Updated: Apr 15, 2018
Mulberry leaf belongs to Morus alba L., a small deciduous arbor tree of the Moraceae family. Clinically, it is used either in dried or processed (fried with honey) forms. The leaf is widely distributed in China. Nowadays, it is mainly supplied by cultivation, and produced in provinces like Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Anhui, Hunan, Sichuan and Guangdong.
Mulberry leaf is cold in nature, sweet and bitter in flavor, and mainly manifests its therapeutic actions in the lung and liver meridianns. The leaf dispels wind, clears heat, moistens lung, soothes liver and promotes eye health.
Modern TCM also uses mulberry leaf to treat conjunctivitis, keratitis, lower limbs swelling, hypertension and skin rashes.
Mulberry leaf has complex components, and the main active components are sterols, flavonoids, volatile oils, coumarins and alkaloids. The sterols include inokosterone, ecdysterone, stigmasterol, campesterol, lupeol,β-sitosterol, myoinositol and β-amyrin. The flavonoids include rutin, quercetin, isoquercitrin, moracetin kuwanon, kaempferol-3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside, and astragalin.
The coumarins include bergaten, umbelliferone, scopoletin, scopolin, hydroxycoumarin. The volatile oils include acetic acid, propionicacid, butyric acid, isobutyric acid, valericacid, isovaleric acid, caproic acid, methyl salicylate, guaiacol, ortho cresol, m-cresol, p-cresol, and eugenol. Other ingredients are organic acids like chlorogenic acid, fumaric acid, palmitic acid, ethylpalmitate, folic acid, and folinic acid; polysaccharides, amino acids, vitamins and multiple minerals.
Mulberry leaf is often used in early stage of feverish conditions that accompany with headache, sweating, aversion to wind blowing, coughing or chest pain; other conditions like dry coughing, throat and mouth dryness, painful and swollen eyes, blurred vision, dizziness, hives and swollen legs are also indicated.
Mulberry leaf is good at dispelling wind and clearing heat In the early stage of upper respiratory infections, when individuals occur mild fever, headache, sweating, aversion to wind blowing, coughing, throat soreness, and mouth dryness, mulberry leaf can work with herbs like chrysanthemum, weeping forsythia capsule, peppermint, platycodon root, great burdock fruit and hogfennel root to dispel wind evils and clear heat evils in the superficial portion of the body for relief.
Mulberry leaf moistens lung system When the lung is attacked by wind-heat or dryness evils, there will be dry coughing, mouth dryness, little and sticky sputum or blood-tinged sputum. Mulberry leaf can work with schizonepeta herb, coastal glehnia root, dwarf lily-turf tuber, unibract fritillary bulb and bitter apricot seed to lubricate the lung.
Mulberry leaf is commonly used in eye problems When wind and heat evils attacking the liver meridian, the eyes can be red, sensitive to light, and teary, mulberry leaf can be decocted alone for eye washing, at the same time, it is also decocted with chrysanthemum, horsetail and caltrop fruit for oral administration. When excess fire accumulated in the liver meridian, there can be red and painful eyes, headache and dizziness, mulberry leaf can work with herbs like cassia seed, selfheal fruit spike, chrysanthemum, and plantain seed to soothe the liver and clear the fire for relief. Liver and kidney deficiencies lead to blurred and dim visions, mulberry leaf can be combined with glossy privet fruit, wolf berry fruit, black sesame and honey to make pills for long term consumption, which nourishes the liver and kidney.
Mulberry leaf stops bleeding Bleeding symptoms such as nosebleeds are usually associated with an over-heated blood, mulberry leaf alone or with other herbs can be selected to cool down the blood and stop bleeding.
Eca Brady is a fully licensed physician of Chinese Medicine BSc(Ac) MBAcC PGDip(CHM), practicing from Harley Street, London. Make an appointment for an acupuncture treatment and we can discuss how we can help you, to read more about Eca click here.
These articles are not intented to diagnose, treat or cure any conditions, excerpts from the Original article by ShenNong.