Jute leaves are nutritious with several beneficial properties, which made them popular both as medicinal herbs, and as culinary vegetables. It is common among the tropical regions of Africa and Asia, but has also spread to Australia.
Jute plant (Corchorus olitorius) is a popular culinary vegetable plant among the Yoruba people of Southwestern Nigeria. It is popularly called Ewedu in Yoruba, and Ahihara in Igbo. The leaves of jute plant is highly mucilaginous, which is why it appeal to the Yoruba people as a popular vegetable for preparing Ewedu soup, commonly eaten and cherished among Yoruba people. The Igbo people of eastern Nigeria use jute leaves for preparing vegetable yam, savoring its mucilage and flavor.
What are the nutritional benefits of jute leaves?
Jute leaves is rich in most of the daily nutritional requirements, such as protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, Riboflavin, Folate, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron.
These nutritional components ensure that your body functions properly and maintain structural and functional integrity.
Health benefits of jute leaves
Jute plant is used in traditional medicines for the treatment of fever, chronic cystitis, aches, pains, dysentery, enteritis and pectoral pains. The leaves are also used medicinally as demulcent, bitter tonic, stomachic, laxative, carminative anthelmintic, astringent and intestinal antiseptic.
Jute leaves are beneficial for treating ulcers
Jute leaves are beneficial for treating gastric ulcer. It is highly rich in fiber and mucilage, which are great gastroprotective components. The antiulcer activity of jute leaves, however, is through the suppression of acidic secretion in the intestinal mucosal wall, which was comparable to the effect of omeprazole. The results of a study conducted on ethanolic induced ulcerative rats also showed that the plant extract could protect the gastric mucosa as well as reduce leukocyte infiltration into the gastric wall in rats.
The reduction of neutrophil infiltration into ulcerated gastric tissue prevented the development of gastric ulcers in rats. Cabbage juice as well as bitter leaf juice also possess strong ulcer healing properties, including monkey sugarcane, and okra water.
Jute leaves possess anticancer compounds
There has been an increased number of cancer patients, worldwide, in recent time. It also constitute the major cause of death in both men and women of different races and colors. During tumor growth, angiogenesis ensures the supply of sufficient oxygen and fundamental nutrients to cancer cells and tissues. The inhibition of angiogenesis is one of the mechanism to stop cancer growth and proliferation. Luckily, jute leaves have strong inhibitory effect on angiogenesis, and the growth of A-375 and AGS tumors. Jute leaves also possess active compounds that can significantly prevent the formation of new blood vessels of tumors by decreasing the supply of oxygen and essential nutrients they require.
In a genotoxicity study, jute plant increased DNA damage in the nuclei of myeloma (ARH-77) cells. These anticancer activities can be associated with the ability of Corchorus olitorius to induce fragmentation of cancer DNA coupled with nuclear condensation-mediated apoptosis.
Some other plants with anticancer activities such as soursop leaves, pigeon pea leaves and roots may be combined with jute plant for a synergistic anticancer effects. There are also some nutraceuticals of jute products in pharmaceutical and grocery stores.
May improve your heart health
Jute leaves also possess antioxidant and other active compounds that protect your heart from toxic damage, prevent atherosclerosis and myocardia infarction. This protective role of jute leaves is carried out through through anti-apoptotic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-arrhythmic effects.
The cardioprotective effects of jute leaf may not be as pronounce as that of avocado seed tea, perilla seed oil or that of watermelon seed oil. So if you are treating cardio-related diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, or any other, avocado seed powder or tea would greatly help. Watermelon seed oil is effective for treating stroke, in addition to cardio protection.
Jute plants are beneficial for diabetes management
Jute leaves is beneficial to diabetic patients. This is because of its hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic activity. Several studies have shown that when orally administered, the methanolic extract of jute leaves significantly lowered the plasma levels of total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein, fasting glucose, and triglycerides.
The antidiabetic activity of jute leaves is through the inhibition of α-amylase, and α-glucosidase. The several studies which have been conducted on jute leaves, and seeds supported the use of jute leaves for the treatment of diabetes in traditional medicine. Star apple leaves possess anti-diabetic properties, which you may want to exploit or combine with jute leaves for diabetes management.
Jute leaves are beneficial for your kidney and liver
Both your liver and kidneys are daily been exposed to toxic substances that are capable of oxidative destruction on the hepatocellular and kidney cells. Jute leaves however have shown that it can protect the kidney and liver from toxic substances. This protective effect is due to the presence of several polyphenols and flavonoids in the leaf extracts. These compounds are strong antioxidant and can protect your liver and kidney from oxidative stress. Scent leaves, Bay leaves, watercress juice, and thyme also possess tremendous liver and kidney protection.
Improves wound healing
Jute leaves can be used to hasten wound healing processes. This is due to its contraction effect on the wound tissue, combined to its antimicrobial activity which reduces bacteria load on the wounded surface.
A study carried out by Satoshi and his colleagues showed that the leaf extract of jute plant leaf extract has therapeutic potential for atopic dermatitis due to its suppression of the plasma immunoglobulin E (IgE) level and degranulation of mast cells. The leaf powder or extract is added to a shea butter and allowed to homogenize. Then it can be applied topically on the wounded surface.
Other herbs with similar wound healing potential include Coral tree and ficus platyphylla. Both possess strong healing potential which may be exploited by pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. Cashew leaves and bitter kola also possess tremendous wound healing capacity.
Jute leaves improves male fertility
Infertility is the inability to conceive after one year of constant sexual activities. In recent studies, it has been noted that men contributed about 50 -55% of infertility in marriage. This health condition may be caused by low sperm count, low testosterone and other sexual hormone production and low sperm motility.
Jute leaves have been shown to improve fertility in men through the improvement of sperm parameters such as sperm count, sperm motility and testosterone production. The leaves also maintain the normal cytoarchitectural disposition of the testis. Although jute leaves improves male fertility, the more excellent herbs for improving your fertility are Snot apple, Guava leaves, and hotleaf plant.
Other health benefits of jute leaves
There are several other health benefits of jute leaves such as antibacterial activity, anticonvulsive property, anti-obesity, antioxidant activity, and anti-inflammatory properties. The leaves also boost your immune system and maintain a hydrated skin.
Ali, Md & Ray, Balaram & Begum, Rokeya & Nasreen, Aleya & Ahmed, Zakaria. (2019). Potential Healing Powers with Jute Plant-A Review.
Wasman S, Mahmood A, Salehhuddin H, Zahra A, Salmah I. Cytoprotective activities of Polygonum minus aqueous leaf extract on ethanol-induced gastric ulcer in rats. J. Med. Plant Res. 2010;4:2658–2665.
Işeri D., Yurtcu E., Sahin F.I., Haberal M. Corchorus olitorius(jute) extract induced cytotoxicity and genotoxicity on human multiple myeloma cells (ARH-77) Pharm. Biol. 2013;51:766–770.
Li C.-J., Huang S.-Y., Wu M.-Y., Chen Y.-C., Tsang S.-F., Chyuan J.-H., Hsu H.-Y. Induction of apoptosis by ethanolic extract of corchorus olitorius leaf in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells via a mitochondria-dependent pathway. Molecules. 2012;17:9348–9360.
Satoshi Y, Keiichi H, Takahiko F, Hiroya K, Nobuyuki K, Shu S, Makoto I and Kazuya O . 2014. Skin Hydration Effects of C. olitorius leaf extract in mouse model of atopic dermatitis. J. Cosmetics, Dermatological Sci and Applications . 4: 1-6.