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Mulberry (Shahtoot) – Wonderful health benefits and its side effects

A handful of mulberries freshly picked off from the bountiful branches – if that didn’t make you nostalgic then you must be familiar with many benefits of mulberries as well. We got you covered, if you have had mulberries just for their sheer juicy taste and are unaware of their many health benefits.

Mulberry are commonly known as “Shahtoot” like most berries, mulberries are chockful of important nutrients, anthocyanins, polyphenols, and other anti oxidants. These not only protect your body from the harmful effects of toxic free radicals but also help in improving your hair, skin, and overall health. Today, we will rake you on a detailed look at the key benefits of mulberries and the ways you can include them in your diet.

We grew up listening to the nursery rhyme “Here we go round the mulberry bush” that we all love. But do you know what are mulberries? It is a fruit of mulberry tresses and mulberries are of three species based on their color – red, white, and black mulberry. These are related to figs and breadfruit and are usually available between the month of March to May and October to November.

They are grown in North America and Asia for their leaves, and mulberry leaves are the only food that is eaten by silkworms. Traditional medicine included in mulberries is used for the natural treatment of many health conditions. Jam, tea, fruit juice, canned foods, and wine also use mulberries extensively. They can also be used as a dried snack. Mulberries are widespread because of their sweet taste, numerous health benefits, and excellent nutritional value. 

Mulberries can be used in a place of or alongside most other berries which are easy to prepare and eat. It is sweet enough to replace it with treats that are typically loaded with added sugars.

Mulberries history

Mulberries were used in Chinese herbal medicine for centuries that treat diabetes, heart diseases, arthritis, and anemia. A myth in Babylonian is that attributes the reddish purple color of the mulberries to the deaths of two lovers in an ancient tragic story. Mulberries’ history is connected to the growth of the silk industry. The leaves of mulberry were used to fatten the silkworms in the orient regions. Mulberry trees spread across the world can attribute to the need for mulberry leaves for the silkworm industry.

Mulberry history

Types of Mulberries

We have three types of mulberries – red, white, and black.

Red Mulberries : Morus Rubra is the scientific name for red mulberries. It is also known as the American mulberries which are native to the eastern United States. Red and white mulberries are more drought resistant than black ones.

White Mulberries : Morus Alba is the scientific name for white mulberries. They are native to China and are bred for silkworm production. Though pure white is not produced but is called white for the color of its buds.

Black Mulberries : Morus Nigra is the scientific name for black mulberries. They are native to Asian countries and particularly Southwestern Asia and must more difficult to graft.

Also Read : Refreshing Mocktail Recipes For Your Summers

Health Benefits of Mulberries

health Benefits of a bowl of Mulberries

Let’s dive into the reasons why mulberries are so healthy and popular.

Good for kidneys : It is essential to keep your kidney healthy and to remove wastes and extra fluid from the body efficiently. They further eliminate acid produced by your body’s cells in addition. Mulberry extracts are beneficial for those who are suffering from kidney damage which is caused by diabetes. It occurs due to metabolic disorders and is known as diabetic nephropathy. The extracts of Mulberry help to improve insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and oxidative stress in the body.

Helps to make your hair healthy : Melanin determines hair color in a natural pigment. When the production of melanin slows down your hair starts turning grey or white. Mulberry aids the production of melanin and it retains the natural color of your hair. So the one who is suffering from premature greying of hair benefits from it and if you want healthy hair then you should have mulberry juice regularly. You can directly apply mulberry juice to your hair to promote hair growth.

Brightens skin : The extracts of mulberry can brighten your skin by treating pigmentation. It also evens out skin tone and reduces the dark spots. Resveratrol that is found in mulberries will protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV rays and the anti oxidants are great anti aging agents. Amongst all of them, Beta carotene neutralizes the free radicals and mulberry also has Vitamin A, C, and E that remove wrinkles.

