Introduction of Gou Qi Zi:Barbary Wolfberry Fruit or Fructus Lycii.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Barbary Wolfberry Fruit, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its herbal classic book defined botanical source one plant species, ①.Lycium barbarum L., and another commonly used plant species, ②.Lycium chinense Mill., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two plant species, the features of the herb Barbary Wolfberry Fruit, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Fructus Lycii(Barbary Wolfberry Fruit).

Fructus Lycii:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Góu Qǐ Zǐ.
 English Name: Barbary Wolfberry Fruit.
 Latin Name: Fructus Lycii.
 Property and flavor: neutral in nature, tastes sweet.

 Brief introduction: The herb Fructus Lycii is the dried ripe fruit of Lycium barbarum L., used to replenish liver and kidney Yin for the treatment of aching back and legs, impotence and nocturnal emission, vertigo and decreased eyesight. The herb is commonly known as Fructus Lycii, Barbary Wolfberry Fruit, Góu Qǐ Zǐ.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book and other famous herbal classics defined the herb Wolfberry Fruit(Fructus Lycii, Gou Qi Zi) as the dry ripen fruit of the plant species (1). Lycium chinense Mill., or (2). Lycium barbarum L. They are plants of the Lycium genus, the Solanaceae family (nightshade, potato family) of the Tubiflorae order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Lycium chinense Mill.

 Lycium chinense Mill:leaves flower and fruits Botanical description: Lycium chinense Mill., commonly known as Gou Qi, or Zhong Hua Gou Qi, is a plant of the Solanaceae family (nightshade, potato family) and Lycium genus. A deciduous shrub, the plant is relatively shorter and smaller, and grows up to about 1 meter high. A vining plant, stem and branch are slender, over bark is gray, with short thorns, grow in the leaf axil, about 0.5~2 cm long. The leaf blade is smaller, oval (egg-shaped), ovate-rhombus, oblong oval, or ovate-lanceolate, 2~6 cm long, 0.5~2.5 cm wide, the apex is pointed or obtuse, the base is narrowly cuneate, entire-edge, both surfaces are glabrous. 

 Flowers are purple, the margin has dense marginal seta (tricholoma); the calyx is campanulate (bell-shaped), 3~5-lobed; the corolla tube and lobes are equal in length, the lower part of the corolla tube is narrowing, then enlarged upward to funnel shape, corolla tube and lobe are wide; stamens 5, inserted in corolla, slightly shorter than corolla, anthers are T-shaped and inserted, filaments usually stretching out. 

 The berry is oval (egg-shaped) or oblong, 10~15 mm long, 4~8 mm in diameter, and seeds are yellow. Its flowering period is from June to September, the fruiting period is from July to October.

 Lycium chinense Mill:leaves and flower Ecological Environment: Lycium chinense grows on hillsides or mountain slopes, the ridge of field, or hilly areas. It is distributed in most areas of China.

 Lycium chinense Mill:leaves and fruits The Wolfberry belongs to the genus Lycium, are multi-branched shrubs, about 80 species growing in the world. Most species of the Lycium are distributed in the American continent, of which most species grow in South America. There are about 10 species grow in the Asia-European continent, most species grow mainly in Central Asia. There are 7 species and 3 varieties grow in China, most of which are distributed in the northwest and north area, and spread from the centers Hexi Corridor, Qaidam Basin, and the Yellow River coast area. Among them, the Ningxia wolfberry is the most famous.[not-updated]

 Growth characteristics: Lycium chinense likes cold climates and has strong cold tolerance. When the temperature is stable and above 7 °C (Celsius, or 44.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the seeds can germinate, and the seedlings can resist the low temperature of -3 °C (Celsius, or 26.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Its germination begins when the temperature is above 6 °C (Celsius, or 42.8 degrees Fahrenheit) in spring. Lycium chinense can pass winter safely at -25 °C (Celsius, or -13 degrees Fahrenheit) without freezing injury. Lycium chinense has a developed root system and strong drought resistance, and can even grow in the arid desert. High yield can be obtained by ensuring water supply, and enough water is necessary for the flowering and fruiting period. The low-lying land with long-term water logging is unfavorable to the growth of Lycium chinense, and even causes root rot. In an environment with sufficient light, the branches of Lycium chinense grow healthily, with many flowers and fruits, large fruit berries, high yield, and good quality. Lycium chinense mostly grows in alkaline soil and sandy loam, it is most suitable for cultivation in fertile loam with deep soil layers.[updated]

 Characters of herbs: The fruit berry is oval or cylindrical, with slightly pointed ends, 1~1.5 cm long and 3~5 mm in diameter. The surface is bright red or dark red, irregular wrinkles, dull. The texture of the berry is soft and slightly moist, with many seeds in it. The shape of the seeds is similar to the seeds of Lycium barbarum. The herb is odorless and tastes sweet. The herb of better grade has big grains, thick pulp, few seeds, red color, and the texture is soft. The herb of inferior grade has small grains, thin pulp, many seeds, gray, gray-red, and old.[not-updated]

(2).Lycium barbarum L.

