Health benefits of White Mulberry

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Health benefits of White Mulberry

White mulberry Quick Facts
Name: White mulberry
Scientific Name: Morus alba
Origin Central and eastern China
Colors Red when immature and greenish-white when mature
Shapes Cylindrical drupes, 0.5 to 1.0 inches (1.5-2.5 cm) long are formed that are ovoid or cylindrical syncarp composed of achenes
Taste Sweet, bitter, Sour
Health benefits Stress Response, Natural Арреtitе Suppressant, Diabetes, Depression, Aids Cognition, Cancer Risk,Great Weight Loss Tool, Heart Health, Fatigue, Anti-Inflammatory
  Morus alba, commonly known as white mulberry or Russian mulberry is a fast-growing, small to medium-sized tree belonging to the genus Morus and from the Moraceae family, which consists of 10–16 species of deciduous trees that are distributed worldwide. The plant is native to Central and eastern China. It is now grown in plantations, and for ornamental reasons in gardens and parks throughout the warm temperate world, and is naturalized both in Europe and North America. It is generally a short-lived tree with a lifespan comparable to that of humans, although there are some specimens known to be over 250 years old. Few of the popular common names of the plant are Black-fruited mulberry, Mulberry tree, Mulberry bush, Mulberry, Russian mulberry, Silkworm mulberry, Silkworm tree, Chinese white mulberry, White-fruited mulberry, White mulberry and Mora.

White mulberry is widely cultivated to feed the silkworms used in the commercial production of silk. It is also notable for the rapid release of its pollen, which is launched at over half the speed of sound. Its berries are poisonous when unripe, but are otherwise edible. It is a multipurpose tree widely planted in tropical, subtropical and mild temperate regions of the world for fodder and silkworm rearing, and for fruit and timber production. Genus name comes from the Latin name. Specific epithet comes from the Latin word meaning white in reference to fruit color.

Plant Description

White mulberry is a moderately fast-growing, deciduous or evergreen, small to medium-sized tree that usually grows up to 10 –20 m (32.8 to 65.6 feet) in height with trunk diameters of 2 to 3 feet. The plant is found growing in disturbed open woodlands, savannas and thickets, woodland borders, fence rows, power line clearances in wooded areas, river banks, vacant lots, and unmowed waste areas. The plant prefers moist, well drained loamy soils in a sunny position. Though, it will grow in coarse, medium and fine soils. The plant has wide, spreading root system, with both a tap root and lateral roots. Roots are large in diameter close to the root crown but decrease rapidly in size, branching within a few feet of the root crown into numerous fibrous roots. Roots of a 21-year-old white mulberry entered approximately 7 feet (2 m) deep and had a 22-foot (7 m) lateral spread in silty clay loam soil.

Stems

Trunk is short, thick (8 to 16 inches in diameter, sometimes up to 5 feet) and multi-branched, resulting in a full, spreading crown. Central stems can grow 20 to 50 feet tall (sometimes up to 80 feet), but as a weed of roadsides and crop fields, it seldom grows over 15 feet tall. Bark is gray at first, turning an orangish- or yellowish-brown, with shallow furrows or ridges and an orange inner layer that is visible through the furrows. Secondary branches are generally slender and, depending on the variety, may be upright or hang casually toward the ground. Twigs are slender, erect and initially slightly hairy and reddish-brown, becoming smooth and light orange. Several shoots are produced from one node, giving the crown a branchy appearance.

Leaves

Leaves are alternate, simple, 6-18 cm long, 5-13 cm wide, broadly ovate, dentate or lobed with 3 prominent veins running from the rounded or obliquely cordate base. Somewhat polymorphic, leaves are shiny green on the adaxial surface, paler and slightly hairy underneath. Margins varying from coarsely serrate to deeply lobed and serrate. Leaves exude a milky juice when broken. The upper surfaces of the leaf blades are light to medium green, glabrous, and shiny, while their lower surfaces are pale green and mostly hairless, except for some fine hairs along the major veins or in the axils of major veins. Leaves can be unlobed (common on older trees) or have 2 to 5 unequal lobes (common on young trees and sprouts from older trees). The petiole (leaf stalk) is smooth.

