What is White Mulberry Fruit?
White mulberry (Morus alba) is a type of tree whose roots, barks, leaves and fruit have contributed to herbal medicine. It is also nicknamed Egyptian mulberry, Chinese mulberry, Mon tea, Sang Zhe (a term used in traditional herbal medicine in China) and Russian mulberry. The fruit is a common source of food for silkworms (x). It reached the United States during the colonial era to build a silkworm industry (x).
White mulberry delivers many beneficial health compounds. For example, the fruit of the white mulberry tree contains an abundant amount of anthocyanins, a plant-based compound famous for its antioxidant effects (x). White mulberry may help treat diabetes and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It may also help treat symptoms of the common cold, ringing in the ears, dizziness, joint and muscle pain from arthritis, hair loss and prematurely graying hair (x). However, researchers still debate whether the plants and its compounds are indeed helpful in the field of medicine.
Benefits of White Mulberry Fruit Extract
Mulberries are a source of food that can also take the form of a powder extract. Aside from its natural sweet taste, its benefits may also boost holistic health in the following ways:
Morus alba, or white mulberries, have oxyresveratrol, an active compound that provides an anti-inflammatory effect by repressing different pathways and compounds (x). Here are some of its suppression powers:
Nitric Oxide Synthesis
This is an essential process that allows the body to produce the molecule nitric oxide naturally. Nitric oxide is crucial because it relaxes the inner muscles in the blood vessels and regulates blood flow (x).
NF-kB enhances and activates B cells. It is a protein complex responsible for the DNA transcription, cell survival and cytokine production (x).
White mulberries have Moracin M, which disables the PDE4 enzyme. Then it increases cyclic adenosine monophosphate levels (CAMP). It is a messenger in the body that contributes to several biological processes and decreases the body’s reaction to inflammation (x, x).
Researchers tested the substance on inflammation in mice with obesity. The study suggested that a combination of Morus alba fruit and leaf extract improved inflammation and reduce inflammatory signs (x). In another study, the root bark also acted as an effective method to reduce inflammation in mice (x). Studies suggest that white mulberry’s anti-inflammatory properties may inhibit activation of the MEK-ERK pathway to regulate immune function (x).
Boosts the Immune System
The white mulberry fruit contains compounds that increase macrophage activity, which help detect and destroy harmful bacteria. This enhances the immune system’s response and rids the body of dead cells (x, x). White mulberry leaves also trigger PGE2 and NO activity in the body, which can activate the immune system (x). Aside from that, research has also suggested that the extracts may activate some other cytokines that play a crucial role in stimulating immune response against different conditions (x).
Promotes Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Aside from antioxidant properties and immune system regulation, this plant may also be able to lower blood sugar levels. When blood sugar gets too high, it can cause several health-related issues, such as diabetes and obesity. Recent studies report that consuming white mulberry fruit extract may help the body process sugar more effectively (x).
Acts As a Natural Diuretic
Researchers have also discovered that it may also have detoxification properties. Specifically, studies suggest that the fruit’s extract may help increase urine outflow from the body (x). A study on diabetic rats further denotes its detoxifying powers and concludes that white mulberry extracts interact with iron and copper elements in the body. This reaction causes an increase in renal excretion, enhancing urine flow (x).
Enhances Heart Health
White mulberry extracts have properties that may benefit heart health. This may be beneficial for patients at risk for chronic heart disease or those who suffer from high cholesterol levels. Researchers conducted a study on rats that may support this heart healthy claim. They discovered that if the rats consumed a fatty diet, but supplemented with 5 to 10 percent of the supplement in powder form, it caused a massive decrease in cholesterol concentration (x).
Researchers also link white mulberry to enhanced brain power and memory. A study on mice revealed that the extract may boost the retention period in the brain and decrease object recognition time (x). Another study produced the same conclusion, discovering improved memory, increased nerve cells and a decrease in oxidative stress in a group of rats (x).
Promotes Mental Health
The extract may also help treat mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. Sanggenon G is a compound with antidepressant effects on the brain and it is an active element in its root bark. Research claims that tea from its leaves reduces depressive behavior (x).
Prevents Skin Aging
It may also possess properties to prevent aging and promote healthy skin. Herbs are a common ingredient in anti-aging cosmetic products because they may stimulate collagen production and increase skin elasticity. White mulberry extract may have similar cosmetic benefits (x).
Side Effects of White Mulberry Fruit Extract
Low Blood Sugar
Though it may help manage diabetes and regulate blood sugar, it may also cause a significant decrease in blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). Patients taking diabetic medication should exercise caution and pay attention to dosage instructions (x).
The supplement may interfere with cancer chemotherapy treatments. A study from Japan discovered its ability to kill leukemia cells and researchers in Korea came to a similar conclusion (x). However, even though it may be beneficial to cancer patients and those at risk for cancer, it may interfere with chemotherapy and cause more harm in the body. Make sure to consume responsible dosages (x).
Skin Cancer Risk
Anyone taking white mulberry extracts regularly should be wary of the risk of skin cancer. One study analyzed squamous cell carcinoma in two women. The study discussed that the condition developed from using skin-lightening products frequently for more than ten years that caused damage to the skin (x).
White Mulberry Fruit Extract Powder
White mulberry is available as a fruit, but its powder form is a popular supplement. Perhaps the most common form of white mulberry, apart from the fruit itself, is the powder form. It is commercially available and physicians may prescribe it medically to address a number of conditions.
White Mulberry Extract Dosage
It can be prepared in many different ways. The most common, however, is by taking it in powder form as a dietary supplement. Just take 1,000 mg (⅓ tsp) of the White Mulberry Fruit Extract powder once a day at least half an hour before meals. Add it to smoothies, oatmeal, hot water and yogurt for a twist to your drinks (x).
Why Take White Mulberry Extract?
White mulberry has proven its potential to benefit general health. It may help manage diabetes, boost the immune system and even help treat mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Many consumers who purchase the powder can proactively maintain their health and keep themselves in shape. The supplement is flexible to mix in almost any beverage or food for a boost in metabolism and immunity. Studies have already shown its potential benefits. However, it is important to take extra caution because it has some possible side effects. Consume the supplement with care and pay attention to dosages and interactions with medication.
The Bottom Line
Truly, white mulberry is a wonder fruit. It has a long history in herbal medicine, spreading from the Asian continent to Russia and Egypt. The fruit arrived in the United States during the colonial era, as a method to stimulate the silkworm industry. Apart from its sweet, zesty taste, the fruit may also offer several possible health benefits. For example, studies show that it has potential to fight inflammation in the body and boost immune system function. It may help regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol, making it a possible treatment for diabetes in conjunction with other traditional medications. It has even shown potential in treating mental health conditions.
It’s important to take caution with any supplement and this one may cause a few side effects, including diarrhea, bloating or constipation. It may cause a negative interference with cancer chemotherapy treatment. Studies state that it may also increase patients’ risk for skin cancer because it has skin-lightening properties that can cause damage.
White mulberry is available in its original fruit form, but a supplement may be a more effective and beneficial way to take advantage of its benefits. It can add a little flavor to drinks or smoothies and provide various potential health benefits to the body. Always consult a doctor before starting a supplement regimen. They are not a substitute for any medical treatment, even though they may benefit several health factors.