Dragon Herbs Goji LBP 40%, 100 count
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Dragon Herbs Goji LBP-40 Capsules is a 100% natural powdered extract of the highest grade Lycium barbarum fruit. LBP is a unique compound found in Goji berries. Goji LBP-40 contains a minimum of 40% of this unique compound, the optimum extraction ratio for this herb to provide maximum anti-aging and immune regulating benefits. 100 caps.
Dragon Herbs Goji LBP 40%
Whole goji extract naturally standardized to 40% lyceum barbarum polysaccharides (LBP)
Goji (Lycium Fruit or Wolfberries)
Goji fruit, from the plant Lycium barbarum, is revered in Asia for its youth preserving, health protective, strengthening, and mood-elevating properties. It is one of the main herbs used in China’s amazing herbal system and is regarded as one of the elite tonic herbs in the world. The incredible efficiency of the antioxidants in Goji LBP-40 makes it a perfect tonic herbal supplement.
Goji LBP-40 is naturally standardized to contain 40% Lycium Barbarum Polysaccharides, or LBP. LBP is a constituent unique to Goji berries. LBP has been demonstrated to have profound anti-fatigue, immune potentiating and immune regulating, skin beautifying, DNA protecting, blood sugar regulating and blood lipid regulating effects.
LBP supports our innate antioxidant system by powerfully stimulating SOD (superoxide dismutase) production and activity. SOD has been dubbed the “youth enzyme. SOD protects our cells (including the cells of the brain, heart, kidneys, liver and other organs) from the ravages of internally-generated toxins, as well as from toxins and other stressors introduced from the outside environment. Goji LBP-40 is a full spectrum Goji berry extract, with every component of the world’s greatest superfood present. Consuming this herbal extract is equivalent to eating the fresh berries every day. The convenience of taking this herb in capsule form makes it an important addition to the tonic herb shelf in you home. In addition, the high concentration of LBP assures unsurpassed, powerful immunological and antioxidant protection.
Dragon Herbs Goji LBP-40 Capsules
Goji LBP-40 is a 100% natural powdered extract of the highest grade Lycium barbarum fruit containing a minimum of 40% LBP (Lycium Barbarum Polysaccharides), the optimum extraction ratio for this herb (a higher extraction ratio has been shown to reduce the efficacy of the product). This pure extract maintains all the constituents and activity of fresh goji berries with the added power of full LBP extraction. Goji LBP-40 contains all five known LBPs, carotenoids (zeaxanthin and beta-carotene), flavonoids, a vitamin C precursor that converts to vitamin C once it is absorbed into the blood stream, and is rich in zinc.
Asia’s Original Superfood
Goji berries, from the plant Lycium barbarum, have been considered to be a “magical” longevity herb-superfood since the dawn of Asian civilization. Today, as much as ever, goji is revered in Asia for its youth preserving, health protective, strengthening, and mood-elevating properties. And though it is a fruit, it is considered to be more than a common fruit – it is regarded as one of the elite tonic herbs in the world. It is one of the main herbs used in the amazing Chinese herbal system, often used in combination with other precious tonic herbs like Cordyceps, Ginseng and Schizandra.
One of the great things about authentic, high grade goji is that it can be consumed as a dried fruit – as easily as raisons – providing an incredible range of nutrients, nutraceutically important phytochemicals and health benefits. In China it is called a “delicious herb,” suitable for use in cuisine (raw or cooked) and for straight snacking. Most herbs of the potency of goji cannot be consumed so easily simply because they are impossible to eat. Most herbs are dried roots or bark, and most are not exactly “delicious.” Low quality goji may not be delicious either and may be tough to eat, but high quality “snack grade” goji is an absolute pleasure to consume any time.
Finally, Americans and Europeans are discovering what has been known for 5,000 years in Asia – eating Goji fruit regularly helps you to feel, look and perform better on every level of life. And Goji is not a placebo or fad herb. It has been used by billions of people over the period of thousands and years. Hundreds of scientific studies are confirming all its traditional uses and more. Goji is an antiaging, health protective, life-giving miracle if every Nature created one!
Botanical Name: Lycium Barbarum
Pharmaceutical Name: Fructus Lycii
Action: To benefit the liver and the kidney, to replenish vital essence and to improve eyesight.
Dosage: 18 ~ 36 grams per day
What Makes Goji Berries So Special
The goji berry, also known as Lycium berry, wolfberry and Gouqizi (in Mandarin Chinese) is unquestionably a superfood. People are not exaggerating when they say that the Goji berry is among the premier superfoods known to mankind. Goji may well be one of the healthiest single foods you could ever consume. And you only need to consume an ounce a day to get all the amazing benefits that people have been experiencing from goji for thousands of years.
