Goji berries: useful properties and contraindications, harm and benefit, planting and care
Fruit and berry plants
Dereza ordinary, or dereza berber, or Dereza barbarian, or Chinese dereza, or wolf berries, or goji berries (Latin Lycium barbarum) - woody plant, species of the genus Dereza of the Solanaceae family. In China, this plant is known as "Ningxia Gouqi", which translates as "Ningxiang Dereza", and for Europeans, "Gouchi" sounds like "Goji". In nature, the common wolf can be found in China, Tibet, the Himalayas and Russia.
At the beginning of the 21st century, goji began to be advertised as a cure for all diseases, with a unique concentration of antioxidants and trace elements. Dereza vulgaris was pretentiously called by the sellers "the berry of paradise", the "red diamond" and the "berry of longevity". However, research has disproved marketing claims for miraculous goji juice.
Planting and caring for goji
- Landing: sowing seeds for seedlings - in March, planting seedlings in a school - when the first leaves appear. The seedlings are planted in a permanent place a year later in the spring.
- Lighting: bright sunlight.
- The soil: any composition and any acidity level.
- Watering: moderate but regular.
- Top dressing: from the second season, compost and complex mineral fertilizer are annually introduced into the trunk circle.
- Cropping: the first few years, it is necessary to form the crown of the plant, and in the future it will only be necessary to maintain this shape and carry out sanitary cleaning of the crown. The tree is pruned in early spring, before sap flow begins.
- Garter: until the bush grows, the lower branches are tied to a support so that they do not lie on the ground.
- Reproduction: seeds and woody cuttings.
- Pests: aphids, Colorado beetles and winter moth caterpillars.
- Diseases: powdery mildew and late blight.
- Properties: the plant has medicinal properties and is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Read more about growing goji below.
Dereza vulgaris is a deciduous shrub up to 3.5 m in height with a crown width of up to 6 m. The root system of the plant is powerful, penetrating deep into the ground and forming many root suckers. Dangling light yellow branches of the wolfberry are dotted with thin thorns. The leaves are simple, entire, small, elliptical, light green above, glaucous on the underside. Violet-pink, purple or brownish-purple bell-shaped flowers exude a mild aroma. The fruit is a small oblong berry up to 2 cm long, coral red, orange or crimson. Fruiting begins in the third year of growth, but sometimes even earlier.
Growing goji in the garden
Planting goji outdoors
Goji-dereza propagates both by seeds and vegetatively - semi-lignified cuttings 10 cm long.Goji seeds in the spring, without prior stratification, are soaked for several hours in warm water, and then sown to a depth of 3 mm into a moist substrate consisting of one part of peat and two parts of loam. Crops are covered with foil or glass and kept at a temperature of 20-25 ºC, preventing the substrate from drying out and a sharp temperature drop in the room. Seedlings usually hatch after two weeks, and as soon as the first shoots appear, the crops are transferred to the brightest place, but shaded from direct sunlight. When leaves appear on the plants, they are planted in the garden on the school bed and grown there for a year, reliably covering them for the winter, and in the spring, young plants are transplanted to a permanent place. Seedlings bloom in 2-3, and begin to bear fruit in 4-5 years after planting in the garden.
In the photo: Goji berries on a bush branch
If you prefer to propagate goji vegetatively, then keep in mind that old, lignified cuttings will root faster and more reliably. The lower part of the cut in July-August is dipped into the root-forming solution, after which the cutting is planted in a greenhouse or under a film. Until the end of winter, rooting cuttings are kept in a cool place - on an insulated balcony or an unheated veranda, and in the spring they are planted in the garden.
Dereza can grow in soil of any composition and level of acidity, but prefers sunny areas with slightly acidic, well-drained soil. The best time to plant seedlings in the garden is spring. A pit for a goji is dug 40x40x40 cm in size.If you plant several plants, leave a distance of 1.5-2 m between them.In the soil mixture with which you will fill the hole, add 8-10 kg of compost (humus or peat), 150- 200 g of superphosphate and 30-40 g of wood ash (potassium sulfate), after which the composition is thoroughly mixed.
When planting, the root collar of the seedling is deepened by 1-1.5 cm. After filling the hole, the soil in the near-stem circle is tamped and watered abundantly, and when the water is absorbed, the surface is mulched with humus, peat, wood chips or bark.
