Goji Berry Breastfeeding Benefits And Side Effects TCM

By Me & Qi
Nov 15, 2022

What Is Goji Berry And Its Nutritional Fact 

oji Berry Nutrition Facts

Goji Berry Nutrition Facts

Goji berries, also called wolfberries or Gou Qi Zi, originates from China. For thousands of years, these berries have been used in Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM) and are well-known for their sweet, sour flavor and vivid red color. In fact, they are believed to reduce the aging process, maintain ear and eye health as well as strengthen the Lungs, Kidneys, and Liver.

Thanks to their increasing popularity, Goji berries are often included in supplements and superfood blends of herbs, fruits, and extracts. They are easily available in dried or powdered form and are used in a variety of dishes.

According to the thousand-year-old Chinese “Zuo Yue Zi" (one-month postpartum recovery program) culture, Goji berries are often added to numerous food and drink recipes to aid in postpartum recovery and increase breast milk production in nursing moms.


Goji Berry Benefits While Breastfeeding According To Western Medicine

Goji berries offer numerous benefits for breastfeeding mothers. For example, these berries help in reducing blood cholesterol levels and removing toxin chemicals that may be harmful to the mother's health.

They are a rich source of iron, which helps to avoid iron shortages that may occur as a result of blood loss during birth giving.

They also increase the level of hemoglobin, which reduces the risk of anemia and other unpleasant postpartum effects, such as dizziness and lethargy.  Goji berry reduces stress and promotes restful sleep.

In addition to these benefits, these berries offer several health advantages for newborns as well, such as liver protection, improved eyesight, and strengthening of the immune system. That is because some of the Goji berry nutrients are absorbed in the breast milk and through which, they are passed down to the baby.

On top of that, it is rich in vitamin A, selenium, and other antioxidants.  All these advantages make Goji berries an excellent highly nutritious postpartum food for both nursing mothers and babies.


Goji Berry's Benefits While Breastfeeding According to Chinese Medicine

Some postpartum mothers may suffer from a TCM pattern called Yin Deficiency. Yin includes Vital substances such as Blood, Body Fluid, and Essence, which are largely consumed due to child birth. For example, a mother can lose a large amount of blood during childbirth and in form of lochia.

Yin Deficiency, if persists for a long time, may cause symptoms such as insufficient and watery breast milk, leaking breast milk, dry skin, insomnia, fatigue, and postpartum headaches. Goji berry treats Yin Deficiency as it is able to replenish Blood, Body Fluids, and Essence to some extent.

According to TCM theory, the Liver stores the Blood, the Kidneys store the Essence and the Lungs like to be moistened by abundant Body Fluids.  Therefore, Goji berries benefit these three Organs as well.


What Are Goji Berry's Functions According To Chinese Medicine? 

In Chinese culture, Goji Berry is often served along with bone broth, chicken soup, and red dates as a common postpartum food for mothers. It has the following functions:

  • It nourishes the Liver Yin

After birth is given, many mothers suffer from Blood Deficiency especially in the Liver as it is the Organ responsible for storing Blood. Long-term decrease in blood supply harms the general Liver Yin, leading to symptoms such as cramps, insomnia, dry eyes, dry hair, and drying of breast skin in nursing mothers.

Goji Berry can help to ease this Liver Yin Deficiency by replenishing the Liver Blood.

  • It brightens the eyes

The most common application of Goji berry in TCM is to ‘brighten the eyes’.  Goji berry is able to do this because the Liver links to the eye through Liver Channel. It nourishes the Liver by the production of blood which in return relieves eye symptoms such as dry eyes and dullness, blurred vision and diminished visual acuity.

  • It nourishes the Kidneys Yin

During and after birth is given, a lot of Essences that are stored in the Kidneys are consumed. Essence is a sort of life-force energy, the basic constitutional strength, vitality, and resistance of the body. It is a unique concept of TCM theory.

If it is not refilled properly, it causes Kidney Yin Deficiency which might appear as symptoms like tiredness, sweating, anxiety, and back or knee pain. It can also affect the reproduction function and menstrual cycle after giving birth.

Goji berry helps to restore the Kidney Essence and Yin. 

  • It moistens the Lungs

Goji berries fulfill Lung Yin and decrease Lung Dryness by supplying Body Fluids. Lack of moisture in the Lungs correlates with a persistent dry cough.

