Botanical and Common Names
- Family Moraceae
- Morus nigra (Black Mulberry, Purple Mulberry)
- Morus alba (White Mulberry, Sang ye [Chinese])
- Avoid excess fruits if suffering from diarrhea.
- Avoid leaves and bark if the lungs are weak.
The black mulberry is native to Iran, while the white mulberry is indigenous to China. Both now grow worldwide as garden ornamentals. The mulberry is a deciduous tree, growing to about fifty feet, producing toothed leaves, flowers in catkins, and berries of either white or purple-black. The leaves are gathered in late autumn, the twigs in early summer, and the berries when ripe in the summer. The roots are dug up in the winter.
In the 16th century, the berries, bark, and leaves of the Black mulberry were all used for different medicinal purposes: the berries for inflammations and to stop bleeding; the bark for toothache; and the leaves for snakebites and as an antidote for aconite poisoning.
For over 5,000 years, the white mulberry was grown to feed silkworms. Interestingly, the feces of the silkworm is used in Chinese medicine to treat vomiting.
- promotes sweating
- reduces high blood pressure
(d) Root Bark
- lowers high blood pressure
- vitamins A, B, C (berries)
- Berries, leaves, branches and twigs, root bark
- tinctures as a tonic to nourish the blood
- mouthwash and gargle made from the juice of the fresh berries for mouth ulcers and sore throats
- infusion to treat colds and chills (it combines well with elderflower and mint)
- decoctions taken for colds
- syrup made from a decoction and taken for coughs
- decoctions for rheumatic pains in the upper body (combines well with Siberian ginseng)
(d) Root Bark
- decoctions used for conditions affecting the lungs or asthma, or as a diuretic
The leaves of the white mulberry are used as an expectorant to loosen phlegm, and prescribed in China for stubborn coughs. They are also taken for fever, sore and inflamed eyes, sore throats, headaches, dizziness, and vertigo.
The fruit is taken to prevent the premature graying of hair; and to treat dizziness, ringing in the ears, blurred vision, and insomnia.
The fruit juice is a cleanser and tonic and often used as a mouthwash or gargle.
An extract of the leaves has been given by injection for elephantiasis.
The twigs are used to combat excess fluid retention and joint pain.