The great goji juice controversy

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Goji juice and goji berry mania is rife. But is this humble berry the fountain of youth — a “miracle food” as is claimed?

Can it really prevent cancer? Or is it just another case of food fashion meets marketing?

Let’s find out…

Goji facts

Goji Berries, apparently, are “fruit Viagra,” “one pack will have you jumping for joy” and they’re “cellulite-busting,” according to the marketing hype. Hmmm (muses).

Goji berries — pronounced “go-gee” are about the same size as raisins but red and somewhat harder. They’re also known as wolfberries and grow on vines native to the Himalayas. They’re also grown extensively in China, Mongolia, and Tibet…

Renowned in Asia as one of nature’s most nutrient-rich natural foods, the Chinese have been munching on these berries for 2000 years. Traditionally, the goji berry is juiced or used in soups, stir-fry greens or with steamed dishes. Tibetan monks even have a 2 week celebration of the goji every year. No way!

They taste of… well it depends who you ask. Some say a cross between a cranberry and a cherry, or a cranberry and an olive or a raisin and a dried raspberry and some say it tastes like tea… that’s right! Like the tea you drink. I have to agree with the last one too — they taste like tea to me, but then I’ve never had raw or dried cranberries to compare.

Goji berries grow well in the UK and anywhere with a comparable climate. They’ve been naturalized in the UK counties of Norfolk and Suffolk for ages, where they’re used as hedging. In the UK it’s also known as boxthorn, matrimony vine and the Duke of Argyll’s tea tree. It was the Duke who first brought the plant to the UK way back in 1730. I’m only guessing, but maybe they called it “tea tree” because it tastes like tea?

Goji berry nutrition

This data is from Tibet Authentic Goji Berries — A True Miracle Food. The nutritional data will vary depending on where the berries come from. Like any food, a lot depends on the soil quality.

I wonder, does anyone really care what nutrients are in food other than to say “yep, this is good for me.” I remember a quote from Doug Graham — ”You should eat bananas because they’ve got banana in them.” :-) Brilliant!

I suppose nutritional data has some value if you know you’re deficient in a certain micronutrient, then you could focus on rebalancing. But overall it’s best to nail your diet to cover all the nutritional bases and leave the rest to your body to sort out.

The “amazing” goji berry has loads of stuff in it that no one will have a clue what they mean but sounds extremely impressive such as betaine, beta sitosterol, cyperone, germanium, lutine, selenium, solavetivone, physalin and zeaxanthin to name but a few.

All these plant factors in goji berries are associated with positive health benefits. Cool. But it’s the polysaccharides that are causing the big stir. More about that later…

The berries are claimed by many to have more vitamin C than oranges, more beta-carotene than carrots and more iron than steak, weight for weight. It’s a bit of an unfair comparison though because these are dried berries, so all the water weight is removed.

You’d have to compare them to dried oranges and dried carrots, no? Another reasonable comparison would be to look at the amount of vitamin C say, per calorie. That would give meaningful results because the number of calories is the limiting factor in any diet. So I did just that… I entered 350 calories of oranges on fitday.com and here’s the comparable data for oranges (the figures in brackets are the percentages of the RDA or Recommended Daily Amount)…

So you can easily see that on a calorie basis the oranges kick goji butt for vitamin C. Oranges also win easily in the calcium and thiamin stakes! So, at least as far as the vitamin C claim goes, it’s a case of half truths combined with the old “lies, damn lies and statistics.”

As for its very high iron content, I can’t help wondering if this is an error that’s crept in somewhere along the line. I’ve compared goji berries to other berries which all seem to be coming out at about 0.75 to 1.0mg per 350 calories of berries. If you know of a reliable source for the iron content of goji berries, let me know. They’re not listed on the USDA database.

Based on the USDA’s ORAC test, the goji berry has high antioxidant levels. But again the same error has crept in. Testing the amount of antioxidants per 100g of food is just not a fair test if some is dried and some fresh. It’s pretty meaningless for comparison purposes.

Checking out a document about the USDA’s ORAC test I see that prunes and raisins top the fruit chart — dried fruit! Does this mean dried fruit is best? Absolutely not. Think nutrients per calorie not per gram.

Fashion

Madonna, Kate Moss, Liz Hurley and Mischa Barton are all reported to be lovin’ the goji.

And the go-go goji has already made the giant leap from the hippy hangout health store into the supermarket with both Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s in the UK stocking them now.

Cost

A 250g bag of Goji Berries (image left) costs $14.95 from organichealthandbeauty.com (retail price is $17.99).

UK goji fans can expect to pay around £9.00 for 250g at the supermarket. You can buy them for around £6.00 on-line although like all foods, quality will vary.

I’ve seen reports that not all organic goji berries are really organic so watch out for that. I reckon the price will come down as farmers in the West catch on to the commercial value of goji.

Goji scam?

In January 2007, Earl Mindell was lambasted by CBC Marketplace in a fascinating interview and exposé for allegedy taking advantage of sick folks to make huge profits selling goji juice. His business empire is massive. His goji meetings are like religious events with Mindell as “master.”

His product — Freelife “Himalayan” Goji Juice is actually made from berries not grown in the Himalayas! His reasoning is that the “unique” polysaccharide profile is the same as the Himalayan sort. Hmmm I don’t like that kind of thing. Either it’s Himalayan or it ain’t.

Mindell claims that only his juice has the exact profile of these “master” molecules —  “There simply is no other product on the market like it.” He also claims he’s going to close half the hospitals!

To use Freelife (a pyramid marketed product with top sellers making $170,000-$1,700,000 a year according to freelife), expect to shell out $50 per bottle or about $250 for a months supply. I feel sad. This smacks of exploiting sick people. Can folks not get the benefit of goji berries that doesn’t involve a $250 per month cost?

The Marketplace program said that many of his claims are false. In lab tests, his juice contained virtually no B or E vitamins and no beta carotene. The lab tests also found his “unique” product to be similar to other juices.

Mindell responded by citing 76 peer reviewed studies that support his health claims. He’s written a book on Goji that lists 34 health benefits — even that it prevents cancer.

Dr. Steven Zegar, who researches natural health products for cancer treatment at McMaster University has reviewed many of the goji studies. He says Mindell has extrapolated bits of these studies and is using them out of context. The polysaccharides could have health benefits but there’s little proof to back up the hype.

Dr Bradlow of Hackensack University in New Jersey said…

“It inhibited the growth of cells in a dish… a little dish like this isn’t the same as a person.

There’s absolutely no proof it would have that effect on a human… there’s no justification for encouraging people to take this as an anti-cancer drug… it’s misrepresentation of the facts… it’s unbelievable how many unscrupulous souls there are out there, trying to pedal an unproven product… there’s lots of single studies that turned out to be one shot wonders.”

In Mindell’s defense, I reckon goji berries do have cancer preventing qualities. Plant food in general have been shown in many studies to have anti-cancer properties and antioxidants are known to “mop up” free radicals which can cause DNA damage. Since goji is a highly nutritious berry, it’s fair to say that it has anti-cancer properties.

Unfortunately for Mindell, you just can’t say it without proof. Also, his juice is lacking many of the health benefits of the berry itself. Surely if he really wanted the best for people, he would be recommending the berries and not his extremely expensive juice?

Also in Mindell’s defense, it’s mainly the polysaccharides that he’s promoting in his juice. But again I have to ask why not just eat the berry and get the other benefits as well at a much reduced cost?

