Jute, which is scientifically called Corchorus olitorius, is a leafy plant that can be eaten as a vegetable. Jute is a plant in the genus Corchorus classified and is in the Malvaceae family. Jute leaves grow in tropical and sub-tropical regions from Asia to Africa and are considered high fiber plants which are good for health. The word jute is considered to come from the word jhuta or jota. However, the use of the word jutta potta has been mentioned in the Bible and in the Monushanghita – Mahabharat.
Jute or jute leaves have many other names such as Jute mallow, Jute, saluyot, Jew’s mallow, Egyptian spinach, West African sorrel, bush okra, Krinkrin and Chang shouo huang ma, in Bangladesh this plant is called golden fiber, and it is a plant that provide a lot of income for the country. The high fiber content of this plant makes it valuable. Jute fiber is produced from two types of commercial jute, namely White Jute (Corchours capsularis), and Tossa Jute (Corchorus olitorius). White jute is said to have originated from Indo-Burma like China and from Africa, Tossa.
Jute is an annual herb plant that has a height of about 10 to 12 feet. Jute plants do well in areas with warm to humid climates and have adequate water. This plant likes sandy soil and not stagnant water. Jute is glabrous. The leaves are 6-10 cm long, 3.5-5 cm broad, elliptic-lanceolate, sharp and acute epical, glabrous, and serrate. Jute plants have small, slightly pale yellow flowers, flower widths of about 2-3 cm, Sepals 3 mm long, apiculate, and oblong. The fruit of the jute plant is shaped like a capsule with a size of 3-6.5 cm long, 5-valved, cylindric erect, linear, beaked, 10-ribbed, glabrous, and between seeds there are transverse valves. The seeds are angular and black or grayish in color. The juter plant is a plant with very strong natural fibers. These are referred to as vegetable fibers, they are long, soft, lustrous and considered as coarse and strong yarn. The fiber in jute is considered to be the second most important fiber after cotton, it is utilized for global consumption, for various uses, production and availability.
Jute is a plant in the genus Corchorus and includes plants that eat its leaves. The leaves are about 6-10 cm long, 3.5-5 cm broad, sharp and epical, serrate, elliptic-lanceolate, and glabrous. The edges of the leaves are serrated about 6 mm long, the size of the petiole is 2-2.5 cm, towards the apex, slightly pubescent. Jute leaves are bright green with a slight bitter taste. When you are young, the leaves are tasty and tender; while the old leaves have a wood texture and are more fibrous. So, old leaves are not suitable for consumption as vegetables. Young leaves can add distinctive taste to food and provide nutrition. The use of jute leaves is usually used to thicken soups, stews, and use in sauces.
Historically, jute leaf has long been a part of the culture of East Bengal, and throughout western Bangladesh. Since the 17th century the British East India Company has started trading in jute. And in the British empire, jute was also used in the military world. Even british people get richer by selling products from processed jute. In the 21st century, jute is now back as a valuable plant and is selling well in the market and has even become a product that is exported throughout the world.
Jute leaves have a slightly bitter taste but jute leaves store and provide many nutrients for the health of the body. Consuming 87 grams of jute potherb, cooked without salt provides 94 µg of Vitamin K, 2.73 mg of Iron, 0.496 mg of Vitamin B6, 225 µg of Vitamin A, 0.222 mg of Copper and provides 28.7 mg of Vitamin C.
In addition, jute leaves also provide a lot of amino acids, the amount is around 0.021 g of Tryptophan, 0.152 g of Isoleucine, 0.113 g of Threonine, 0.266 g of Leucine, 0.044 g of Methionine and 0.151 g of Lysine, these are the amino acid values obtained from consuming 87 grams of cooked jute.
Health Benefits of Jute Plant
Jute is a perennial plant that grows in warm, humid places and needs adequate water but does not like excess water. The taste is somewhat bitter, but it is very high in nutrients. That is why this plant is needed all over the world for health needs. Below are some of the health benefits of jute leaves that we need to know, the benefits are great for health if consumed regularly.
1. Good for eye health
Eye disease usually occurs due to poor diet and lack of daily nutritional intake. In research, it is revealed that consuming vitamin B6 and a number of other nutrients such as folate can improve eye health. One source of vitamin B6 is the jute plant, it contains 0.496 mg of Vitamin B6, 38.15% of which is the recommended daily vitamin. If we consume the jute plant regularly, the benefits are that it can reduce the risk of eye disease, this can slow down the occurrence of eye disease, and prevent macular degeneration.
2. Internal Bleeding
One more thing, jute plant contains vitamin K which is important to reduce the threat of liver disease such as bleeding in the liver. Can prevent jaundice and prevent disease that occurs due to long taking aspirin and antibiotics.
In addition, consuming jute leaves regularly can also prevent diseases related to the gastrointestinal system such as: colitis, sprue, Crohn’s disease and obstructions. All of these diseases occur due to insufficient intake of vitamin K.
3. Prevent Restless Leg Syndrome
Iron deficiency is a major cause of the disease known as restless leg syndrome. Low iron content in the blood can be the main reason for this disease to occur and appear. So it is recommended to regularly consume foods rich in iron such as jute leaves. Usually, doctors recommend taking iron supplements to treat restless leg syndrome. But for those of you who like to consume jute leaves, you can prevent this disease. Jute leaves contain 2.73 mg of iron or 34.13% of the daily recommendation. Spasms in the muscles are also one of the diseases characterized by restless leg syndrome.