How to care for goji
In the first years, a young goji tree needs good care: the soil in the near-trunk circle should not be allowed to dry out, but excessive moisture is also unacceptable, especially at low temperatures, since the still weak roots of the plant may suffer. To prevent this from happening, during the rainy season or during a cold snap, cover the near-trunk circle with a film. An adult plant does not react so painfully to high humidity or rare watering: it needs additional moisture only during a prolonged drought.
For the first year, the goji seedling will have enough of those fertilizers that were applied during planting, and subsequently, compost and a mineral complex must be added annually to the trunk circle.
Growing goji involves the formation of the crown of the plant, since it grows very quickly, reaching a height of 3-4 m.In order to increase the yield of berries and give the tree an attractive appearance, the first few years it is necessary to prune it, removing excess branches and shoots and leaving only the most strong and equidistant from each other branches, on which fruit arms are formed, and then fruit branches on the shoulders. In the future, it is the fruit branches that are shortened, leaving no more than 4 buds on each. This pruning stimulates growth. Most of the harvest comes from last year's goji shoots.
In the photo: Blossoming of common wolfberry or goji bush
Until the bush grows up to two meters, tie the lower branches to a support so that they do not lie on the ground.
Of the pests, aphids, Colorado beetles and winter moth caterpillars can annoy the rain. Wormwood infusion will help you get rid of them. Powdery mildew and late blight are also dangerous to the plant, and this usually happens if the plant has not received wood ash as fertilizer. Bring it into the ground when planting, and if in the future signs of a fungal disease appear, dust the plant with ash over the leaves. If the ash does not help, you will have to treat the rain with a solution of a fungicidal preparation.
Goji can withstand frosts down to -15-25 ºC, but in a snowless winter, the plant can suffer from hypothermia, so it is advisable to cover it well with spruce branches in late autumn. If you are growing a non-resistant variety, it is better to dig up a bush, transplant it with a large lump of earth into a pot or container and keep it in the basement until spring at low freezing temperatures.
Goji collection and storage
When the goji berries ripen and turn bright red, spread a cloth under the bush and knock the fruits on it, but do not forget to wear gloves: the tree pricks. The collected berries are cleaned of leaves, twigs and other debris and placed under a shed for drying. After a while, the stalks are separated from the fruits and continue to dry them in the shade, without using any ovens or other technical devices for this. The berries need to be stirred and turned from time to time so that they dry evenly. The readiness of the raw material can be determined by the easily peeling skin. The berries are stored in glass or ceramic containers under a lid. Goji fruits can not only be dried, but also frozen and then stored in the freezer. They are used to prepare drinks and bake pies.
Types and varieties of goji
As we have already mentioned, the common wolf, or goji, is a species of the genus. There are two known varieties of this species:
Dereza Tibetan (Lycium barbarum)
Or tibetan goji - a high-yielding form of a plant that begins to bloom and bear fruit in the first year after planting. Tibetan goji berries are drop-shaped, up to 2 cm long, sweet, with a tangible aftertaste of nightshade. The disadvantages are watery fruits and too large seeds.
In the photo: Tibetan Dereza (Lycium barbarum)
Chinese Dereza (Lycium chinense)
Or chinese goji Is a taller and stronger plant with elongated, crispy sweet berries that are pleasant to eat and easy to dry. Disadvantages: late entry into fruiting and low winter hardiness.
In the photo: Chinese Dereza (Lycium chinense)
Recently, the common wolfberry has appeared varieties of interest to gardeners:
- New Big - an unpretentious, fast-growing and frost-resistant Polish variety, which yields its first fruits already in the year of planting. The taste of bright orange berries is sweet and sour;
- Lhasa - an early frost-hardy fruitful variety of the Chinese selection up to 3 m high with arched branches strewn with thorns. The plant begins to bear fruit in the second year after planting. The flowers are violet, self-pollinating, fruits of a rich orange color, oblong-ovate, up to 2 cm long and weighing 2-3 g. The flesh is sour-sweet with a barely noticeable bitterness;
- Sugar giant - sprawling, fruitful and frost-resistant shrub up to 3.5 m high with surprisingly tasty fiery orange berries up to 2.5 cm long. This variety is called Tibetan barberry;
- Sweet Amber - a frost-resistant, but thermophilic Chinese variety, bred in 2016, but very quickly gained popularity. This plant does not cling to supports, but rests on them. In height, this fast-growing bush can reach 2.5 m, and its berries, when ripe, become amber-transparent;
- Superfruit - lush light-loving shrub up to 3 m high with rich red fruits. Fruiting begins three years after planting.
