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Immortal Musings

Mulberry Leaf as an Anti-psychotic?

by Ralph Kenney

August 24, 2014

Here's some new and interesting research recently published in The International Journal of Pharmacy.

The researchers were interested in the effects of Mulberry Leaf on a variety of psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, migraine, and impulsivity. All of these psychiatric illnesses have been linked to an excess of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Modern treatments for these illnesses have many unwanted side effects, which often include weight gain and increased risk for diabetes.

Mulberry Leaf is a traditional treatment for psychiatric conditions. Given that Mulberry Leaf is also known for its benefits to weight loss and diabetes, researchers wondered if an extract from Mulberry leaves might be a safer, less expensive treatment option.

The scientists induced increased serotonin in lab animals. They then gave one group of animals the popular antipsychotic drug, clozapine. They gave other groups mulberry leaf extract in different concentrations and using different extraction methods.

They found that in the concentration of 100 mg /kg Mulberry Leaf extract was as effective as the clozapine. Here's a chart from the study. Because animals can't tell us what they are feeling, scientists commonly use the rate of observed head twitches as a measure of psychosis.

Group 1 is the control group. Psychosis was not induced in this group, so, think of this as normal. In group 2 they increased serotonin and gave them no treatment at all. Group 3 received the drug clozapine. The remaining 3 groups were given different concentrations of Mulberry Leaf extract. 

Notice group 6 and compare it to groups 1 and 3. Group 6 received Mulberry leaf extract at a concentration of 100 mg/kg. Their head twitches were reduced to almost normal and we reduced below the level observed in the group that received clozapine.

Of course, this is an animal study, not a human study and further research is needed. However, the researchers reached the following conclusion, "EASF of Morus Alba inhibit serotonin activity, therefore it can be used as a remedy for disorders caused by an excess of serotonin e.g. Psychosis, memory."

Morus Alba is the Latin term for White Mulberry. The study found no adverse side effects from the Mulberry leaf treatment. 

Given that other research suggests Mulberry Leaf might also benefit weight loss and diabetes. Its potential as an antipsychotic is great news for the millions of people struggling with mental disorders.


  • I have an old Mulberry bush in my yard, about every 4 years or so it produces delicious tiny reddish purple berries. Is this a white Mulberry ? Can the leaves be picked and boiled down, or should they be dried out, and pulverized?

    Byron Johnson on

  • I am confused by this. I understand that LOW serotonin causes depression.
    Please explain.

    Karen Schoen on

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