Morus alba has many benefits – it is anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-aging. This herb has few side effects and has positive reviews.

Read this post to learn about all its health benefits and mechanisms.

Introduction

White mulberry (Morus alba) is a small tree native to northern China. During ancient times its primary uses were to feed silkworms and treat various illnesses.

Morus alba contains many unique, active compounds and flavonoids that give it its broad range of benefits.

White mulberry can have its leaves and roots prepared in a tea and its berries are eaten whole or made into wine.

Constituents of Morus Alba

Morus alba contains many natural polyphenols and flavonoids, which have antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antibacterial, and anti-aging properties [R, R].

Compared to the stems and fruits, the leaves contain more phenolic compounds and flavonoids [R].

Some of the compounds in Morus alba include [R, R, R, R, R]:

Additionally, Morus alba contains many constituents that are unique to the plant:

  • Moracin has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer properties [R]
  • Albanol A is toxic to cancer cells and can induce cell death (apoptosis) [R]
  • Albosteroid has antioxidant and anti-ulcer properties [R]

Health Benefits of Morus Alba

1) Morus Alba Is Anti-Inflammatory

Oxyresveratrol is an active component of Morus alba. It exerts an anti-inflammatory effect through suppressing various compounds and pathways (iNOS/nitric oxide production, PGE2 synthesis, and NFkB activation) [R].

It also inhibits MEK/ERK pathway activation, which stops white blood cells from moving and causing inflammation [R].

Moracin M inhibits PDE4 enzyme activity, which increases cAMP levels and lowers the inflammatory response [R].

A combination of Morus alba leaf extract and fruit extract improved obesity-related inflammation in mice. It also lowered inflammatory marker levels (TNF-a, CRP, IL-1, and iNOS) [R].

Additionally, Morus alba root bark lowered inflammation in mouse cells [R].

2) Morus Alba May Boost the Immune System

Morus alba fruits have compounds that increase the activity of macrophages and enhance the immune response [R].

The leaf extracts of Morus alba activate the immune system. In mice cells, the extracts stimulated NO and PGE2 activity. It also activated other cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-10) that increase the immune response [R].

3) Morus Alba Improves Heart Health

Morus alba extract:

  • Reduced cholesterol and fat levels (in diabetic patients) [R]
  • Decreased fat accumulation in blood vessels (in mice) [R]
  • Reduced blood pressure (in rats) [R]
  • Prevented obesity (in rats) [R]

Morus alba extract lowers blood pressure through a nitric oxide pathway. The extract activates PERK and HSP90 proteins. This then activates eNOS transmission and lowers blood pressure [R].

By improving these parameters, Morus alba keeps the heart healthy and prevents heart disease.

4) Morus Alba Helps Treats Diabetes

In a clinical trial, Morus alba leaf extract decreased insulin in type 2 diabetes patients [R].

It also increased GLUT4 protein production, which decreased glucose levels [R].

Morus alba leaf powder decreases the production of PDK4 to help improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance [R].

In mice, Morus alba protected the eyes of diabetic mice. Its antioxidant and glucose lowering activity protected eye cells against cell death [R].

5) Morus Alba May Lower Cancer Risk

The anti-cancer effect of Morus alba is due to compounds (morusin and kuwanon C and G) that prevent cell growth and increases cell death in cancer cells [R].

Morus alba root bark extract dose-dependently stopped cell growth and induced cell death in human colorectal cancer cells. It activated ATF3 production, which plays an important role in programmed cell death (apoptosis) [R].

The root bark extract also decreased cyclin D1 protein levels in cancer cells. This causes the cell cycle to stop. However, scientists are still unsure which active components of the extract were responsible for these effects [R].

6) Morus Alba May Reduce Fatigue

Scientists extracted GABA, in a white crystal form, from Morus alba leaves. It increased endurance in mice during exercise. It also improved various biological indicators (like glycogen and hormone levels), indicating a reduction in fatigue [R].

7) Morus Alba Is Antimicrobial

Morus alba leaves and root bark are antimicrobial due to their flavonoids, alkaloids, and stilbenoids. It also helped stop oral pathogens, which can improve mouth health [R].

Kuwanon G, from Morus alba root bark, significantly inhibited bacteria growth in cells. The bacteria (Streptococcus mutans, S. sobrinus and S. sanguis, and Porpyromonas gingivalis) are ones that cause cavities and gingivitis [R].

