Mulberry (Morus alba) Leaves: Anxiety Treatment?

weight lossThe mulberry tree is a fast growing deciduous tree that belongs to the Moraceae family of plant. The mulberry tree is widely cultivated and the leaves and roots are used in traditional medicine to treat a number of conditions including pain, hypertension and oedema. That mulberry may be useful in the treatment of mood disorders is evidence anecdotally in its use as a sedative, neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory, as well as by its high content of antioxidant phytochemicals. Researchers have investigated the effects of mulberry leaf extracts on animal models of anxiety. For example, in one study researcher administered mulberry leaf extracts to mice and then exposed them to experimental stress. The results of the experiment showed that the mulberry leaf extracts significantly reduced the anxious behaviour in the rats in a similar way to diazepam. In addition, there was a significant sedative effect observed in the animals. This suggests that mulberry leaf extracts may have anxiolytic effects in animals.

mulberry anxiety depression

Leaf extracts of mulberry trees have been shown to possess a number of phytochemicals that may explain their anxiolytic effects. The phytochemicals in mulberry leaves include flavonoids, phenolic acids, coumarins and stilbenes, which are all polyphenolic compounds. Polyphenols have been shown to be potent antioxidants, and may be useful in the treatment of mood disorders for this reasons. Other phytochemicals in mulberry extracts may include tannins, steroids, alkaloids, triterpenes, saponins and phytosterols. However, the phytochemistry of mulberry trees is not widely reported and so the phytochemical profile is not fully understood. Image if of mulberry tree berries. Image from: By Khalid Mahmood – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,


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Yadav, A. V., Kawale, L. A. and Nade, V. S. 2008. Effect of Morus alba L.(mulberry) leaves on anxiety in mice. Indian Journal of Pharmacology. 40(1): 32-36

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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