Herb: Red Mulberry


Latin name: Morus rubra


Family: Moraceae (Mulberry Family)



Medicinal use of Red Mulberry:

The root bark is anthelmintic and cathartic. A tea made from the roots has been used in the treatment of weakness, difficult urination, dysentery, tapeworms and as a panacea. The sap is used in the treatment of ringworm. Another report says that the milky juice obtained from the axis of the leaf is used. The fruits are used to reduce fevers.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Tree

Height:
15 m
(49 feet)

Flovering:
May

Habitat of the herb:

Rich moist woods. Sunny places along the sides of roads. Plants do not grow well on poor soils.

Edible parts of Red Mulberry:

Fruit - raw, cooked or made into preserves. Large and sweet with a good flavour, the fruit can be up to 3cm long. The fruit can also be dried and ground into a powder. This is used to make a delicious confection with almonds and other nuts. The fruit is soft and juicy, when fully ripe it falls from the tree and is easily squashed. Unripe fruits can cause stomach disorders. Young shoots and unfolding leaves - raw or cooked.

Other uses of the herb:

A cloth can be made from the fibrous bark. Wood - coarse-grained, light, very durable, not strong, soft, rather tough. It weighs about 45lb per cubic foot and is used for boats, fencing and cooperage.

Propagation of Red Mulberry:

The seed germinates best if given 2 - 3 months cold stratification. Sow the seed as soon as it is ripe if possible, otherwise in February in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in the first spring, though it sometimes takes another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Plant out in spring. A good percentage take, though they sometimes fail to thrive. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, 25 - 30cm with a heel of 2 year old wood, autumn or early spring in a cold frame or a shady bed outside. Bury the cuttings to threequarters of their depth. Layering in autumn.

Cultivation of the herb:

Rich moist woods. Sunny places along the sides of roads. Plants do not grow well on poor soils.

Known hazards of Morus rubra:

Skin contact with the leaves or stems can cause dermatitis in some very sensitive people. The milky sap in the leaves and unripe fruits can cause dermatitis, hallucinations and central nervous system disturbances.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.