Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Silkworms Know Best (The Virtues of Mulberry)

 Dear Friends,


By the looks of our shoes (and fingers and faces), the mulberries are ripe for the picking! We've been excited to discover quite a few trees growing nearby, and have been taking advantage by picking as many as we can. Half of the fruit on a mature tree grows so far up that no one but the birds can reach it, so it ends up littering the ground and staining everything it comes in contact with a beautiful shade of blue-violet.

Mulberry fruit is a good source of resveratrol, the substance touted in the "French Paradox Diet" as so helpful for retaining good health~ "The berries contain resveratrol, another polyphenol flavonoid antioxidant. Resveratrol has been found to be protective against stroke risk by alteration of molecular mechanisms in blood vessels, reducing susceptibility to vascular damage through decreased activity of angiotensin (a systemic hormone causing blood vessel constriction that would elevate blood pressure) and increased production of the vasodilator hormone, nitric oxide." (Information from the Nutrition and You website).
Mulberries are also a great source of vitamin c, essential for maintaining immune function and happy teeth and gums. They supply 23% of the daily requirement for iron, which is essential for good blood and energy.
The medicine contained in mulberry leaves is even more exciting. Japanese researchers have discovered that they help to control blood sugar in rats, and help control the build-up of "bad" cholesterol in the arteries.

The Chinese have used them for centuries to prevent and treat diabetes, as well as for asthma and other respiratory complaints. The leaves can either be dried, then used as an infusion (herbal tea), or they can be made into a tincture by immersing them in vodka in an airtight container for a few weeks, then straining.

If you are blessed to have these wonderful (although invasive) trees near you, take advantage of their health-giving (and yummy) properties as a syrup for your pancakes, or maybe a mulberry shortcake (they're also great in smoothies).

(Here we're mixing mulberries with frozen rhubarb for a cool treat. We used powdered stevia as a sweetener, and added just enough water to get it moving in the blender. Yum!)


We'll leave you with some non-mulberry photos~ These are the blooms of last year's onions, which are quite tastefully in salads or omelettes, and of course have great antihistamine properties to combat congestion. Aren't they beautiful?






Do you have any stories to share about mulberries? We'd love to hear them!

Love,

Marqueta



9 comments:

  1. I would love to find some mulberry's around here. I am going to keep my eye out! Everywhere I have been it seems we are so late in blooming...so everything is still flowering. :) But, it is fun to look! It sounds like you are finding lots of wonderful things! I always appreciate your experience with finding things in the wild.

    Have a lovely week ahead dear friend!

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  2. The only thing I know about Mulberries is the children's rhyme ~ 'Here we go 'round the mulberry tree, the mulberry tree, the mulberry tree...'!
    The berries look luscious ~ always an unexpected surprise with something that is good for you! ;~P

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  3. I've never tasted mulberries before. From the pictures of your beautiful children, the mulberries must be delicious!

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  4. Hey Marqueta, you really are in a 'purple patch'!!
    Now, with all that beautiful natural colour available I am sure YOU could find a way to have some fun with natural dyeing...the girls might like to see what might happen..?
    We have mulberries over here too but never so prolific as far as I have seen..
    Enjoy your summery days!
    xxx H/A

    PS High adorablity factor in the pics of the 'littles'

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  5. Yum! Mulberries! We used to take care of our neighbor's garden while she was on vacation and she always told us to pick whatever was ripe. Fortunately for us, it was mulberries. Now that you've told me how healthy they are, I'm thinking I need to plant one here.

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  6. Mulberries! I was not aware how good they were for you! Thank you for the info! My grandmother is a diabetic and I plan to share this information with her! Stoppin by via the link up :) http://simplyhelpinghim.blogspot.com/

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  7. We have dozens of mulberry trees here and one of them is probably around 75 years old. It used to produce buckets of mulberries, so many that my 2 little boys would spend hours having "mulberry wars"! That was a while back, now none of the trees produce and we can't understand why. I miss those sweet juicy berries.

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  8. We have dozens of mulberry trees here and one of them is probably around 75 years old. It used to produce buckets of mulberries, so many that my 2 little boys would spend hours having "mulberry wars"! That was a while back, now none of the trees produce and we can't understand why. I miss those sweet juicy berries.

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  9. Besides such a healthy, yummy treat, you are creating sweet memories xox Clarice

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