4. Prevent cancer
Besides being rich in vitamin B6, jute leaves are also rich in vitamin B9 which is an essential component in preventing cancer in humans. Jute leaves may be able to eliminate and prevent various types of cancer that occur. Can prevent cervical cancer, colon, and even lung cancer. So, it is highly recommended to consume enough vitamin B9 in your daily diet. We need to know that jute contains 90 µg of vitamin B9 which has met 22.50% of the daily recommendation.
5. Fight colds and flu
Consuming jute leaves regularly can increase the body’s immunity which in turn can cure minor ailments such as flu and colds. High vitamin C is a source of good immunity. To fight the flu that is coming, we can consume 1000 mg of vitamin C, and consume as much as 4000 mg of vitamin C to cure the current flu.
Taking vitamin C when sick can prevent complications such as pneumonia and lung infections. So, this is very important to avoid the corona virus which causes lung infections.
6. Good for cell growth and skin health
One of the benefits of vitamin A is that it plays a role in healing wounds and accelerating the growth of new skin. Vitamin A is important for all epithelial cell growth, both for the inside and the outside and is very useful for preventing skin cancer. The jute plant contains a lot of vitamin A which is very good for skin health. Consuming sufficient amounts of vitamin A or jute leaves can prevent various skin diseases.
If you are deficient in vitamin A, your skin will get worse, you will likely develop acne, etc. The benefits of vitamin A are to keep the skin from wrinkles and stimulate the production of more collagen. If the skin gets a lot of collagen, it will always look young. In addition to skin, the benefits of vitamin A are also important for hair health.
7. Reducing cholesterol
One of the ingredients in jute leaf related to this is copper. Copper is useful for reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) and helps increase good cholesterol (HDL). Jute contains 0.222 mg of copper, this already provides 24.67% of the daily requirement. Consuming lots of jute leaves will get a good supply of copper and this is beneficial for cardiovascular diseases, including atherosclerosis, stroke and heart attacks.
Also see: Health Benefits of Crown Daisy
8. Maintain healthy gums and teeth
Calcium is very beneficial for dental health, calcium is useful for keeping bones healthy, in this case calcium is useful for keeping the jawbone healthy. When the jawbone is strong and healthy, the teeth that grow on it are also ensured that it can grow properly and healthily so that there is no place for bacteria to gather. So eat calcium-rich foods to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Jute leaf is a healthy food, even though it tastes bitter, it provides a lot of calcium intake which is useful for teeth. Jute leaves contain 184 mg of calcium and this is 18.40% of the daily requirement. Calcium is a mineral that should be obtained since childhood so that teeth and grow healthy.
9. Protects hair and skin
Jute leaves also contain vitamin B2 which plays an important role in maintaining collagen. Vitamin b2 is also known as riboflavin, it has benefits in maintaining the body’s need for collagen which is very important for the skin, collagen prevents wrinkles and lines on the skin that appear as signs of aging. Research reveals that riboflavin is a mineral that can accelerate wound healing and prevent skin from aging prematurely.
10. Benefits of jute leaves for asthma
Such magnesium supplements are important for people suffering from chronic asthma. This mineral serves to relax bronchial and is good for regulating breathing. So what to do with the jute plant, jute is a plant that contains a lot of magnesium and this is very good for normalizing asthma, and shortness of breath.
Also see: Toothache Plant Health Benefits
How to Eat
- Can be consumed as boiled vegetables with olive oil and lemon juice.
- This is a popular food in the northern part of the Philippines, they call it saluyot.
- Jute leaf is a popular vegetable among the people of Luyhia, western Kenya, they know it by the name ‘mrenda’ or ‘murere’
- Jute leaves are eaten with ugali, an important food in the Kenyan community
- Japan imports dried leaves from Africa, they use it as tea and coffee.
- Jute leaves are also used as a soup in Europe
- These leaves can be steamed, mashed and mixed in chicken dishes, or processed into soup, like the Japanese make molohiya.
- Cooked as a typical dish, such as cooking spinach vegetables
- Its leaves and shoots become food in India
- The leaves are boiled like cabbage, and eaten like a salad or adding a little salt
- Jute leaves are also used in culinary purposes, especially in making dishes such as soups, teas, stews, and vegetables.
- The dried jute leaves are used as a thickener in soup dishes
- While the young leaves are used as a salad.
Other traditional uses and benefits of Jute Leaves
- Traditional herbs for aches and pains. Jute is an herb for fever, dysentery, pectoral pains, enteritis, and tumors.
- The leaves of this plant are used as medicine for ascites, piles, pain, and tumors.
- Good for restoring appetite
- The water from the root decoction is a medicine for dysentery
- Jute leaves are useful for cystitis, fever, dysuria, and treat gonorrhea.
- The trunk is good for firewood
- The fibrous stems are also good for products such as rope, paper, pulp, fiber, and composites.
- The fibers are used for the manufacture of burlap, rope, rugs, coarse cloth and many other products that can be produced from jute leaves.
- The wood can be used to make matches