Fructus Lycii (the official pharmaceutical name for goji) is the dried fruit of Lycium barbarum, the species of Lycium fruit that is the only official goji berry, according to the official Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China. According to the Pharmacopoeia, consuming around an ounce of goji per day, or the equivalent as a tea or extract, has the broad effects of benefiting the liver and kidney functions, as classically defined in the Chinese health care system, to specifically improve eyesight, and to help restore vital essence, and energy commonly referred to as Jing.
Fructus Lycii is one of the most commonly prescribed Yin-modulators used in Chinese herbalism. In Asia and wherever Chinese herbalism is practiced, this herb/superfood is used as a tonic, and is widely used specifically to replenishes the Yin component and blood elements, improves eyesight, strengthen the back, tonify the sexual and reproductive functions, and to help restore yin energy to the Kidney and Liver energy channels. In traditional Chinese herbalism, it has been documented extensively as a favorite ingredient in recipes for elderly people.
Various human studies have shown the oral administration of goji (lycium fruit either as an extract or as dried fruit) to in have improved their immune functions, raised the serum levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and hemoglobin but lowered the level of lipid peroxides as well as reduced senility symptoms. Traditional medicinal preparations for sick persons and the elderly usually contain it as one of the ingredients.
This herb contains simple sugars, polysaccharides, betaine, zeaxanthin and physalein. Goji berries contain an abundance of health-promoting constituents including: Lycium polysaccharides, 18 amino acids, 6 essential fatty acids, vitamins B1, B2, B6, E (not commonly found in fruit), more beta carotene than carrots, as much vitamin C as contained in lemons or oranges, and more than twenty trace minerals including calcium, organic germanium, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, and iron.
High-grade, fresh Chinese goji is extremely rich in beta-carotene (some researchers estimate that it has the highest content of beta-carotene among all foods on earth). Beta-carotene can be transformed into vitamin A under the influence of human liver enzymes. Therefore, vitamin A ultimately plays a major influence in Lycium’s actions. Lycium’s function on the eyes is related to this factor. Lycium’s vitamin B1 and B2 contents are significant and the vitamin C content of freeze-dried Lycium has been measured to be 73 mg / 100 grams. Goji berries appear to help support our health in many ways. They possess powerful immune-supporting phytochemicals. Goji berry and its extracts have been shown to neutralize free radicals and to protect DNA. Evidence indicates that goji berries are likely to protect our nervous system (including our brain) and our sexual organs from damage due to stress, temperature variations and free radicals.
Convincing evidence supports the traditional notion that consuming goji berries regularly can help support cardiovascular health, protect the pancreas and liver, enhance immunity, support eye health, increase libido and fertility and improve mood.
The fruit also contains beta-sitosterol (an anti-inflammatory agent), linoleic acid (a fatty acid), sesquiterpenoids (cyperone, solavetivone), tetraterpenoids (zeaxanthin, physalin), and betaine.
Goji Is Safe to Consume
Goji berries are very safe to consume. Though no food or herb agrees with everybody on Earth, goji is one of the best tolerated foods, so long as you don’t eat so much in a single sitting that the body cannot digest it. Goji berries are ubiquitous in China where they are consumed by almost every household as a longevity food and for health protection. Billions of people have consumed these incredible berries regularly for thousands of years and the evidence is clear that goji berries are a quintessential superfood.
Goji – A Super-Antioxidant
Goji is a super-antioxidant food, abundant in different antioxidant phytochemicals. Goji is rich in other carotenoids that scavenge free radicals keeping our liver, blood and cardiovascular system clean and free from inflammatory toxins. Goji has been thoroughly analyzed and has been found to be rich in a variety of antioxidants, including carotenoids (such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin), riboflavin, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), thiamine (vitamin B1), and nicotinic acid. Total carotenoid concentrations of different goji berries are within the range of 0.03–0.5%. Zeaxanthin dipalmitate, a potent antioxidant essential for vision and probably for other human functions, is a predominant carotenoid, comprising as much as 56% of the total carotenoids in Lycium barbarum fruit (goji).
All forms of goji possess potent antioxidant activity. The raw fruit, either fresh or dried has been demonstrated to be a super antioxidant food. Water and alcohol extracts too are extraordinary antioxidants (proving that cooking does not destroy the antioxidant activity of goji). Extracts of goji may be refined to contain higher amounts of a constituent known as LBP (to be discussed in a moment). These high density, standardized extracts are extreme antioxidants, although the antioxidant effects taper off if the extract contains more than 40 or 50% LBP.
This explains why in Asia goji is consumed as the raw-dried fruit as a snack – but also in all sorts of cooked dishes, in wine and in tinctures, as well as in thousands of herbal formulations.