  • It is neutral

Goji berry is neutral in nature, which means that it can be used for all body types, no matter being cold, hot, excessive, or deficient. 


Is Goji Berry Safe While Breastfeeding? 

Goji berries are safe to eat during breastfeeding. They can rarely cause stomach problems or allergic reactions, especially if consumed in small amounts.  In addition, there is little to no risk that they will cause harm to the nursing mother or newborn.

The only time they may be harmful is when a mother consumes excessive amounts of Goji berries. So, it is better to not exceed the suggested daily consumption amount:

  • Dried Goji berries: 40 g (2.667 Tablespoons)
  • Goji berry juice: 4 oz (120 mL)

Additionally, if you are looking for an herbal product containing goji berries to buy, always make sure that the product comes from a reliable source.  It could be poisonous for you if it contains heavy metals, fungi, or bacteria.


Is Goji Berry Safe During Pregnancy?

Yes, you can mostly consume Goji berries while pregnant. In fact, they are often eaten as a superfood during pregnancy. However, excessive consumption could be dangerous for you and your child. Also, if you have diabetes, high blood or using anticoagulants, it is better to consult with a doctor before consuming a large amount of Goji berries on daily basis.


Possible Side Effects OF Goji Berry While Breastfeeding Or Pregnant?

Goji berries give many health benefits during pregnancy or breastfeeding, but excessive consumption could be bad for nursing mothers, as they might cause coagulation problems. On top of that, she may also develop diarrhea and low blood pressure. Finally, it can also lower blood sugar levels, which is dangerous for mothers with diabetes.

While in pregnancy, it may cause babies to be born with birth defects or miscarriages.


Unblock Nursing Tea That Contains Goji Berry

Goji berry offers various benefits for nursing women, but frequent and excessive consumption might bring adverse effects. In order to reap the most benefits from Goji berry while remaining safe, you can try blended Chinese herbal formulas.

These herbal formulas normally contain a variety of herbs that complement one another perfectly. Additionally, the herbs as well as their dosage are carefully selected by the TCM experts to enhance the effects. One perfect example of this specially-made TCM formula is Unblock Nursing Tea.

It is specifically designed for postpartum recovery and it is more effective than a tea made from a single herb such as Goji berries.

Unblock Nursing Tea is a blend of 12 natural warm, cooling, and neutral herbs such as Licorice, Goji berry, Dandelion, or Honeysuckle flowers. They help to treat milk production issues, relieve breastfeeding problems such as breast engorgement, clogged milk duct, and breast skin dryness, as well as provide other benefits to nursing mothers.


Prepare Goji Berry As Food For Breastfeeding

Goji berries are used in western countries to make sweet treats like chocolate, protein balls, muffins, muesli, and trail mixes. They are sprinkled on cereal and used in salads, smoothies, and fresh juices. They can also be eaten on their own as a healthy snack.

Goji Berries Chicken Soup

Goji Berries Chicken Soup

In China, they are often used as a seasoning ingredient or added to chicken soup, broth, yam, and fermented rice.

Take Goji Berry Smoothie as an example:

Ingredient list:

    • Half a tablespoon of fresh cream
    • Three cups of coconut milk
    • Half cup mixed berries
    • Two tablespoon of maple syrup
    • Half cup mango
    • 6 slices pineapple

The instructions

Simply cut pineapples and mangoes into cubes and add them along with the coconut milk to a blender jar and process on high speed until a smooth mixture is obtained.  Now add the mixed berries to the mixture and blend again.

To improve the taste, add honey to the mixture and blend it for 30 seconds until the smoothie is ready!  Keep this smoothie in the refrigerator and serve it cold. 


Prepare Goji Berry Tea For Breastfeeding

As a tea, it can be used together with ginger, peppermint, honeysuckle flower, etc.

Goji Berry Tea

Goji Berry Tea

Ingredient list:

    • 30 gr goji berry 1/4 cup
    • 1-inch ginger
    • 3 cups hot water

The instructions

    • Boil the water
    • Place the dried ginger and goji berries in the bottom of a teacup.
    • Pour the water into the cup.
    • Steep for several minutes until the water cools down.
    • Add sugar, if desired, and enjoy.


Article tags: Breastfeeding and maternity