White mulberry is an herb that is commonly used for medicinal purposes by powdering its leaves. Its fruit, on the other hand, is edible and can be eaten either raw or cooked. The plant is native to Northern China and is widely cultivated in the silk industry as it is the food of silkworms. The wood of the white mulberry is known for its flexibility and durability, making it a good material to use for the manufacture of sports items such as tennis rackets and hockey sticks, as well as certain furniture and even boats.
Powdered white mulberry leaves have been reported to lower blood glucose in type 2 diabetes. A dosage of 1 gram taken 3 times a day for 4 weeks has been shown to decrease fasting blood sugar levels by 27%. This is better when compared with the performance of the diabetes drug glyburide which only causes an 8% decrease.
A small study of people with type 2 diabetes also showed that white mulberry leaf extract has the ability to regulate cholesterol levels. In the study, white mulberry reduced total cholesterol by 12% and LDL (bad cholesterol) by 23%, and increased HDL (good cholesterol) by 18%.
There are several other conditions which white mulberry extract has shown potential in treating, but further research needs to be done to investigate its effectiveness in treating these illnesses. These include the common cold, cough, sore throat, asthma, muscle and joint pain, high blood pressure, constipation, dizziness and ringing in the ears, and the premature graying and loss of hair.
How It Works As a Diabetes Drug
It has been observed that white mulberry extract contains chemicals that work the same way as medicines used for treating type 2 diabetes mellitus. These substances slow down the breakdown of sugars in the digestive tract so that they are absorbed more slowly into the bloodstream. In this way, blood sugar levels are kept low and within the desired range in diabetic patients.
Side Effects and Safety
No side effects have surfaced in studies exploring the uses of white mulberry extract for different diseases. Further studies have yet to be performed to fully guarantee the safety of white mulberry during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but no reports of any adverse reactions have been made by consumers. Nonetheless, it would be wiser to avoid taking white mulberry supplements if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, just to be safe.
Care should be taken when taking white mulberry supplements to control sugar levels. As with many anti-diabetic drugs that regulate blood glucose, there exists a risk of hypoglycemia, which can cause symptoms like weakness, lightheadedness, dizziness, and irritability. Diabetics taking drugs to lower blood sugar levels should remember not to miss meals to avoid a hypoglycemic emergency.