FRUIT AS MEDICINE

Morus Fruit (Mulberry)

by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon

Morus alba fruit from white Morus alba species, the Mulberry plant, is often called Mulberry fruit. Although there are many species of Morus, the one grown in China is the white mulberry (Morus alba white). The Chinese term for the Mulberry plant is sang, and the fruits are known in China as Sanshenzi or simply Sangshen. The fruit is botanically called a sorosis, because it is formed by the consolidation of many flowers. It is juicy and has a sweet taste with some sourness that is more prominent in the less mature fruits.

Health benefits of Mulberries
Mulberry has several different colored berries
white Morus alba

 •  Delicious, fleshy, succulent mulberries are low in calories (just 43 cal per 100 g); but are rich source of many health promoting plant derived compounds, minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.

 • Mulberries have significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals called anthocyanins. Scientific studies have shown that consumption of berries have potential health effects against cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and bacterial infections

 • The berries contain resveratrol, another polyphenol flavonoid antioxidant. Resveratrol has been found to be protective against stroke risk by alteration of molecular mechanisms in blood vessels, reducing susceptibility to vascular damage through decreased activity of angiotensin (a systemic hormone causing blood vessel constriction that would elevate blood pressure) and increased production of the vasodilator hormone, nitric oxide.

 • In addition, these berries are an excellent source of vitamin-C (36.4 mcg per 100, about 61% of RDI), which is also a powerful natural antioxidant. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents, counter inflammation and scavenge harmful free radicals.

 • They also contain good amount vitamin A, vitamin E and in addition to the above mentioned antioxidants also contain many other health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, ß-carotene and a-carotene in small but notably significant amounts. These compounds help act as protect from harmful effects of oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease process.

 • Zeaxanthin, an important dietary carotenoid selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions in the retina of eyes.

 • Mulberries are excellent source of iron, which is a rare feature among berries, contains 1.85 mg/100 g of fruits (about 23% of RDI). Iron, being a component of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells, determines the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.

 • They also good source of minerals like potassium, manganese, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.

 • They are rich in B-complex group of vitamins and vitamin K. Contain very good amounts of vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin and folic acid. These vitamins are function as co-factors and help body in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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