Good for lungs : If you have contracted a lung infection then Mulberry is good for you. As per the study has shown that mulberries inhibit two pathogens that are responsible for lung infections. These are influenza viruses and Pneumococci. Even the root bark of mulberry trees has antiviral and antibacterial properties. So, mulberries aid in keeping healthy lungs.

Helps in weight loss : Mulberries, especially the black ones have pectin. Pectin is a fiber that is usually found in fruits that acts as a laxative to help stool pass through the bowels. This way mulberries facilitate digestion and these benefits relieve is from bloating stomach cramps, and constipation. Mulberries are a fruit that helps people lose fat and tone their bodies.

Help in increasing blood circulation :  The high iron content in mulberries helps to boost the production of red blood cells. Mulberry increases oxygen distribution to essential organs and tissues and as a result, it boosts metabolism and enhances body functioning. They are rich in antioxidant which improves the functioning of blood vessels by dilating them and further ensures the regulation of blood pressure by enabling a free flow from the heart to other body parts.

Improves vision : Zeaxanthin is one of the carotenoids found in mulberries that further acts as an anti oxidant and prevents retinal damage. It also removes the free radical that causes macular degeneration and cataracts. Mulberry tea helps to improve eyesight according to Chinese traditional medicine.

Reduces the risk of cancer : Mulberries have many pharmaceutical and anthocyanins ingredients which possess anti cancer effects. The presence of resveratrol also prevents in the growth of cancer cells and together they fight colon cancer, prostate cancer, thyroid, and skin cancer. Anthocyanins and other metabolites like resveratrol is essential and possibly can change the face of human cancer in the future.

Improves the immunity : Mulberries use the alkaloids in the macrophages to activate them and they boost our immunity and kept us alert. Mulberry is also a great source of Vitamin C and is thus a potent immunity booster.  The polyphenols in them ensure the health of the blood vessels by promoting immunity to foreign pathogens via various pathways and they also activate these signaling pathways to initiate immune responses. Furthermore, potassium lowers blood pressure to keep immunity in check.

Helps build bone tissue : Calcium, iron, and Vitamin K are the best nutrients that enable the buildup of bone tissues as mulberry has all of them. The presence of all these nutrients in mulberries helps to stop bone degradation and bone disorders. Mulberries can also carry on the task of building bone tissues due to their anti inflammatory properties.

Precautions and Side-effects of Mulberries

mulberry side effects

May lead to hypoglycemia : Mulberries can lower your blood sugar and when you have a mulberry tea, it will gradually suppress the rise of blood glucose levels after 90 minutes. If consumed excessively it may further cause hunger, headache excess sweating, confusion, blurred vision, tremors, and dizziness.

May cause gastrointestinal discomfort : Eating mulberries may cause nausea, diarrhea, bloating, and indigestion. The milky white sap and latex are toxic to insects and caterpillars. It may cause mild skin irritation in the case of humans.

May hinder carbohydrate absorption : The carbohydrate absorption helps in weight control and diabetes treatment. IN some instances, it may interfere with optimal absorption of nutrients and can also lead to detrimental effects on the body.

It May have a detrimental effect on kidneys : The leaves of mulberry lowers uric acid levels and therefore help to relieve the symptoms of gout. If you are on medications do not take mulberry leaves. They are also full of potassium for the proper functioning of the body and when the required potassium level exceeds it may cause internal bleeding and dehydration.

May cause an allergic reaction : Mulberries may have an allergic reaction in some people and the response is typical for those sensitive to birch pollen due to cross reactivity. If you experience any side effects we suggest you consult your doctor immediately.

Conclusion Mulberries are marvelous for fulfilling your medicinal and health benefits. There are various varieties of mulberries throughout the world with just differences in their color and place of origination. They are healthy for your hair, skin, lungs, and kidneys. They also hold the potential to treat a disease like cancer. The internet is flooded with mulberries recipes and their exciting uses that you need to add to your regular diet. Just remember that with the advantages there come disadvantages too. So know every possible detail available on an ingredient before using  it is you should know all about.

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