Our visit to the old farm this weekend rewarded us with some sweet mulberries.  Several of Grandpa Herman’s great trees are still producing (if not, overproducing) the succulent little jems.

Once highly prized in our culture for their tonic values, mulberries rarely make an appearance in the American diet these days.  Many people found harvesting minuscule fruit off towering trees and the mess that birds can create with them – they were simply too great a hassle.  However, if you have a chance to get some – I highly recommend them.

A bit about mulberries

Mulberry trees are a member of the Moraceae (Morus) family, they thrive in most temperate climates across the globe.  Fast growing when young, the trees can climb to nearly 50 feet.  They are easy to care for and fantastic for climbing and encouraging bird and bees.  The biggest draw back – if you don’t harvest the fruit, you will have beautiful purple blotches everywhere.

Mulberries are small, multiple or cluster berries.  When unripe they are white, yellow or green.  As they ripen, they turn to black or purple, and drop off the tree with the gentlest of touch.  You can spend hours up cherry ladders harvesting the berries, or you lay out tarps and sheets and simply shake the branches.  The ripe fruit falls into the sheets and then you can easily pour it into buckets.

The energetics of mulberries

Purple and black foods nourish Kidneys and build Yin that’s a great thing to remember.

Mulberries cool heat and nourish Yin

Mulberries clear and cool heat patterns like Summer heat, and Yin deficiency patterns like hot flashes.  Yin is the cooling, nourishing fluids of the body.  Too little and you will feel excess heat or experience dry conditions anywhere.

Mulberries nourishes the Yin of the Liver, Heart, Kidneys and Lungs

All four of these organs are susceptible to Yin deficiency.  Liver yin deficiency appears as anger, heat rising to the head and dry eyes, scanty periods and anemia. Heart yin deficiency may appear as anxiety, nervousness, palpitations, irritability and heat in the chest .  Lung yin deficiency appears as dry cough, heat in the chest (which will agitate the Heart), dry skin, and some bronchial patterns.  Kidney yin deficiency can appear as hot flashes, heat in the palms of feet, hands and chest and dry hair. However, you don’t necessarily need to worry about which organ system is Yin deficient, as when one is deficient it doesn’t take long for another to follow. Nourishing Yin overall will help overall, being able to assess the dominate organ system helps us refine the treatment.

Mulberries counter wind

Oh, the wicked wind.  Wind presents as twitches, ticks, spasms, viruses, colds, allergies and in extreme forms, paralysis, epilepsy and strokes.

Mulberries are high in resveratrol

More magic for the Heart.  Like grapes, mulberries are loaded with resveratrol an antioxidant that protects the heart.

Want it in simpler terms?  Mulberries are a Yin and Blood tonic. 

They help to mitigate signs of aging, increase joint mobility and reduce insomnia, settle the spirit and allow you to rest.  They are beneficial in treating ulcers (Yin deficiency of the Stomach), insomnia (Heart yin deficiency), bronchitis, asthma and diabetes.  Lovely little things.

How to use mulberries.

Just consider them a berry, like black berries or raspberries – what would you do with them?  Use them to make jams or jellies.  Use them in a mixed berry juice or in syrups. I have a batch on the counter flavoring water kefir.  Freeze or dry them for later use.

And those little stems?  Some people bother to pull them off but you do not need to – you won’t notice them.