Various cultures have relied on leaves from red and white mulberry trees for their medicinal properties. The American Diabetes Association notes that mulberry leaves may reduce blood glucose levels for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Leaves from the white mulberry have also been used for sore throats, eye infections and colds, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The plant can cause gastrointestinal distress and headaches if prepared improperly, however, so it is very important that you consult your doctor for guidance before eating mulberry leaves for medicinal purposes.
Collect young, unopened mulberry leaves in the spring. Once the leaves mature and open, they are toxic and no longer edible, naturalist Steve Brill warns in his book "Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places."
Rinse the leaves in running water to clean them, then boil them for 20 minutes.
Drain the water and pat the cooked leaves dry with paper towels.
Toss the leaves with greens and other vegetables of your choice to create a salad.
- "Diabetes Care;" Influence of Mulberry Leaf Extract on the Blood Glucose and Breath Hydrogen Response to Ingestion of 75g Sucrose by Type 2 Diabetic and Control Subjects; Mitchell Mudra, et al.; May 2007
- U.S. Department of Agriculture; Natural Resources Conservation Service: White Mulberry; Lincoln M. Moore; 2003
- "Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places"; Steve Brill; 1994
- "Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide"; Thomas S. Elias, et al; 1990