There are many beverages with reported health benefits that have been around for centuries. At some point you begin to wonder if they are actually good for you. Take mulberry tea, for example.
There are records that list recipes for this tea going back 3,000 years. But does it actually have all of the health benefits it’s been credited with or have we just blindly accepted it as being healthy because it’s been around for so long? We took a look at its nutrition, benefits, and the possible side effects to figure out if mulberry tea is good for you or if it’s just historical bunk.
Mulberries are delicious fruits that are black, red, or purple in color when ripe and white or yellowish when immature. The ripe berries have a sweet flavor. They belong to the Moraceae family of the plant kingdom.
They are packed with nutrients and can be eaten raw or used in salads and smoothies. Mulberry tea is basically made from mulberry leaves. They are handpicked and sun dried.
There are various brands of mulberry tea available in the market. The most basic form of this tea is made by adding one spoon of these dried leaves in boiling water. Let it steep and then strain.
Mulberry Nutritional Details
|Nutritional Value of Mulberries, Raw, 1 cup|
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat 1g||1%|
|Total Carbohydrate 14g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||10%|
* Source: SELF Nutrition Data
In addition to the information above, mulberries are a good source of vitamin K, vitamin B2, and vitamin E, according to Authority Nutrition. Mulberries are also a decent source of copper and magnesium. It should be noted that this nutritional data reflects raw mulberries. When turned into mulberry tea, the nutritional data may change slightly depending on the process used to make the tea. The tea itself is essentially dried mulberry leaves and water.
The 10 Health Benefits of Mulberry Tea
There are a number of health benefits of mulberry tea that we know about. Some of them have been told to us through generations (and modern science has proven the folklore correct) and other health benefits have been revealed only through scientific study. Here are 10 of the best health benefits that mulberry tea provides.
1. Mulberry tea may help lower blood glucose levels due, in part, to its gallic acid content. This is a great drink for those with type 2 diabetes as long as blood glucose levels are monitored (see the next section on mulberry tea side effects for more details)
2. For those who are trying to lower high cholesterol, mulberries and by extension, mulberry tea may help lower the level of bad cholesterol or low density lipoprotein (LDL) that can lead to numerous health problems like heart disease among others.
3. Antioxidants that have been linked to cancer prevention and the prevention of cellular damage can be found in mulberry tea. These antioxidants may also be beneficial for skin care.
4. One of the traditional uses of mulberry leaves and mulberry leaf tea is to reduce inflammation. It appears that the mulberry leaf may actually inhibit inflammation that occurs due to high-fat induced obesity.
5. The beta-carotene provided by mulberry tea may help in the prevention of cancer (specifically, thyroid cancer).
6. Mulberry tea contains deoxynojirimycin, a compound that may inhibit the body’s absorption of carbohydrates. Carbs are what can give us energy, but can lead to weight gain when absorbed too quickly. This means this tea could prove useful to those who are trying to lose weight.
7. Atherosclerosis occurs when the arteries narrow due to the build-up and hardening of plaque along the walls. Mulberry tea may help prevent that build-up due to the presence of astragalin and isoquercitrin compounds. Quercetin, a part of isoquercitrin is an antioxidant.
8. Mulberry tea contains a vitamin A, which can help with a number of systems in the body but most importantly helps with vision care.
9. Mulberry tea could inhibit bacterial growth, which is great if you are dealing with something like strep throat.
10. Unlike many other teas and beverages, mulberry tea is caffeine free. Excess caffeine can lead to dehydration as well as affect gastrointestinal motility and gastric acid secretion. Your body can even come to become addicted to the stimulant. None of these issues occur with this tea.
While there are many benefits to mulberry tea, it should be noted that there are a few side effects and downsides that you should be aware of.
Side Effects of Mulberry Tea
You should always look into and be aware of the side effects of any new food or beverage, and mulberry tea is no exception to this rule. While most of the side effects are not life threatening, it’s always good to keep them in mind. Mulberry tea has the ability to lower your blood sugar.
While this may be okay for some of us, if you already suffer from low blood sugar this can have disastrous results.
Also, people who are on insulin or oral medications for diabetes should consult their doctor before consuming mulberry tea regularly, as it may cause hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar can cause things as simple as dizziness and headaches to more complicated problems like blurred vision and tremors.
Due to mulberry tea’s fairly high levels of potassium, it may not be a good drink for people suffering from kidney disease. It’s also for these reasons that mulberry tea is not recommended for women who are pregnant.
As with any food product, the allergenic response is always a potential problem. If you aren’t sure about adding mulberry tea to your diet, consult your doctor and see if it fits in with your current health goals.
Mulberry Tea, Worth Checking Out
While there are some potential side effects, the health benefits of mulberry tea are such that it’s worth taking a look at. From their vitamin and mineral content to their weight loss and anti-inflammatory benefits, mulberry tea leaves can be a healthy addition to your diet.
Not to mention, the tea is fairly versatile. It works as both a hot and cold drink and there is a variety of different recipes that can add some flair to the drink.
In China, mulberry tea has been used as a health-promoting drink for centuries. You know the saying, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
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“Mulberry Tea Side Effects,” Mulberry Tea.org; http://www.mulberrytea.org/effects/mulberry-tea-side-effects.html
Bjarnadottir, A. “Mulberries 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits,” Authority Nutrition, https://authoritynutrition.com/foods/mulberries/
“Mulberries, raw nutrition facts and calories,” Self Nutrition Data; http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1961/2