A Well Known Berry, A Mysterious Leaf
Most people are familiar with mulberries in some form. Be it a delicious fruit or an easy and sweet preserve, many know some strain of this berry.
But, one type of mulberry tree may deserve more appreciation as a medicinal herb. Yet, this herb is not derived from the berry- but from the leaves! White mulberry leaf is full of nutritional components that help to support health.
Common Uses for an Uncommon Herb
White mulberry leaves are best known as the primary food source of the silkworm. This tree was especially important in China, as silk was one of their most valuable exports. It’s thought that silkworms eat white mulberry leaves due to their unique scent.
The silkworms are then able to convert proteins in the leaves into silk. Thus, silk is made of nothing more than white mulberry leaves. However, these leaves were more than just silkworm food to the ancient Chinese. Traditional Chinese Medicine also valued the herb for its many health-supporting properties.
Historical Use of White Mulberry Leaf
White mulberry trees are native to China. They have been used medicinally there since ancient times. White mulberry is now cultivated in many regions such as the United States, Africa, and Europe. In fact, these trees have been long revered in many cultures. Often white mulberry tree were brought to new regions due to their popularity with silkworms.
Mulberry Trees in Britain
When the Romans invaded Britain, they brought mulberry trees with them. The leaves served medicinal purposes, such as treating diseases of the mouth and lungs. Henry VIII even had a Mulberry tree planted in his Chelsea estate. Later, King James I decided that Britain should compete with France in silk-making.
In order to accomplish this, he brought over ten thousand mulberry trees to feed the silkworms, planting some in a garden near Buckingham Palace. Yet, this project ultimately failed as he brought the wrong kind of mulberry tree. He had failed to bring the powerful white mulberry tree, with its nutritional leaves.
White Mulberry in the United States
The British introduced white mulberry to North America before the American Revolution. White mulberry was first brought to America in a failed attempt to establish a silkworm industry. Since then, several varieties of this tree have spread through North America. In fact, now most counties in Ohio have some white mulberry trees. Often, they grow in unattended areas and open rural habitats.
Medicinal Uses of the White Mulberry Leaf
White mulberry leaf contains many health-supporting properties. Due to its complex chemical structures, this herb can help with many health issues. In fact, modern research has begun to show how potent this herb is, and how it can help support the human body.
Supporting Healthy Blood Sugar
White mulberry leaf has many properties that may help support healthy blood sugar. These include 1-deoxynojirimycin (DNJ), which prevents the absorption of carbs in your gut. Carbohydrates are complex sugars, that often the body can have trouble processing. In one study, adults took maltodextrin, a powder that raises blood sugar levels and mulberry leaf extract. Those who took the extract experienced a lower rise in blood sugar levels than the placebo group. This study shows promise for mulberry leaf’s positive effects on blood sugar.
Supporting Heart Health
Some research suggests that mulberry leaf extract may improve heart health. One study gave people with high cholesterol mulberry leaf supplements. After twelve weeks, their bad cholesterol dropped while their good cholesterol increased. Maintaining healthy cholesterol is very important in keeping your heart healthy. With healthy cholesterol levels, your heart can better support your whole body.
The white mulberry leaf contains many anti-inflammatory compounds, including flavonoid antioxidants. A test-tube study on white blood cells revealed that white mulberry leaf and its tea reduced inflammatory proteins. These powerful anti-inflammatory properties may help with some chronic illnesses.
White Mulberry leaf may also have some stress-reducing properties. A study done on mice showed that white mulberry leaves lower oxidative stress markers. Oxidative stress occurs when the body cannot regulate antioxidant levels. This can lead to cell and tissue damage, as well as illness. So, adding white mulberry leaf to your diet may help reduce oxidative stress.
Using White Mulberry Leaf Every Day
Incorporating white mulberry leaf into your daily routine can clearly benefit your health. This herb contains powerful compounds, used and respected for centuries. It’s revered by modern medicine for its many health-supporting properties. With so many benefits, it is obvious that adding Absolute White Mulberry Leaf tea to your routine is a smart choice. This tea is beneficial to health, and will quickly become your new favorite daily treat!
Aramwit P, Petcharat K, Supasyndh O. Efficacy of mulberry leaf tablets in patients with mild dyslipidemia. Phytother Res. 2011;25(3):365-369. doi:10.1002/ptr.3270
Chao PY, Lin KH, Chiu CC, Yang YY, Huang MY, Yang CM. Inhibitive effects of mulberry leaf-related extracts on cell adhesion and inflammatory response in human aortic endothelial cells. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:267217. doi:10.1155/2013/267217
de Freitas MM, Fontes PR, Souza PM, et al. Extracts of Morus nigra L. Leaves Standardized in Chlorogenic Acid, Rutin and Isoquercitrin: Tyrosinase Inhibition and Cytotoxicity. PLoS One. 2016;11(9):e0163130. Published 2016 Sep 21. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163130
Kojima Y, Kimura T, Nakagawa K, et al. Effects of mulberry leaf extract rich in 1-deoxynojirimycin on blood lipid profiles in humans. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2010;47(2):155-161. doi:10.3164/jcbn.10-53
Lown M, Fuller R, Lightowler H, et al. Mulberry-extract improves glucose tolerance and decreases insulin concentrations in normoglycaemic adults: Results of a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study. PLoS One. 2017;12(2):e0172239. Published 2017 Feb 22. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0172239