What is White Mulberry?
The white mulberry (Morus alba) is a tree native to China that also grows naturally throughout Asia and Europe, including Turkey and the mountainous regions of Thailand. The traditional uses of the lush white mulberry fruit and mulberry leaves date back to Egypt and Cyprus where they were thought to support overall health.*
The leaves of the white mulberry tree (called Sang ye in Chinese) have also been used in traditional Chinese practices for over 400 years as a cooling “blood tonic” and to treat a variety of conditions, ranging from regularity to prematurely graying hair. Although modern research has yet to substantiate any of these claims, it's clear that mulberry has played a prominent role in traditional practices throughout the ancient and modern world.
Food for Worms?
The most fascinating use of white mulberry dates back over 4,000 years to ancient China where it was the used as the preferred food for silkworms. As the silk trade grew and spread throughout Asia, and later Europe, it carried the white mulberry with it, which quickly took root and thrived wherever it was planted.
The white mulberry tree even made its way to the United States when it was brought over in the 1800s in an attempt to bring the silk trade to America. Although the industry failed, the fast growing mulberry quickly established itself as an invasive species and settled in to stay. Farmers quickly learned that mulberry leaves were high in calcium and protein, making them suitable feed for their livestock when local vegetation was unavailable.
Health Benefits of White Mulberry
Due to the many historical uses of white mulberry fruit and leaves, white mulberry is starting to be examined for modern health uses. Consistent with traditional uses, mulberries do seem to have good nutritional value.
One of the easiest ways to enjoy white mulberry is as a tea, which many people find refreshing. Alternatively, white mulberry leaves can be powdered and taken in capsule form.
For thousands of years, white mulberry has been used to support health and well being in some of the greatest cultures in history. What was once the specially cultivated food of the most valuable caterpillars in the world can now be enjoyed in a cup of tea on a relaxing afternoon.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.