Mulberry trees are known scientifically as Morus. The flowering plants are part of the Moraceae family, which is comprised of deciduous trees. The trees originate in subtropical and temperate areas of North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Mulberry trees bear a multiple fruit, which is notable for its juicy, sweet and tart taste, often compared to that of grapefruit. There are various uses for mulberry trees.
When ripe, the fruit of the mulberry tree is edible. The fruit is a common ingredient in many types of foods and beverages, including sherbets and jams (particularly in the Middle East), tarts, pies, wines and cordials. The leaves and fruits of the trees are also frequently used as dietary supplements, due to their high amounts of resveratrol, which has anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.
When the branches of mulberry trees are pruned during the autumn, they can be used for the production of tough and sturdy baskets that are useful particularly for agricultural tasks.
The leaves of the mulberry tree are a source of food for silkworms (especially from white mulberry trees), which are referred to scientifically as Bombyx mori. In turn, the cocoons of silkworms are used to produce silk. As a result, mulberry trees are directly used in the silk-making process.
In traditional medicine, mulberry trees have several applications. The tree's root is used to treat tapeworms. The inner bark of the tree (known as cambium) is used as a laxative. Consuming vast amounts of the fruit of the tree can also have laxative effects. The Mulberry indica tree's root bark has diuretic properties. The fruit can also be used to soothe throat infections.