LYCIUM Overview Information
Goji is a native Chinese deciduous shrub with bright red berries. The dried berries and root bark are used to make medicine.
Goji is used for many conditions, but so far, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not it is effective for any of them.
Goji is used for diabetes, high blood pressure, poor circulation, fever, malaria, and cancer. It’s also used for erectile dysfunction (ED), dizziness, ringing in the ears (tinnitus); and to reduce fever, sweating, irritability, thirst, nosebleeds, cough, and wheezing.
Some people use goji as an eye tonic for blurred vision, for macular degeneration, and for other eye disorders. Goji is also used to strengthen muscles and bone, and as a blood, liver, and kidney tonic.
In foods, the berries are eaten raw or used in cooking.
The use of goji was first described in the first century AD in Chinese literature. Traditionally, goji has been used to promote longevity. Legend claims that one herbalist who used goji in combination with other tonic herbs lived 252 years.
How does it work?
Lycium contains chemicals that might help lower blood pressure and blood sugar.
- Dry eyes. Early research suggests that using Hialid eye drops and drinking a specific product (Runmushu Oral Liquid) containing rehmannia root, figwort, lilyturf root, dendrobium stem, goji fruit, chrysanthemum, and sticktight for one month may improve symptoms of dry eyes better than Hialid eye drops alone in older women.
- Quality of life. Some early research shows that drinking goji juice (GoChi, Freelife International LLC) for 14-30 days improves energy levels, athletic performance, sleep quality, sharpness of the mind, calmness, feelings of health and contentment, mood, and bowel regularity. However, other evidence suggests that drinking the same goji juice does not improve short-term memory or eyesight in healthy adults.
- Weight loss. Early research suggests that drinking goji juice (GoChi, Freelife International LLC) for 2 weeks in addition to following a diet and exercise program may decrease waist size in healthy, overweight adults. However, it does not appear to improve weight or body fat.
- High blood pressure.
- Blood circulation problems.
- Sexual problems (impotence).
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
- Other conditions.
LYCIUM Side Effects & Safety
Goji is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken appropriately by mouth, short-term. It can cause some side effects such as nausea and vomiting.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking goji by mouth during pregnancy is LIKELY UNSAFE. It contains a chemical, betaine, which could cause miscarriage. Don’t use goji if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Allergy to protein in certain products: Goji might cause an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to tobacco, peaches, tomatoes, and nuts.
Low blood pressure: Goji might lower blood pressure. If your blood pressure is already low, taking goji might make it drop too much.
High blood pressure: Goji might lower blood pressure. It might cause blood pressure to drop too much if you are taking medications for high blood pressure.
Diabetes: Goji root bark might lower blood sugar. It might cause blood sugar to drop too much if you are taking medications for diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar levels carefully.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) substrates) interacts with GOJI
Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.
Lycium might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking lycium along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking lycium talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.
Some medications that are changed by the liver include amitriptyline (Elavil), diazepam (Valium), zileuton (Zyflo), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Voltaren), fluvastatin (Lescol), glipizide (Glucotrol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), irbesartan (Avapro), losartan (Cozaar), phenytoin (Dilantin), piroxicam (Feldene), tamoxifen (Nolvadex), tolbutamide (Tolinase), torsemide (Demadex), warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
- Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with GOJI
Lycium bark might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking lycium bark along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
- Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs) interacts with GOJI
Lycium seems to decrease blood pressure. Taking lycium along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.
Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.
- Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with GOJI
Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Lycium might increase how long warfarin (Coumadin) is in the body, and increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.
The appropriate dose of goji depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for goji. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.