 Lycium barbarum L:fruiting tree Botanical description: Lycium barbarum L. is also known as Lycium halimifolium Mill, it is commonly known as Ningxia Gou Qi, or Ningxia Wolfberry, a plant of the Solanaceae family (nightshade, potato family) and Lycium genus. It is a shrub or grows into a large shrub or small tree after cultivation, the plant grows up to 1 to 3 meters tall. The main stems are several, thick and thickset; Branchlet has vertical ribs, with short thorns without leaves and long thorns with leaf and flower; fruiting branches are slender, usually, its tip is pendulous, cortex or out bark is ravous (pale gray yellow), glabrous. Leaves are alternate, or several leaves cluster and grow on short branches; the petiole is short; the leaf blade is lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, 2~8 cm long, 0.5~3 cm wide, the apex is pointed, the base is cuneate or narrowly cuneate and extending download to petiole, entire-edge, the upper surface is dark green, the undersurface is pea green (pale green), glabrous.

 Flowers are axillary, usually 1 solitary, or 2 to 6 flowers cluster and grow in short branches; pedicel (flower stalk) is thin; the calyx is campanulate (bell-shaped), 4~5 mm long, the apex is 2~3 parted, lobes are broad-ovate or ovate-triangular; corolla is funnel-shaped, corolla tube is about 8 mm long, the apex is 5-lobed, lobes are oval (egg-shaped), about 5 mm long, pink or pale violet-red (light purplish red), with dark purple veins, a round of pilose grow in the tube where stamens inserted; 5 stamens; 1 pistil, ovary is oblong, 2-loculed, style is linear, stigma is capitate. 

 The berry is ovoid, elliptic, or broadly ovate, 8~20 mm long, 5~10 mm in diameter, red or orange-red, and the pericarp is pulpose. Many seeds, subrounded reniform and flattened, yellowish brown. Its flowering period is from May to October, the fruiting period is from June to October.

 Lycium barbarum L:flower and leaves Ecological Environment: Lycium barbarum grows on ditch banks, hillsides or mountain slopes, the ridge of irrigation fields, or along sluice-way, and so on. It grows in the wild field or is cultivated. The plant is distributed in northern, and northwest areas of China, and is also cultivated in other areas.

 Lycium barbarum L:fruits and leaves Growth characteristics: Lycium barbarum has a strong adaptability. The annual average temperature in its main producing areas is 9.2 °C (Celsius, or 48.56 degrees Fahrenheit), the average temperature in January is -7.1 °C (Celsius, or 19.22 degrees Fahrenheit), and the average temperature in July is 23.2 °C (Celsius, or 73.76 degrees Fahrenheit). It is cold-resistant and there is no freezing injury when it passes winter at -25.6 °C (Celsius, or -14.08 degrees Fahrenheit). The plant likes light. Its soil requirement is not strict, it is tolerant to salt and alkali soil, fertilizer, drought, avoid water logging. It is suitable to cultivate in fertile neutral or slightly acidic light loam with good drainage, and the salt content of saline-alkali soil should not exceed 0.2%. It is not suitable for cultivation in strongly alkaline, clay loam, paddy field, and swamp areas.[updated]

 Lycium barbarum:dried wolfberry fruit Characters of herbs: The fruit berry is long oval or oval, or spindle-like, slightly flat, 0.6~2 cm long, and 3~8 mm in diameter. The surface is bright red or dark red, slightly glossy, with irregular wrinkles, slightly pointed at the top end, with small protruding stylar scar, there are white fruit stalk marks at the base. The fruit peel is flexible and shriveled; The pulp is thick, soft and moist, and sticky, with many seeds in it, 20~50 seeds, flat kidney-shaped, 1.5~2 mm long, 1~1.7 mm in diameter, the seed surface is light yellow or brown. The herb has a slight odor, it tastes sweet and slightly sour. The herb of better grade has big grain, red color, thick pulp, the texture of berry is soft and moist, few seeds and sweet taste.[not-updated]

 Pharmacological actions: ①.anti-fatty liver; ②.choline like effect; ③.regulating and enhancing immune function; ④.hypoglycemic effect; ⑤.lowering blood pressure effect; ⑥.improving hypoxia resistance; ⑦.anti-fatigue effect to delay aging; ⑧.anti-tumor effect to inhibit cancer cells; ⑨.weight gain effect; ⑩.protective effect on CCI4-induced liver damage.

 Medicinal efficacy: Nourishing the liver and kidney, nourishing the kidney, moistening the lung, invigorating the liver, boost essence and improve eyesight. It is indicated for consumptive disease and lose of essence, consumptive disease and cough, aching and pain of waist and knees, aching and soft of waist and knees, deficency of liver and kidney, Yin deficiency of liver and kidney, asynodia (impotence), spermatorrhea (nocturnal emission), dizziness and tinnitus (vertigo, ringing in ears), dizziness and dazzled, endogenous heat and wasting thirst (internal heat and consumptive thirst), wasting thirst, wasting thirst and drink whole cup of water, blood deficiency and sallow complexion (deficiency of blood, looks dull and yellowing), dim eyesight and many tears, dim eyesight and blurred vision (dim eyesight, cloudy vision), etc. 

 Administration of Fructus Lycii (Góu Qǐ Zǐ): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Fructus Lycii (Góu Qǐ Zǐ)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:6~12 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 2~4 qian (about 6~12 grams), prepare an ointment, infusing in wine, or prepare to pill, powder; ③.Internally:water decoction,5~15 grams, or prepare an ointment, infusing in wine, or prepare to pill, powder.

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