Herbs and Spices

Facts about White Jute

White Jute Quick Facts
Name: White Jute
Scientific Name: Corchorus capsularis
Origin Originated in China but is now grown in Bangladesh and India, and found spread across much of tropical Africa
Shapes Many seeded globose to globose-obovoid capsules, about 1 centimeter in diameter
Taste Bitter
Health benefits Beneficial for dysentery, fevers, dyspepsia liver disorders and helps to increase appetite.
Corchorus capsularis, commonly known as white jute, is a shrub species in the family Malvaceae. The plant originated in China but is now grown in Bangladesh and India, and found spread across much of tropical Africa. It is also cultivated in the Amazon region of Brazil. Bangla white jute, Jute, White jute, round-podded jute, jute plant, jute, Nalta jute are few of the popular common names of the plant. It is one of the sources of jute fiber, considered to be of finer quality than fiber from Corchorus olitorius, the main source of jute. The leaves are used as a foodstuff and the leaves, unripe fruit and the roots are used in traditional medicine.

Plant Description

White Jute is an erect, annual to perennial plant that grows about two or more meters in height, unbranched or with only a few side branches. The plant is found growing in low-lying watery places, among field hedges or along the border of cultivated fields, degraded forest areas and along sides of water courses. The stems are usually purplish. The leaves are ovate-lanceolate 5-12 cm long, pointed at the tip and rounded at the base, with tail-like projections on each side of the midrib, and toothed at the margins. The flowers are borne in small groups in the axils of the leaves, and are about 4 mm long. The sepals are often purplish and the petals are yellow. The many seeded globose to globose-obovoid capsules is about 1 centimeter in diameter, with longitudinal ridges. This species produces the greatest part of the jute of commerce, being about ten times as abundant as Corchorus olitorius. It is cultivated in India, and is also grown for its fiber in the Yangtze Valley of China.

It thrives almost anywhere, and can be grown year-round. Most  genera  are  tropical,  but  the  genus  Tilia,  commonly called  linden,  or  lime  tree,  in  Europe  and  Asia  and basswood in North America, is found throughout the north temperate. Many species yield fiber, but the chief sources of commercial jute are two species; C. capsularis and C. olitorius, grown primarily in the Ganges and Brahmaputra valleys. Although jute adapts well to loamy soil in any hot and  humid  region,  cultivation  and  harvesting  require abundant  cheap  labor,  and  India  remains  the  unrivaled world producer as well as the chief fiber processor. Kolkata (Calcutta) is the main center. Europe and the United States import large quantities of jute fiber and cloth. 

Traditional uses and benefits of white Jute

  • Leaves are appetizer, carminative, demulcent, laxative, stimulant and stomachic.
  • An infusion is used in the treatment of dysentery, fevers, and dyspepsia and liver disorders.
  • Decoction of the roots and unripe fruits is used in the treatment of dysentery.
  • Leaves have been used to increase appetite, as an aid to digestion, as a laxative and as a stimulant.
  • An infusion of the leaves has been used to reduce fever, and the roots and leaves have been used against dysentery.

Ayurvedic Health benefits of White Jute

  • Dry Skin: Grind few leaves of White Jute to make out a paste. Apply a thin layer of this to your skin. Repeat this treatment daily to get the smooth and soft skin.
  • Dandruff: Grind the fresh leaves of White Jute to make a paste. Apply this paste on your scalp. Allow it to dry for 1 hour. Wash off your scalp with water. Repeat this procedure for twice a week to get rid of Dandruff.
  • Hair fall: Paste prepared from White Jute leaves induces the growth of hair. Apply this paste twice a week. This paste will make your hair strong.

 Culinary uses

  • Leaves can be consumed raw or cooked.
  • Young leaves are added to salads whilst older leaves are cooked as a pot-herb.
  • Tea is made from the dried leaves.
  • Immature fruits are added to salads or used as a potherb.
  • Leaves and shoots of this plant are widely eaten in salads when young and are used as a cooked leafy vegetable when older.
  • Leaves are dried and powdered to use as a thickener in soups or as an herbal tea.
  • Immature fruits are also eaten, raw or cooked.
  • It makes an excellent spinach substitute in areas with hot summers.

Other facts

  • Fiber is obtained from the stems; it is the main source of jute.
  • Fiber is slightly coarse and is used mainly for sackcloth etc.
  • Stems are harvested when the plant is in flower and are then retted (allowed to begin to rot) so that the fiber can be extracted.
  • Growing the plants very close together will prevent some of the branching.
  • If used in making paper, the fibers are cooked for 2 hours with lye and then ball milled for 4½ hours.
  • The paper is grey/buff.
  • The very light and soft wood is used in making sulphur matches.
  • It is used for making sacks, bags, carpets, curtains, fabrics and paper.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=506092#null

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=11456

https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Corchorus+capsularis

https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=COCA38

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corchorus_capsularis

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/record/kew-2736337

https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/229279

http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Corchorus+capsularis

https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/CRGCA

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corchorus_capsularis

https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/16020

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