While whole goji berries contain nutrients, vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids, as well as antioxidants, unscrupulous assertions made by goji juice marketers may cause people to question whether the extracts are as potent as the claims.
Eating dried goji berries, albeit not clinically proven, is widely accepted in Asian cultures as a healthy means to build the immune system and as a tonic for cold and flue prevention. The pulp, dried berries and whole goji juice is recommended for those who feel rundown, and goji leaves are used to make a tea, while the bark from the root is often used in place of antibiotics. The bark of the root of the goji is an antibacterial and antifungal agent, therefore prescribed for patients diagnosed with infections. The benefits of the goji (technically lycium barbarum) are known and used in Asian therapies, but the whole plant is used not just the berry or the juice. In Chinese medicine, it’s very rare for a doctor to prescribe a single herb / fruit as a remedy for a specific ailment. Chinese medicine isn’t about treating symptoms but a means to help the body balance itself; to heal itself as a whole. That’s why patients receive a blend of barks, berries, herbs, roots and leaves, and not just a single ingredient. That’s the point about goji juice and other useful herbs that westerners miss.
Certain manufactures of goji juice have claimed that goji is a cancer preventative and that its antioxidant properties will prolong youth, and that there were independent studies to prove it. These statements came to the attention of the media and the National Cancer Institute who issued statements that such claims were false. The FDA stepped in to warn consumers and a couple years ago, legal action began against one goji juice manufacture for (amongst other things) false advertising. Consumers hope to be compensated for buying goji juice after believing false claims.