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Goji is a shrub with edible berries that are often used in dietary supplements and health foods or drinks. The berries and the bark, which are claimed to be beneficial for treating and preventing numerous different medical conditions, contain beta-sitosterol (a plant sterol that might help lower cholesterol) and betaine (a compound that can help lower the risk of heart disease, strokes, and blood clots).

What Is Goji?

Goji is a shrub native to China. It has small, red berries that are edible. Both the berries and the bark are used in traditional Chinese medicine. The berries in particular (and juice made from the berries) have become popular in health foods and drinks. It is said to be beneficial for treating and preventing a variety of different conditions, as well as for promoting longevity.
 
(Click Benefits of Goji for more information on what the supplement is used for.)
 

How Does It Work?

Goji contains a variety of different compounds that may have medicinal activity. Both the bark and the berries contain beta-sitosterol (a plant sterol that might help to lower cholesterol). Both also contain betaine, a compound that can help lower homocysteine levels, which might lower the risk of heart disease, strokes, and blood clots. The bark also contains compounds that may have the following properties:
 
  • Blood pressure-lowering effects
  • Blood sugar-lowering effects
  • Antibacterial properties.
     

Is Goji Effective?

In general, there is not enough scientific evidence to suggest that goji really is effective for most uses (see Does Goji Work? for more information).
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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