The Little China Blog


Gou Qi Zi (Gou Qi Berries)

The Little China Company - Gou Qi Zi

Gou Qi Zi - Add To Your Favourite Soups or Meals               

Botanical name:
Lycium barbarum

Common names:
Lycium fruit
Chinese wolfberry
Matrimony vine

Nightshade family

TCM Use:
Read More ...


The Little China Company - Gou Qi Zi on the vine

 Gou Qi Zi - Still Fresh On The Vine

Functional Grouping:
Herbs That Tonify Blood

Dosage & Preparation:
Dosage: 6-18g

Channels Influenced:
Liver, Lung, Kidney

Associated Temperature & Taste:
Sweet, Neutral

The Little China Company - Gou Qi Zi

Gou Qi Zi - Ready To Go

Major Chinese Medicine actions:

  • Nourishes and Tonifies the Liver and Kidneys
    • Treat aching and weakness of the waist and legs
    • Dizziness
    • Tinnitus
    • Spermatorrhoea and night sweat due to hypo-function of the liver and kidney
  • Benefits the essence and brightens the eyes
    • Treat weak or blurred vision due to Yin Deficiency of the Liver and Kidney
  • Enriches the Yin and Moistens the Lungs
    • Consumptive cough

Gou Qi Zi also known as Lycium fruit, Gou Ji Berries or Chinese wolfberry. Gou Qi Zi is the fruit of the plant and is about the size of a bean or small marble. Harvested in the summer months the best quality Gou Qi Zi are grown in the Ningzia, Gansu and Qinghai provinces in China.

Gou Qi Zi phytochemicals (plant chemicals) have been found to have the ability to enhance and boost immune and body system functions.

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Gou QI Zi - A Close Look

Gou Qi Zi (Lycium fruit) contains a variety of phytochemicals or phyto-compounds, including:

vitamin C

The Little China Company - Gou Qi Zi 06

Picking Gou Qi Zi

Trace elements include:

and others

Within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Gou Qi Zi is used as a dried herb and looks much like a red sultana. It has sweet and neutral properties and it enters the channels of the Liver, Kidney and Lungs.

Its functions are:

  • Tonify the kidneys
  • Build and Promote the production of the Jing (translated as the vital essence)
  • Nourish the liver
  • Moisten the lungs

The Little China Company - Gou Qi Zi 03

Gou Qi Zi - On The Vine

Gou Qi Zi
has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a tonic herb to treat Liver, Kidney, Lung and Blood for over 3,000 years. Gou Qi Zi first appeared in “Shen Nong’s Herbal Classic” which was believed to have been written approximately 2800 BC. It is classified as a superior tonic herb.

One of the famous classical formulas which used Gou Qi Zi as a major element is “Five Ancestors Teapills”. This formula was created by Dr Li Ting in Tang Dynasty. The formula consists of 5 herbs - Gou Qi Zi, Tu Si Zi, Fu Pen Zi, Che Qian Zi, Wu Wei Zi. The formula was used for male impotence, premature ejaculation, infertility, premature greying, and constant urination.

Now in the modern age Gou Qi Zi is more highly regarded as a general tonic and is part of the group of herbs and foods used for their anti aging properties. In order to achieve these goals people regularly consume Gou Qi Zi daily in their food, soups and/or as teas. Traditional Chinese Medicine states that by regularly consuming Gou Qi Zi you may have the ability to gently tonify and support your health and improve your vitality and strength.

The Little China Company - Gou Qi Zi 04

Gou Qi Zi - Ready To Pick

Additionally it is also important to note that Gou Qi Zi is a member of the Solanaceae family such as potato, tomato, eggplant, and peppers, etc.

Here In the West, Gou Qi Zi has recently become a popular known as a "superfood". Gou Qi Zi is sweet to taste and may be used daily in teas, food, or soups. Traditionally the berries are commonly added to bone meat soups made with such meat as pork, chicken, duck and even beef.

Gou Qi Zi is one of the most important herbs within Traditional Chinese Medicine. It has “superfood” and anti-aging properties and it also tastes great too. Try and add some Gou Qi Zi to your daily longevity routine.