Please note this article is not meant to give medical advice, or to diagnose or treat any diseases.
White Mulberry Leaf Extract (Morus alba) is an herbal supplement used to prevent diabetes, offer blood sugar control, and prevent high blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the body. It also has been used as a weight loss supplement for people who are looking to drop a few pounds. But how effective is it?
This herb has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to help regulate blood sugar levels in the body and there are many other benefits to its uses as well. It has also gotten the attention of dieters worldwide. So let’s see what all the fuss is.
White Mulberry Leaf Extract Benefits
There are a variety of white mulberry leaf benefits.
First and foremost, white mulberry leaf extract contains many different vitamins and minerals , including zinc, iron, and calcium, which can provide ample health benefits. Another well-known benefit is regulating blood glucose levels in the body—many type 2 diabetics use it solely for this reason. White mulberry leaf may also help get rid of bad cholesterol in the body.
According to HealthBenefits.com,
In 2013, “BioMed Research International” published that the mulberry leaf powder helps to lower triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels, if the patients were given 280 grams for three times regularly for three months. The mulberry leaf tea helps to lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
Other benefits include natural anti-inflammatory and weight loss properties.
The mulberry tea prevents from the absorption of carbohydrates due to the presence of moranoline (1-deoxynojirimycin). It helps the body to flush out the carbohydrates and starches from the body so that it does not turn to glucose.
White mulberry leaf is also good in case you come down with a cold. It helps to boost your immune system and can be effective in clearing away fever, sore throat, cough, and runny nose. All of those symptoms can be very painful, so it is nice to know a natural solution exists to alleviate some of the pain.
Lastly, white mulberry leaf can help blood vessels stay healthy. Mulberry tea naturally reduces the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood vessels. This then reduces the risk of blocked vessels in the body.
With the many different benefits that this extract can give your body, are there any downsides to taking it?
White Mulberry Leaf Extract Side Effects
There are not many common known side effects from taking mulberry leaf extract, but that does not mean they are not a possibility. If you do experience side effects, it is not common among many people but still might occur.
Mulberry intake has a number of effects on the body; however these effects have not been studied in case of pregnant women. This means you really don’t know what effect will eating mulberry have on the unborn child. Thus it is best to prevent excessive intake during pregnancy and lactation. Low to moderate intake is fine; however excessive intake must be avoided.
As beneficial as mulberry leaf is for blood sugar control, diabetes patients still need to be cautious:
However problem arises when a diabetic patient is taking his routine medications to maintain the increased blood glucose levels and along with the medicines there is also an excess intake of mulberry. In such a case the blood glucose goes below normal and the patient experiences serious hypoglycemic events. It is advised that diabetes patients should consult a doctor or nutritionist before starting intake of mulberry to avoid any low blood sugar events and also to get maximum benefits from use of mulberry.
Allergic reaction, interference with blood before surgery (it’s recommended to stop intake two weeks before surgery), a risk of skin cancer if used topically, interference with chemotherapy, kidney effects due to the high potassium content, liver problems, and even hallucinations in some individuals, can occur with excessive intake—note, excessive intake.
The other known side effect may come in the form of gastrointestinal distress, but there is also a longer potential list as told by the Chinese Herbal Healing website:
The adverse reactions in overdose include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, jam-like stool, rash, wheal, hypopharynx swelling, chest discomfort, irritability, listlessness, greenish complexion, dry lips, cold extremities, or hemorrhagic enteritis induced low blood pressure, dehydration, shock and death in severe case. (emphasis added)
Fresh mulberry leaves have strong antibacterial properties, which allow them to defend against potential harmful organisms. It can also be very beneficial to healthy and glowing skin, which is another positive when thinking about taking this supplement, but it is always best to check with your qualified healthcare provider before trying any of these uses out. As noted above, there have been instances of skin cancer from topical use, and researchers do not know why.
Weight loss is another very common side effect when taking this extract, although it may not work for everyone. The long-term use of mulberry leaf has the potential to promote urination and drain water from the cells in the body (which means you must stay hydrated to avoid harmful effects. It may also empty the fat and cholesterol in the body as well, which can cause minor weight loss to occur.
The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind White Mulberry Leaf Extract
When looking into actual studies done on the effectiveness of Morus indica (another variety of mulberry, rather than the M. alba, the white), it was clear there are many uses especially regarding diabetic control. In one study—published in the September 2010 Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition—looking into blood lipid profiles of humans and how this extract had an effect, it was interesting to see the results. This herb naturally suppresses elevated glucose levels in the human body, but what about their plasma lipid (fat) levels?
… use of DNJ-rich mulberry leaf extract modestly decreased level after 12-week intake, although the decrease was not statistically significant. DNJ-rich mulberry leaf extract may be potentially used to decrease very bad cholesterol.
In Asia, type 2 diabetes is typically treated with mulberry leaf extract, and there are many different animal studies done proving its effectiveness on the blood sugar overall. If you are a type 2 diabetic needing additional assistance through natural medicine, it is a good idea to research and visit your health care provider to talk about its overall benefits.
Word On The Street About White Mulberry Leaf Extract
So how has White Mulberry Leaf Extract actually worked for people who tried it out? I looked up reviews on a specific brand of this herbal supplement, BioGanix, and was pleasantly surprised by the results. There were a majority of positive results (overall 4.1 of 5 stars) from almost everyone who tried it.
An “Amazon Customer” (April 2017, 5 star) who signed their review “Kimberlee Williamson” said,
I have been using this product now for about 3 weeks and I have definitely noticed a difference in my cravings! I am not craving the sugar I used to all the sweets and candy I was addicted to it has helped me avoid for sure I have dropped about 6 lbs. which is AWESOME because I put on 15 over the winter. Thanks for this great product, I am allergic to everything and haven’t had any reactions so I love it!!!
“William Montero” (April 2015, 4 star) said,
After I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about six months ago, I started having problems with metabolism, rose sugar levels to the limit, this coupled with the fact that I felt much anxiety by eating sugar all day. I felt that my craving for sugar consumption has decreased a lot and has also reduced the appetite, this is good for me because of my condition. In a couple of months should I have the routine blood analysis and see how much he has improved my condition to share with you.
There were some negative reviews as well.
“August1846” (November 2016, 2 star) said,
Just had physical. Sugars were higher than my last physical. Conclusion this product has not had the effect that I had desired. No, I don’t eat candy, chew gum, or ingest sugar of any kind. We use protein to counter Type 2 diabetes. It was under control prior to taking this product, but has raised my sugar levels slightly instead of lowering it.
Another “Amazon Customer” (Feb 2015, 1 star) experienced some of those side effects previously mentioned:
I guess I’m one of those people that are sensitive to herb supplements. I tried to take these for 3 day’s and all three day I got a debilitating migraine within 30 minutes of taking this product that lasted all day….horrible!
As you can see this supplement may not work for everybody, so checking with your doctor first is imperative.
The Bottom Line: Is White Mulberry Leaf Extract Worth A Try?
Yes. This is an natural supplement with a variety of benefits. There have been many studies done on its overall effectiveness in the body, and the side effects for healthy individuals are minimal. That said, you should always contact your doctor before taking this supplement, especially if you take medication for diabetes or other health conditions already.
Most reviews are positive for White Mulberry Leaf Extract. Whether you are looking to regulate blood sugar, clear your system of toxins, lower your cholesterol levels, or just try a natural way to lose a few pounds, this might be a supplement to try.