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Tanaduk Initiates New Studies With Tibetan Berries —
Monograph 92

Research Study

The Tanaduk Research Institute studies show that the Tibetan Plateau and Mongolian regions with their bordering mountains, represent unbroken weather from tropical to extremely cold, pre-humid to extremely arid conditions. The flora accordingly is extremely rich and varied in places. largely insufficiently known, but highly important to the understanding of the variation and radiation of Northern hemisphere mountain floras. In terms of biodiversity, SE Tibet,Yunnan and NW Tibet, Xinjiang has narrow intervening belts that are unique on earth. We have been researching in these areas since 1973 and have brought much support to the Tibetan people as well as providing aid in botanical conservation and Goji farming.

Forty One Types of Tibetan/Himalayan Berries

Tanaduk researchers are studying 41 varieties of Tibetan berries that display similar taxa characteristics and phytogenetic relationships to the Tibetan Lycium called Goji. The Tibetan Goji berry is one Lycium variety that is grown free of pesticides or any chemicals and is not endangered. It offers phyto energetic properties that are so high that there is no comparison available to any Western or Eastern berry.

Among the berries we are researching that contain similar phytogenetic characteristics are the pink fruited Soulieana of the Berberidaceae family. These include: aggregata, chitria, aristata, gagnepainii, sikkimensis, sibirica, canadensis, asiatica, thundbergii and chinensis types. Among the Lycium types are: berlandieri, barbarum (the wolfberry type from China), halimifolium, vulgare, cooperi, macrodon, carolinianum, andersonii (another wolfberry type) and afrum.

The fruits range in color from light pink to deep purple and offer a variety of flavors from a tart lemon to a sweet prune taste. You can see that there are many more varieties of these special berries than the overly domesticated Chinese Lycium barbarum - wolfberry.

Medicinal Uses

Raw or cooked the fruit is uniquely delicious! It offers a range of flavor from a delicate lemon flavor to a semi sweet raspberry-plum flavor and some describe the taste as a combination of cherry and cranberry flavors. Children in these regions are particularly fond of these berries. Now children around the world are enjoying the health benefits of these precious berries.

They are a reliable cropper and the fruit is borne in abundance along its stems. The berries, seeds and rhizomes have a marked antibacterial, aperient, carminative, cancer, febrifuge and ophthalmic effects. The fruits and roots are used in treating ulcers, urethral discharges, ophthalmia, jaundice, fevers and cancers.

The Berries are being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers. The fruit is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids, essential fatty acids, and other bioactive compounds.

Propagation Details

Clonal growth is the prevailing mode of producing descendants in many plant communities, especially in harsh environments. The Chinese wolfberry for instance has undergone many environmental, soil and basically toxic changes since the plant was taken from Tibet thousands of years ago and aggressively cultivated in China. Combine that with the widespread use of DDT and many other chemical pesticides in China for over 50 years, and the result is the Chinese Lycium barbarum (wolfberry) which is very questionable as a food source. It is suggested to use seeds or starts from the Mongolian sources.

The relationship between individual modes of vegetative multiplication, generative reproduction and the environment at the species level, is now being researched by Tanaduk because much is partly hidden by the phytogenetic relationships between individual species. For purposes of cultivation and harvesting of berries for a large market, wild crafting and semi cultivation practices keep the original environments stable in which these plants will naturally proliferate.

Using comparative analyses, including the recently developed approaches of phytogenetic correction, the adaptiveness of generative reproduction and individual modes of vegetative multiplication will be stable and assessed in Tanaduk cultivation habitats of the alpine area of Rupshu in NW Himalayas (E. Ladakh, India) as well as Kalimpong and Northwest, United States.

The original Lycium (Goji) comes from Tibetan and Mongolian regions and remains the purest Lycium with the richest nutrient energy. The Tibetan Goji Farmers Co-op is the organized entity that has the responsibility of getting those berries to market. The Tibetan Goji Berry Company is the licensed entity to oversee sales and distribution worldwide.


This is an easily grown plant, succeedíng in most soils (light/sandy, medium/loamy and heavy/clay), flowering and fruiting better in well drained soil of moderate quality. It requires a dappled shade to sunny position. The plants have an extensive root system and can be used to stabilize banks.

The seeds are best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame greenhouse. Germination is usually good and fairly quick. Normally it should germinate in late winter or early spring. Seeds from over ripe fruit will take longer to germinate, while stored seeds may require cold stratification and should be sown in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. The seeds are subject to damping off, so they should be kept well ventílated.

When the seedlings are large enough to handle, plant into individual pots and grow them in a cold frame. If growth is sufficient, it can be possible to plant them out into their permanent positions in the autumn. But generally it is best to leave them in the cold frame for the winter and plant them out in late spring to early summer of the followíng year. Pinch out the shoot tips of the young plants in order to encourage bushy growth.


Harvest cuttings of half ripe wood: July-August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, preferably with a heel: October ~ November in a frame.


The berries are collected in the late summer to early autumn when the fruit is mature. Traditionally it is spread thin on bamboo mats and dried in semi-shady sunlight. More thorough methods are now employed. The farmers must be very careful not to touch the fruit with their hands during the drying process because this will cause the fruit to turn very dark, almost black, which is unacceptable.

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