Flowers

Clusters of small petalless flowers are borne in a dense hanging spike. Male and female flowers are usually produced on separate plants (dioecious), but sometimes are produced on the same plant (monoecious). The male flower cluster is narrow and somewhat elongated and the female flower cluster is more oval. Flowering normally takes place from April to May.

Fruits and Seeds

Fertile female flowers are followed by cylindrical drupes, 0.5 to 1.0 inches (1.5-2.5 cm) long that are ovoid or cylindrical syncarp composed of achenes, pendunculate. The ovoid nut let has a thin, soft shell, and the seed has a “hard bony coat”. Seeds are brown, 1–1.2 mm long, 12,000–13,000/oz.

History

White mulberries are native to China where they were cultivated for their leaves and berries as a food source for silk worms. The relationship between the White mulberry and the silkworm dates back 4000 years. Trees were naturalized in Europe with the westward expansion of the “Silk Road” and later introduced into America during early colonial times. General Oglethorpe imported 500 White mulberry trees to Fort Frederica in Georgia in 1733. He wanted to encourage silk production at the English colony of Georgia, but was unsuccessful. Today White mulberries can be found growing in the Mediterranean region, in countries bordering the Caspian and Black Seas. They are also grown by a few farmers in California, specifically for farmers markets and restaurants.

Types of White mulberry

Two varieties of Morus alba are recognized:

  • Morus alba var. alba
  • Morus alba var. multicaulis

Health benefits of white Mulberry

There are more than a few references for Morus Alba use in cancer, diabetes, infection, and neurodegenerative disorders. Root juice of white mulberry agglutinates the blood and kills worms in the digestive system. Leaf juice is used to prevent throat infections and inflammation and it is its diaphoretic and emollient properties helps with this action. Having a cooling and laxative property, the fruit juice is also use to treat fevers, colds, diarrhea, malaria, constipation, and intestinal worms. Listed below are few of the popular health benefits of White Mulberry

1. Anti-Inflammatory

Diverse range of active compounds and volatile acids in these berries give them anti-inflammatory properties, leading the byproducts of this plant to be ideal for arthritis patients, as well as those suffering from chronic inflammation, gout, migraines or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). (1)

2. Fatigue

If you suffer from chronic fatigue, or simply want a bit more energy, a cup of white mulberry tea can stimulate both physical and mental energy levels. (2)

3. Heart Health

Research has found that eating white mulberries can help to lower total overall cholesterol levels while elevating HDL levels, which are the “good” fats, thus lowering your risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, and coronary heart disease, among others. (3)

4. Great Weight Loss Tool

If you’re mostly interested in mulberry tea weight loss benefits, then there are several things you can do to maximize your results. Some nutrition experts recommend drinking the tea at least thirty minutes before each meal to give the DNJ a chance to block incoming carbohydrates. For those who currently drink soda or other carbonated beverages, you may be able to boost the amount of weight you lose by exchanging those beverages for mulberry tea instead.

Consuming two cans of regular soda per day can lead to a weight gain of up to thirty-five pounds in a year. By making this simple switch, you can drop pounds as well as gain the advantages of increased water intake and the mulberry nutrition benefits.

5. Cancer Risk

Antioxidants in the leaves and berries have been shown to induce cell death and prevent the growth and replication of cancerous cells. While most of this research has centered on the effects of colorectal cancer, additional research is ongoing for other types of cancer.(4)

6. Aids Cognition

Extract from the leaves of this plant has been studied extensively for their impact on memory and brain function. Research shows that using the extract can stimulate neural activity, which could help with Alzheimer’s treatment.(5)

7. Depression

One of the active components of the bark of the white mulberry has known anti-depressant qualities when brewed into a tea.  Before using this herbal tea regularly, check with your doctor first, mostly if you are already on any anti-depressant medications.(6)

8. Diabetes

Plant is perhaps best known for its effects on diabetes. The active ingredient in white mulberry, commonly referred to as DNJ, is able to shut down or slow down sugar processing in the body, resulting in more manageable blood sugar levels. This can greatly improve quality of life for diabetic patients.(7)

9. Natural Арреtitе Suppressant

If you have issues with overeating, the white mulberry may be an effective food to help you combat that issue. The herb is high in fiber; which makes it a еffесtivе natural арреtitе ѕuррrеѕѕаnt. This аlѕо mаkеѕ it works as an effective weight lоѕѕ aid as a lot of people struggle to maintain their weight lоѕѕ еffоrtѕ bесаuѕе of their inability to suppress their арреtitе. This аlѕо may help prevent a condition that affects million of реорlе, that is, obesity.