For those who wish to consume a natural form of vitamin C on a daily basis, nothing could be better than consuming an ounce or two of goji every day. Goji berry is estimated to be as rich in vitamin C as fresh lemons. Actually, goji contains a unique precursor of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), known as ascorbic acid 2-beta-G. This stable form of vitamin C is abundant in the dried fruit of Lycium barbarum (goji). When provided to test animals by oral administration, it increased the blood ascorbic acid and it was also detected in blood from the portal vein. Thus it appears to be easily assimilated by the body.
Our bodies produce extremely powerful antioxidants, one of which is superoxide dismutase (SOD). SOD is one of three primary antioxidants produced in the human body designed by evolution to protect the body against natural free radical damage. SOD is critical in protecting us against harmful oxidative stress. Without it, we cannot live. or “youth enzyme.” SOD is a key antioxidant enzyme which protects your brain cells from the ravages of internally-generated toxins and also from those introduced from the outside environment.
Free radicals are responsible for much of the inflammation experienced by humans. A free radical known as the superoxide anion is responsible for much of this inflammation. SOD will normally counteract this damaging free radical. According to a reported article published in China, Lycium barbarum fruit can increase SOD production by as much as an astounding 40%!
Substances that stimulate the body’s production of SOD are fabulous for our health. What could be better than stimulating OUR OWN native antioxidants? This appears to be exactly what happens when we consume goji berries. Goji has the power to support your body’s own production of superoxide dismutase (SOD) Oral Administration of goji (Lycium fruit) raises SOD in the blood stream and in various tissues. This unheralded effect of goji may well be of the utmost importance to our health and one of Goji’s most important attributes. It appears that this stimulatory ability of goji on SOD production is the result of the actions of unique constituents in goji called Lycium polysaccharides (LBPs), which we will discuss in more detail in a moment.
Antioxidant science is now central to a majority of disease and health related research taking place in laboratories around the world. No medical science has been left untouched by the fundamental principles of oxidation and protection against its excesses in the body. The science clearly suggests that antioxidants play an important role in preventing many degenerative diseases, and may slow down the aging process. Goji is emerging as one of the elite superstars in the antioxidant arsenal – not a surprise to the Chinese or to tonic herbalists.
Goji Flavonoids Protect Red Blood Cell Membranes and Mitochondria
Our red blood cells are subject to oxidation by free radicals like all tissues in the body. Excessive exposure to free radicals (prooxidants) can damage red blood cells so that they can no longer do their job, and worse, become harmful to the body. Goji contains flavonoids that appear to protect red blood cells and the mitochondria (energy producing organelles within cells) from oxidative stress.
In a study conducted at Ningxia Medical College, the protective effects of the total flavonoids from Lycium barbarum (TFL) on lipid peroxidation in mitochondria and red blood cells induced by oxygen radicals were investigated. The mitochondria lipid peroxidation was significantly inhibited by TFL, and the fluidity of mitochondria membrane was also protected effectively. It was observed by scan electron microscope, that the shape of red blood cells in the oxidized system was damaged significantly, while the shape of red blood cells remained normal with the addition of TFL. Huang Y, Lu J, Shen Y, Lu J. [Article in Chinese] Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 1999 Mar 30;28(2):115-6. Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, Faculty of Preventive Medicine, Ningxia Medical College, Yinchuan 750004, China. The protective effects of total flavonoids from Lycium Barbarum L. on lipid peroxidation of liver mitochondria and red blood cell in rats
If this protection also takes place in human cells (which one would guess is highly likely), the repercussions are enormous, since our blood cells are essential to carrying oxygen and nutrients to all the cells and tissues of our body. Mitochondria are essential to our life and if they degenerate, so disease is inevitable.
Goji Is a High-ORAC Fruit
There are many methods of measuring the antioxidant power of a substance. Various laboratories and researchers use different methods, but if they are consistent in their technique, the relative antioxidant potential of various substances will be clear. One standard that has become very popular and is now being used regularly in the nutraceutical industry is the ORAC standard.
Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity (ORAC) is now the most recognized standard of measurement used to express the antioxidant potency of a substance. The term ORAC is virtually equated with the word "antioxidant power" at this time.
Unfortunately, there are marketers who are not as concerned with the facts than they are with sales, and they can twist the numbers to promote sales – for a while. Goji is one of the highest ORAC foods on earth. There are definitely higher ORAC substances, though not many. But ORAC is not the only factor involved in the oxidative process. The efficiency and other related factors of goji converge to make it arguably the most protective food on earth (it could certainly be argued that green tea, Reishi mushroom, muscadine grape, and other high ORAC foods are equally protective, but all of these are in an elite league that makes them ALL worth consuming daily).
