Lulu Ge recently left her corporate career leading change and transformation at the parent company of Saks Fifth Avenue, GILT Groupe, Lord & Taylor, etc. (Hudson’s Bay Co) to become the first U.S. organic importer of a rare handpicked antioxidant-rich superfood she discovered while traveling through China’s border with Tibet.
Her love for Chinese herbs started at a young age; her grandfather ran a hospital in the Southern Chinese province of Hunan where she grew up drinking homebrewed super fruit elixirs, adaptogen teas and medicinal mushroom tonics before they were trendy. It wasn’t until the demands of her career left her feeling chronically tired, stressed, immune-deficient and on the edge of burnout that she found her way back to these ancient healers. The unsustainable hours, lifestyle and a feeling of ‘is sacrificing my health for success really worth it?!’ left her wanting to do something more purposeful, sustainable and connected to her Chinese heritage.
As she explored finding a new career, she discovered the use of Chinese herbs – especially a type known as adaptogens, which help naturally lower stress levels in the brain and rebalance the body – were on the rise. Unfortunately, most companies using adaptogens prioritized getting the lowest price over quality. This mentality is cheapening production methods and hurting many indigenous communities in China whose livelihood depends on wild harvesting and sustainably growing these precious plants.
Lulu saw this as an opportunity to launch a brand focused on social impact and health by introducing Chinese herbs that are beneficial for well-being while also putting resources back into the indigenous regions where they are sourced. Voila! Sustainably sourced black gojis are the first product of ZenChi Health Teas + Tonics.
Lulu is currently receiving her MBA at the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) and has a previous Masters of Social-Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. She lives in NYC with her husband Justin and practices Ashtanga yoga daily. Her guilty indulgence is brunello and french fries.
ZenChi means ‘to cherish and treasure’ in Chinese. We believe in cherishing our health in order to unlock our greatest potential and live a long, fulfilling + laughter-filled life. We strive to make a positive social impact by partnering directly with indigenous communities in China and putting resources back into these regions. ZenChi Background Info
Why black gojis?
Lulu spent this past summer traveling through remote, high elevation regions of China and meeting with different indigenous communities known for sustainably harvesting the highest quality herbs throughout the country. It was in the Tibetan-Qinghai Plateau that members of the Salar people, one of China’s 55 ethnic minorities, introduced her to their precious superfruit used in Tibetan Medicine for 300+ years.
While it’s in the same family as the red goji berry more familiar in the West, the black goji is much more rare and has the potent antioxidant known as anthocyanins.
What are the benefits?
The anthocyanins found in black gojis offers anti-inflammatory and anti-viral benefits acting as an amazing immune booster. It also helps the body naturally produce collagen, which supports healthy skin and digestion.
The people of Tibet have used black gojis for centuries to help with everything from cleansing the liver and kidney to enhancing blood circulation and detoxing to reducing stress as this superfood contains a variety of minerals and amino acids.
How does it work?
You can literally see the nutrients flow out. Due to its high levels of antioxidants and water soluble polyphenols, black gojis immediately release potent streams of purple micronutrients when infused in water.
What are your favorite ways to enjoy its benefits?
1. Sip as a hot tea or cold water infusion: the black gojis turn either purple or blue depending on the pH of the water, creating a stunning micronutrient-rich beverage to enjoy throughout the day!
2. Squeeze some lemon into your black goji water and watch it transform into a natural pink lemonade.
3. Mix black gojis into your yogurt or trail mix for a nutrient boost.
4. Infuse black gojis into your milk-of-choice to create a calming purple latte.
5. Enhance your favorite smoothie bowl or chia-seed pudding with this antioxidant powerhouse.