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Health & Balance

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Goji Berries: Health Benefits and Side Effects

Have you been wondering about the health benefits of goji berries and goji juice? Some claim that the goji berry is a fountain of youth.

But does it really live up to those claims? And do dried goji berries have side effects? Here are answers to your questions.

What Is a Goji Berry?

The goji berry, also called the wolfberry, is a bright orange-red berry that comes from a shrub that's native to China. In Asia, goji berries have been eaten for generations in the hope of living longer.

Over time, people have used goji berries to try to treat many common health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, fever, and age-related eye problems. Goji berries are eaten raw, cooked, or dried (like raisins) and are used in herbal teas, juices, wines, and medicines.

What Are the Benefits of Goji Berries?

Goji berries are rich in nutrients.

Some studies using goji berry juice found possible benefits that included a feeling of well being and calmness, better athletic performance and quality of sleep, and weight loss. But those were preliminary studies that need to be repeated before drawing conclusions. All berries are good for you. It's not clear if goji berries are better than other types of berries, or if goji berry supplements have the same health benefits as the actual berries.

Do Goji Berries Have Side Effects?

Goji berries could interact with some drugs. If you take warfarin (a blood thinner), you may want to avoid goji berries. Goji berries may also interact with diabetes drugs and blood pressure drugs, so talk with your doctor first.

Otherwise, it's probably safe to eat goji berries in moderation.

Before taking diet supplements, let your doctor know.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Kiefer, MD on April 27, 2015

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