Goji has been used in Asia for thousands of years. One of its most widely applied uses in Asia has been to benefit vision and to protect the eyes from degeneration. Goji actually possesses several phytochemicals that may benefit the eyes, and all of the antioxidants may play a role in protecting the eyes from damage and degeneration. Beta-carotene can be transformed into vitamin A under the influence of human liver enzymes. Lycium’s function on the eyes is related to this factor.
But one chemical in particular has attracted the attention of the scientific world and appears to directly confirm Goji’s benefit for the eyes and to vision.
The orange “pigment” in Goji is actually a very powerful antioxidant called zeaxanthin (zee-uh-ZAN-thin) that is easily absorbed in the digestive tract after consuming Goji berries and is preferentially absorbed by the retina of the eyes. This powerful antioxidant actually coats the lining of our eyes and keeps our eyes youthful. This ability of Goji has been known in Asia for over a thousand years, but has just recently been verified by a Harvard University study and other researchers. Lutein, a related compound is also utilized by the retina of the eye, but research now indicates that zeaxanthin is probably more important and more easily efficiently utilized by the macula, a tiny area of the retina that allows clear central vision such as that needed to read or drive. Zeaxanthin protects the macula, the visual center of the retina, from intense high-energy, blue-wave light in the same way that “blue blocker” sunglasses protect the eyes. Amazingly, zeaxanthin also helps the eye repair itself.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the most common eye diseases of elderly individuals. It is the leading cause of blindness in people over age 55 in Western industrialized nations. AMD occurs when the macula, about the size of a pencil eraser, is destroyed by the aging process. According to the American Macular Degeneration Society, eyes with the highest concentration of zeaxanthin in the macula are the last to degenerate.
There are two types of macular degeneration - of macular degeneration — "dry” and "wet.” Loss of Zeaxanthin is believed to be a factor in both types. “The macular pigment is highly organized within the retina of the human eye. Studies show that the retina contains two carotenoids, zeaxanthin and lutein, with the greatest concentration at the center. Within the central macula, zeaxanthin is the dominant component, up to 75% of the total, whereas in the peripheral retina, lutein predominates, usually being 67% or greater. Typical carotenoid concentrations within other human tissues are much lower. Data show that the macular pigment increases through dietary supplements. Evidence points to a correlation between macular pigment density and a reduction in the risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD).” [“Analysis of Zeaxanthin Distribution within Individual Human Retinas” by John T. Landrum, Richard A. Bone, Linda L. Moore, and Christina M. Gomez, Methods In Enzymology (1999, 299: 457-467).]
In a study by The Schepens Eye Institute, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, subjects over age 60 with high macular pigment density had the same visual sensitivity as the younger subjects. Older subjects with low macular pigment density had lower visual sensitivity than the younger subjects. [Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (Feb. 1998, Vol. 39, No. 2).]
Goji is particularly rich in the carotenoid zeaxanthin
In a study conducted by researchers at the Schepens Eye Research Institute and Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School; the Toyoda Ophthalmologic Clinic, Japan; and Columbia University School of Medicine, the xanthophyll carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin), which have been hypothesized to delay progression of age-related macular degeneration, were fed to quail to characterize the carotenoid composition of retina, serum, liver, and fat in quail and to determine whether dietary enrichment with zeaxanthin alters zeaxanthin or lutein concentrations in these tissues. Xanthophyll profiles in quail mimic those in primates. Dietary supplements of zeaxanthin effectively increased zeaxanthin concentrations in serum, retina, liver, and fat (3 to 4 fold increases). The retina accumulated both zeaxanthin and lutein, but preferentially absorbed zeaxanthin. In contrast, lutein was preferentially absorbed by liver and fat.
The Amazing Super-Constituent in Goji Berries – Lycium Barbarum Polysaccharides (LBPs)
Indeed, goji is an extraordinary antioxidant fruit, certainly among the most potent natural, broad-spectrum antioxidant foods on earth. And for that reason alone it would be advisable to consume them regularly. But amazingly, the most important constituents of goji are not the classical antioxidants, but a range of constituents known as polysaccharides that are unique to goji. These polysaccharides generally referred to as LBPs (Lycium Barbarum Polysaccharides) transform goji from a mere superfruit into an awesome tonic herb.
There are at least five LBPs in goji, generally referred to as LBP1, LBP2, LBP3, LBP4 and LBP5. There are likely to be a few others, as yet undiscovered or not common to all varieties. This author is aware of at least two other LBPs that have been discovered, but have not been verified.