In the Marketplace interview, he urges folks to go to pubmed.gov and do a search for “Lycium Barbarum” (the latin name for goji berries). Well I did just that — 83 results of studies relating to goji or its extracts (to put this into perspective, I did a search on pubmed for broccoli that came up with 5416 studies). So, a few more have been added since the Marketplace interview. Having a quick flick through, three things sprung to mind.

Firstly, not many people will have a clue how to interpret these studies. To pick one purely at random…

“Effect of lycium barbarum polysaccharide on human hepatoma QGY7703 cells: inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis.”

Brain freeze!

I’m sure you’re dying to know what the outcome of that particular study was eh? Well…

“The study suggests that the induction of cell cycle arrest and the increase of intracellular calcium in apoptotic system may participate in the antiproliferative activity of LBP in QGY7703 cells.”

Phew, I’m glad we cleared that up!

Secondly, a lot of these studies are just not relevant to the claims made by Mindell…  stuff like “How to extract the polysaccharides” and so-on.

Thirdly, most of these studies were done in China. Call me a cynic but the Chinese would have a lot to gain from goji acquiring a reputation for healing cancer and other illnesses.

Having said that, looking at this from a layman’s perspective, there are some extremely interesting studies about goji polysaccharides on pubmed.org and many concluding remarks from these studies do suggest they have anti-cancer properties, especially at the right dose. Check out the Sloane-Kettering goji article for a good summary of the relevant research so far.

UK ban

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) may impose a ban on goji berries unless it can be shown that they’ve been consumed in significant amounts within the EU before May 1997. If it can’t be shown, then goji berries would be classed as a “novel food” within EU law and it could take two years to get approval to sell them.

The cut off point for new information was 23 March 2007 but I’ve not heard of a decision being made as yet. It’s hard to take this seriously — it’s a berry!!

The FSA do seem to be sharing this view, they’ve said on their site;

“There are no immediate safety concerns over goji berries and local authorities will take this into account when deciding on appropriate enforcement action.”

I can’t see a ban happening, and even if it does, you can always…

Grow your own gojis

They’re readily available nowadays from nurseries. I just ordered some from Thompson and Morgan for only £14 for 3 plants. My garden is full of all sorts of berries because as well as being nutritional powerhouses, they’re expensive to buy.

Don’t waste your time and energy growing stuff that’s cheap to buy — why bother, unless it’s just for fun. Grow the expensive stuff I say :-) If you’re going to try to sun dry your berries, don’t touch them or they’ll oxidize and go black. Shake onto a mat instead of picking by hand.

Health warnings!

As is the case for cranberries, folks taking Warfarin should not use goji products without consulting their doctor.

Got Goji? Got Cavities! Well, all and any dried fruits are going to be a nightmare for teeth. Sweet and sticky is not a good combination. The fruit sticks to teeth and the plaque will do the rest. I wouldn’t recommend eating them dried unless you can brush you teeth afterwards. If you soak them for about 30 mins or even overnight, this will probably avoid the cavity problem.

The goji berry is part of the “nightshade” family of plants which also include potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant. If you’re allergic to any of the nightshades, which is quite common, you may have problems with goji berries.

Oh, and don’t be tempted to make tea out of the “tea tree” leaves… they’re toxic.

Food or medicine?

Hippocrates, the father of medicine said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” How bizarre then, that doctors still swear the Hippocratic Oath but fail so badly to take Hippocrates advice on using food as medicine.

For me, Goji is just great nutritious food. If you have an illness it might be worth thinking about upping your daily dose. 10 to 30g is recommended as a daily serving.

If I had cancer, I would be wanting to give myself every chance of a cure and even if it’s not yet officially proven, the goji polysaccharides show promise — I wouldn’t be waiting for science and would be looking at lot more deeply at goji as well as other well known natural foods with known anti-cancer activity.

In general, the “pill for an ill” mindset is very deeply ingrained, even when the “pill” is a food. There is no silver bullet, no one food is the answer to health. Health is created by living a healthy lifestyle and nutritious food is a big part of that… My concern is that folks looking for the silver bullet are going to miss the big picture.

Summing up

Never, ever, ever take information on a sales page or from the seller as accurate. All sorts of wild claims are made for goji and sales pages are just not a good place to look for solid information. From my research into this article, I feel goji berries are a great food and a very nutritious food.

If you can afford them, I see no reason not to add them to your diet occasionally. Are they better than other berries? I’m not sure about that. The fact that they come from largely unspoilt locations grown in rich soils could account for their high nutritional content.

You have to wonder — if this really is the fountain of youth, why the Chinese aren’t all living to 200 years old or even topping the list of longest-lived nations. Or for that matter, why Earl Mindell isn’t beaming with health and vitality. Perhaps the stress of running his multi-million dollar industry is taking its toll :-)

In a response to the Marketplace exposé of Mindell, Freelife issued an official statement and offered up a Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center webpage on goji berries which is quite strange since Sloane-Kettering state that the data on goji is inconclusive and that much more large scale human research is needed.

You can look at nutrition from a million different angles and come up with the same answer — eat more fruits and veg. The next BIG thing… broccoli, watch this space!

If you feel that anything in this article is incorrect, have another point of view or just want to say ‘hi’, please leave a comment below.

Best wishes,
Michael Kinnaird

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54 thoughts on “The great goji juice controversy

  1. Best article I’ve seen from an “outsider.” I can see though that there is one blind spot…the info has a significant “goji” slant. What many don’t understand is that there are a huge variety of wolfberries (goji = wolf in Chinese). The phenomenal research results were only shown with one variety–those that come from the Ningxia province in China.

    The Ningxia valley is an area that is certified “Green” in China. It’s equivalent to our organic standards. So if berries don’t come from Ningxia, chances are overwhelming that they are not organic. Other varieties may indeed be healthy, in the same way that blueberries, apples and other fruit is healthier than junk food, but the nutritional reports, etc. that are touted come specifically from the Ningxia wolfberry.

    What difference does it make? Here’s an example…I’m a 9-year Young Living independent distributor, the company that originally brought the wolfberry to the US in bulk, made the first wolfberry juice and now, to my knowledge, had the only juice with WHOLE wolfberries–seeds, skin, pulp and all. This company does a chemical analysis on each batch of wolfberries to ensure that they are indeed from Ningxia. One of the giveaways is that the Ningxia wolfberry is the only variety with NO mercury in the fingerprint.

    BTW: If you think the berry is powerful, you ought to try the juice. While I use the berries for salads and such, the NingXia Red juice is actually my “health” staple. I prefer the juice because (a) it tastes great; (b) it requires less energy to digest so more nutrients actually make it though the digestive process; (c) much quicker to take a shot of juice than to munch on dried wolfberries; (d) juice has been combined which other well-research fruits to create a synergistic whole that is greater than the sum of its parts; (e) unlike so many of the so-called “health drinks” on the market, this one has no “junk juices”–cheap, high-glucose juices that cause spikes and dips in blood sugar levels; and (f) studies have shown that the juice actually works better than lemons to lower pH…like lemon, it starts out acid. Like lemon, it turns alkaline in the stomach. Unlike lemon, it stays alkaline in the small intestine.

  2. Hi Caleb,

    Thanks for the info. The stuff about Ningxia goji berries is interesting. We need minerals in our soil!

    As far as your list of “Why juice is better” is concerned, I disagree with every item–sorry :-)

    (a) Tastes great–so does chocolate, so does icecream.

