How To Identify Real/Authentic Tibetan Goji Berry

Do the Tibetan goji berries you buy look like this?

Here is the truth: this kind of goji berries doesn’t grow in Tibet.


Goji berry in the above picture is Lyceum Chinese Mill. The growing regions include Gansu, Ninxia, Tianjin and Xinjiang, China.

Goji berry growing in Tibet is Lycium ruthenicum Murr. See the difference? They are cousins, but no, they don’t even have the same color. Tibetan Goji berry is called “Pang Ma旁玛” in Tibetan medicine and “Qiao Nuo Ying-Haer Ma Ge乔诺英—哈尔马格” in Mongolian.

Real/authentic Tibetan goji berries are BLACK, not red or orange. Different water sources (spring water or tap water), water pH value (acid or alkaline), water temperature and even different soaking time will affect the tea color from Tibetan goji berries. Fake Tibetan goji berries won’t be affected by the above factors, instead, they’ll have only one color.


Here are ways to tell if it’s real Tibetan goji berries:

1. Real/authentic Tibetan goji berry turns the acid water blue and the alkaline water pink. Fake Tibetan goji berry doesn’t change the water color in different pH values. The simple way to do this is using tap water and bottled spring water. If it turns pink in bottled spring water and blue in tap water, it’s really Tibetan goji berry; if not, you can pass on it.

2.Real/authentic Tibetan goji berry has multiple seeds inside. Fake Tibetan goji berry contains one or no seed. 

3.Real/authentic Tibetan goji berry floats in water. Fake Tibetan goji berry sinks in water.

4. Real/authentic Tibetan goji berry tastes slightly sweet and bitter. Fake Tibetan gojibesry tastes sweet and sour.

5. Wild Tibetan goji berry doesn’t grow big.

6. The water color changes with temperature.

7. If the water loses color after only one soak, it’s fake Tibetan goji berry. Real/authentic Tibetan goji berry still shows color in water after a couple of soaks.

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