Goji berry, a national second-class protected wild plant, has been included in China’s “List of National Key Protected Wild Plants”. In the past period of time, due to some people being overly superstitious about the role of anthocyanins contained in them, the wild black fruit wolfberry resources and the local ecological environment have been seriously damaged. But in fact, the real value of black fruit wolfberry is not in “eating”, but in stabilizing the entire desert ecosystem.
make home in the desert
Lycium barbarum belongs to the genus Lycium barbarum in the family Solanaceae. There are more than 80 species in the genus. Most of them have their homes in South America, and only 7 species grow in China. But it is these limited few wolfberry species that have performed infinitely wonderful. Among them, the three species of wolfberry, Ningxia wolfberry and black wolfberry (often referred to as black wolfberry) are the most familiar.
According to literature records, Chinese ancestors had already started to eat wolfberry in ancient times; during the Tang Dynasty, the artificial cultivation and use of wolfberry tended to mature; during the Ming and Qing dynasties, large-scale cultivation of wolfberry had begun in Ningxia.
But if you pay attention, in most areas in northern China, such as green areas in residential areas and in the cracks of stones along the street, you may see wild wolfberry: lilac five-pointed star flowers, some whitish branches, not dense Oval or nearly oval green leaves are wild goji berries.
As for the black fruit wolfberry, its natural distribution area is in the desert areas of northern Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, Xinjiang and Tibet. Compared with wolfberry and Ningxia wolfberry, black fruit wolfberry has a lower plant and thicker leaves, which are all necessary skills for it to adapt to desert life.
Survival in the desert
In the long-term evolution process, Lycium nigra has formed a set of survival skills to adapt to the desert: its strong and developed root system can effectively use soil water and groundwater; the leaves show the characteristics of succulent, plus thick leaf epidermis, It can help the black fruit wolfberry to overcome drought; the white branches can prevent it from being burned by the hot sun.
In addition to the physical structure, there is a whole set of biochemical mechanisms in the body to deal with drought and saline-alkali environments. For example, its high activity of antioxidant enzymes in the body can help Lycium nigra can not be absorbed by the surrounding soil and become a “pickled vegetable” in a high-salt environment, and at the same time, it can endure a certain degree of sand burial.
The perfect and clear adaptability in morphology, physiology and biochemistry makes Lycium nigra can be planted as a shrub for soil and water conservation and become an important part of the desert ecosystem. Its existence has an immeasurable role in stabilizing the entire ecosystem.
In addition to black fruit wolfberry, there are also a wide variety of plants growing in the vast territory of China. These plants play an important role in maintaining ecological balance. We must work hard to protect these precious plant resources and let them play more roles in ecological restoration and environmental protection!
Do anthocyanins really have magical therapeutic effects?
Whether the color of wolfberry is red or black, most of the ingredients are the same, but the content of anthocyanin in wolfberry black fruit is higher. Around 2010, due to the over-hype of the antioxidant effect of anthocyanins in the market, the price of black fruit wolfberry not only soared, but its wild resources were also wildly harvested, and the local ecological environment was seriously damaged.
In plants, one of the major functions of anthocyanins is to “sacrific” themselves to “eliminate” free radicals to achieve antioxidant effects. But does it still have the same effect in animals or humans? It can only be said that the ideal is full and the reality is very skinny. To rely on anthocyanins for antioxidants, people must consume enough anthocyanins. Considering the size of the black fruit wolfberry, we must eat these small fruits as meals to barely reach the total intake.
In fact, eggplants, blueberries, grapes, cabbage, mulberries and other purple-blue vegetables and fruits all contain high concentrations of anthocyanins.