    (b) Requires less energy to digest–this is an example of a lot of nutrition information that sounds good but actually isn’t. Juicing removes fiber and other nutrients. The juice spikes blood sugar levels contributing to blood sugar disorders such as diabetes and syndrome x.

    (c) Quicker than eating the berries–please, thats not a reason :) If you’ve not time to eat berries, you need to re-assess your priorities!

    (d) Combining juices–more than the sum of it’s parts? Where is your evidence?

    (e) No junk juices–great, I applaud that, but it’s not a good reason to drink juice.

    (f) Lowers PH better than lemons–eating alkaline forming foods is definately a good thing but you get this effect from a good diet of lots of fruits and veg. Goji juice not required. The best alkalizers are green leafy vegetables.

    Cheers
    Mike.

  3. I get the overall point…in an ideal world we would all eat perfectly nutritious foods out of the organic garden in our backyard. Forget all the supplements. And the exercise we would get by tending to our gardens would keep us in perfect shape. Forget the jogging shoes, weights, and mountain bikes.

    But for those who fall short and feel like a little supplementation may be helpful, I suggest that NingXia Red juice will be hard to beat.

    To elaborate on each of the points…

    (a) Tastes great. So do apples and oranges. Great taste is not a negative thing. It’s nice to have a supplement that tastes good. And much more nutritious than green tea, apple juice, orange juice, or just about anything else you can drink or “take.”

    (b) It seems like you’re still seeing this through Mindell’s false prism. I agree totally with you…if we’re talking about anything other than NingXia Red. (1) NingXia wolfberries have the highest fiber content of any known food source; (2) NingXia Red contains the WHOLE berry–seeds, skin, pulp and all. We’re not talking about juice only–as we are with Mindell’s concoction; (3) The Ningxia wolfberry is loaded chromium which is generally considered a good thing for diabetics. It all adds up to a juice that has a glycemic rating that is actually LOWER than the rating of the already remarkably low NingXia wolfberry. This is a drink that diabetics should be breaking down the doors to get.

    (c) Nothing wrong with saving time so you’ve got more of it to hoe the garden. :) Plus, your article mentioned soaking the berries as a way to protect compromised teeth. OR you could simply twist the cap off the nicely chilled, great-tasting bottle of low-glycemic, nutrient-rich NingXia Red.

    (d) Evidence for juice synergy:
    [Sorry, outgoing links not allowed ~ James]

    (e) No junk juices–certainly a great reason to choose NingXia Red over others…especially the Mindell concoction.

    (f) Leafy green, non-GMO, vegetables raised in nutrient rich, living soil not exposed to pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers are generally considered the best alkalizers. But if you aren’t getting enough of those, or even if you are and you feel like you’ve got them sprouting out your ears, NingXia Red sure is convenient and tasty. :-)

  4. Hi caleb,

    (a) Seriously mate, you should drop the taste thing :) It’s not a reason to choose juice over the whole fruit. Apples and apple juice both taste good. The apple is healthier.

    (b) So NingXia Red has the pulp. Cool. So does the actual fruit which is cheaper. Plus your additional juices don’t have the pulp. They are juice, which is presumably why your product is called juice and not “smoothie”.

    (c) A daily serving of your juice does not give many calories so how much time am I going to save actually? I still have to prep my meals as normal. Soaking some berries before bed and tipping them into my smoothie in the morning takes no time at all. This time argument is not a valid reason to drink juice over the whole fruit. A big mac also saves a lot of time but it aint healthy.

    (d) I’ve absolutely no doubt you could and do provide all manner of impressive research and facts for your products. That in itself does not mean the juice is better than the whole fruit. The problem with research is it needs to be funded by 1.Someone with a product 2.An organisation with an agenda. So very little research is done on whole foods on whole people. Your site says the goji is already “outstanding.” That’s good enough for me. If you want pure synergy–then a whole food, especially eaten on it’s own interacting with a whole body is about as synergistic as it gets. Human beings and human food have a long a glorious history of working together.

    (e) No junk juices might well be a reason to choose NingXia Red over other juices but that’s not what you said. You said the juice was better than the whole berry, which is isn’t.

    (f) The answer to an overly acid-forming diet is to eat lots of fruit and veg which apart from solving the acid-alkali balance problem, have a whole host of other health benefits that science has only just started to understand. Wolfberry juice maybe alkalizing but it’s the wrong solution. The answer is to eat a healthy diet, not supplement a bad diet with “superjuice.”

    My main problem with your list of 7 reasons to drink NingXia Red is that folks without a background in nutrition will look at the list and be impressed. The fact is though that none of the 7 items stand up to scrutiny.

    Sell the berries… you’re on solid ground there :) Sorry if I sound harsh but I’ve seen thousands of sales pages misrepresenting facts in order to sell products.

    Btw, I’m grateful for the info on the Ningxia region, silt floods and all. That info is useful to know.

    Cheers and best wishes,
    Mike.

  5. Hi, great article on goji berries! It made a lot of sense to me and I always research things like this before trying or even out of curiosity. I would like to know if you have researched Juice Plus and if so what do you think of that product?

    I know it’s just whole food dried into capsules, but is the combination and the fact that most people don’t routinely eat all that stuff enought to suggest taking it? Just wondering…

  6. Hi Shari,

    I used to get Juice Plus for my son who’s a very fussy eater. He wont eat any fruit at all and very little vegetables.

    As you can imagine, it’s been a nightmare for me, knowing how important these things are, but everything I’ve tried so far has BACKFIRED. That is–made the situation even worse.

    I came to the conclusion I had to back off completely.

    Anyway, I did used to get him the Juice Plus for kids.

    These days, I rely on juices, purees and supplements for my son. Far from ideal but in fairness, his diet is better than any other child I know.

    I’m called “The chocolate police” in our house :)

    Trying to get a balance between doing the right thing and not creating neuroses around food is a tricky balancing act.

    On the down side, the Juice Plus I seem to remember is a fairly pricy way to get nutrition.

    And of course, for adults, the best thing is always to correct the diet, not to supplement a bad diet I feel.

    Yes, we have demineralized soils, I get that argument but there’s probably more effective and cost effective ways around that one.

    Cheers
    Mike.

  7. Goji – or wolfberries are obviously nutritious. Because I can afford it, I take both – juice and dried berries and feel better for doing so. However, this is one, huge money-making enterprise. Website after website exists to lure people towards purchasing a product which is obviously greatly over priced. If there wasn’t money to be made, there wouldn’t be the hype. Right? Human nature never changes…

  8. Hi Desley,

    Our social systems often bring out the worst of human nature — competition and greed instead of co-operation don’t you think?

    I just planted 3 goji berry bushes in my back garden! With 1Kg yield from each according to the leaflet, that’s got to be the cheapest, freshest source there is :-) Plus they’re organic — no herbicides, pesticides or fungicides.

    Mike.

  9. Hey Mike,

    Interesting article. Saw the CBC, not very biased, but Mindell didn’t handle himself well either. Don’t agree with the closing of the hospitals, there is a need for main stream medicine but not overkill of medicines.

    I am trying out the goji juice with our son who is picky too. He actually likes it unlike other products we have tried, which is great for the days when all he will eat is cereal. I think it’s a bit pricey, but of course, everything I have found that is healthy and he will actually eat is pricey. Have you seen how expensive fresh mangosteens are? But they are so good.