LBPs are technically known as glycoconjugates. (Just to confuse us, scientists are not always consistent in their terminology – so sometimes the LBPs are referred to in scientific literature as LBPs for Lycium Barbarum Glycoconjugates. For the sake of consistency in this article, we will stick to “LBP”). All five of the primary LBPs have been found to have pronounced immuno-activity. In fact, glycoconjugates are required by the human body to function, and play an essential role in immune functions and intercellular communication. Oral administration of Lycium fruit (North Chinese goji berries) to humans in various studies have improved the immune functions of test subjects, and raised the serum levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and hemoglobin (the red pigment in red blood cells).
LBP has been shown to lower the level of lipid peroxides. Lipid peroxides are peroxides produced in the presence of a free radical by the oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids in the cell in the presence of molecular oxygen. The formation of lipid peroxides results in the destruction of the original lipid leading to the loss of integrity of the membranes. They therefore cause a variety of toxic effects in vivo and their formation is considered a pathological process in biological systems. Their formation can be inhibited by antioxidants,
the polysaccharides indeed a powerful and important active component of Lycium fruit, well suited to our modern needs.
They showed the Lycium fruit extract high in LBP has distinct cytoprotective effects against oxidative stressors by mechanisms other than being a simple antioxidant.
In another study, conducted by the Department of Biochemistry, Sun Yat-Sen University of Medical Sciences, DNA was severely damaged using the chemical alternariol. Lycium fruit extract was shown to protect DNA from the attack by alternariol. The researchers concluded that “some substance in the Lycium may bind to plasmid DNA, and this binding reduces the electrophoretic mobility of DNA. These results indicate that substances from Lycium fruit may be used as DNA protectors.” [Xu DS, Kong TQ, Ma JQ. Biomed Environ Sci 1996 Mar;9(1):67-70 Related Articles, Books Department of Biochemistry, Sun Yat-Sen University of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, China. The inhibitory effect of extracts from Fructus lycii and Rhizoma polygonati on in vitro DNA breakage by alternariol.]
Goji has been demonstrated in study after study to significantly improve immune functions, thus providing additional resistance to a wide range of disease. Phytochemicals known as Lycium Barbarum Polysaccharides (LBP) have very potent immune potentiating and immune regulating benefits. LBP is being studied all over the world because of its immune-boosting power.
Four polysaccharides with “immunomodulation activity” have been shown to enhance splenocyte proliferation. LBP 1a-1 and LBP 1a-2 were alpha-(1-->6)-D-glucans. LBP 3a-1 and LBP 3a-2 were found to be a-(1-->4)-D-polygalacturonans. Though all four polysaccharides showed immunomodulatory activity, the polysaccharides with main chain of alpha-(1-->4)-D-polygalacturonans showed the strongest immunomodulation activity.
Gou Qi Zi extract has relatively strong antibacterial effects on at least 17 kinds of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus anthracis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus dysenteriae, and Typhoid bacillus. (Jin Zhi Cui, et al. Antibacterial effects of Gou Qi Zi extract. Inner Mongolia Journal of Medicine. 1995;15(4): 203.)
Goji’s World-Famous Anti-Aging Qualities
Goji has long been considered an anti-aging superfood in Asia – that quality is believed to be its main attribute and is the reason that millions of people consume goji every day in China and its neighboring countries. As described above, goji fruit is a powerful detoxifier and removes free radicals that break our tissues down and promote aging. Yet there are many other qualities that have built goji’s reputation as an anti-aging superfood.
The results of pharmacological studies have demonstrated the LBPs are the major active constituents of goji fruit. LBPs enable old animals to restore atrophy of the thymus, increase the percentage of T lymphocytes, and promote proliferation of lymphocytes, phagocytosis of macrophages and antibody content. LBP has been shown to increase DANN-biosynthesis in the thymus and to induce a high degree of lymphocyte transformation in both thymus and spleen cells.[i]
Goji possesses a number of regulatory effects on metabolic processes that impact aging. It is reported to be a biostimulator or growth-promoting drug in demented animals. It promotes hematopoiesis and reduces or regulates the high blood sugar level. Goji protects from liver damage due to carbon tetrachloride.[ii] Experiments on mice indicate that it has anti-aging effects.[iii] LBP also demonstrated an ability to improve sexual disorders in elderl animals.[iv]
In China, goji is considered to be a “beauty food.” I have been repeatedly told that “eating one or two handfuls a day (an ounce or two) can help keep your skin silky smooth, and as clear as porcelain.” It is universally believed in the Far East that goji berries help prevent drying and wrinkling of the skin. Goji is rich in phospholipids, the main lipid component of all cell membranes. In Asia, millions of people consume goji from the Heaven Mountains daily to retain their youthful appearance, energy and youthful sex life. Women are particularly fond of the influence goji has on their skin.