Morus alba extract also showed antimicrobial activity in mice (against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, Candida krusei, Candida tropicalis, and Aspergillus flavus) [R].

8) Morus Alba May Improve Memory and Learning

In a study (RCT) of 60 adults, 1 – 2.1 grams of Morus alba leaf extract daily enhanced brain function and memory [R].

In mice, Morus alba extract increased NGF levels, leading to nerve cell growth in the brain. The mice then had improved retention time and object recognition time, suggesting that the extract enhanced learning and memory [R].

In another study, rats treated with Morus alba extract had improved memory, more nerve cells, and less oxidative stress in the brain [R].

9) Morus Alba May Help with Anxiety

Morus alba increases GABA and reduces dopamine, which produces anti-anxiety effects [R, R].

In mice, Morus alba extract reduced stress-induced behaviors and had anti-anxiety effects [R].

10) Morus Alba Might Help Treat Depression

Sanggenon G, an active compound of Morus alba root bark, has antidepressant effects in rats. Treatment with sanggenon G reduced HPA axis activity and depressive behaviors [R].

Morus alba leaf tea also reduced depressive behavior in mice, but it also decreased muscle strength and coordination [R].

11) Morus Alba Might Improve the Stress Response

Adaptogens like Morus alba help the body deal with stress by normalizing cortisol. Mice exposed to chronic shock for 21 days showed fewer impairments in brain function, mood, hormonal balance, and blood sugar balance when treated with Morus alba [R].

12) Morus Alba Might Help Prevent Obesity

A combination of Morus alba and other plant extracts suppressed appetite in mice and lowered fat levels [R, R].

By improving fat metabolism, Morus alba helps reduce weight gain and may prevent obesity [R].

Morus alba also protects against obesity-related diseases. In mice, Morus alba leaf extract kept Nrf2 levels at a balance, which balances fat production, produces antioxidant enzymes, and prevents obesity-related fatty liver diseases [R].

13) Morus Alba Whitens Skin

Both Morus alba root bark and leaves can whiten skin [R].

Mulberroside F from Morus alba inhibited melanin formation and tyrosinase activity in mouse cells. This can prevent pigmentation in the skin. Morus alba can potentially be used in cosmetics to lighten skin [R].

Limitations

Unfortunately, most of Morus Alba’s health benefits have only been confirmed in animal studies. More clinical trials must be done to ensure its effectiveness and safety for human use.

Possible Side Effects

Doses

There is currently no recommended dosage for Morus alba supplements.

In a clinical trial, daily administration of 1 – 2.1 grams of Morus alba extract had no toxic effects [R].

Drug Interactions

Because Morus alba can lower glucose levels, if used in combination with diabetes medication, it can increase the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) [R].

In rats, Morus alba also decreased the absorption and blood concentration of Cyclosporine, a drug used in transplant patients. Nerve, liver, or kidney transplant patients should avoid taking Morus alba supplements [R].

Morus Alba and Gene Interactions

These gene interactions are only seen in animal studies. It is unclear if the human equivalent of these genes is affected by Morus alba.

Glucose-Related Genes and Proteins

The gallic acid in Morus alba increased GLUT4 protein production in the plasma membrane of rat fat cells. Increased glucose uptake and decreased fasting blood glucose help control diabetes [R].

Morus alba leaf powder affected the production of various genes in mice. It increased SREBF-1, which plays a central role in maintaining energy balance and promotes glycolysis-related genes [R].

Meanwhile, the leaf powder decreased PDK4 production. PDK4 deficiency lowers blood glucose and improves insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance [R].

Other Genes

Morus alba leaf powder increased CYP7A1 enzyme activity. This lowered blood and kidney cholesterol in rats [R].

Morus alba leaf powder also suppressed the production of CDKN1A, HSPA1B, DEFB1, SPON2, and TRP53INP1, providing antioxidant effects [R].

In rats, Morus alba leaf powder increased the protein production levels of CPT1A, ACOX2, and PHYH, which help with fatty acid oxidation (breakdown). It decreased DGAT2 protein production, which is needed for fat formation (lipogenesis). These effects help lower lipid (fat) levels [R].

Reviews

  • “I have been using this for six months and found that it stabilizes my blood sugar” [R].
  • “What I was looking for and it seems to help carb effects” [R].
  • “I liked this for how it seemed to stop blood sugar swings, but just one capsule at once bloated me and caused severe constipation” [R].

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The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.

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