Goji berry: Wolfberry / Gou Qi Zi
In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) the spring equinox is a significant gateway: a time to focus on internal balance and cleansing. Along with using classic liver cleansers such as nettle, dandelion and lemon, it’s also an important time to nourish the body for the year ahead. This wine is an adaptogenic elixir for vitality and longevity, ancient medicine to ground the body to earth and the spirit to the heart.
Rehmania and Goji berries, the main ingredients in this wine, are both rich in antioxidants. They have been documented in Chinese plant medicine for thousands of years as immunity boosters, nourishing Qi, Blood and Yin. Rehmania is a renowned kidney tonic and is said to be the kidneys’ ‘own food’. This black root, also known as Shu di Huang, is often prepared by steaming until black, and then dried in the sun, unlocking its medicine.
Wine is also an important part of this elixir because it warms and opens the blood circulation increasing the absorption of the plants. It is the messenger of this medicine, delivering its gifts to the body.
- Warm high quality, sulphite-free red wine until almost boiling, with a few slices of Rehmania root, a handful of Goji berries and a teaspoon of honey. You can also add Chinese red dates (Hong Zao) to the blend for added Qi and blood tonification.
- Turn the heat down and warm gently for about 15 minutes. Never boil, because this can dissolve the precious properties of the medicine.
- Turn off the heat and leave to infuse and cool.
- Decant into a sterilised jar or bottle and leave to infuse for a week or so.
- To be drunk in small amounts cold or warm.
I particularly recommend a small amount of this during menstruation for added nourishment.
Note: Not to be taken during pregnancy, while breastfeeding, two weeks either side of surgery, or if living with kidney or liver disease. Both Rehmania and Goji can be purchased from www.baldwins.co.uk
Maria Christofi is a practitioner of acupuncture, Chinese nutritional therapy and sound medicine. She is a fully registered member of the British Acupuncture Council and is currently studying at the British Academy of Sound with a special interest in the integration of healing, sound and plant medicine. Consultations are available virtually and in person at Triyoga in London and Hastings on the South Coast. Instagram: @acupuncture_is_alchemy