Wolfberry

Alternate Names/Related Terms:

  • Goji, goji berry, Lycium barbarum

Introduction

Wolfberry is a small red berry that grows on a shrub. The berry has been used to help the body fight disease and to help control body mass index (BMI) and blood glucose. It can be eaten raw or used in cooking. It can also be taken as a pill, powder, or extract. Wolfberry can also be made into a tea.

Dosages

There are no advised doses for wolfberry.

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • General wellbeing—may increase feelings of health and wellbeing.

Not Enough Data to Assess

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take wolfberry in small doses for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe to take by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Interactions
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse such as:
  • People taking blood thinners should talk to their doctors before taking wolfberry. It may increase risk of bleeding. D1, D2

References

A Cardiometabolic syndrome
A1 Guo XF, Li ZH, et al. The effects of Lycium barbarum L. (L. barbarum) on cardiometabolic risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Food Funct. 2017;8(5):1741-1748.
B Diabetes
B1 Cai H, Liu F, et al. Practical Application of Antidiabetic Efficacy of Lycium barbarum Polysaccharide in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Med Chem. 2015;11(4):383-390.
C General Wellbeing
C1 Amagase H, Nance DM. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical study of the general effects of a standardized Lycium barbarum (Goji) Juice, GoChi. J Altern Complement Med. 2008 May;14(4):403-412.
C2 Amagase H, Sun B, et al. Immunomodulatory effects of a standardized Lycium barbarum fruit juice in Chinese older healthy human subjects. J Med Food. 2009 Oct;12(5):1159-1165.
C3 Paul Hsu CH, Nance DM, et al. A meta-analysis of clinical improvements of general well-being by a standardized Lycium barbarum. J Med Food. 2012 Nov;15(11):1006-14.
D Safety
D1 Potterat O. Goji (Lycium barbarum and L. chinense): Phytochemistry, pharmacology and safety in the perspective of traditional uses and recent popularity. Planta Med. 2010 Jan;76(1):7-19.
D2 Chua YT, Ang XL, et al. Interaction between warfarin and Chinese herbal medicines. Singapore Med J. 2015 Jan;56(1):11-8.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • Review Date: 07/2019
  • Update Date: 03/26/2020