White mulberry trees are said to have originated first in the foot hills of the Himalayas. Mulberry trees belong to the genus morus and there are more than 100 varieties of mulberries in India. Mulberry trees and silk production can’t be separated as silkworms munch on mulberry leaves. It is because of silk production that mulberry trees spread all over the world as each country wanted to produce their own silk. The commonly found mulberries in Southern India are Morus indica which produces black fruits and the ones found in Northern India are white in color and their botanical name is Morus Alba. I wanted to write about mulberries because they are my favorite snack and also because of my fondness for the mulberry tree in my home. I hate sitting for hours together in front of the computer but now that is what I am doing almost every single day. Researching and writing about herbs and plants takes so much of my time that some times I feel I am so stuck up in front of the computer. There is a small mulberry tree outside the computer room window. I like to look at it thorough the day as it attracts lot of birds. Looking at the mulberry tree is my biggest stress buster and I love, love to munch on mulberry fruit. Especially the mulberries that have ripened in the tree itself taste extra delicious. Out of the different varieties of mulberries, black and red mulberries have the strongest flavor. The only problem with mulberries is it is rarely sold in the shops as it is highly perishable and most of the farmers who grow mulberry tree concentrate only on the leaves. The leaves of mulberries also have wonderful health benefits and mulberry tea made from the leaves is a quite popular remedy for many illness. Mulberries are called shahtoot in Hindi and they have the following health benefits: 1. Mulberries For Health: Mulberries are low in calories (43 calories per 100 gm) but are packed full of nutrients and is perfect for consuming during weight loss. They are rich source of vitamin c (100gm of mulberries contain about 36.4 mg vitamin c). They also contain significant amount of vitamin A and vitamin E and are rich in flavonoids and iron (100gms contain 1.85 mg of iron). Consuming even 50 gm of this berries a day will provide us with all the required nutrients. If you don’t get fresh mulberries, try even frozen or dried mulberries. Since mulberries are rich in vitamin C, they prevent cold and flu and improve immunity. They also act as brain tonic and has a soothing effect on our nerves, relieve tiredness and improve our digestion. Mulberry tea made from mulberry leaves are also supposed to prevent cataract, reduce cholesterol levels and because they are rich flavonoids help prevent cancer! Mulberries also can be consumed by diabetic patients and does not cause drastic spike in blood sugar levels. 2. Mulberries For Hair: Mulberries promote hair growth and they also prevent grey hair. Since mulberries are rich in both vitamin C and iron, it is best for people who suffer hair loss due to anemia. In India anemia is the major cause of hair loss in women so consuming these kind of natural foods will help us a lot. Mulberry extract can also be applied directly on the hair.3. Mulberries For Skin: Mulberries are great for skin as it contains lot of antioxidants. You can also apply fresh mulberry extract directly on the skin to treat all the skin related problems. I love to both consume mulberries and use it for external application. When I was collecting mulberries, it stained my hands a beautiful dark color so I thought it will make a good colorant to color homemade products. I immediately tried this homemade lip scrub (method and step by step instructions below) and like I expected, it stained it beautifully. The lip scrub also exfoliated the lips beautifully and looked stunningly beautiful. If alone you package it beautifully, it will rival all the store bought lip scrubs.
1.Take sugar, coconut oil and few drops of honey and pound together. I like to use a small pestle for pounding the mixture as I don’t want to crush the sugar finely.
2. Add few drops of vanilla and fresh mulberries and crush it with the pestle to release the color. Keep adding mulberries till you get the required color.
3. Take the pounded mixture in a cute jar and store. To use, take a little bit of the mixture and massage it gently on the lips and wash it off. Apply a lip balm without fail after using the lip scrub.
- The mulberry lip scrub should not be too runny.
- I like to grind the sugar a bit because if I use sugar without grinding it is too abrasive on the lips.
- It keeps well for a few days in the refrigerator.
- Use ripe berries as it releases the color readily and blend well into the scrub.