Beware! Goji Berries
lez Carter

Palmerston North, New Zealand

#144 Aug 5, 2010
I ended up in the emergency dept after eating a handfull of goji berries,Face swelled up,eyes like slits,sore throat,restricted airway,blue lips,scary !
Had to have adrenalin shot and steroids.
Funny thing though,a nose irritation and soreness that i have been trying to get rid of for six months disappeared overnight.
I think I will live without Goji berries.

Brooklyn, NY

#146 Aug 5, 2010
artificially red.

Sopron, Hungary

#147 Aug 6, 2010
Premium organic sun-dried goji berries are available.

Check them here:

Since: Jan 09

Halfmoon Bay, Canada

#148 Aug 8, 2010
Regardless of whether they are grown organically or not, goji berries elicit allergic reactions in certain individuals while for the vast majority they do not. One of the first cases of a severe allergic reaction to goji berries was reported in a medical journal in China in the 1990s. The case was that of a 59-year-old woman who had grown her own goji berries in her back yard. After washing them and simmering them in water, she ate about 30 g. Aside from nausea, she developed an extremely itchy rash that covered her whole face in what appeared like scratch marks. It took 3 days of treatment at a local hospital before her symptoms resolved. The attending doctors noted that she had no history of any allergy and wondered if the berries were actually responsible. The reaction was confirmed when they had her eat another 30 g of the berries and the symptoms were very much the same as before.

Another case appeared in a medical journal in China in the 1980s when a man in his 20s ate 20 g of the berries purchased at a local pharmacy. His reaction was like that of the woman in that he developed severely itchy raised marks on his face and his chest and had never had an allergic reaction of any kind before. He was treated at a local clinic and released. Sometime later, he ate about the same amount of goji berries as before and experienced an allergic reaction again. The doctors who treated him confirmed the reaction by having him eat another 20 g of goji berries. Within a few hours, he showed the same reaction again.

These cases had to be known to the early promoters of goji berry because they appear in the same databases as the other studies they used to promote the effects of the berries in animal and other experiments. Since everything produces allergic reactions in some people, they apparently chose not to mention them. Moreover, the actual incidence of allergic reactions to the berries isn't known.

As for the artificial red coloration, the most likely culprit is fumigation with sulfur, which has the effect of enhancing their red color. Sulfur dioxide is used to preserve dried fruits to avoid browning. While Chinese herbs have been treated with sulfur dioxide to increase their shelf life, not all suppliers indulge in the practice. For those with an allergy to sulfites, the reactions can be severe and even deadly and asthmatics are particularly affected.
the great wizard cohens

Burwood, Australia

#149 Aug 12, 2010
I have had goji berries before in moderation and hadnt experienced any problems. last week i decided to eat a bag of them... within that night i had the worst headache, stomach pains, general feeling of nausea, gross taste as if my stomach were rotting, and diarrhea.... i had to take my mid terms in the morning to, that took a lot of will power, had 1 on each day during my illness. At the end of the week i had gotten better, but i didnt rule out goji berries as the cause of my illness i thought it was from a large amount of pine apple juice i consumed. I therefore ate more goji berries and am at this moment experiencing excruciating stomach pain minus the headache, and i guess i found this forum searching for " is there a cure to goji poisoning" ... its been a few days since i ate them but when vomitting today i saw them come up. I guess my body dosnt want to digest them... soo much for "the ultimate health food".

Urangan, Australia

#150 Aug 29, 2010
I think it is important to point out that goji berries belong to the Solanaceae (or "Nightshade") family, along with potatoes, eggplants, tobacco, belladonna (deadly), tomatoes, capsicum and chilli.

Many Nightshade plants are actually toxic, in fact, raw potatoes, raw eggplants and green tomatoes all contain chemicals that are toxic to humans and other animals. Cooking is the only way to render them edible.

