|Lycium Chinense/Barbarum a.k.a. Wolfberry||HEALTH & BEAUTY|
Wolfberries may be the new darlings of the health food world, but every self-respecting Chinese matriarch, since thousands of years ago, have had them in her store cupboard.
Usually available in dried form, wolfberries are the fruits of deciduous woody perennial plant of the same name. Categorised as a "sweet" and "neutral" herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine, wolfberries are believed to be beneficial to the eyes, liver and kidney. Research shows that these little berries pack an amazing amount of vitamins and minerals - comparing the same quantity in weight - more Vitamin C than oranges, more beta-carotene than carrots and more iron than steak. Although most Western recipes recommend munching on them like nuts and seeds or using them in shakes, I prefer more traditional methods such as using a handful when brewing rice porridge or in tea blends. Steep wolfberries with chrysanthemum flowers and you'll have a tea that is recommended for relaxing eyes especially after long hours in front of the computer.
Although purists claim that a sub-species known commonly as Tibetan Goji Berries are superior to wolfberries in terms of nutrition, there is no sufficient literature to substantiate this at the moment.
Text & Photo: Naive
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