Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Healing with Native Southern Foods - Mulberries

The mulberry tree is common across the South and in places further north (and in many places outside North America).  Its fruit has always been a favorite for its sweet taste, but now it is garnering notice for its healing properties as well.  Here are a couple of those properties from an article at the Global Healing Center:

1. Source of Antioxidants


Antioxidants help lessen the damage caused by free radicals and the entire mulberry plant- leaves, stems, and fruit, contains antioxidants. [1] [2] One antioxidant in particular, resveratrol, has gotten much attention. Research published by the University of Texas Health Science Center credits resveratrol for positive effects on age and longevity. [3]


2. Immune System Support

Mulberries contain alkaloids that activate macrophages. Macrophages are white blood cells that stimulate the immune system, putting it on high active alert against health threats. [4]


For the rest, please visit this GHC web page: 

Since mulberry trees are quite hardy, they are a good choice to grow in one’s yard if you would like to provide some of your own food without a lot of hassle.  However, care must be taken where they are planted because their roots grow into a thick tangle.


For some history about the mulberry tree in the South and elsewhere in the world, this web page has a few stories to tell:

For example, ‘General Oglethorpe, in 1733, imported 500 white mulberry trees to Fort Frederica in Georgia to encourage silk production at the English colony of Georgia.

‘William Bartram, the famous early American explorer and botanist, described his encounter with mulberry trees near Mobile, Alabama, in his book, Travels, in the year 1773. Bartram stated in his book Travels, page XV, “Every landowner was required by law to grow silkworms and produce silk, but only a colony of Germans at Ebenezer, (Georgia), just up the river from Savannah, were successful with this crop”. Bartram found Mulberry trees,” (morus rubra)”, growing near Wrightsville,Ga. 30 miles West of Augusta. Bartram found white mulberry trees growing near Jacksonburg, S.C., a village on the Pompon River. He wrote on page 306, “At this plantations I observed a large orchard of the European Mulberry tree, “(Morus Alba)”, some of which were grafted on stocks of the native Mulberry (Morus rubra); these trees were cultivated for the purpose of feeding silk-worms (phalaena bombyx.)”’

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