I myself have experienced severe stomach and intestinal pain after consuming goji berries, so I did some research as to how goji berries are prepared traditionally, and not suprisingly, they are cooked, e.g. steeping them in boiling water to make tea. See:

The next day I soaked and cooked my goji berries, and to my amazement, I had absolutely no reaction. I do believe they are a great medicinal food, but, like all other Nightshade plants, they should be treated with caution and prepared properly.
Holly C


#151 Sep 9, 2010
Thank goodness I came across this site!!! I only ate a small handful of goji berries last week and I am still covered in the most awful rash!! It started on my hands, arms and back and its now spread to my legs and feet. Steroid cream does work and taking antihistamines helps a little too.

My hip joint are starting to hurt (I am a fit and healthy person, so there is no reason for me to be sore from a jog)I can't run as far. Its so annoying.

Does anyone know how long this awful rash lasts?

Brooklyn, NY

#152 Sep 9, 2010
I found fasting helped my reactions go away. I just drank water for about 24 hours. you need to give your body a chance to calm down.

Rooty Hill, Australia

#153 Sep 10, 2010
I ate some dried goji berries , two weekends ago , I got a bloated stomach , then vomiting , I presumed it was inhaling paint spray earler that day , last night I ate some goji berries , I had the same symptoms , and woke up with swollen eyes , I also found this site trying to work out what Id eaten / done differently - the goji berries were the only common trigger I could find .
Im 45yo and no known allergies til now. Im a vegetarian , so no more goji berries for me .

Newburyport, MA

#154 Sep 11, 2010
Yesterday I was at a friend’s home - she offered me some raw goji berries from a plastic bag -- she bought them last spring at a health food store from the bulk bins.

I never really liked goji’s but had eaten them (just a few) a couple of times before...I didn’t want to be rude so I took a small handful and put about 7-10 of them in my mouth.

Instantly, as soon as I chewed a couple times and they hit my tongue and throat, my tongue and throat started itching HORRIBLY. It wasn’t just itching, more like itch/pain. I probably should have tried to throw them back up right then, but didn’t.

I got some water, and started to drink that to get the berries off my tongue and throat. It continued to itch and I started to get a little panicked that I was going into a severe allergic reaction. She didn’t have any benedryl, so we drove 10 minutes to the pharmacy. On the way there, it got a little worse, like my throat was started to thicken. Got to pharmacy, talked to pharmacist and she said to take 25-50 mg benedryl and if I felt it was hard to breathe, get to the ER.

I took the benedryl in the parking lot. My friend took me to her home for another 30 minutes to watch me. I started getting extremely tired as the benedryl took effect, but the itching in the throat went mostly away.

I got home, then started feeling VERY nauseated.(About 1 hour after eating them.) I threw up violently, then went back to bed and slept for 3 hours. When I woke up I felt much better.

This was from a tiny handful of goji berries. I didn’t have anything else that day that could have caused that reaction.

I do have allergies to molds and dust mites. In the distant past, I have gotten red cheeks from drinking red wine with sulfites. I can still drink organic red wines withOUT sulfites -- though I only drink about once a year, but that’s the kind I have to buy. I’m not allergic to grasses or pollens. I’ve *never* had that severe of a reaction to anything.

It was very scary.

Now I’m wondering if I’m becoming allergic to more things as I age.(I’m 46.) Perhaps changing hormones are creating a situation where allergies are showing themselves? I’ve gotten one or two tiny random hives on my forearms this year, maybe 5 or 6 times. And just this week after I ate Indian food, I developed a very small red, tingly hive on my lower lip. I iced it, and it went away within 30 minutes. Very odd!(and worrisome.)

I’m going to talk to my doctor about this and perhaps get an Epi-Pen just in case.
Sick Aussie

Glebe, Australia

#155 Sep 12, 2010
I had been eating goji berries on my cereal for a boiut 4 weeks. last monday did the same and got sick and spewed my hole up.