10. Stress Response

Stress response in the body is responsible for everything from our anxiety levels to our metabolic processes, so using this tea to balance your nervous system and stress response can help with chronic inflammation, mood swings and everything in between!

Traditional uses and benefits of White mulberry

  • White mulberry has a long history of medicinal use in Chinese medicine; almost all parts of the plant are used in one way or another.
  • Recent research has shown improvements in elephantiasis when treated with leaf extract injections and in tetanus following oral doses of the sap mixed with sugar.
  • Leaves are antibacterial, astringent, diaphoretic, hypoglycemic, odontalgic and ophthalmic.
  • They are taken internally in the treatment of colds, influenza, eye infections and nosebleeds.
  • Injected extract of the leaves can be used in the treatment of elephantiasis and purulent fistulae.
  • Leaves are collected after the first frosts of autumn and can be used fresh but are generally dried.
  • Stems are anti-rheumatic, antispasmodic, diuretic, hypotensive and pectoral.
  • They are used in the treatment of rheumatic pains and spasms, especially of the upper half of the body, high blood pressure.
  • Tincture of the bark is used to relieve toothache.
  • Branches are harvested in late spring or early summer and are dried for later use.
  • Fruit has a tonic effect on kidney energy.
  • It is used in the treatment of urinary incontinence, dizziness, tinnitus, insomnia due to anemia, neurasthenia, hypertension, diabetes, premature graying of the hair and constipation in the elderly.
  • Root bark is anti-asthmatic, anti-tussive, diuretic, expectorant, hypotensive and sedative.
  • It is used internally in the treatment of asthma, coughs, bronchitis, edema, hypertension and diabetes.
  • Bark is anthelmintic and purgative; it is used to expel tape worms.
  • Extracts of the plant have antibacterial and fungicidal activity.
  • In traditional Chinese medicine, the fruit is used to treat prematurely grey hair, to “tonify” the blood, and treat constipation and diabetes.
  • Bark is used to treat cough, wheezing, edema, and to promote urination.
  • It is also used to treat fever, headache, red dry and sore eyes.
  • Root bark of White mulberry has been used as a traditional medicine in Asian countries and exhibits antibacterial activity against food poisoning micro-organisms.
  • Root bark of the plant is used in traditional medicine for curing dental caries.
  • It is also considered to have some anti-venom properties.
  • Leaves of white mulberry have expectorant properties and can be helpful in expelling mucus caused by respiratory tract infections.
  • Leaves are used traditionally to treat fever, sore throat, cough, colds, flu, eye infections, nosebleed, headache, and dizziness.
  • An injection of an extract of the leaves, followed by internal dose of the sap (mixed with sugar), has been shown in recent studies to be effective as a treatment for elephantiasis and tetanus, an infection characterized by muscle spasms.
  • Branches are often used to reduce water retention (edema) and for rheumatic pains and spasm in the upper limbs.
  • Bark is regarded to have anthelmintic and purgative properties and is used to expel tapeworms.
  • Root is often used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat asthma, bronchitis, edema, and diabetes.
  • Root bark has also been shown to lower blood pressure and a tincture of the bark is used to relieve a toothache.
  • Fruit is believed to have a tonic effect on kidney energy and is used as a remedy for urinary incontinence, constipation in the elderly, dizziness, tinnitus, insomnia caused by anemia, and to prevent premature graying of the hair.