    I have found with our children, a lot of it is psychological. The only way he will drink water is when we give it to him in a sports bottle like the ones we use. He will eat bananas if he sees his little sister enjoying them, same as raisins. We just got him to even try prunes because he got a ’special’ bag of them that was just for him. Geez. It’s all about presentation. No wonder marketing works so well.

  10. Hi KS,

    It seems to be boys that have these issues with food eh? I can’t tell you how frustrating this problem has been for me.

    I’m having to make do with fruit juices and pureed fruit along with the odd bit of carrots and baby sweetcorn for my son.

    One of the big factors I think with kids and food is the ‘putting stuff in the mouth phase’. When they are exploring tastes and textures. That’s the crucial time to present them with plate fulls of raw fruits and veggies.

    Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware when my son was at that age, no one told me. The usual thing you see parents doing is constantly telling the kids to take stuff out of their mouth along with the sharp admonishment “No! DIRTY!” Sigh.

    My frustation got so bad, there was a nasty incident involving a mango which I won’t go into :-) I also told him there would be no more food until he ate some banana! Oh my gawd how stupid was that! He went two and a half days without eating!

    Some people said to continue, he wouldn’t starve. Others said he would actually starve himself! I think he prob would have starved.

    I eventually concluded that I had to back off completely. Everything I tried backfired. That decision was right I think. The focus has to come off food completely and food HAS TO STAY FUN.

    I think we should get some ideas together from all the parents out there — tips and tactics of what really works for the different age groups.

    Cheers
    Mike.

  11. I really am beginning to think that cynicism about natural products is the new black and anything that makes people money – oh my god that gets slammed. so here is my question – how come we don’t hear big raves in the media about how much doctors get paid for “selling” so much of a certain drug and how they get taken to big lunches and events to be won over by the Big Pharma. How come we spend all our time – even us in the natural industries – bagging what is being said about things like goji but not what is being said about the latest pharmaceutical. are we too scared maybe.

    There has been a string of commentaries lately on goji juice and dr mindell and a ladey who was taking warfarin and it interacted with goji juice. My grandmother is taking it and was worried about that. But no one has told her to be worried about the chemical concoction of drugs she is taking (13 a day she proudly tells me!) and the fact that Viox has been linked to hundreds of deaths. I don’t know i love what i do and i love helping people – I am an aromatherapist, natural therapist, etc etc and i study nutrition every chance i get but sometimes it just feels like an uphill battle. its not like i am going to give up because i love what i do but there definitely some days that i wonder how much more i can take.

    i really wondered what modern medicine was coming to the other day when i spoke to my friend who is a cardiac scientist and he din’t even know what a trans fat was ??!!!! i mean seriously how can the goverment say they are trying to increase preventative medicine and someone with that much knowledge doesn’t even know what one of the basic biggest killers in our western diet is??? it makes no sense to me. i like the idea of goji juice – it seems to have given my grandad with cancer the energy to play 18 holes of golf again when it looked like he was on death’s door and i am sorry but i can’t possible credit that to the 18 different pharmaceuticals he takes every day !!!! he smells like a drug store!!!

    sorry but there are just some days when this world doesn’t make sense to me.

  12. Hi Lisa,

    I really understand your frustration. The fact that “Big Pharma” is getting up to some very dodgy business isn’t a reason not to criticize certain marketers from taking advantage of sick people.

    My argument is this… why not just get people to eat the berries? How can the juice have more nutrition than the berry it’s extracted from?

    People are being duped into paying exorbitant prices for a product when they can get a better result for less money.

    As far as Big Pharma goes, we always recommend methods that allow the body to heal naturally where a natural method exists — and it usually does. The antics of Big Pharma are firmly on our radar but with so much to do and so little time, I’m focusing on “How to be healthy” for the immediate future.

    I did do a lot of research in codex alimentarius but the project was too big. It needs someone to focus just on that. Same with the FDA — it would take more time than I have right now. Hopefully if I get more time in the future I can look into it more. Anyway, if people get healthy, they won’t be going to their doctors much. Problem solved. :-)

    Hope your dad improves. Have you looked into the natural anti-cancer stuff for your dad?

    Cheers,
    Mike

  13. i have been looking into the goji thing all night and have seen where some people have claimed it has cured severe back pain. i suffer greatly from this but i haven’t seen anything concrete from all of the articles i have read. does this goji or any other natural remedy actually work in this respect? this is so important to me as i’ve been told i require surgery but i’m trying to find my own second opinion, also this has been the most informative page i have found as of yet. thanks for being here.

  14. Hi Terry,

    Sorry, I don’t know about how goji relates to back pain. If you do decide to try it though, I reckon you can save yourself a whole load of money and buy the berries, not the juice.

    Good luck in your search for an alternative to surgery. I think a second opinion is definately a good idea. Have you consulted an osteopath?

  15. Thanks for posting about the Marketplace program expose on Mindell, which showed its all just a big scam scam scam.

    As far as the Goji berries, I just bought some today for fun, as I saw then in a nice Chinatown grocery store. They are called Ningxiagouqi, in a nice all Chinese package.

    Its very funny, if you go to the Chinese Herb store, they see you are a dumb whiteman, and the price goes up by 6x more than what is posted. :-)

    but you can go to the good chinese grocery, and get a nice pack of berries not $20.00, not $200.00

    $2.00

    Which is fair market value for a BERRY of this sort, being sold to the chinese customer. Its a BERRY people! Berries are good for humans and bears.

    So forget the rip-off Goji scammers trying to get rich blowing smoke at you.
    If you want some Goji, go to a nice store in chinatown, where the lcoal chinese folks shop, and get a package for a few bucks.
    Wash them, put them in tea or cereal, and eat a couple of tablespoons a day.
    It ain’t gonna cure cancer, but its a nice BERRY to add to your diet.

  16. By the way, your analysis of the comparison of dry goji berries to regular fruit is excellent. They have all sorts of “sales tricks” like that. Comparing dried Goji to fresh oranges, if you will, its a trick.

    There is a lot of money in Goji. Why? Because they can buy these berries in massive bulk for almost nothing, due to the economic disparities. Then they create a type of “straw man” super-hyped up salespitch, and mark it up dozens of times for a huge profit margin.

    Like when I went to the Chinese herb store today. You could see his eyes light up….”here come’s another dumb Yuppie whiteman to buy the common Goji berrie…price just went up to $20.” I bet if I were a local chinese person he would sell them at less than 20% that price, as the Goji berry is a common berry for the chinese, like blueberries for us. I don’t blame the guy, as the White-Yuppie is a very dumb species. :-)

    (I bought the same berries, same package down the street at the Chinese grocery for 2 bucks. They are fresh, delicious, and excellent quality, as the chinese locals are not going to buy junk berries, or get ripped off).

    They all get the same berry from the same supplier.

    Also, what is a Goji “berry”?
    A berry is a seed delivery mechanism for a plant.
    It evolved for animals to eat the berry, and crap out the seeds, and grow more Goji plants.
    They are not some “mystical” thing, its a berry, its a tiny fruit, to spread seeds from animals droppings. Pretty darn mystical…NOT.

    So, a berry is a berry. (unless its poison).

    Lastly, if you buy the Goji berries in bulk from a GOOD local chinese grocer, you can make your own dang Goji juice for pennies! Put some berries in Green Tea, and get a double-benefit.
    Put some in a water bottle, it works after a few hours, then eat the berries too. Tastes good.