Did not know what had caused it. I had them again on saturday morning and went to golf. Started spewing again on the fourth six hole at golf 4 times. Twice out of the car on the way home and then the bowels went. Two days of liquid craps. Bum is red raw and I will never touch these again!

Angels Camp, CA

#156 Oct 7, 2010
After eating an ounce of Kopali chocolate covered goji berries, I began having what felt like a panic attack. Palpitating and pounding heart, the feeling that I was out of control. I didn't read anybody else having these symptoms......just wondering.


#157 Oct 19, 2010
I bought chocolate coated goji berries I loved them but I have never experienced such pain in my life and for the life of me I couldn't work out what it was before I wrote down everything I was eating! I went a day without and didn't get any pains then ate them again only to find myself cramped up sweating and crying! There has to be something in the berries that has an effect in high doses on the body.

Bellevue, WA

#158 Oct 26, 2010
I was first introduced to goji berries in Packwood, WA at a fair. I think they are amazing! I realize that some people are allergic to them, but thank God I am not! After one month of taking a tablespoon a day, my blood pressure dropped too low and they had to take me off of my blood pressure medicine (I have had high blood pressure for 18 years). I also had a bad skin rash on my shoulders and neck for over a year and now it is almost disappeared. The first thing I noticed was my extremely vivid dreams that I had! Wow! Next, I noticed my increased stamina! I have nothing but good to say about these berries. Now I purchase them at Pike Place Market in Seattle, accross from where they throw fish, I would suggest getting them there.

Hornsby, Australia

#159 Dec 5, 2010
I have also narrowed down my 2 hour bouts of nausea and tiredness to Goji Berries. Ive never been allergic to anything until I changed my eating habits 12 months ago and started eating more fruit and vegetables. I discovered I was allergic to kiwi fruit and now Goji. I thought maybe they were similar or in the same family but I dont think they are... I wonder if there is a similarity between then two.
Shame, I really liked their taste. I was considering steeping the goji's in boiling water to have a tea or have it chilled. Has anyone tried this that did have a reaction to them originally and then didnt after 'cooking' them? I dont want to make myself sick again.
Holly C


#160 Dec 6, 2010
Dear Carina,

I bought the Goji berries and let them sit in water overnight, they went nice and juicy but I was still allergic to them, then I tried them in hot tea, and I still got sick from them!!! I think they are just evil!:D

Good lucK!

Noble Park, Australia

#161 Jan 3, 2011
I too experience stomach cramping back ache and vomiting after eating goji berries. I can add to the list of avocado and fresh pineapple.

Sanford, NC

#162 Jan 20, 2011
I started drinking Goji juice thinking it was healthy and stuff but I was wrong. I bought juice that mixed cranberry and goji thinking it would be super healthy but I broke in a rash all over body excluding the face. I started getting red bumps too. I stopped and I am going to the doctor just to make sure it wont be worse.

Brooklyn, NY

#163 Jan 21, 2011
As I've said before,I wouldn't be surprised if it was an additive of some kind. The Chinese have no regulations on anything. They poison their own babies with tainted formular for Christ's sake, you think they give a rat's scrotum about a bunch of round- eyed, yankee, health fadists? Sorry, that's just the truth.

Los Angeles, CA

#164 Jan 24, 2011
Babelicious Berwnite wrote:
<quoted text>
This is for all the people posting about "allergic" reactions to goji berries: has it not occurred to any of you guys that it may be the purification effect of the goji expressing itself through your skin? Everyone always focuses on the result and not the cause. It's ALWAYS about excessive toxins when you wheeze, sneeze, get cancer...Just a
Wow that's the most ridiculous post I've ever read. It's always about excess toxins? So an anaphylactic rxn is just toxins being "expressed" through your skin?? An allergic rxn is your body "over reacting" to a toxin, true, but it's not going to "express" out of your body and be done-- if you're allergic to something you're ALWAYS going to be.

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