Mulberry trees are more commonly harvested for their fruit than for their leaves; mulberries have a rich taste and are similar in appearance to raspberries. However, mulberry tea is made from the dried leaves of the mulberry tree, with dried mulberries sometimes included to flavor the tea. Mulberry tea has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine as an aid for diabetes, and it is naturally rich in antioxidants.
May Help Control Blood Sugar Levels
Mulberry tea has long been used as an herbal control for diabetes in Asian culture, and in 2012, the “American Journal of Chinese Medicine” published a study that found that mulberry leaf extract helped with the processing of glucose. The animal study found that using the extract led to increased absorption of glucose by fat cells from diabetic rats. In the body, this increased glucose-processing ability may lead to steadier glucose levels. Researchers attributed this effect to the presence of natural antioxidants, namely gallic acid, in the extract. Whether drinking mulberry tea provides the same glucose-lowering effects as the extract needs further study.
May Lower Cholesterol Levels
A 2013 issue of the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” reported that mulberry leaf extract may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. Because of its high flavonoid and polyphenol content -- natural antioxidants -- mulberry leaf extract helped lower harmful cholesterol levels and improved blood vessel function in rabbits. Because these chemicals dissolve in water, it's likely tea contains the same beneficial compounds. However, their effectiveness in controlling cholesterol in people requires further research.
Contains Vitamin C
Mulberry fruit is naturally rich in vitamin C, containing 51 milligrams per cup of raw fruit. The fruit has 2.7 milligrams of vitamin C per five fruits and the dried fruit is sometimes added to mulberry tea for flavor. Mulberry leaves also contain some vitamin C. According to a study published in the "International Journal of Molecular Sciences," different varieties of mulberry leaf contained varying amounts of vitamin C, but all contained this essential vitamin. In addition to being an essential, water-soluble vitamin, vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, slowing down the aging process that can result from exposure to toxins and free radicals. Vitamin C also supports the immune system and aids with the production of collagen, which is necessary for healthy hair, skin and ligaments.
How to Make Mulberry Tea
Mulberry leaf tea can be brewed much like green or oolong teas, and the tea leaves can be used more than once. Use 1/2 teaspoon of loose leaves for every 8-ounce cup. Combine the tea leaves with 8 ounces of just boiling water — 160 degrees Fahrenheit — and let it steep for eight minutes. If you decide to reuse the tea leaves, double the brewing time for each successive cup made. A single serving of leaves can be reused up to three times.
- ImmortaliTea: Mulberry Tea
- International Journal of Molecular Sciences: Proximate Composition and Antioxidant Potential of Leaves from Three Varieties of Mulberry (Morus sp.) - A Comparative Study
- American Journal of Chinese Medicine: Mulberry Leaf Extract Stimulates Glucose Uptake and GLUT4 Translocation in Rat Adipocytes
- Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: Mulberry Leaf Extract Inhibits the Development of Atherosclerosis in Cholesterol-Fed Rabbits and in Cultured Aortic Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells
- ImmortaliTea: Tea Brewing
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Mulberry, Raw
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- Photo Credit v_zaitsev/iStock/Getty Images
What Are the Benefits of Noni Fruit?
Noni is a tropical, fruit-bearing tree native to the Polynesian Islands. In the United States, noni is available as a dietary supplement...
What Do Mulberry Tree Leaves Look Like?
Mulberry trees are part of the family of Moraceae and are known by their botanical name morus. They can be found across...