    Or, mix them in a blender, and mix with another juice.

    But lets get real. The whole berries are MUCH MUCH MUCH better than the juice. No matter what Earl Mindell claims, without any proof at all.

    Why do the Goji salespeople fight against this?
    There is no money in raw berries.

    Hey, they buy Goji berries in massive bulk for a few cents a pound, and then charge $20-50 a pound for them, or more! Now that is a sweet markup.

    They do the same thing with “Greens”. If you want Greens, eat fresh Greens!
    If you want Goji, buy dried Goji berries for a few bucks from a nice store in Chinatown, where the local chinese folks shop.

    And next month, there will be a new hype product markup, a new fad. Just buy the real WHOLE FOOD from a good source, and you are way better off.

    Forget all these rip-off juices and supplements. Its just a dang berry, and its berry berry tasty, and a fun food product.

    But ALL the hype is about….

    $$$$ Big Profits for Freelife. $$$$$
    Forget Freelife, and buy from the local chinese store, who probably buys from the same distributor as Freelife anyway. (no matter how much they deny it).

    Great article page on Goji!!

  17. PS:

    It just occurred to me I should go to the chinese store, and buy some bulk-boxes of goji berries for $1 for 400g bags, and then put like a fancy ribbon or something on them, and resell them for $20.

    Believe you me, that is what our local health food stores are doing.
    They go and buy them at the Chinese market for $1 a pound, and resell it for $20 a half pound (250 grams).
    That’s a 4000% markup.

    And the juice is marked up way more than that!

    I think I am going to start selling mulched up grass for $400 a pound…oh they do…its called Wheat Grass juice, and you just pee it all out, as the human body cannot digest or process GRASS, as we are not a cow.
    ;-)
    Like I said, the dumb Yuppie is a marketers dream.

  18. hey, one last Goji comment from me on this. I happened to go through a bigger part of Chinatown today, and I had a look around for fun.

    The Chinese “health food” stores sell the Goji berries from $10-15 a pound. Same berries, some are larger though and cost more.

    the supermarkets had some for about $3 for 300g, so that’s about $4.50 a lb.

    the best deal was at the chinese “dry goods” store, where its about $4 a poound for Goji berries.

    If you bought a few bags, offer to pay $10 for 3, or something, and hold out the $10 bill, they will take it! :-)

    But at one place, they had a massive bag in the store, which must have been 10 lbs, I don’t know as they could not speak english. But she said $26, and I bet I could have offered her $20 for it.

    So you can get a huge 10 lb bag of Goji berries, for about $20 from a chinese dry goods store.

    But of course, all this stuff from China could be laced with pesticides, including the so-called expensive “organic” stuff, as in China you don’t know what you are getting no matter what anyone says. Its too much money, and too corrupt.
    There is no such thing as “organic” from China at this point, no matter what the salesmen say.

    So, forget about “Dr.” Earl Mindell, and Freelife (expensive overpriced dishonest MLM). This Goji thing has to be one of the biggest, and most carefully planned scams of all time. Cheap berries, big hype, false medical claims without evidence, huge mark-up, massive profit.

    Once the Goji hype dies off, then they will create a new one.
    Some new berry from some Pacific island, or some other 3rd world country where labor for harvesting berries is dirt cheap, so the raw material costs pennies a pound.

  19. Here is a short but sweet statement from the Mayo Clinic on Goji juice and cancer.

    Goji juice: Can it prevent or treat cancer?

    I’ve been reading about the health benefits of goji juice. Is it true that goji juice may help prevent cancer?

    Answer
    There is no published scientific evidence that goji juice can treat or prevent any disease in humans — including cancer.

    Goji juice is the latest in a seemingly endless string of juices being touted as cure-alls for a wide range of ailments. Some animal studies suggest possible health benefits from goji juice, such as reductions in blood pressure and cholesterol. Like many fruit juices, goji juice is a rich source of vitamins and antioxidants. Antioxidants are natural compounds found in many foods, which may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.

    So what does this mean for you? Drink goji juice, if you like the taste. But don’t invest a lot of money on goji juice as a cure for cancer or any other disease. Instead, watch for future results of clinical trials involving goji juice to see if it lives up to any of the claims made by its promoters.

    As with any herbal or dietary supplements, talk to your doctor about goji juice before you start drinking it on a regular basis. There is some concern that goji juice may interact with some medications.

  20. Recent blog entry, with an enormous amount of information about Goji berries, and some of the outright bald-faced lies which are being peddled, and how so-called “Tibetan” Goji berries don’t even exist as advertised.
    The more one looks into the marketing of Goji berries, the uglier it gets, to the point of consumer fraud.

    ———
    ‘Sometimes, if there are many berries, we pick them and sell them in the town,’ said Penba Niyama, 42. ‘But Tibetan people don’t buy them … we just leave them for the birds to eat.’ When I told him people in the west paid the equivalent of 140 yuan for a small bag of the berries, he shook with laughter. ‘People there must be very strange,’ he said.”
    ———–

  21. Interesting webpage, very informative. I was in a health food store today, looking at Goji berries. There was a brand there called Navitas Goji berries. They were extremely expensive, about $35.00 for a pound!!

    I looked at the back of the bag, and they had the berry nutrition information listed. The numbers were way too high. I compared them to another brand, and it appears that Navitas has inflated the nutrition information!

    They also called their Goji berries “Lycium eleganus”. It turns out there is no such thing! They just made up the name, so they could rebrand their Goji berries, and change the nutrition panel, and charge more for them!

    There is also an article out there, about how a journalist went to Tibet and tried to find the so-called Tibetan Goji berry, and it does not exist as a product!! Its a fraud.

    Its one thing that salespeople are selling over-hyped berries to health food customers. But when they appear to be falsifying nutrition labels, and marketing unproven and false claims to people who are sick with cancer, then its time to notify the FTC and FDA.

    Navitas does not call their berries that bogus name on their website, or post the alleged faked nutrition information.

    They even say on their website that they use Goji berries from China, and don’t call them “Lycium eleganus” there, but they do call them that fake name on Amazon.com
    They also say on Amazon that it gives 45% of the RDA for Vitamin A, but on the package it said 180% for the same size serving, and all the other numbers were falsely inflated as well.

    “45% RDA of Vitamin A per serving; three grams of fiber per serving; a good source of Vitamins C”

    But they DO claim the falsified and inflated numbers for these same Goji berries, on the same website!!
    “180% RDA of Vitamin A and 30% RDA of Vitamin C per serving”.

    That is an outright falsehood.

    What the heck is going on here? On their own website, they hint that Tibetan Goji berries might be a marketing fraud, and that their berries come from China. But their own products say they are Tibetan Goji berries, and some of the exact same products are carrying false and inflated nutrition labels!
    There oughta be a law…and there is a law. Is that why they own website is whitewashed and so different from the actual product listings and package?

    If you have time to look into this, and add it to your story, I think that might be important for the consumer. It appears people are being outright scammed, and many of those people have serious illnesses like cancer, and they are being consciously lied to, deceived and exploited, by some utterly ruthless and dishonest people.

    Something is rotten to the core with these Goji berries, right from the people at the top who thought it up in the first place….its a crooked racket, taking advantage of desperate people with serious illnesses. There needs to be a serious investigation by the authorities, about all of the false claims being made, and the false labelling and deceptive marketing.

