Dereza, aka Lycium (Lycium) - an evergreen shrub of the Solanaceae family. This shrub grows in subtropical and temperate regions, more common in South America. Representatives of this species often grow on salty soils, can rise up to 4 thousand meters above sea level.
Dereza is not a goat, but a bush
Dereza is an ornamental shrub up to 2.5 m high, sometimes there are trees up to 10 m high. Dereza branches are prickly usually. Leaves are arranged alternately or collected in bunches. Leaflets are simple, whole, petioles are short. Flowers grow in the sinuses, one at a time or in bunches. A calyx of a flower 3-5 is serrated; it remains during the development of the fruit. Corolla flower funnel-tubular, cylindrical or conical, with a limb 4-5 lobed. Berry fruit with many seeds.
This type of dereza has several names: Goji, ordinary lycium, berber dereza, barbaric dereza. China is supposedly called the homeland of the ordinary dereza, although it has spread throughout the world.
Common dereza (Lycium barbarum) is found in the literature more often than others. This is a prickly shrub at 3 m tall. It grows on the edges, in thickets of shrubs, on talus and dry slopes, vacant lots, found along roads, near hedges. The crown of ordinary dereza is thick. Its branches are long, light yellow, thin, initially growing straight, then drooping. The leaves are narrowly elliptical or oblong-lanceolate, petioles are short. Lilac-purple flowers with a diameter of 2 cm, single or in a group of 2-5 grow in the axils of the leaves. Leaves emit a pleasant smell. The fruit-berry is small, oblong, orange or red, multi-seeded. The roots are thick, deep, form a lot of hard root offspring.
Propagated by seeds that germinate fairly quickly, do not need pre-treatment. They are sown in a greenhouse, they are left to winter there. Seedlings, on the advice, pinch as they grow for better branching.
You can also propagate semi-lignified cuttings, which are cut into 5-10 cm with a “heel” (a piece of a little old wood). They are planted in a greenhouse in July-August. The rooting rate is high.
It grows well on soils of medium fertility, it is useful to feed young plants. It transfers the pruning without problems, then it grows back from old wood.
Winter hardiness of the plant is average, it is better to keep in the winter in containers in the basement or in a cool room.
Medicinal properties of ordinary dereza
Ripe dried dereza berries are a medicinal raw material. In China they are called Goji - Gou Qi Zi. The fruits are harvested when they turn bright red. Dried, separate the stalks. Dry again until the skin becomes fragile, then it is exfoliated. Dried fruits contain many vitamins, ascorbic acid, trace elements, proteins.
In medicine in Asian countries, dereza berries are used for various diseases: hearing loss, dizziness, anemia, impaired vision, diabetes, infertility, impotence. In Chinese ethnomedicine, it is believed that berries improve the functioning of the kidneys, liver, and can even overcome old age.
It is believed that preparations from dereza are strong antioxidants, an anti-stress agent, especially in combination with ginseng. They are prescribed as a tonic for chronic fatigue syndrome and at the same time for sleep disorders. Drugs improve memory, relieve anxiety, stimulate blood formation. Dereza fruits are effective for anemia. In combination with curum and ginseng, cholesterol regulation helps, which is useful in old age. Also, dereza helps reduce the risk of cataracts, it is indicated for the weakening of vision, rapid eye fatigue.
The fruits are used in dried form, fresh, dry fruit extract, in the form of juice. It is recommended to consume dry fruits per day for 2-3 g. In Tibet and China they are consumed in large quantities.
Increased doses of dereza can cause diarrhea. When berries are consumed, kidney function and digestion may be impaired. If this happens, the dose must be reduced.
In Chinese medicine, the bark of dereza roots is also used. The plant is dug up in spring or late autumn, the roots are washed thoroughly, the bark is removed, it is dried in the sun. Used for cough, fever, tuberculosis.
Common dereza is a good honey plant.