LBPs were reported, in the January 2005 issue of Phytomedicine, to “display an interesting array of anti-apoptotic and antioxidant properties, which may be beneficial for human skin.” (Anti-apoptotic is defined by the National Cancer Institute as “something that prevents apoptosis - apoptosis is a type of cell death in which a series of molecular steps in a cell leads to its death”). The published report concludes that “We found that one of Lycium barbarum glycoconjugates, the LbGp5, promoted the survival of human fibroblasts cultured in suboptimal conditions…. these results suggest that L. barbarum glycoconjugates in general, and LbGp5 in particular, may have important skin-protective properties.” Zhao H, Alexeev A, Chang E, Greenburg G, Bojanowski K. Phytomedicine. 2005 Jan;12(1-2):131-7.Lycium barbarum glycoconjugates: effect on human skin and cultured dermal fibroblasts.
Goji Helps the Body Regulate Sugar
Though Heaven Mountain goji tastes very sweet, it is in fact very beneficial to those who have sugar related issues. Goji has been proven to have significant hypoglycemic effects in the body and can be eaten by anyone (in moderation, of course).
How is this possible? High quality goji can be quite sweet. They contain around 25% glucose (and around 25% fructose). One would think that the high glucose levels would cause a negative effect on blood sugar levels and ultimately be harmful to pancreatic functions and related cellular condition. But the opposite is true.
Traditionally, goji fruit is used as an ingredient in many herbal formulations for the specific purpose of regulating blood sugar, and very commonly as an ingredient in formulas for diabetes. Of course, we cannot claim that goji is a treatment for, or can prevent diabetes, but a recent review by the Chinese Ministry of Health has revealed that goji is one of the top ten ingredients used for sugar metabolism problems in Chinese medicine.
The secret to goji’s ability to regulate sugar metabolism lies with its polysaccharide content. Lycium polysaccharides (LBPs) are being studied around the world because of their ability to modulate sugar imbalances.
In a recent study, the effects of polysaccharide extracted from Chinese goji (LBP) on blood glucose, oxidative stress and DNA damage in rats with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus were studied. The results show that LBP treatment for 4 weeks led to decreased levels of blood glucose, malondialdehyde (MDA) and nitric oxide (NO) in serum of fasting rats; and to increased serum level of superoxide dismutase (SOD), the all-important indigenous natural antioxidant. Furthermore, LBP could reduce cellular DNA damage in peripheral lymphocytes of the diabetic rats. These results suggest that LBP can control blood glucose and modulate the metabolism of glucose, leading to significant improvement of oxidative stress markers (SOD, MDA) in rats with non-insulin dependent diabetes. And that LBP decreases DNA damage, possibly via a decrease in oxidative stress levels. “In conclusion,” the authors wrote, “LBP as a dietary supplement may prevent the development of complications or even tendency to carcinogenesis in NIDDM rats.
Goji Appears to Improve Lipid Metabolism
Poor fat (lipid) metabolism and an inability to regulate sugar have been widely implicated in accelerated aging and many degenerative disorders. Goji appears to improve fat metabolism. The implications of improving lipid metabolism for slowing down aging are obvious. Studies such as the one in the abstract (on the previous page) indicate that goji fruit and its extracts may help regulate fat (lipid) metabolism.
Goji May Benefit Sexual Functioning
Lycium fruit (goji) is very famous in China and Korea for its use as a sexual tonic, especially for men. In Chinese medical textbooks, this effect of lycium fruit is always mentioned. It is even sometimes referred to as an “aphrodisiac,” though that term may be a bit strong. It is more likely a sexual tonic that has cumulative effects. It is also often referred to as a fertility-enhancing herb.
The English Edition of the Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China describes the “action” of Lycium fruit like this: “To benefit the liver and the kidney, to replenish vital essence and to improve eyesight.” In Chinese medical philosophy, sexual function is controlled by the liver and kidney. The liver is often associated with potency since the liver meridian circulates through the genitals and in charge of procreative energy and the type of willfulness associated with sexual drive and libido. Kidney energy is associated with hormonal functions of the adrenals and reproductive glands, and especially with testosterone.
A tonic of Lycium’s status would be expected to regulate or optimize these functions, rather than just stimulate them. That is by definition the nature of a major tonic herb. The term vital essence is a translation of the term Jing, a term fundamental to tonic herbalism. Jing is the fundamental energy of life that is inherited from our parents and is closely associated with our genetic makeup and potential. It is certainly closely related to our DNA. Vital essence is often associated with the reproductive cells, and especially with sperm cells and the vitality of the sperm cells. Jing, however, exists in every cell of our body, and it is gradually used up as we live. When Jing (vital essence) is broadly dissipated from the cells of our body, aging accelerates. When Jing is significantly drained from the body and its cells, disease, degeneration and death are the result.
