Goji berries (Lycium barbarum), widely used in traditional Chinese medicine, can be applied as a dietary supplement. They are classified as nutraceutical food due to their long and safe traditional use. Ginseng has been increasingly used in the last decades and has become well known for its significant role in preventing and treating many diseases.
The keywords of Goji berry, Ginseng, Traditional Chinese medicine were searched in Google Scholar, Scopus, Research Gate, and PubMed in both English and Chinese languages.
Goji berry significantly inhibited the generation and spread of cancer cells, improved eyesight, and increased reserves of muscle glycogen and liver glycogen, which may increase human energy and has anti-fatigue effect. Usage of Goji berries improved brain function and enhanced learning and memory. It had positive effects on anti-cancer, anti-oxidant activities, retinal function preservation, anti-diabetes, immune function, and anti-fatigue. Pharmacological activities of ginseng extracts affected the central nervous system, antipsychotic action, tranquilizing effects, protection from stress ulcers, increase of gastrointestinal motility, anti-fatigue action, endocrinological effects, enhancement of sexual behavior, acceleration of metabolism, or synthesis of carbohydrates, lipids, RNA, and proteins. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, ginseng helps to maintain a healthy immune system.
In this review article we found that Goji berries and Ginseng were sources of compounds with valuable nutritional and bioactive properties. Therefore, they could be incorporated into foods with functional properties. More clinical studies are necessary to uncover the numerous substances and their effects in goji berries and ginseng that contribute to public health.