Herb: Jute

Latin name: Corchorus capsularis

Family: Tiliaceae (Linden Family)

Medicinal use of Jute:

The leaves are appetizer, carminative, demulcent, laxative, stimulant and stomachic. An infusion is used in the treatment of dysentery, fevers, dyspepsia and liver disorders. A decoction of the roots and unripe fruits is used in the treatment of dysentery. The seeds contain a substance that has a similar action on the heart to digitalin (from Digitalis spp.), but less intense in its action.

Description of the plant:


3.5 m
(11 feet)


Habitat of the herb:

Original habitat is obscure.

Edible parts of Jute:

Leaves - raw or cooked. Young leaves are added to salads whilst older leaves are cooked as a pot-herb. High in protein. The dried leaves can be used as a thickener in soups. A tea is made from the dried leaves. Immature fruits are added to salads or used as a potherb.

Other uses of the herb:

A fibre is obtained from the stems, it is the main source of jute. The fibre is somewhat coarse and is used mainly for sackcloth etc. The stems are harvested when the plant is in flower and are then retted (allowed to begin to rot) so that the fibre can be extracted. This species tends to branch making fibre extraction more difficult. Growing the plants very close together will prevent some of the branching. If used in making paper, the fibres are cooked for 2 hours with lye and then ball milled for 4? hours. The paper is grey/buff. The very light and soft wood is used in making sulphur matches.

Propagation of Jute:

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in late spring, after the last expected frosts. In areas with hot summers it should be possible to sow the seed in situ in mid spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

Original habitat is obscure.

Known hazards of Corchorus capsularis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.