Because goji is a superb Jing tonic, it is just as important for women as it is for men. It is generally believed in Asia that goji improves fertility in women, and it is virtually always an ingredient in formulations designed to improve female libido.
Genuine goji berry, meaning that from the north and northwestern regions of China, has long been established as a superior Jing tonic herb. In fact, it is one of the two primary vital essence tonics of Chinese herbalism (Ho Shou Wu is the other – see page ___ for a discussion of this herb).
Lycium barbarum, a famous Chinese medicinal herb, has a long history of use as a traditional remedy for male infertility. Polysaccharides are the most important functional constituent in L. barbarum fruits. We systematically investigated the effect of L. barbarum polysaccharides (LBP) on rat testis damage induced by a physical factor (43 degrees C heat exposure), on DNA damage of mouse testicular cells induced by a chemical factor (hydrogen peroxide), and on sexual behavior and reproductive function of hemicastrated male rats (one testicle removed). The results showed that LBP provided a protective effect against the testicular tissue damage induced by heat exposure. When compared with negative control, a suitable concentration of LBP significantly increased testis and epididymis weights, improved superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and raised sexual hormone levels in the damaged rat testes. LBP had a dose-dependent protective effect against DNA oxidative damage of mouse testicular cells induced by H(2)O(2). LBP improved the copulatory performance and reproductive function of hemicastrated male rats, such as shortened penis erection latency and mount latency, regulated secretion of sexual hormones and increased hormone levels, raised accessory sexual organ weights, and improved sperm quantity and quality. The present findings support the folk reputation of L. barbarum fruits as an aphrodisiac and fertility-facilitating agent, and provide scientific evidence for a basis for the extensive use of L. barbarum fruits as a traditional remedy for male infertility in China. Life Sci. 2006 Mar 6; [Epub ahead of print] Luo Q, Li Z, Huang X, Yan J, Zhang S, Cai YZ
Physically Strengthening and Adaptogenic
Goji is highly regarded as a tonic that increases energy and physical strength, though it is not considered to be a stimulant. Goji is considered to be an adaptogen; that is, an herb that maintains health by increasing the body's ability to adapt to environmental and internal stress. Adaptogens generally work by strengthening the immune system, nervous system and/or glandular systems. Adaptogens act in a nonspecific way to strengthen the body and increase resistance and resilience to disease and stress. Adaptogens tend to increase endurance and physical and mental strength while minimizing the impact on the system.
One of the most famous classical attributes of Chinese goji berries is that they confer strength and endurance to the legs. My teacher, Taoist Master Sung Jin Park used to say that anyone consuming goji berries regularly will never lose power in their legs. Even when old, the legs will not weaken. According to Taoist tradition, weakening of the legs is a sure sign of aging and precursor to death. Li Qing Yuen, one of the oldest people to ever live, consumed goji berries every day to protect his body and to maintain the strength of his legs.
LBP, the polysaccharide component of Lycium, has been shown in studies to help build muscle, reduce fat and increase both physical and mental energy in those who consume it regularly.
According to a recently published Chinese study, a purified Lycium barbarum polysaccharide component (LBP-X) has been isolated from Lycium barbarum. The results showed that LBP-X induced a remarkable adaptability to exercise load, enhanced resistance and accelerated elimination of fatigue. The LBP component could enhance the storage of muscle and liver glycogen, reduce the increase of blood urea nitrogen after strenuous exercise, and accelerate the clearance of blood urea nitrogen after exercise. Luo Q, Yan J, Zhang S Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2000 Mar 30;29(2):115-7. Isolation and purification of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides and its antifatigue effect
Precautions and Contraindications
Those with loose stool due to “insufficiency of the spleen” should take Goji berries with caution.
There is a potential herbal-drug interaction between warfarin and Lycium barbarum, based on an increased INRvalue noted with concurrent use. Thus, combination of L. barbarum L. and warfarin should be avoided.
The Pharmacology of Lycium Barbarum (Goji Fruit)
Administered to senile mice, Lycium Barbarum extract can significantly decrease the activity of cerebral monoamine oxidase-B (MAO-B), increase the superoxide dismutase level in the liver, decrease the content of MDA and lipofuscin, and significantly increase the DNA and RNA and protein levels in the hepatic and cerebral tissues. Administered to the elderly at 3.125-50mg/ml, Lycium Barbarum extract can significantly promote the proliferation of human pulmonary fibroblasts. Furthermore, administered to aged rats, Lycium Barbarum extract can significantly increase the subjects’ low SOD level, decrease the serum lipid peroxide level, and increase the serum cortisol level.
