Let’s talk about the magical anti-ageing benefits of goji berries that can make your skin look beautiful and rosy. This berry is also known as the fruit of longevity so it might even help you live for a really, really long time.
Goji Berry Legend #1: A Northern Song Dynasty Court Official’s Shocking Encounter
According to one ancient Chinese legend, back in the Northern Song dynasty, which is about a thousand years ago, there was a court official.
And one day, he was just walking down the street and suddenly saw a young teenage girl ripping an old woman with a bamboo stick. He was shocked so he pulled the two apart and then questioned the teenage girl.
The teenage girl pointed to the old woman and said, “She’s my great-granddaughter. Our family has anti-ageing secrets and I’ve always told her to eat her medicine but she never listened. Now, look at her. She’s old, she can’t move around properly, all her hair turned white and she has no teeth left. That’s why I’m punishing her!”
The court official was shocked and asked, “How old are you?” The girl then smiled and said, “I’m 372 years old!”
The court official then asked, “What’s this medicine you were talking about?” The girl said, “Oh, it’s actually just one herb. It’s called goji berries. Take it during all seasons and you shall live as long as heaven and earth!”
Goji Berry Legend #2: The 256-Year-Old Goji Berry Eater
If the previous legend sounds too fantastical, then I have a more recent story for you. There was a man from the Qing dynasty—the last dynasty of China which ended just over a hundred years ago—called Li Ching-Yuen
He was a very famous Chinese man. Even ‘Time Magazine’ and ‘The New York Times’ reported about him. He was somewhat of a herb expert and he gathered, ate and sold herbs since his childhood.
He was quite a giant, standing at seven feet. Taller than LeBron James! And apparently, one nail on his finger is over six inches long, like a subway sandwich!
But these aren’t the reasons why he’s famous. He’s famous because allegedly he lived for a whopping 256 years! Of course, this is somewhat contentious. Others say he lived for merely 170 years.
But one thing is certain, he definitely outlived everyone around him. Many of the oldest men in his neighbourhood said their grandfathers knew Li Ching-Yuen.
So what were his secrets for longevity?
He practised qigong and meditation often and he always tried to keep a calm and serene mind. Never got into any arguments with his neighbours. And he drank goji berries tea daily.
The goji berry, also known as wolfberry, is a bright orange-red berry that comes from a shrub that’s native to China. The earliest record of goji berries is found on oracle bones which are from 1,000 BC. That means Chinese people have been using and eating goji berries for at least 3,000 years.
China’s first herbal encyclopedia ‘Shénnóng Běncǎo Jīng’ (神農本草經)—said to be written by Emperor Shénnóng 2,000 years ago—mentions this about goji berries:
“The goji berry strengthens the bones and ligaments, keeps the body light, slows ageing and eases life through all the seasons.”
Health Benefits of Goji Berries
Modern medicine has found that goji berries are packed with vitamin A and C which helps to support your immune function. It also contains 19 amino acids out of the 20 that exist.
It has antioxidants which promote collagen and elastin production and reduces hyperpigmentation so it helps your skin to look more healthy, radiant and rosy.
In particular, it has zeaxanthin which helps to absorb ultraviolet light from the sun as well as the blue light from digital screens so it helps to protect your eyes.
Remember Li Ching-Yuen, the man who lived for 256 years? It’s said that he had great vision even at an old age.
How to Eat Goji Berries
So if goji berries are so wonderful, what’s the best way to eat them? If you have pre-existing medical conditions then you should always consult your doctor before eating goji berries. But if you’re generally healthy then we recommend three ways to enjoy goji berries.
First, you can eat it like a snack. It tastes a bit similar to cranberries or raisins or you can mix it with nuts. Second, you can drink it as tea.
Goji berries go really well with dried chrysanthemum. Just add some goji berries with dry chrysanthemum and add hot water. Simple as that!
Third, you can add goji berries to any dish to enrich the flavour and boost the colour scheme. Common ways include adding it to chicken broth or white fungus soup.
Of course, don’t binge eat goji berries as Chinese medicine believes that the key to good health is harmony and balance in every aspect of your life.
About 10 to 30 grams of goji berries a day should be enough.
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