According to studies, mulberry fruits contain bioactive components including alkaloids, flavonoids, and anthocyanins. 100 grams of raw mulberry fruits contains about 44% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C, and 14% of the DV for iron; and other nutrients.
Mulberry fruits also act as antioxidants which help in cell damage repair. They have also shown potential in having many anti-cholesterol, anti-obesity, and hepatoprotective properties.
Mulberry as a Traditional Medicinal Plant
Herbal preparation of medicinal plants is an age-old tradition among many cultures. Ancient civilizations relied on herbal medicines to treat diseases and ailments, and some of these practices still endure in modern culture. Herbal medicine also serves as the basis of modern drugs. According to the World Health Organization, about 80% of the world’s population still use herbal medicines in conjunction with modern ones.
In many parts of the world, the mulberry is used as a medicinal plant due to the many biologically active properties found in its leaves, stem, and roots. It is also an ingredient in many pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetic products.
In India, the mulberry is known as “Kalpavriksha” or the divine tree that grants wishes. All of its parts have a use in traditional ayurvedic medicine, where it plays a role in curing many health ailments such as rheumatism and arthritis. Some of the ayurvedic medicine preparations use the fruits, leaves, roots, bark or latex of mulberry.
In Japan and Korea, mulberry leaves are used as a medicine to cure diabetes. Mulberry leaves contain compounds such a 1-deoxynojirmycin (DNJ), isobavachalcone, morachalcon, fagomine, and quercetin which are effective in fighting diabetes.
In China, the tips of young mulberry shoots, as well as the tips of its leaves are made into a tea to control blood pressure. It is also known in the country as a treatment for hypertension, hyperglycemia, fever, and cough.