Culinary Uses

  • White mulberries can be used interchangeably with other mulberries as well as other bramble berry varieties.
  • Fruit can be consumed raw when fully ripe.
  • Ripe fruits are eaten fresh, used in desserts and cooking in pies and tarts, and also for cordials and jams.
  • They are commonly used in pie and tart fillings, ice cream, jellies, jams and other baked goods.
  • Richer flavor develops if the fruit is dried, it can then be used as a raisin substitute.
  • They pair well with other bramble berries, stone fruit, young cheeses such as burrata and chevre, pork, duck, wild game, basil, mint, baking spices, and arugula, cream, mascarpone and citrus.
  • Young leaves and shoots can be consumed by cooking.
  • It is considered a famine food, used when all else fails.
  • Leaf makes a good vegetable; it is rich in carotene and calcium.
  • Protein preparations from young mulberry leaves form an excellent supplement to protein-deficient diets.
  • Inner bark can be roasted and ground to a powder that can be used as a thickening agent in soups, porridges, and souces or mixed with regular flour and used for baking.
  • Tree is said to be a source of an edible manna.
  • Young shoots can be used as a tea substitute.
  • Leaves are prepared as tea in Korea.
  • Fruit are also eaten, often dried or made into wine.
  • Young shoots and leaves can be boiled and eaten in the same manner as many leafy vegetables.
  • Fruit juice may be fermented and used to make liquor.

Recipes

White Mulberry Peach Lattice Tart

White Mulberry Peach Lattice Tart

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups white mulberries
  • 1 large peach, peeled and chopped
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 egg, beaten with a little milk
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • Chilled piecrust dough

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. To clean mulberries, place in a large bowl and fill with water so that dirt falls to the bottom of the bowl.
  3. Remove berries with a slotted spoon, discard dirty water and repeat 2 times or until water is clear.
  4. Place berries on a towel to dry.
  5. Combine whole berries with chopped peach.
  6. Sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice and stir to coat evenly.
  7. Set aside while you line the tart pan with the crust.
  8. Pour in fruit, dot with butter and cover with strips of piecrust in a lattice weave.
  9. Brush lattice crust with beaten egg mixture.
  10. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until crust is golden.

White Mulberry Macadamia Brown Sugar Biscotti

White Mulberry Macadamia Brown Sugar Biscotti

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with baking paper.
  3. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Combine oil and sugar until well blended.
  5. Mix in the vanilla and vanilla bean paste.
  6. Beat in eggs one after the other.
  7. Add flour mixture a bit at a time until combined.
  8. Stir in mulberries and macadamia nuts by hand.
  9. Divide dough in half. Form two logs (12×2 inches) on the cookie sheet.
  10. The dough is sticky to handle. Wet your hands with water to prevent them to sticking to the dough.
  11. Bake for 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown.
  12. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  13. Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees F.
  14. Cut logs on diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices. Lay on sides on parchment covered cookie sheet.
  15. Bake approximately 10-12 minutes, or until dry.
  16. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Raw Bircher Muesli with White Mulberries

Raw Bircher Muesli with White Mulberries

Ingredients

Toppings

  • 1/4 Cup White Mulberries
  • 2 Tbsp Australian Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Cacao nibs
  • 2 Springs fresh Mint

Directions

  1. Blend the Brazil nuts and water for 30 seconds. Add remainder of ingredients and blend for four seconds.
  2. Divide the mixture into two bowls. Add the topping to the Bircher muesli.  Enjoy!

Champagne and white Mulberry Granita

Champagne and white Mulberry Granita

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups white mulberries
  • 1 bottle champagne

Directions

  1. In a pot over medium heat combine water and sugar and simmer until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Set aside and allow cooling.
  3. In a blender combine mulberries and sugar water.
  4. Puree until mulberries are broken down.
  5. In a large mixing bowl combine, mulberry mixture and champagne. Stir to combine.
  6. Pour mixture into a loaf pan and put in freezer.
  7. After 35 minutes take mixture from freezer and mix, making sure to scrape the ice forming on the edges into the mixture.
  8. Keep repeating this every half hour for 2 hours.
  9. After 2 hours, let mixture freeze for another 2 hours.
  10. Fluff mixture with a fork and serve.

Mini Raw White Mulberry Caramel Tartlette for Two

Mini Raw White Mulberry Caramel Tartlette for Two

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1/3 cup sprouted buckwheat
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup soft, pitted medjool dates
  • pinch sea salt

Filling

  • 3/4 cup Vivapura white mulberries
  • 1/3 cup soft pitted medjool dates (if they are not soft, soak them in filtered water 30 minutes and drain before using in the recipe).
  • 3 Tbsp raw coconut butter, warmed to liquid
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt
  • more mulberries for garnish

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine all crust ingredients, and process until fine crumbs that hold together when squeezed.
  2. Press into the bottom of a 4 inch removable bottom tart pan oiled with coconut oil for easy removal.
  3. Set aside.
  4. For the filling, combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Pour into the crust, and smooth the top.
  6. Place in the refrigerator until set, about an hour.
  7. Serve topped with more mulberries

