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For middle-aged women, the onset of menopause can arrive in the form of hot flashes, insomnia, mood changes, muscle pain and memory fog. Researchers have investigated the effects of black mulberry leaf on sufferers of these symptoms and found favorable effects
Menopause is a normal biological process that, for the average woman, typically occurs at the age of 51. Menopause refers to the cessation of the menstrual period for one year, the process of which may begin five to eight years prior. For some women, early onset of menopause can occur due to several risk factors, such as smoking, shorter menstrual cycles and history of heart disease.[i]
The symptoms of menopause may be addressed via a healthy diet and lifestyle, which can help prevent weight gain, heart disease and osteoporosis.[ii] Stress management is particularly important because high stress levels can result in long-term inflammation of adrenal glands. These glands are responsible for regulating stress levels, sex hormone production and salt/water balance in the body.
One plant that's been found to have positive effects among women with menopausal symptoms is black mulberry (Morus nigra). Black mulberry boasts anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and has been used throughout time for other wellness benefits.[iii]
Black Mulberry as Menopause Relief
In a randomized controlled trial, researchers from the Hospital of the Federal University of Maranhão in Brazil tested the efficacy of black mulberry leaf in easing the symptoms of menopause. These symptoms included muscle pain, hot flashes and mood changes.
Sixty-two women were divided into three groups: one group received 250 milligrams (mg) of mulberry leaf powder, the second group received 1 mg of estradiol, a hormone therapy, and the last group received a placebo for 60 days.
The study revealed that while there was a reduction in the Blatt-Kupperman menopausal index (BKI) of the women in all the groups, mental health, vitality and overall quality of life of women in the black mulberry group improved.[iv] Menopause symptoms and quality of life improved among the women taking black mulberry, with effects similar to those taking hormone therapy.
Other Renowned Benefits of Mulberry
As a Traditional Chinese Medicine, black mulberry leaf is often used to treat gastrointestinal ailments because of its prokinetic, laxative and antidiarrheal effects.[v]
It has also been found to have hypoglycemic effects against diabetes. A 2019 study revealed that mulberry leaf flavonoids can regulate the 13 biomarkers of diabetes in animal models as well as protect the liver and kidneys.[vi]
While a distinction needs to be made between it and black mulberry leaf, white mulberry leaf has been found to be effective against obesity. In a study, researchers probed the effects of white mulberry leaf extract on the lipid accumulation, lipolytic activity and lipogenesis regulation of mice. The results showed that extract of mulberry leaves may prevent fat accumulation among obese mice.[vii]
Additional Natural Remedies for Menopause
In several studies, fennel has been found to be effective in easing the symptoms of menopause. In a triple-blinded study that included 90 menopausal women, 45 women received 100 mg of fennel twice a day while another group received placebo.
Both groups had the same severity of symptoms at the end of the study, but the women who received fennel had significantly lower scores on the Menopause Rating Scale.[x]
To read more on the benefits of mulberry leaf, check out the list of 72 abstracts found on GreenMedInfo.com. More research-based data and information about natural options for menopausal syndrome can also be found on the site.
[i] Cesario SK et al "Precocious puberty: A comprehensive review of literature" J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2007;36(3):263-274.
[ii] Cesario SK et al "Precocious puberty: A comprehensive review of literature" J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2007;36(3):263-274.
[iii] De Pádua Lúcio K et al "Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties of Black Mulberry (L.) in a Model of LPS-Induced Sepsis." Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018 ;2018:5048031. Epub 2018 Nov 7. DOI: 10.1155/2018/5048031
[iv] Costa JPL et al "Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of the effect of Morus nigra L. (black mulberry) leaf powder on symptoms and quality of life among climacteric women." Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2020 Feb ;148(2):243-252. Epub 2019 Dec 11. DOI: 10.1002/ijgo.13057
[v] Akhlaq A et al "The Prokinetic, Laxative, and Antidiarrheal Effects of Morus nigra: Possible Muscarinic, Ca(2+) Channel Blocking, and Antimuscarinic Mechanisms." Phytother Res. 2016 Aug ;30(8):1362-76. Epub 2016 May 27. DOI: 10.1002/ptr.5641
[vi] Zhang L et al "Mulberry leaf active components alleviate type 2 diabetes and its liver and kidney injury in db/db mice through insulin receptor and TGF-β/Smads signaling pathway." Biomed Pharmacother. 2019 Apr ;112:108675. Epub 2019 Feb 16. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopha.2019.108675
[vii] Lee MR et al "Anti-obesity effect in high-fat-diet-induced obese C57BL/6 mice: Study of a novel extract from mulberry () leaves fermented with." Exp Ther Med. 2019 Mar ;17(3):2185-2193. Epub 2019 Jan 21. DOI: 10.3892/etm.2019.7191
[viii] Rahimikian F et al "Effect of Foeniculum vulgare Mill. (fennel) on menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women: a randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled trial" Menopause. 2017 Sep;24(9):1017-1021.
[ix] Aghamiri V et al "The effect of Hop (Humulus lupulus L.) on early menopausal symptoms and hot flashes: A randomized placebo-controlled trial" Complement Ther Clin Pract 2016;23:130-5.