Goji properties - harm and benefit
Longevity berries contain zinc, phosphorus, copper, iron, calcium, selenium, germanium, Beta-carotene, vitamin C, amino acids, polysaccharides, antioxidants, flavonoids, steroid saponins, thiamine, riboflavin and other substances necessary for humans.
In traditional Chinese medicine, goji berries have been used to treat diseases of the liver, kidneys, reproductive system, and eyes. They lower blood sugar levels, preventing the development of diabetes, relieve prolonged insomnia and headaches, restore urinary functions and hormonal balance, eliminate the negative effects of menopause, improve the functioning of the nervous and hematopoietic systems, strengthen the lungs, restrain fatty liver degeneration, inhibit candidiasis, pathogenic E. coli and other inflammatory processes in the body. Modern Chinese doctors have experimentally confirmed that goji berries are an aphrodisiac.
In the photo: Goji berries are not only useful, but also have contraindications.
Nutritionists recommend taking goji for weight loss without active efforts, since this plant helps to improve blood circulation and metabolism, accelerates the breakdown of fat cells and reduces bad cholesterol. To achieve a rejuvenating effect, goji is used for the face as part of lotions, creams and other cosmetics.
As medicinal preparations, infusion of fruits and infusion of plant leaves are popular.
Unfortunately, some people have an individual intolerance to goji berries, and they should not eat the fruits and use preparations from them. The product is also contraindicated during pregnancy, during the period of feeding, it is not recommended for children under three years of age. For a healthy person, the norm for eating goji is no more than 25 berries per day. And even if you are not at risk, before using goji for weight loss or for other purposes, consult your doctor.
- Read the topic on Wikipedia
- Features and other plants of the family Solanaceae
- List of all species on The Plant List
- More information on World Flora Online
- Information about Fruit Crops
- Information about Berry Crops
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Useful properties of bird cherry for the human body and contraindications
Bird cherry is often called the beautiful bride. This is due to the external characteristics of the plant during the flowering period. The appearance of white flowers also predicts the return of cold weather. The shrub has not only decorative properties, but also healing qualities. The health benefits and harms of bird cherry are due to a set of unique components. The plant has been considered a symbol of purity, youth and love since ancient times.
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Fig fruits are oval or flattened pear-shaped with a delicate purple or light skin, red pulp and seeds inside. People have found use not only for the fruits of the fig tree, but also for the leaves. Ancient healers prescribed a decoction of figs to their patients for the treatment of many diseases.
Dried, canned and fresh berries are eaten and used in folk medicine, a decoction of the leaves and seeds of the fig tree is used to treat diseases, lose weight, and also for cosmetic purposes.
Fig is one of the most ancient plants known to man. The birthplace of the plant is Kariya, an area in modern Turkey. The Carian ficus on which the berry grows is a subtropical deciduous plant of the mulberry family.
This tree grows in the countries of the Mediterranean basin, on the Black Sea coast, in Central Asia, the Iranian highlands and in Africa.
Figs bear fruit twice a year. Some varieties of figs can be grown indoors. Another name for this plant is fig tree, fig tree, wine berry.
Senna as a laxative
As mentioned earlier, senna has a mild laxative effect and has a mild choleretic effect.Due to these properties, the use of decoctions and infusions of senna as tea is perfect for atony of the large intestine, for inflammation of chronic spastic colitis and common constipation.
Positive dynamics after the use of drugs that contain senna, as a rule, is observed after 6-8 hours (based on this property, the use of senna is recommended in the evening, namely before bedtime). On the second or third day of taking the medicinal plant, a thorough laxative effect occurs, after which defecation can be established in a natural way, and in some cases, the drug can be stopped altogether.
Health Benefits of Goji Berries
In traditional Chinese medicine, dry fruits are used to treat emissions, pain in the lumbar and pelvic region, headaches and dizziness, and amblyopia. They have a tonic and tonic effect due to natural vitamins and minerals that nature itself has collected for humans.