Other facts

  • Fiber is obtained from the bark of one-year old stems; it is used in weaving clothes etc.
  • Stem bark is fibrous and is used in China and Europe for paper making.
  • Twigs are used as binding material and for making baskets.
  • Brown dye is obtained from the trunk.
  • Leaves contain 10% tannin.
  • This tree can be grown as a part of a shelterbelt.
  • Wood of the mulberry is a potentially excellent source of ethanol, with yields of up to 6% from sawdust treated with acid and then given four days incubation.
  • Wood is light to moderately heavy, hard, durable, fine and close-grained, though it shows a tendency to warp.
  • Due to its elasticity and flexibility when steamed, it is valued for making sports equipment such as tennis rackets and cricket bats, being considered as good as ash.
  • It is also used for boat building, furniture, agricultural implements etc.
  • It furnishes a medium grade fuel wood.
  • Mulberry trees are either dioecious or monoecious, and a tree sometimes will change from one sex to another.
  • White mulberry leaves are the preferred feedstock for silkworms, and are also cut for food for livestock (cattle, goats, etc.) in areas where dry seasons restrict the availability of ground vegetation.
  • Leaves are also used as fodder for ruminant animals and have even been eaten as a vegetable by humans.
  • In India the wood is used for cabinet work and sporting goods.
  • A single tree can produce over 200 pounds of fruit in a single year.
  • Twigs are used for bindery and wicker making.
  • Tree can be grown as a part of a shelter belt.
  • It is also used for erosion control and in reforestation projects.

Prevention and control

Prevention

Because white mulberry is often planted as an ornamental, one way to prevent future white mulberry establishment is to avoid planting it. In the mid-Atlantic region, native alternatives to white mulberry include red maple, hackberry, black tupelo, or sassafras.

It is commonly claimed that the most cost-efficient and effective method of managing invasive species is to prevent their establishment and spread by maintaining “healthy” natural communities and by monitoring several times each year. Managing to maintain the integrity of the native plant community and mitigate the factors enhancing ecosystem invisibility is likely to be more effective than managing solely to control the invader.

Weed prevention and control can be incorporated into many types of management plans, including those for logging and site preparation, grazing allotments, recreation management, research projects, road building and maintenance, and fire management.

Physical or mechanical control

White mulberry seedlings may be controlled by pulling. For larger white mulberry plants, stems may be cut and the stump ground. Girdling is also an option for larger trees. Mechanical control may be limited by the potential of white mulberry to sprout from the stump, roots, or from cut stems buried in the soil. One review suggests that roots will continue to produce sprouts even if the plant is cut back every year.

Biological control

Biological control of invasive species has a long history that indicates many factors must be considered before using biological controls. Refer to these sources: and the Weed control methods handbook for background information and important considerations for developing and implementing biological control programs. Goat browsing was used to suppress white mulberry in prairie remnants in northwest Illinois.

Chemical control

Herbicides are effective in gaining initial control of a new invasion or a severe infestation, but they are rarely a complete or long-term solution to weed management. See the Weed control methods handbook for considerations on the use of herbicides in natural areas and detailed information on specific chemicals.

Precautions

  • It may lower blood sugar level.
  • Use with extreme caution in case of cold in the lungs.
  • High potassium levels in mulberry tea make this beverage dangerous for anyone who suffers from kidney disorders or who takes any potassium-based medications.
  • Milky sap found in all parts of white mulberry is slightly toxic if ingested but when dried or cooked the plant is deemed safe.
  • Sap and leaves can also cause skin irritation in some people.
  • Consumption of the unripe fruit should be avoided as it can cause stomach upset, hallucinations and stimulate the nervous system.
  • White mulberry tree pollen is very allergenic to those allergic to pollen grains and it can contribute to hay fever.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=19066#null

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=24607

https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Morus+alba

https://www.cabi.org/ISC/datasheet/34816

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=d439

http://www.floracatalana.net/morus-alba-l-

https://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mulcom62.html

https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=MOAL

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/record/kew-2501381

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morus_alba

https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/230453

http://www.public.asu.edu/~camartin/plants/Plant%20html%20files/morusalba.html

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