  22. I have been drinking GOJI JUICE for about 18 months. My physical body and health have greatly improved. I have a series of blood tests, X-Rays, and MRIs to support how much MY body has changed while drinking GOJI JUICE. Nothing else helped me, and I didnt change anything I was doing, except start drinking the GOJI JUICE.

    I was almost totally crippled due to fibromyalgia, lymphedema, spinal disc problems, to name a few of my health challenges. I could not stand up straight anymore, I could not go up steps anymore, I could not walk more than few steps without needing to sit down or lean on something. My life was so limited, and I was despondent, hopeless, and deeply depressed.

    Within weeks after starting to drink it, my pain lessened, my energy increased, I could sleep more than an hour or so at a time. Now, I sleep for 7-8 hours, I can run up steps, I am losing weight, I am not depressed, I have little pain or restriction, I am walking in a pool for 3-4 hours to strengthen my muscles which were severely weakened by the fibromyalgia.

    I used to take maximum doses of a pain pill, a muscle relaxer, and an anti-inflammatory drug. I took them for at least 7 years, and they caused side effects and just kept barely able to get in and out of bed.

    After drinking the GOJI Juice for one month, I decided to take a leap of faith. I stopped taking ALL drugs and have not taken one drug in about 17 months. I had a car accident in April of this year, and still did not take one drug to get better. I just drank more GOJI Juice!

    Blood tests show significant changes, the X-Rays and MRIs show NO disc herniations, and little cervical degeneration even though I started showing rapid degeneration when I was in my early 30s.

    Some of the info that has been written HERE about GOJI Juice and FReelife is WRONG. A bottle of GOJI juice from FreeLife does NOT cost $50. It can be purchased for as little as $32. You drink 1 oz a day, so that bottle lasts ONE MONTH!

    I wonder how many people who have written here take a drug that costs more than $32 a month, or needs to see their doctor and pays more than $32 a month.

    Would YOU pay $32 a month to be able to walk again, to sleep through the night again, to be able to work again, to be able to live a more full life, to NOT spend time thinking of ways to die because the pain is unbearable on a DAILY basis, to have hope in your future again…???.. TELl me… would YOU pay $32 a month for that kind of freedom and peace and health…???..

    Most of the info was about GOJI berries, not the juice. The reason that juice is better is because for people who are ill, whose bodies no longer function anywhere near normal, the juice is more easily absorbed and metabolized. IF one’s body is too ill, and they are malnourished because their body can no longer properly digest and utilize the food, then the berries would be eliminated without being absorbed.

    IF you are perfectly healthy, then dont bother with GOJI JUICE. None of this matters to you. Why worry about berries VS juice LOL

    BUT, if you have an illness, if your life is more and more limited, if your options have all been exercised with no real improvement, if the druges are causing too many side effects… then maybe its worth $32 for you to try some GOJI Juice.

    FreeLife has a 100% money back guarantee if you dont feel any better after drinking the bottle. Yes, it is an empty bottle, 90 day, 100% money back guarantee. I liked that in the beginning, because I was also skeptical. I had given up and didnt think ANYTHING could help me.

    Does your pharmacy offer YOU a money back guarantee if the drugs it sells you dont help? Does your doctor offer you your money back if he/she doesnt cure you?

    It doesnt matter to ME what the skeptics say. My life has been saved and changed by drinking GOJI JUICE every single day. I HAVE a life now. I am no longer a disabled, house bound, depressed, hopeless woman just waiting to DIE…!!!..

  23. Hi Becky, thanks for your heart warming story. I guess if I were in as bad a state as you and someone offered me hope in the form of goji juice for $32 I would take it–sure.

    I was sick too. For 13 years with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the symptoms are quite similar to fibromyalgia. I understand what you’ve been through believe me.

    What I really take from your story is how let down we all are by the prevailing scientific and social state of affairs. Stories of healings like yours and mine are 10 a penny and yet who in the science and medical world is standing up and saying “Hey, look at this, this is amazing–we NEED TO LOOK AT THIS and NOW.” If this thing really works and Mindell can prove it, why aren’t the medical profession beating down his door to access this information so that it can all be done professionally? In fact, why isn’t Mindell beating THEIR door down?

    It’s quite scandalous that you, as a patient, should have to figure it all out for yourself and go by trial and error to marketeers for medical information and ultimately, healing. This should have been resolved a long time ago but the doctors and drugs can’t help you. Why? Because chronic illnesses of every type do not and cannot respond to drugs and surgery — their big guns.

    Dave Klein who focuses on ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s and gets a 99% success rate with his method says “The medics DON’T WANT TO KNOW.”

    Isn’t that incredibly frustrating and annoying?

    The benefits and amazing healing power of fasting has been known about for centuries but are the medics interested? Are they even looking?

    What about all the natural and freely available herbal and wild plant cure that is contained in the combined wisdom on hundreds of indigenous peoples who, over thousands of years have gained and passed on intricate knowledge of healing plants and their uses.

    Who is looking? NOBODY. “THEY DON’T WANT TO KNOW.” Sadly, the golden rule is “He who has the gold makes the rules.”

    I wonder how much the obvious conflict of interest blinds the medical profession as a whole: If they tell us how to create health they effectively put themselves out of a job.

    Why is it that in the year 2007, we are still arguing about what is best to eat for health? Is this the DARK AGES???

    What has the combined might of nutritional science given us? A million books, articles and papers on every different possible idea and angle about what is the best diet by individuals and organizations wilh an interest.

    It’s outrageous.

    Even our governments are corrupted by powerful lobbying by the drug and food industries… and all the while you… and me… and thousands like us have suffered a tremendous amount without need to if only we’d all unite behind a common cause and purpose of health CREATION.

    I’m glad the juice worked for you. I have my serious doubts that berries wouldn’t have worked at less expense but I agree that if it worked for you then who cares.

    My problem is more with the marketing of freelife. This is about profit, make no mistake and that makes me sad. Not that they shouldn’t make money. Of course, everyone is entitled to make money but what makes me sad is exploitation.

    I’m happy for you. I hope you continue to improve and look for more ways to create lasting health for yourself and loves ones.

    Thanks again for your moving story.
    Mike

  24. I’ve just been reading Mike Kinnaird’s brilliant article The Great Goji Juice Controversy, where he discusses Goji facts, nutrition, the Goji scam, and much more. It’s a really great article, and if your interested in this, you should go over and check out his post.

  25. Mike,

    Just curious, how has the growing of the goji plants gone? Yield?
    Thank you for your article – I am researching the goji and appreciate seeing all sides.

    BTW, I live in the Portland, OR metro area-any ideas on local Chinese markets I can get the berries from?

  26. Hi Ryan,
    Well, they survived! Planted 3 goji bushes and they were about 12″ tall I’d say. No berries as yet. I would expect some next year but not many.
    It will take a few years for them to grow to maximum yield size. The instructions said each plant will get 5Kg I seem to remember.
    Sorry, I don’t know about Chinese markets in your area.
    Cheers
    Mike.

  27. Thank you Mike for your good information. I was looking for a reliable, un-biased review of this product I’m so curious about. Namely, I was looking to see if I should by a bag of dried berries for under ten bucks, or splurge on the liquid form. Common sense told me that berries will be less processed of course, and therefore better, but I wasn’t 100%. After reading your opinion on the matter, I’m thinking I’ll start with the dried berries. I’m still not sure whether to believe this berry is ’special’ among other natural foods, but I’m sure it can’t be harmful either so I’ll give it a try. It’s only ten bucks, or $8.57 to be exact (at VitaCost.com). We’ll see if it makes me lose weight or increases my mojo!!!

