White Mulberry : Miscellaneous & Medicinal Uses of the Mulberry Species
Beyond its use in sericulture, the Mulberry tree and its various parts have been used for an array of human products. As previously mentioned, the berries can be eaten raw or cooked to make jams or jellies as well as implemented into assorted dishes. They can be processed to make a sweet vinegar or wine. Its wood is known to be hard and heavy which contributes to its long-lasting value (Rafinesque, 1839). The wood can be used for making various sporting instruments or boating materials (Moore). Not only are the leaves a primary source for the silk worm (Bombyx mori), they also can be a nutritious food for farm animals around the world. It is considered preferred feeding for “mini-livestock,” such as guinea pigs and birds (Sánchez).
The exterior of the tree is more than just a pleasant ornamental. The tree wards off most pests, as the sap is known to be quite bitter, yet another reason why it can function as a decorative tree near one’s home (Cobb, 1833). It was noted that Native Americans used the fibrous bark of the Red Mulberry in making many items such as baskets and ropes (Rafinesque, 1839).
Medicinally, the tree has been studied and found to produce health benefits for animals and humans. In terms of ethno pharmacological evidence, there are also reports from indigenous cultures around the world using the berries for health benefits. For example, some Native American tribes were known to use the Red Mulberry bark for digestive health (Stone, 2009).
The berries have been studied and found to have antioxidant properties. The berries also seem to have positive and potential effects in inhibiting the production of fat and protein containing plaque in one’s arteries (Katsube, 2006). Some research indicates the berries’ great effect of stimulating one’s immune response by activating one’s macrophage activity (Kim, 2012).
The leaves of the White Mulberry in particular have been extensively studied for useful properties in medicine. They can be ingested to help cure a sore throat (Moore). There has even been research on a specific chemical compound within the leaves that may induce cell death for some types of cancer cells (Deepa M, 2012). All in all, the White Mulberry has shown to be very useful for human health, and its remedial properties have yet to be fully understood.