Gou Qi Zi

Lycii Fructus, Lycium Fruit

Dosage

Decoction: 5-15g.

Toxicity

Long-term toxicity tests: Two weeks after being treated with Gou Qi Zi decoction by stomach perfusion at 20g/kg and 30g/kg for a period of four weeks, the subjects were found to have only an elevated count of white blood cells, increased numbers of monocytes and lymphocytes, and increased thymus gland parameters. (1)

Chemical Composition

Betaine; Valine; Glutamine; Asparagine; b-sitosterol; Stigmasterol; Cholesterol; Cholest-7-enol; Campesterol; Cholestanol; 24-methylene cholesterol; 28-isofucosterol; 24-methylcholesta-5,24-dienol; 24-ethylcholesta-5,24-dienol; 31-norcycloartanol; 31-norcycloartenol; Cycloeucalenol; Obtusifoliol; 4a,14a,24-trimethylcholesta-8’24-dienol; 4a-methylcholest-8-enol; 4-methylcholest-7-enol; 24-ethyllophenol; 4,24-methyllophenol; Gramisterol; Citrostadienol; 4a-methyl-24-ethylcholesta-7,24-dienol; Lanost-8-enol; Cycloartanol; Cycloartenol; Lanosterol; b-amyrin; Lupeol; 24-methylenelanost-8-enol; 24-methylenecycloartanol; Taurine; g-aminobutanoic acid. (2) , (3) , (4) , (5) , (6) , (7) , (8) , (9) , (10)

Inorganic Chemicals

K, Ca, Zn, Fe, Co, Mn, Se, Cr, Sr, Pb, Ni, Cd, Co, Mg

Precautions

Patients with loose stool due to insufficiency of the spleen should take Gou Qi Zi with caution. In clinical practice, there have been reports of the following side effects upon taking Gou Qi Zi: fever, allergic reactions, spontaneous nose bleed, and blood-stained urine. (11) , (12) , (13) , (14) , (15)

Pharmacology

Anti-aging effects

Administered to senile mice, Gou Qi Zi extract can significantly decrease the activity of cerebral monoamine oxidase-B (MAO-B), increase the superoxide dismutase level in the liver, decrease the content of MDA and lipofuscin, and significantly increase the DNA and RNA and protein levels in the hepatic and cerebral tissues. Administered to the elderly at 3.125-50mg/ml, Gou Qi Zi extract can significantly promote the proliferation of human pulmonary fibroblasts. (16) , (17) Furthermore, administered to aged rats, Gou Qi Zi extract can significantly increase the subjects’ low SOD level, decrease the serum lipid peroxide level, and increase the serum cortisol level. (18)

Enhancing immunity and counteracting lipid peroxidation

Administered to mice by stomach perfusion at 400mg/kg for seven consecutive days, Gou Qi Zi polysaccharides can increase the weight of the immune organs, and significantly increase the reticuloendothelial system’s phagocytotic capacity on Indian ink. It can also significantly decrease the MDA level in the liver tissue of CCl4-poisoned mice, and counteract lipid peroxidation. (19)

Counteracting hyperlipidemia

Experiments show that administered by stomach perfusion to rats of experimental hyperlipidemia for 10 consecutive days, Gou Qi Zi decoction at different concentration levels (1g/kg, 2g/kg, 4g/kg Gou) can lower the levels of total cholesterol, triglyceride in both the serum and the liver, and the LDL-C level in the serum. (20)

Effects on the expression of interleukin-2 receptors (IL-2R) in humans

A certain concentration (between 1.9mg/ml and 7.8 mg/ml), Gou Qi Zi extract can promote the expression of interleukin-2 receptors (IL-2R). (21)

Protecting the retina from light damages

Experiments show that administered to rats, Gou Zi Qi can protect the subjects from light damages to the retinal pyramid, rod cell layer, outer nuclear layer, and retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE). (22)

Repairing liver damages

Administered to mice by stomach perfusion for seven consecutive days, Gou Qi Zi polysaccharides can inhibit endoplasmic reticulum damages, promote protein synthesis, and detoxification, restore the normal function of hepatic cells, and promote the regeneration of hepatic cells. (23)

Effects on cardiac muscle b receptors

Research shows that Gou Qi Zi can significantly increase the maximum combination capacity of 26-month-old mice’s cardiac muscle b receptors. It maximum conjugation capacity in 26 months old rat. (24) It can also increase the b receptors in aged rats of low-density cardiac muscles. (25)

Raising white blood count

Administered via continuous stomach perfusion, Gou Qi Zi extract can suppress cyclophosphamide-induced decrease in white blood cell count, and promote its recovery, significantly delaying death. (26)

Effects on human chorionic membrane cells

Research shows that Gou Qi Zi polysaccharides have nutritional and protective effects on in vitro cultivated chorionic membrane cells. (27)

Antibacterial effects

Gou Qi Zi extract has relatively strong antibacterial effects on 17 kinds of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus anthracis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus dysenteriae, and Typhoid bacillus. (28)

