Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Find a Vitamin or Supplement

LYCIUM

Other Names:

Baies de Goji, Baies de Lycium, Barberry Matrimony Vine, Chinese Boxthorn, Chinese Wolfberry, Di Gu Pi, Digupi, Épine du Christ, Fructus Lychii Chinensis, Fructus Lycii, Fructus Lycii Berry, Fruit de Lycium, Goji, Goji Berry, Goji Chinois, Goji ...
See All Names

LYCIUM Overview
LYCIUM Uses
LYCIUM Side Effects
LYCIUM Interactions
LYCIUM Dosing
LYCIUM Overview Information

Lycium is a native Chinese deciduous shrub with bright red berries. The dried berries and root bark are used to make medicine.

Lycium 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.

Lycium 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 lycium as an eye tonic for blurred vision, for macular degeneration, and for other eye disorders. Lycium 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 lycium was first described in the first century AD in Chinese literature. Traditionally, lycium has been used to promote longevity. Legend claims that one herbalist who used lycium 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.

LYCIUM Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Diabetes.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Fever.
  • Malaria.
  • Cancer.
  • Blood circulation problems.
  • Sexual problems (impotence).
  • Dizziness.
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of lycium for these uses.


LYCIUM Side Effects & Safety

Lycium is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth. It can cause some side effects such as nausea and vomiting.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking lycium during pregnancy is LIKELY UNSAFE. It contains a chemical, betaine, which could cause miscarriage. Don’t use lycium if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Low blood pressure (hypotension): Lycium might lower blood pressure. If your blood pressure is already low, taking lycium might make it drop too much.

High blood pressure (hypertension): Lycium might lower blood pressure. It might cause blood pressure to drop too much if you are taking high blood pressure medications.

Diabetes: Lycium 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.

LYCIUM Interactions What is this?

Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) substrates) interacts with LYCIUM

    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 LYCIUM

    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 LYCIUM

    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 LYCIUM

    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.


LYCIUM Dosing

The appropriate dose of lycium 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 lycium. 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.

See 5 Reviews for this Treatment - OR -

Review this Treatment

Learn about User Reviews and read IMPORTANT information about user generated content

Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

Search for a Vitamin or Supplement

Ex. Ginseng, Vitamin C, Depression

Today on WebMD

Woman taking a vitamin or supplement
Article
Man taking a vitamin or supplement
Article
 
clams
Quiz
Woman in sun
Slideshow
 
Flaxseed added fiber
Video
!!69X75_Vitamins_Supplements.jpg
Evaluator
 
Woman sleeping
Article
Woman staring into space with coffee
Article
 
IMPORTANT: About This Section and Other User-Generated Content on WebMD

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatment or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.