Useful properties of goji berries:
- Detoxification of the body - cleansing the digestive system of stagnant food debris, toxins and pathogenic bacteria.
- Improving the functioning of the heart and blood vessels, normalizing blood pressure.
- Eliminate headache, tinnitus and dizziness.
- Improving visual acuity and restoring twilight (night) vision.
- A decrease in the concentration of cholesterol and glucose (sugar) in the blood.
- Reducing the symptoms of diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
- Strengthening sexual function, eliminating frigidity, restoring male potency.
- Improving the functioning of the kidneys and gallbladder.
- Strengthening the immune system, reducing the incidence of respiratory viral infection.
- Weight loss and weight loss.
- Improving cognitive functions of the brain - stimulating memory, concentration and attention.
- Toning effect.
Goji berries (Dereza). Growing, care and application
Goji berries (Dereza) are a shrub that can reach 3 meters in height
Goji berries a new and not yet known plant. The homeland of these berries is Tibet, but this berry came to us from China... In Tibet and China, the fruits Goji are prized as a traditional medicineas well as used as a healthy food.
China has been growing them for many centuries, but we have them only recently., only at the end of the twentieth century. Today, all TV channels and Internet resources are full of advertisements for weight loss drugs. using goji berries... So let's take a closer look at this plant.
Characteristics of Goji berry
Goji belongs to the nightshade family... Also their called Dereza vulgaris. Goji berries (Dereza) are a shrub that can reach 3 meters in height, has long hanging branches that are covered with thorns, which is not a very pleasant moment for harvesting. Dereza flowers are similar to lilac bells, it blooms all from May to September, thanks to which it can be planted in a prominent place and it will delight your eye with its regular flowering, as well as a pleasant aroma. Ripe berries have a coral-reddish color with a sourish sweetish taste, very juicy, have an oblong polyspermous shape. The fruits are used dried. Dereza has many beneficial and medicinal properties.
Planting and leaving goji berries
Despite the fact that Dereza came to us from the east, she perfectly took root in our lands. Planting is best done in spring like most plants for better rooting. For planting, seedlings or seeds are used.
Very important! Dereza has cross-pollination so you need to plant two shrubs side by side!
Let's start by planting a seedling... You bought a seedling and now, of course, you need to plant it correctly. And so let's start landing. For planting, you need to dig a hole about 40 cm deep. We place the plants themselves at a distance of 1.5 - 2 meters. It is necessary to pour a mixture of superphosphate into the hole - 200 gr. Compost - 8 kg. Potassium sulfate or wood ash - 40 gr. Deepen the seedling and pour abundantly with water and mulch with peat.
Now let's get down to the seeds. Growing berries from seeds is a longer and more laborious process., but if you already decided to grow your brainchild from the very beginning on your own, then let's figure out how to do it right and get the desired result.
If you want to take seeds from a berry, then you need to pour the berries with warm water for 15 minutes so that they are soaked, from one berry you will get about 10 seeds, then gently break the berry and take out the seeds.
If you bought them, then proceed immediately to the process of preparing for planting. To do this, you need to soak the seeds for several hours in a biostimulator of growth and root formation, which you can buy in any store, according to your taste and wallet, so to speak. Next, we plant the seeds in a container with soil to a depth of about 3 cm and create a greenhouse, covering it with a film. The temperature must be maintained within 25 degrees C, as well as moderate humidity, avoiding drafts.
After about 2 weeks, the sprouts will appear, after they appear, remove the film and provide sufficient lighting, after the appearance of two or three leaves, plant the sprouts in separate containers.
The sprouts need to be regularly watered and sprayed, keep away from drafts, young sprouts are very sensitive to drafts. After the sprouts reach 40 cm, we plant them in open ground.
Goji berry bush care
And so you planted your shrubs. Now let's move on to the issue of caring for dereza. Any gardener is always interested in the question of the whimsicality of the plant. Dereza is not a whimsical enough plant and gets along well in our climate.
Particular attention should be paid to shrubs in the first year, it is especially worth paying attention to watering, there should be enough moisture, the soil under the shrubs should be moist, but an excessive amount of moisture is no less harmful for Goji during a drop in temperatures. During heavy rains with a decrease in temperature, cover the soil under the bush with a film.
