Lycium barbarum, or goji (also known as box thorn or wolfberry), is a deciduous shrub and part of the solanaceae family. On average the shrub grows to about 2.5m. It prefers moist soil and is able to grow in nutritionally poor soil.
Goji has been used for centuries in China as a nutritional supplement and medicinally. More recently it has been used by western practitioners of herbal medicine for a variety of purposes. A tonic made with the berries can be used to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It can also be taken to alleviate menopausal complaints. Applied externally, goji can reduce gentil itching. Furthermore, investigations suggest that regular consumption of goji can reduce the risk of cancer. Once fully ripe, the fruits can be eaten raw or cooked and are often touted as a ‘super-food.’