with it: Dizziness, anemia, colds, impotence, fatigue, premature aging, night sweats, weakness in the back and knees, tinnitus and visual impairment, tension and infertility. That is an impressive list that can be supplemented with high blood pressure. A number of activities are supported by contemporary scientific research. For example, the boxthorn berry is good for cataracts due to its zeaxanthin and lutein content, polysaccharide has an immune-stimulating effect and it contains many antioxidants that can prevent a range of conditions.


The Latin name of boxthorn is Lycium barbarum . The boxthorn was once widely cultivated in the Anatolian region of Lycia, which is why it was called lycium. In England the berry is mistakenly called wolfberry, probably because some scholars assumed that lycium came from lycos, which means ‘wolf’. The name ‘goji’ most likely comes from the Persian language, where the word gojeh means ‘berry’. Boks comes from the Latin word buxus, which is the name for a shrub with woody branches.

Active substances

In phytotherapy, only the berry of the boxthorn, which is best known as the goji berry, is used for medicinal purposes. This berry contains at least six different polysaccharides. The carotenoids zeaxanthin, lutein, beta-carotene, lycopene and cryptoxanthin, phytosterols including betasitosterol, cerebrosides, linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, phenols, a large amount of vitamins and minerals including zinc and selenium.

Goji berry, good for overall health

The goji berry is rich in antioxidants. These are also found in other fruits and vegetables, but the goji berry contains just a little more. Relatively speaking, the goji berry contains 500 times as much

Boxthorn picker / Source: Paul144, Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)

vitamin C like the orange! Due to its multitude of antioxidants, the berry is good for the immune system. A good immune system ensures that all diseases occur less often. That is why it is good to include goji berries in your diet.

Goji berries are especially good for the liver and kidneys. These particularly important organs function better by regularly eating goji berries.

Goji berries, good for your eyes

Zeaxanthin and lutein, together with various other antioxidants, ensure that cataracts can be prevented. The Chinese already knew: goji berries are good for your eyes. The retina is protected by these nutrients. In phytotherapy it is recommended to often eat goji berries to prevent:

  • Glaucoma or eyeball hypersensitivity,
  • Macular degeneration.

Goji berry, good for sperm

If a man eats 50 grams of goji berries per day, his sperm quality will improve and his fertility will increase. It is a sexual tonic, a tonic. The testosterone level of men is increased by regularly eating this berry. This is especially important for men with relatively poor sperm and a desire to have children; the goji berry can give your body the boost it needs to produce enough sperm to make your wish come true.

Goji berry, a must for type 2 diabetes patients

Goji berry lowers blood sugar levels. Moreover, it is a delicious sweet berry. If you add 30 to 50 grams of goji berries to your muesli, you really don’t need any sugar; the breakfast is sweet enough. That is extra good news for type 2 diabetes patients. Anyone who suffers from this disease should give up sugar from now on. Goji berries are an excellent alternative to sugar. In addition, diabetics have a higher risk of glaucoma, and this is also prevented by this berry, as we saw earlier.

Close-up goji or buckthorn berries / Source: Paul144, Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)

Further positive facts about the goji berry

The goji berry :

  • Improves blood circulation,
  • Cures anemia,
  • Ensures that skin wounds heal faster and
  • Relieves burns.

Dose and safety

To achieve a therapeutic effect, you should eat goji berries daily.

  • 15 to 30 grams of berries per day.
  • 10 grams of steamed goji berries two or three times a day.

The goji berry is very safe but it may possibly interact with blood thinners that contain warfarin. If you are taking such a blood thinner and want to use goji berries, consider whether it is wise to take slightly less blood thinners, or switch to a natural blood thinner such as kiwi, ginger, rooibos, alfalfa, cordyceps, feverfew. , vinca or Chinese angelica.