Shrubs easily tolerate frosts down to (-25 ° C), if you live in a region where the temperature regime is lower in winter, then it is worth wrapping the plant for the winter, for example, with agrofibre. Dereza is also resistant to dry and hot seasons, with moisture control, it easily survives the heat.
Dereza is a fairly tall shrub with long hanging branches, therefore, it needs to periodically prune branches that are too long. The lower the shrub and the fewer unnecessary branches, the larger the berries will be. Until the plant reaches a height of two meters, tie its trunk to a trellis or some other support so that the branches do not lie on the ground, they should hang down. This will ensure normal growth of the fruit and make it easier to harvest.
Like any fruit-bearing shrub of Dereza needs groundbait, the first bait was introduced by you, of course, when planting. Further, fertilizers are applied every spring. Compost is used as complementary food, as well as balanced mineral fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. You can prepare the mixture yourself, but it is better for a novice gardener to purchase a ready-made mixture in a specialized store.
Collecting and storing the harvest of Goji berries
Now let's start harvesting! Ripening of berries and harvesting takes place all summer, under favorable conditions, you can harvest up to 13 crops per season. You need to collect ripe fruits that have a coral-reddish color.
It is very important to know that it is necessary to pick berries with gloves, as the juice of fresh berries can lead to slight skin burns or irritation!
Then the berries are laid out on paper and dried in the sun or dried in an oven or special dryers. Dried berries resemble raisins with a sweetish sour taste.
Where and what are Goji berries used for?
Goji berries are used in cooking, as well as for medicinal purposes to treat many diseases... But they are most popular these days in the field of nutrition.
Cooking and Goji Berries
In cooking, dereza is used to prepare various soups, sauces, desserts and even drinks.... Use both whole berries and chopped ones. They are used as a filling, as a spice for sauces, or simply as a beautiful decoration for ready-made dishes.
And here's a couple of recipes using wolfberry, for example.
Goji berry sauce. For cooking you will need:
- Goji berries - 0.5 tbsp
- Lime - 1 pc
- Tomato - 2-3 pieces
- Shallots - 1 piece
- Garlic - 1-2 cloves.
Sauce preparation: Pour boiling water over the tomatoes, peel and cut into small cubes. Pass the garlic through a press. Finely chop the onion. Squeeze out the lime juice. Grind the berries in a blender. Mix all. Let it brew for a couple of hours.
Spinach soup with goji berries. For cooking you will need:
- Goji berries - 100 gr
- Spinach - bunch
- Garlic - 2-3 cloves
- Dried anchovy - handful
- Soy sauce to taste
- White pepper to taste.
Soup preparation: Pour the anchovies with water and bring to a boil, boil for 10-15 minutes, then remove them with a slotted spoon (you can leave them as you wish). Then add berries and finely chopped garlic to the broth. Add spinach and bring to a boil again. Then add soy sauce and white pepper to taste. Serve hot.
Useful properties of Goji berry and their composition
Goji berries contain 18 amino acids, just think about this figure, there is no such amount in any other plant, and half of them are not even synthesized by our body!
They also contain 21 mineral components, including - magnesium, phosphorus, chromium, potassium, iron, zinc and many other such essential minerals for us.
Dereza contains 19 amino acids, including such valuable amino acids as Omega 3, 6 and 9... Group vitamins B, E, A and many times the amount of vitamin exceeding lemon FROM, as well as polysaccharides not present in any food product - LBP 1, 2, 3, 4.
100 grams of Goji berries contain 25,000 antioxidants. In 100 gr. Goji is approximately 350 calories. Dereza contains such a rare component as physalin which helps in the fight against malignant tumors.
Dereza is a powerful antioxidant. The composition of the berries improves and strengthens the work of the heart. It has a beneficial effect on the circulatory system and blood vessels. They normalize blood pressure and increase the elasticity of blood vessels.
Contained in their composition Betaine helps to reduce and completely get rid of liver obesity, which is often caused by diabetes. Their composition is able to increase the number lymphocytes in blood.
They also help in the problem of infertility due to the fact that the amount of semen increases and the activity of spermatozoa increases, but the benefits for men do not end there, just the regular intake of dereza fruits many times increases potency, improves the functioning of the prostate gland, improves hormonal background.
