Mulberry Tree History: Where Do Mulberries Come From?
The history of the mulberry tree goes back thousands of years. The oldest known writings are from Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq). These ancient texts mention the use of various plants in medicine and herbal remedies. One such plant mentioned was the mulberry tree.
In fact, the word “mulberry” comes from the Old English word mūlbeorþr meaning “to cure.” The term is used today because it has been found to have medicinal properties in many different ways.
It is believed that early humans were using these plants for their healing powers long before they ever came into contact with Europeans or Asian cultures.
According to some historians, the first European explorers encountered the wild trees along the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Africa. They called them “the most beautiful trees I had ever seen.” The natives told them that they grew only on one small island in the lake.
When they asked where it was located, they were told that it was hidden behind a mountain. Naturally, the explorers looked for the island for years and never found it. It wasn’t until many years later that a missionary found the area that the trees actually grew wild. He had heard about the island from the locals and had gone in search of it. When he found it, he couldn’t believe his eyes. He saw an entire island covered in trees, all different kinds of fruits. The people there were very poor and had been growing their crops for generations without tending them. The crops were dying due to the carelessness of the people and overgrowth. The man returned to report what he had found, and soon a mission was built there. The crops were tended to properly once more and the island became an oasis in the middle of the surrounding desert.
Mulberry trees were also used by Native-Americans for many reasons. The Cherokee tribe chewed mulberry leaves as a treatment for colds and sore throats.
The Choctaw tribe used them for treating bruises and swelling.
Mulberry leaves have many health benefits. They can prevent cancer, lower your cholesterol, control your blood sugar levels and protect you from heart disease.
They also protect you from Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and even the common cold.
Not only are they good for you, but they are delicious as well! They are a good source of amino acids, calcium, folic acid, magnesium, potassium and vitamins A, C and E.
They are also low in calories so you can eat as many as you want!
That’s not all that’s good about them though. They contain a natural preservative that prevents insects from eating them.
They are so deadly to bugs that just by planting a few seeds, the entire area will be free of pests in no time!
If you’ve never heard of mulberries, don’t worry! Most people haven’t.
But the next time you’re in the grocery store, pick some up and give them a try. I know you’ll love them! They are truly a gift from nature!
You can read more about the mulberry fruit benefits here…
Mulberry Fruit Benefits
Sources & references used in this article:
Molecular phylogeny of mulberries reconstructed from ITS and two cpDNA sequences by Y Xuan, Y Wu, P Li, R Liu, Y Luo, J Yuan, Z Xiang… – PeerJ, 2019 – peerj.com
A holistic picture of Austronesian migrations revealed by phylogeography of Pacific paper mulberry by CS Chang, HL Liu, X Moncada… – Proceedings of the …, 2015 – National Acad Sciences
Spinning their way into history: Silkworms, mulberries and manufacturing landscapes in China by E Russell – Global Environment, 2017 – ingentaconnect.com
Single primer amplification reaction methods reveal exotic and indigenous mulberry varieties are similarly diverse by E Bhattacharya, SB Dandin, SA Ranade – Journal of biosciences, 2005 – Springer
Fatty acids composition of Spanish black (Morus nigra L.) and white (Morus alba L.) mulberries by EM Sánchez-Salcedo, E Sendra… – Food Chemistry, 2016 – Elsevier