    And I hate to say this, but Becky, it sounds like you work for FreeLife. You make Goji sound like a true miracle drug that has cured every severe illness you’ve had. Maybe it’s true, but I’m thinking, why are you so consistent on just this one brand? I’ve seen better products online for cheaper. And after reading about Dr. Mindell and his great marketing ploy, who would be stupid enough to buy this brand? Just my opinion.

  28. Hi Barbi,

    Blimey, I never considered that the Mindell Marketing Machine could be visiting bad publicity and writing glowing reviews. When you think about it–why wouldn’t they? I must admit I didn’t smell a rat but where marketing is concerned, nothing suprises me anymore. Quite a sad state of affairs.

    The only issue with berries is the pesticide issue. Even organic berries are really not, is the message I’m getting. But I suppose you could say that about any unregulated imported fruit–how can you have a clue what the farmer sprayed onto the produce?

    My understanding with pesticide residues is that they reduce a lot with time if the spraying is done plenty of time before harvesting.

    Of course, I don’t see how the juice would be any different in the pesticide department so I would definitely go for the berries as part of a healthy wholefoods diet.

    Good luck and let me know how you get on. Btw, there are a few comments on this post discussing the cheapest sources and how to barter for the best deals!

    Good luck!
    Mike.

  29. I was very ill in March 2006. I had bypass surgery 6 years earlier and had been put on various drugs for cholesterol. hypertension and arthritis. I think the Lipitor was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I was almost an invalid. I (On my own) quit all rx drugs and started drinking goji100
    bby genesis today. Today I am a very healthy, happy 72 year old man that can do squats and whatever else that I want to. i can give no one credit but the goji.I am lucky that it helped. RX drugs were killing me. I really believe this. Thanks

  30. Just heard yesterday from a friend who has experienced the Himalayan Goji juice which was able to clear her body and mouth rashes after imbibing the juice for month or so.

    Rashes come and go, some are caused by allergens or for no apparent reason. Some are also slated to be stress-related.
    Even doctors are baffled as to it’s origin and cause.
    But blame not those who have suffered constant itch for a month or so and out of the blue arrive a cure and an immediate relieve to all the itch where all other treatments have failed to resolve. So what if it costs $90 a bottle?

    Sad to say, this is how MLM are making money, tonnes of it, selling a product that may or may not be the cure. Great marketing but for it to work, also great distributors promised a life of huge income, an income they could only dream about, at the expense of another poor soul whose only fault is he/she is suffering from a sickness that is taking too long to cure.

  31. This is the best unbiased account regarding goji berries that I’ve read. The comparison between goji and oranges with regards to vitamin c is truly enlightening. Thanks.

  32. Hi Mel,

    Well goji or wolfberry is grown in a lot of places. As far as I’m aware, the Ningxia one is grown in a particularly rich soil due to rivier flooding which deposits mineral rich silt.

    As you probably guessed if you read the article, I’m not in favor of supplements over a healthy diet. Yes goji will have benefit for most people — it’s very nutritious and alkalizing but is it value for money? I think not.

    If you want goji why not eat the berries for a fraction of the price? And you get to keep the valuable fibre content.

    Berries in general, not just goji are great foods. Nutrient dense and high anti-oxidant levels. I eat 2 portions (160g) every single day.

    I agree there are nutrient losses when fruit and veg is shipped but that’s not why people are getting sick. The reason for sickness is poor diet, too much stress combined with many other lifestyle and environmental factors. Nutrient losses are just one small aspect.

    I watch what people eat. In general people are living on rubbish — high fat poor quality diets. That’s one of the big factors.

    And there are things you can do about nutrient losses. Eat some frozen stuff, buy local organic from farmers’ markets. Shop more often etc.

    But in my experience — eating MORE — 10+ per day is the biggie. More if you’re sick.

    Cheers
    Mike.

  33. Hi,

    Just wondering if the Goji Berry and Ningxa Red are the same thing? or completely different? I am also interested to find anyone who takes NIngxa Red and DOESNT SELL it. A met a lady the other day who was telling me how wonderful Ningxa Red is and even gave me a sample to try. I didnt realise till I got on the website that if I was to buy the product she gets a commission! She claims that she wouldnt sell it unless she thought it was great…she claims that she has tried many products over many, many years and this has been the best (she used to take Usana Vitamins as I do) and claims this product (Ningxa Red) is way better. I was also curious if there has been any research done on Ningxa Red other than in China?
    I Understand that I probably should be getting all my nutrients etc from a healthy, balanced diet but I question the amount of goodness that is still in the fruit and Veg that we buy today. By the time it goes from the growers to the stores…and then sits in my Vegie crisper for a few days…is there any goodness left??

  34. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your reply. I guess my reason for looking up information on the Gogi berry or Ningxa Red was sheer frustration (I am at a loss!). I seem to always get sick (mainly colds), if someone has a cold and I go near them….I get it!! What I can’t understand is why??? I am 33 and have a very slim build and have never had a weight problem. I love healthy food and never eat junk food (no soft drink, lollies or fast food). I think I have a fairly healthy diet – muesli and bran for breakfast often with blueberries or mango. Lunch is usually a sandwich on brown bread and dinner is usually meat and vegies. I also take a multi vitamin (Usana) and I exercise several times a week. (surfing, swimming and windsurfing). I live in Australia near the beach and am a mum of 2 (so no job stress..but I guess being a mum is a little stressful!!..I have a 6 month old and a 2 year old). But your right…I don’t particularly want to spend a fortune on fancy over priced juices….especially if they are not going to make a huge difference. I read that you grow your own gogi berries…although I have not heard of anyone growing them around my area (I don’t think the climate is right). I know my chemist sells dried gogi berries (but again …not cheap). But I am wondering if they will make a difference or perhaps I was just born with a bad immune system?? Perhaps it is a genetic thing? My husband hardly ever gets sick and eats whatever he wants, drinks alcohol every weekend and has NEVER taken any vitamins in his life..yet always seems to be healthier than me!!
    I dont have any other major health problems…but would love to be cold free for at least 6 months or more!!

  35. Hi Mel,

    Life’s not fair is it? Like it’s not fair that you live near a beach and I don’t!! :-) Grrrr!

    I honestly don’t think that goji juice is the answer for you and yes, you’re right — genetics is a massive factor. Incidently, just because folks seem healthy and have no symptoms doesn’t mean their lifestyle isn’t hurting them.

    In your position I would switch to natural human food overnight. No grains, no dairy. I would try that for a few months and if I was a betting man, I would put money on all these colds going away quite quickly.

    Fruits, veg, nuts, seeds, meat, fish, eggs etc.

    Plan your meals and enter a day’s food into an online diet analysis tool such as fitday.com to make sure you’re covering all the main nutritional bases.

    You’ll need to up your greens considerably in order to get enough calcium in your diet and also get a little sun every day without all the sunblock! 15 to 30 minutes is fine. You need the natural vitamin D.

    Eat more potatoes, yams and squashes as calorie staples instead of bread and eat more fruit too.

    If you decide to try this, come back and let me know how you get on or if you have any questions at all.

    It’s also a remote possibility that the “nightshade” family is bothering you. Prob not but if the colds persist you might need that extra step. That means also eliminating potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and egg plant/aubergines.

    Mike.

