Shovkovitsa black – black mulberry

A tree or bush 6-12 (rarely 25) m tall of the mulberry family. The crown is more or less dense, with olive-green or yellow-gray-brown young branches and red-brown old ones. The leaves are dense, alternate, ovate, with a heart-shaped base, bluntly serrate-serrate, whole or lobed, rough from the hairs on top, rough-hairy from below, especially along the veins. The flowers are unisexual (the plants are monoecious, rarely dioecious), collected in axillary cylindrical dense spike-shaped inflorescences; perianth simple, four-parted, bell-shaped. Male inflorescences 2-4 cm long, on a stem up to 2-4 cm long; female ones about 1 cm long, ovate, almost sessile or with a leg that is much shorter than them, the edges of the perianth lobes and the receptacles are hairy. The fruits are nuts, when the fruits ripen, the perianth becomes fleshy and the flowers grow together, forming an oval, 20-25 mm long, almost sessile, shiny black, often with a purple-reddish tint, carpel. Blooms in May. The fruits ripen in July.

Spread. The homeland of black mulberry is Central and Eastern Asia. In the south of Ukraine, it is cultivated as an ornamental and fruit plant.

Procurement and storage . The bark of branches and roots (Cortex Mori albae), fruits (Fructus Mori albae) and leaves (Folia Mori albae) of mulberry are used for medical purposes. The bark is harvested from the branches in the spring, from the roots in the fall (for harvesting and drying rules, see the article Common oak). 50% of the dry bark of the branches is obtained. The leaves (fully developed) are collected during the flowering period of the plant, spread in a thin layer on a clean litter in the shade in the open air or in a well-ventilated room, and dried. 16-17% of dry leaves are obtained. Fruits are collected in a ripe state and used fresh, dried, processed into compotes, jams, syrups, jellies.

The plant is unofficial.

Chemical composition . Black mulberry leaves contain flavonoids (rutin – 2-6%, kaempferol and quercetin in the hydrolyzate), steroid sitosterol, caffeic acid, vitamin C; bark — tannins, flavonoid mulberine, sitosterol; fruits – vitamins: B1 , B2 , C, PP, carotene; organic acids (1.8%): malic, citric; carbohydrates (5-10%): glucose, fructose and sucrose; tannins and essential oil (in seeds), iron salts and phosphoric acid.

Pharmacological properties and use. Fresh mulberry fruits increase hematopoiesis, contribute to the restoration of the body’s metabolism disrupted by skin diseases. In scientific medicine, they are used for hypochromic anemia associated with hypoacid gastritis, dyskinesias of the biliary tract of the hyperkinetic type, acute enterocolitis, dysentery, and dysbacteriosis. There is a positive experience of treating patients with myocardiostrophy and heart defects with large quantities of fresh mulberry fruits. After the course of treatment, the patients experienced a decrease in pain and an improvement in heart function, shortness of breath decreased, and work capacity was restored. Juice and infusion of fresh mulberry fruits are used as an expectorant and diuretic. The British Pharmaceutical Code of 1923 recognizes fresh mulberry juice as an expectorant and mild laxative. As an effective antiseptic agent for ulcerative lesions of the oral cavity and throat, diluted juice or infusion of fresh mulberry fruits is used (rinse). An infusion of mulberry leaves or a decoction of mulberry root bark is used in folk medicine as a means of hypotensive, analgesic, sedative, anti-inflammatory and hypoglycemic properties, and as an antitussive. In Chinese folk medicine, bark decoction is also used for kidney failure and sexual impotence, and in Bulgarian folk medicine for oligomenorrhea. With mild forms of diabetes, it is useful to sprinkle powdered mulberry leaves on dishes before eating. Instead, the results of experimental studies indicate that only the tincture of the leaves exhibits a weakly expressed hypoglycemic effect, other drugs – novogalena and infusion of leaves – do not show such an effect. An infusion of powdered branch bark on corn or sunflower oil is used to heal scratches, cuts, ulcers, and wounds.

Medicinal forms and applications .

Internally – fresh fruits 4-5 times a day after meals, 200-350 g for myocardiostrophy and heart defects (course of treatment – 3-4 weeks);

infusion of fresh fruits (2 tablespoons of crushed raw materials are infused for 4 hours in a glass of boiling water, filtered) a quarter of a glass 4 times a day before meals;

root bark decoction (1 teaspoon of raw materials per 500 ml of boiling water, bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes) half a glass 4 times a day before meals;

infusion of leaves (2 tablespoons of raw materials per 400 ml of boiling water, infuse for 1 hour, strain) half a glass 4 times a day before meals.

Externally – rinsing with diluted juice or infusion of fresh fruits (prepared as in the previous prescription);

lubrication of scratches, cuts, ulcers and wounds with an infusion of the powdered bark of branches on vegetable oil (prepared in a ratio of 1:30).

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