Medicinal use of
Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops.
While perhaps better known as a fiber crop, jute is also a medicinal
"vegetable", eaten from Tanganyika to Egypt. Dried leaves were given me by an
Egyptian friend who had brought them with him to this country. They are used in
soups under the Arabic name "Molukhyia." In India the leaves and tender shoots
are eaten. The dried material is there known as "nalita." Injections of olitoriside markedly improve cardiac insufficiencies and have no cumulative
attributes; hence, it can serve as a substitute for strophanthin.
Reported to be demulcent, deobstruent, diuretic, lactagogue, purgative, and
tonic, tussa jute is a folk remedy for aches and pains, dysentery, enteritis,
fever, dysentery, pectoral pains, and tumors (Duke and Wain, 1981; List and
Horhammer, 1969-1979). Ayurvedics use the leaves for ascites, pain, piles, and
tumors. Elsewhere the leaves are used for cystitis, dysuria, fever, and gonorrhea. The cold infusion is said to restore the appetite and strength.
Per 100 g, the leaves are reported to contain 43-58 calories, 80.4-84.1 g H2O, 4.5-5.6 g protein, 0.3 g fat, 7.6-12.4 g total carbohydrate, 1.7-2.0 g fiber, 2.4 g ash, 266-366 mg Ca, 97-122 mg P, 7.2-7.7 mg Fe, 12 mg Na, 444 mg K, 6,410-7,850 ug beta-carotene equivalent, 0.13-0.15 mg thiamine, 0.26- 0.53 mg riboflavin, 1.1-1.2 mg niacin, and 53-80 mg ascorbic acid. Leaves contain oxydase and chlorogenic acid. The folic acid content is substantially higher than that of other folacin-rich vegetables, ca 800 micrograins per 100 g (ca 75% moisture) or ca 3200 micrograms on a zero moisture basis (Chen and Saad, 1981).
The seeds contain 11.3-14.8% oil (Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk, 1962), reportedly estrogenic (Sharaf et al, 1979), which contains 16.9% palmitic-, 3.7% stearic-, 1.8% behenic-, 1.1% lignoceiic-, 9.1% oleic-, 62.5% linoleic-, and 0.9% linolenic- acids as well as large portions of B, Mn, Mo, and Zn.
Contains HCN and several cardiac glycosides. Negm et al (1980) report the LD50
of tissue extracts to mice. The "lethal dose" of Corchoroside A to cats is
0.053-0.0768 mg/kg and Corchoroside B 0.059-0.1413, but some authors say that
Corchoroside A is twice as active as Corchoroside B.
Assuming the fiber yields are 6% of green weight, annual green weight productivity ranges from 13 to 42 MT/ha, with genetic potential of 67 MT.
Assuming 80% moisture, this translates to 2.6-13.4 MT DM. ICAR (1973) reports DM
yields of ca 10 MT near Barrackpore corresponding roughly to an uptake of 75 kg
N, 4 5 kg P2O5, 120 kg K2O, 115 kg CaO, and 35 kg MgO.
Anthracnose spots caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides may infect 50-90% of
a jute population, but spraying with copper oxychloride at 0.5% strength checked
the spread, holding it to 5-10% (ICAR, 1973). Thangavel et al (1974) found that
this species was badly infested by 3 species of weevils (Myllocerus spp.) while
C. capsularis was unaffected. The semilooper Anomis sabulifera may stunt the
growth, reducing fiber yields by ca 13-32%. The yellow mite, Polyphagotarsonemus
latus may also reduce yields.