References

  1. Zhang Gui Qin, et al. Long-term toxicity of Gou Qi Zi. Journal of Hebei Medical University. 1998;19(2):71-73.
  2. Zhu Wei. An overview of recent chemical research on Gou Qi Zi. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine Material. 1996;10(5): 260-262.
  3. Chen Yuan Yao. Advances in the research on Gou Qi Zi’s pharmaceutical chemistry and pharmacology. Guangxi Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1994;17(4):189-190.
  4. Li Chun Sheng, et al. The chemical composition of Gou Qi Zi. China Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1990;15(3):171-172.
  5. Chen Sui Qing, et al. An analysis of the amino acids of Gou Qi Zi. Journal of University of Pharmacology of China. 1991;22(1):53.
  6. Zhao Chun Jiu, et al. The chemistry of Gou Qi Zi polysaccharides. Journal of Beijing Medical University. 1997;2993:231-232, 240.
  7. Lu Bing Yi, et al. The chemical composition and clinical use of Gou Qi Zi. Hebei Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pharmacy. 1998;13(4):29-30.
  8. Wang Jing Tong, et al. An overview of the research on Gou Qi Zi’s chemical composition and pharmacology. Journal of Tianjing Phamacy. 1999;11(3):14-16.
  9. Xia Yun Yue, et al. Gou Qi Zi fruit vs. seed: A comparison of polysaccharides. China Journal of Wild Botanic Resources. 1999;18(2):43-44.
  10. Li Ji Cheng, et al. Amino acids and trace elements in Ningxia Gou Qi Zi. Journal of Henan Medical University. 1992;27(4):346-347.
  11. Zhu Guang Li. Two cases of Gou Qi Zi causing fever. Zhejiang Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1985;20(11):516.
  12. Yang Hong Po. Allergic reactions to Gou Qi Zi. Shaanxi Journal of TCM. 1985;6(2):79.
  13. Ding Hong Xia, et al. One case of allergic reaction to Gou Qi Zi. Shandong Journal of TCM. 1994;13(3):117.
  14. Xing Shao Hua. Over-consumption of Gou Qi Zi-soaked wine causing spontaneous nose bleeding. Jiangsu Journal of TCM. 1998;19(12):29.
  15. Shen Jian, et al. One case of Gou Qi Zi causing blood-stained urine. Northwestern Journal of Pharmacy. 1998;13(5):200.
  16. Yang Ming, et al. Gou Qi Zi water decoction’s anti-aging effect. China Journal of TCM Theories. 1999;5:72.
  17. Li Wei, et al. Gou Qi Zi active component betaine’s anti-aging effects. China Journal of TCM Theories. 1999;5:73.
  18. Liu Yan Hong, et al. The effect of Huang Qi and Gou Qi Zi on aged rats’ LPO, SOD, and certain hormones. Journal of Pharmacology and Clinical Application of TCM. 1996;12(2):20-22.
  19. Sui Da Yuan, et al. The effects of the crude polysaccharides of Gou Qi Zi, Wu Wei Zi, and Huang Jin on immunity and lipid peroxidation. Journal of Bethune Medical University. 1996;22(6):606-607.
  20. Wang De Shan, et al. The dose-effect relation in Gou Qi Zi’s effect of counteracting experimental hyperlipidemia and liver lipid peroxidation. Journal of Applied Integrated Medicine. 1998;11(3):199-200.
  21. Du Shou Ying, et al. Gou Qi Zi extract’s effects on the expression of human interleukin-2 receptors (IL-2R). China Journal of Microbiology and Immunity. 1995;15(3):176-178.
  22. Liu Na, et al. Gou Qi Zi’s protective effects on light-induced damages to rats’ retina. China Journal of Eyeground Disease. 1995;11(1):31-33.
  23. Bian Lun, et al. The morphology of Gou Qi Zi polysaccharides repairing CCl4-induced liver damages in mice. Ninxia Journal of Medicine. 1996;18(4):196-198.
  24. Shi Rui Lu, et al. The effects of Ren Shen, Huang Qi, and Gou Qi Zi on senile mice’s cardiac muscle b receptors. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1998;29(6):389-391.
  25. Liu Yan Hong, et al. Effects of Huang Qi, and Gou Qi Zi on cardiac muscle b receptor in senile mice. China Journal of Geriatrics. 1996;16(3):165-167.
  26. Pu Shuan Jin, et al. The pharmacodynamics of Gou Qi Zi of Hebei origin. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1998;29(7):472-474.
  27. Wang Yan Rong, et al. Gou Qi Zi polysaccharides’ effect on in vitro cultivated human chorionic membrane cells. Shaanxi Journal of TCM. 1998;19(10):473-475.
  28. Jin Zhi Cui, et al. Antibacterial effects of Gou Qi Zi extract. Inner Mongolia Journal of Medicine. 1995;15(4): 203.