Origin: The mulberry natively belongs to eastern and central China. The mulberry tree reached Europe centuries later from china. The tree was introduced in America for silkworm culture in early colonial times, which was later hybridized with the native red mulberry. The red or American mulberry was discovered and made in the United States from Massachusetts to Kansas and down to the Gulf coast.
The black mulberry is indigenous to western Asia and has been a popular item in Europe ever since Roman times. It’s been a well-known tree since ancient civilization. It was known for its delicious berry-like fruit. It is also believed that General Oglethorpe, in 1733, imported 500 white mulberry trees to Fort Frederica in Georgia to promote silk production at the English colony of Georgia.
Scientifically: Mulberries are scientifically known as ‘morus,’ and is a part of a genus of flowering plants called the Moraceae. Moraceae includes 10-16 species of deciduous trees that produce mulberries. mulberry most commonly has three varieties of white red and black. All these species are deciduous trees and come in varying sizes. White mulberries usually grow up to 80 ft. and can also be drooping and pyramidal shapes. The red mulberry tree can reach 70 ft. in height whereas the black mulberry tree is the smallest of the three and grows up to 30 ft. in height. The black mulberry tree is the bushiest of all. All three varieties have a different life span. Red mulberry trees usually live for more than 75 years, whereas black mulberries bear fruit for hundreds of years.
The white mulberry and red mulberry are drought resistant, can tolerate pollution and poor soil. The white mulberry is considered a weed tree in many parts of the world. The black mulberry is more fastidious, faring less well in cold climates or areas with humid summers.
Usage: The mulberry fruit is eaten as dessert fruit either raw or cooked. White mulberry help in treating diabetes. It is also tried for treating high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, the common cold and its symptoms, muscle and joint pain such as arthritis, constipation, dizziness, ringing in the ears, hair loss, and premature graying.
Mulberries have great effect on skin and hair. Consuming mulberries help in promoting hair growth, prevent premature graying of hair, also reverses early signs of aging, clears out pigmentation.
Below are some DIYs with mulberries:
- Take half a cup of mulberries, a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of honey. Blend them together and apply on the face for 15 minutes. Rinse later. This is a great mask to moisturize the dehydrated skin.
- Take a tablespoon of fresh mulberry puree and some yogurt to make a thick paste. Apply this paste on the face for 10 minutes. Gently massage and then rinse. This helps in reducing the appearance of acne.
- Take some fresh mulberry paste and add a heaping spoon of aloe vera gel to it. Mix it and apply it on the face. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then rinse. This helps in achieving clear and refreshed skin.
- Take 4-6 mulberries, oatmeal, 2-4 almonds, and some lemon juice. Blend them together and add some more juice if needed. Apply this mask for 15 minutes and gently massage in scrubbing motion and wash it off. This mask is great for oily skin.
- Boil a few crushed mulberries in about 500 ml of water. Boil until reduced half. Let it chill. Use this water as a hair rinse and let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse it later. This hair rinse adds shine and smoothness to hair