Goji
Goji

Background

Goji (Lycium chinense; Lycium barbarum) is a shrub. The berries, berry juice, and root bark have been used for many purposes, but with little evidence.

Goji grows in the Mediterranean region and parts of Asia. It contains chemicals that might help lower blood pressure and blood sugar. It might also help stimulate the immune system and protect organs.

Goji is used for many conditions including diabetes, weight loss, improving quality of life, and as a tonic, but there is no good scientific evidence to support any of these uses.
When taken by mouth: Goji fruit is possibly safe when taken short-term. Up to 15 grams of goji fruit daily has been used safely for up to 4 months. In rare cases, goji fruit can cause allergic reactions.

There isn't enough reliable information available to know if other parts of the goji plant are safe or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if goji is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. There is some concern that goji fruit might cause the uterus to contract. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Allergy to protein in certain products: Goji might cause an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to tobacco, peaches, tomatoes, and nuts.

Effectiveness

There is interest in using goji for a number of purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

There isn't enough reliable information to know what an appropriate dose of goji might be. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult a healthcare professional before using.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

Flecainide (Tambocor)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Flecainide is used to reduce irregular heartbeat. Goji might increase the levels of flecainide in the body. This can increase the risk of flecainide toxicity and serious heart issues.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C19 (CYP2C19) substrates)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Goji might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) substrates)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Goji might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) substrates)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Goji might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Goji might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)

Interaction Rating=Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Goji might lower blood sugar levels. Taking goji along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.

Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Goji root bark might lower blood pressure. Taking goji along with medications that lower blood pressure might cause blood pressure to go too low. Monitor your blood pressure closely.

Warfarin (Coumadin)

Interaction Rating=Major Do not take this combination.

Warfarin is used to slow blood clotting. Goji might increase how long warfarin is in the body. This might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin might need to be changed.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

Herbs and supplements that might lower blood pressure: Goji root bark might lower blood pressure. Taking it with other supplements that have the same effect might cause blood pressure to drop too much. Examples of supplements with this effect include andrographis, casein peptides, L-arginine, niacin, and stinging nettle.
Herbs and supplements that might lower blood sugar: Goji might lower blood sugar. Taking it with other supplements with similar effects might lower blood sugar too much. Examples of supplements with this effect include aloe, bitter melon, cassia cinnamon, chromium, and prickly pear cactus.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 31/07/2023 10:00:00 and last updated on 06/11/2014 21:38:21. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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