What is Goji Extract?

Harriette Halepis

Goji extract is a liquid substance that has been derived from goji berries, the fruit of the lycium plant. This plant is also known as wolfberry, Chinese boxthorn, and matrimony vine. In most instances, goji extract is taken only from the berries, though leaves are sometimes added to this type of extract.

Goji extract may be included in powdered drink mixes.
Goji extract may be included in powdered drink mixes.

Throughout the world, goji has been used to treat various ailments ranging from burns to nosebleeds. Drinks made from goji extract are also popular throughout the world. Manufacturers of these drinks frequently claim that the goji fruit has cancer healing abilities, though this has yet to be proven. Based on findings by the National Cancer Institute, no product that can fully prevent or cure cancer has been discovered. Manufacturers who claim that this fruit prevents cancer frequently use unproven information in order to sell various products.

Most types of goji extract come from norther-central China.
Most types of goji extract come from norther-central China.

Most types of goji extract come from north-central China. Millions of dollars are spent each year exporting goji berries and extracts from China to various parts of the globe. As such, wolfberry is an important crop within China. Dried wolfberries are often used in various Chinese dishes, and extracts are used as part of traditional Chinese medicine.

Goji extract can be purchased in North America through specialty retailers. The price of this extract is usually quite high due to the many claims that wolfberry has healing properties. Those seeking to purchase extract in hopes of eliminating disease should speak with a medical doctor prior to consuming any kind of wolfberry product.

While most people may not experience any kind of side effect as a result of consuming goji extract, some people may experience skin irritation following the consumption of wolfberry. In addition, two cases related to the adverse effects of wolfberry on elderly women have been documented. In these cases, the elderly women who consumed wolfberry experienced bleeding, which was thought to be due to the fact that wolfberry can block the effectiveness of the anticoagulant called warfarin. Anyone currently taking this type of anticoagulant should not take any form of wolfberry prior to consulting a medical doctor.

Wolfberry extract is frequently added to juice, fruit purees, and powders, though the amount of goji inside of these products is often minimal. Aside from false assumptions related to wolfberry, the fruit itself, along with pure extracts, are pleasing to the palate. Fruits from the wolfberry tree are red in color and both sweet and sour in taste.

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