  36. Hi Cora,

    That would depend on which product you mean? I suspect most goji products are not organic and even the ones labelled organic may not be according to some reports — organic in China or Tibet or wherever would not mean the same as in the US or UK.

  37. Hi Mike!

    I was researching online and got to your site… anyway, thanks for the insights. Alot of products nowadays really do claim medicinal benefits esp. cancer cures.

    I would want to share this site to you. Enzymes are the spark of our life… without it, we are dead. This product uses systemic enzyme therapy. A lot of testimonials and proven cases are available for review. The product & company has been existence for the past 13 years!

    Sincerely,
    Ira

  38. I’m very grateful for your report on Goji. There are so many people looking to exploit people with health conditions. My 14 year old son has Crohn’s disease and as a desperate mother I’ve been looking at alternative remedies (he’s on anti-inflammatary drugs and steroids and I’ve been looking to find alternatives to these) so far most have turned out to be dubious, expensive and making lots of money for dubious corporations. I’m beginning to feel sceptical about just about everything alternative which is a shame as the pharmaceutical drugs my son takes have serious side-effects. I came across a mention of Himalayan Goji Juice from submitting a comment on an article about something else (not too difficult to work out the comment was planted by a seller) and instead of wasting days researching (already been there on other products) and in this case looking at PubMed (which they mentioned of course as proof of its validity) I looked to see if anyone had done a review and came across yours. It was excellent. Thanks so much.

    I looked through other people’s comments and came across those extolling goji as curing them. I’ve come across lots of similar reports for other products. We simply have no way of knowing whther they are genuine or not. When they mention a specific product or refer to a website linked directly or indirectly to a product then I think it’s best to be extra cautious. Sadly, I no longer belief any online testimonials however genuine they seem as I don’t trust where they come from – there is lots of money to be made from peddling hope.

  39. @Author: Nickie Brander
    Comment: There are alot of effective alternative & natural medicines out there that are really effective. You just have to decide which type of therapy would suit you best. Here in our country, a lot of “natural” medicines sprout up. But only 1 came out to be really effective. I am endorsing this product only because, during the course of its 13years in the market, it has proven hundred times its effectiveness. I also got cured of my illnesses – pyelonephritis, ulcer, migrain, vertigo, and mitral valve prolapse. Most of our diseases are not only caused by germs, but by free radicals. Search on it online. See as well the enzyme therapy. The product uses Systemic Enzyme Therapy.

    You also have to put in mind that diet and lifestyle plays a lot of factor in one’s recovery.

    Good luck and study everything before you give it to your son.

    Best day!

    Frances Pahanel / philippines

  40. Hi Nickie,

    I totally understand your frustration. If you’re looking for a natural cure and wish to avoid drug side effects it can be a confusing business trying to find credible information.

    A raw food diet of only fruits, veg, nuts, seeds and so on helped me a lot to overcome chronic fatique syndrome and I have strong reason to believe it could also help your son.

    This diet contains only natural foods and so everything else is eliminated.

    One big problem is many possible interacting causes so a simple diet allows you to get back to basics and get rid of most of the possible causes.

    Grains, dairy, legumes, sugar, tea, coffee, soda are not natural foods and we didn’t evolve with these foods.

    In your position, I would first research to see if a change in diet could help or even cure. I interviewed a guy called David Klein who healed Crohn’s with a raw diet. You’ll find the interview in the “all posts” page.

    Good luck with your research. Let me know if I can help you with anything.

  41. @ Mike Kinnaird
    @ Nickie Brander

    please seek an alternative medicine or a naturopathy practitioner. ASk them about ENZYMES. They will show you how that can be of help to your son’s condition.

    Best day!

    Ira

  42. I’m very afraid about crohn’s disease. I have some symtoms in abdominal pain, often in the lower right area, and diarrhea. Should I go to see the doctor? Please help.

  43. BREAKING NEWS!!

    Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against FreeLife for False Claims!

    A Class Action Lawsuit against FreeLife International Inc. is now filed in the United States District Court of Arizona. This lawsuit alleges false claims, misrepresentations, false and deceptive advertising and other issues regarding FreeLife’s Himalayan Goji Juice, GoChi, and TaiSlim products. This lawsuit seeks remedies for consumers who have purchased these products over the past several years.

  44. Loved your informative site. I had only just looked at the freelife site and felt uneasy and unsure about the information. I felt it was a money making venture more than anything else. How can one person claim they have the best and only true version of this juice. It lost me right there!
    You put it all in to perspective for me.

    So eating the dried berry is just as good for me if not better than drinking the juice? I’m not after a miracle food, just something that can’t hurt me and at the end of the day help towards a healthier lifestyle.

    1. Hi Sue,

      Yes, that’s the way I look at it too — a good food to include in the variety of the diet. Yes the dried berries are in my view, much better than juice, which has all the fiber taken out. Isn’t fiber good for us :-) You can presoak the berries for 30 minutes or even overnight and add them to salads, smoothies etc.

      I’m glad you trusted your feelings and thanks for the thumbs up about our website! :-)

      All the best,
      Mike

  45. thanks for the info on, goji juice. i still need more information as to what it really does for those who take it

  46. Nice review, generally the important points of these type of superfoods is their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and ORAC values.
    Goji Is rather good, Acai is marketed similarly. The advice you suggest in buying a plant is the intelligent choice and they are really a very hardy plant, it’s important though to note for buyers that the plant be old enough to yield. Newly seeded plants will have you waiting years.
    The juicing process in these claimed master drinks can in no way rival that of eating anything fresh off the plant, these special ingredients and enzymes that are the big deal are what disappear first in processing, reconstitution of anything alters the digestive systems understanding of what it’s dealing with.
    If you do ever get cancer, though I doubt a person eating like you do has a chance of that, any way stay the hell away from cut, poison burn witch-doctoring we call oncology.
    Seriously just opt for a vitamin c intravenous, flood yourself with it we are so void of it in a cooked meal diet as heat eradicates vitamin C stress enacting adrenaline eats that we do get away, take a bottle or two of selenium, and chow down on some raw cocoa and honestly good luck to anything unfriendly in your system because it will need it.
    A placebo psychosomatic prop from a homeopath would give you a better chance and quality of life then signing to the most expensive proprietary cut poison burn schedules.
    Claiming cancer cures for people lasting 5 years is a joke when a person is just about to die from the treatment creating other cancers. All this when dirt cheap mega-dose nutrition alternatives have astounding flat cure rates.
    There is no money in nutritional therapy it’s never going to go through FDA testing correctly as long as the drug companies chiefs that walk into and out of the department are tying up all policies, testing, media and paying for the regulators the school curriculum, the medical facilities all tax deduct-ably, the advertising, the politicians, they are just all in pocket.
    For every multinational corporation paying no tax, people are paying for it with body counts in a multitude of ways.
    Fact is drugs do not treat chronic malnutrition they deplete the system more.
    Drugs are for what drugs have always been for, pain management, trauma and anesthesia.
    The term side-effect is a misnomer, an effect is an effect.
    2.4 million deaths in 23 years due to adverse drug effects for properly prescribed and used as directed drugs vs 10 alleged deaths in that time due to non-specific vitamins possibly in combination with who knows what speaks for itself really.

  47. Very well said Josh! Now imagine if we all lived well so we didn’t have to reverse anything :-) If nutritional therapy can cure, then we can certainly not get sick to start with.

    Thanks Josh.

    Mike

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