Enhancing immunity and counteracting lipid peroxidation Administered to mice by stomach perfusion at 400mg/kg for seven consecutive days, Lycium Barbarum polysaccharides (LBPs) can increase the weight of the immune organs, and significantly increase the reticuloendothelial system’s phagocytotic capacity on Indian ink. It can also significantly decrease the MDA level in the liver tissue of CCl4-poisoned mice, and counteract lipid peroxidation.
Counteracting hyperlipidemia Experiments show that administered by stomach perfusion to rats of experimental hyperlipidemia for 10 consecutive days, Lycium Barbarum decoction at different concentration levels (1g/kg, 2g/kg, 4g/kg) can lower the levels of total cholesterol, triglyceride in both the serum and the liver, and the LDL-C level in the serum.
Effects on the expression of interleukin-2 receptors (IL-2R) in humans A certain concentration (between 1.9mg/ml and 7.8 mg/ml), Lycium Barbarum extract can promote the expression of interleukin-2 receptors (IL-2R).
Protecting the retina from light damages Experiments show that administered to rats, Lycium Barbarum can protect the subjects from light damage to the retinal pyramid, rod cell layer, outer nuclear layer, and retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE).
Repairing liver damages Administered to mice by stomach perfusion for seven consecutive days, Lycium Barbarum polysaccharides (LBPs) can inhibit endoplasmic reticulum damages, promote protein synthesis, and detoxification, restore the normal function of hepatic cells, and promote the regeneration of hepatic cells.8
Effects on cardiac muscle b receptors Research shows that Lycium Barbarum can significantly increase the maximum combination capacity of 26-month-old mice’s cardiac muscle b receptors. It can also increase the b receptors in aged rats of low-density cardiac muscles.
Raising white blood count Administered via continuous stomach perfusion, Lycium Barbarum extract can suppress cyclophosphamide-induced decrease in white blood cell count, and promote its recovery, significantly delaying death.
Effects on human chorionic membrane cells Research shows that Lycium Barbarum polysaccharides have nutritional and protective effects on in vitro cultivated chorionic membrane cells.
Hypotensive effects The results showed that the increase of blood pressure in hypertension rats could be prevented significantly by treatment with 10% Lycium barbarum polysaccharide.
Traditional Function Tonifies Yin Jing, Blood, Qi and Shen. Nurtures and protects the Liver and Kidneys. Enhances immunity. Prolongs life and slows down aging. Brightens the eyes and improves vision. Tonifies sexual functions in men and women.
Who can use it? Anyone
Concentration: 8:1 concentrated powder
Specifications: Standardized to 40% Lycium Barbarum Polysaccharides
Lycium Barbarum powdered extract standardized to 40% Lycium Barbarum Polysaccharides (LBP)
Other Ingredients: Rice powder
Usage: 2 – 4 capsules, two or three times a day
Remember Ron Teeguarden’s “First Rule of Tonic Herbalism,” summed up in a single word – Compliance. "If you don’t take the herbs, they won’t work.”
About Dragon Herbs, the company
Dragon Herbs was founded by Ron Teeguarden, a professional practitioner and teacher of holistic Asian health. Ron is recognized as the premier spokesperson for Chinese tonic herbalism in America, after spending decades teaching the concept of promoting health through Chinese Tonic Herbs.
For thousands of years, Asian herbalism has been used as a way to naturally maintain health. These tonic herbs safely promote ones health and healthy aging, and support “radiant health”, including increased longevity, emotional balance, resistance to disease, superb vitality, and maintenance of youthfulness.
To be considered a Superior Tonic herb, that herb must have been found to meet specific qualifications over many centuries of human use, including:
- • Possess anti-aging and longevity characteristics
- • Profound health-promoting actions
- • Balance emotional and psychic energy to improve emotional and spiritual wellbeing and happiness
- • No negative side effects when taken continuously
- • Be easily digestible and assimilated, and taste good enough to be easily consumed
- • Must contain at least one of the “three treasures”
The Three Treasures
In traditional Asian healthcare, there are said to be Three Treasures, or three primary types of energy in the body. These energies are known as treasures because they are the basis for life. The three treasures are Jing, Qi, and Shen, also known as Essence, Vitality, and Awareness. True health and happiness cannot be obtained unless all three treasures are valued and not wasted.
The Dragon Herbs line of herbal tonics is based on these superior herbs. Using herbs from their natural sources combined with cutting edge modern technology, Ron Teeguarden’s Dragon Herbs provide a broad and complete program of superior tonics to help promote radiant health on every level of your being.