Women also do not stand aside, the use of berries helps to normalize the menstrual cycle, improves blood flow to the genitals, which increases female libido. The substances contained in the berries contribute to the proper absorption of calcium, as well as increase the hormone that helps to gain muscle mass. It has a beneficial effect on the nervous system, increases stress resistance and increases the tone of the body. Such a number of useful properties simply cannot be overestimated.
The use of goji berries in medicine
These days the most popular goji berries in the fight against obesity, TV channels and Internet resources are simply full of advertisements for this product. Yes, indeed, eating berries can reduce weight due to the fact that they many times speed up metabolism and increase metabolism, and also contain fiber. But do not expect a miracle, yet Goji can only act as an adjuvant in combination with diet and sports.
Dereza is also used in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, tinctures and decoctions are prepared from berries, we will tell you how to make them a little later.
It is very effective in the treatment of anemia, due to the very large amount of iron in the berries. They are also effective in the treatment of colds and respiratory diseases.... They are able to increase the body's resistance and endurance.
In case of fractures, they contribute to the restoration of bone tissue. Prevents early aging. The composition of the berries is able to prevent degeneration of the retina of the eye. The miraculous composition of the fruit is able to fight cancer and slow down the development of cancerous tumors.
If you suffer from insomnia, then goji berries will help. With diabetes, they are able to normalize blood sugar levels. Regular intake of berries lowers cholesterol levels. If you suffer from any of the above diseases, then you can safely eat them regularly.
Contraindications for the use of Goji berry
Of course, like everything growing on this earth, Dereza can be harmful and has contraindications to its use. Some components may have a personal intolerance, so carefully study the composition and make sure that there is nothing in the berries that your body does not tolerate!
If you are taking any medications, then it is better to consult your doctor in order to make sure that there is no incompatibility with any component of the drug, or vice versa (berries enhance the effect of the drug).
Do not use berries if you have a temporary disorder with diarrhea. You should not use them for hypotensive patients, as Goji help reduce blood pressure. They are also contraindicated for nursing mothers.
Under no circumstances should be given to children under 3 years of age. Do not use for pregnant women as they increase blood circulation in the uterus, which can cause bleeding in the pregnant woman and subsequently miscarriage!
How to Eat Goji Berries
The recommended dose of taking Dereza is 20-30 berries in the morning and evening, adding to food.
Berry tincture: In 0.5 liters of vodka, you need to add a tablespoon with a small slide of berries and let them infuse for a week in a dark place. You need to consume 10-15 ml. in the morning and in the evening, dilute with water or add to the drink you like.
Infusion of berries: For 150 ml. hot water, one tablespoon is enough. Let it infuse for at least 30 minutes, and it is more convenient to pour it overnight, since it is necessary to use the broth in the morning. You need to drink water and eat berries.
Berry decoction: 400 ml. water needs one and a half tablespoons of berries. Boil for 5 minutes and pour into a thermos. Half is drunk in the morning, half in the evening.
Adding wolfberry to ready-made meals will also help you get all the beneficial properties of these wonderful berries!
Medicines are made from the seeds, bark and fruits of the plant. The main workpiece area is the following edges:
The berries are harvested during August and September. To prepare them, you should cut off the brushes. Then the red, undamaged fruits are cut off.
How to dry lemongrass berries
Raw materials are harvested for the preparation of medicines. The fruits of lemongrass, the photo of which is located above, is dried in a ventilated room. Sometimes the berries are dried and then used in an electric dryer.
How to freeze
The use of lemongrass berries in cooking is diverse. To store the fruit in the freezer, wash it and put it in plastic bags.
Collection and preparation of berries
Goji fruiting begins from the third year after planting.Like sea buckthorn, the berries densely cover the branches of the bush. Oblong fruits of bright orange or deep red color, also outwardly resembling sea buckthorn, only very large (about 2 cm), have a sweetish taste with a slight bitterness. Ripening of berries takes place throughout the summer, so they are harvested in several stages. In one season, such fertility of the crop allows up to 12-13 harvests. The yield of one adult bush is about 10 kg. The collected berries are dried at a temperature of about +50 ° C and placed in an airtight glass or ceramic container for storage. Dried goji tastes very much like raisins.