Saluyot (Corchorus olitorius) is an edible leafy vegetable that is a member of the genus Corchorus, classified under the subfamily Grewioideae of the family Malvaceae. Saluyot is widely found in tropical and subtropical areas from Asia to Africa valued as food and for its strong fiber. Saluyot has long been used as food staple since ancient times by Jewish people and Egyptians hence derived its English names Jew’s mallow and Egyptian spinach.
Saluyot leaves are very nutritious, it is rich in calcium, iron, protein, vitamin A, C and E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and dietary fibers. Saluyot is usually cooked as stew, forming a thick slimy syrup similar in consistency to okra usually taken with rice or other starchy staple.
Saluyot can almost grow anywhere in the Philippines. Saluyot is a hardy plant that is resistant to pests and requires little care. It can be found in the wild as it can also be grown in a farm.
Saluyot plants are tall, reaching 2-4 meters in height, having only a few side branches. Saluyot leaves are alternate, simple, lanceolate, about 5-15 cm in length tapering to a pointed tip and has finely serrated margin. Saluyot flowers are yellow about 2-3 cm wide with five petals. The fruit is capsule like with plenty of small seeds inside.
Saluyot | Corchorus olitorius Medicinal Uses
Saluyot in Traditional and Folkloric Medicine
- Saluyot being rich in vitamins and minerals generally promotes good health and well-being.
- Saluyot being rich in vitamin A can provide health benefits for good eyesight.
- Saluyot contains vitamin E and other antioxidants. It is said to prevent wrinkles and promote youthful looking skin.
- Saluyot is used to treat inflammation and pain such as arthritis , headache, stomach ache and others.
- Saluyot being rich in fiber helps to control blood pressure, cholesterol build-up, diabetes and prevents heart disease.
- Saluyot leaves are rich in fiber and its slimy consistency when cooked is used to treat various digestive problems such as diarrhea, stomach ache, dysentery, constipation and ulcers.
- It is also claimed that together with other herbs it can cure cancer.
Science Based Health Benefits from Saluyot | Corchorus olitorius Herbal Medicine
Saluyot Mechanism of action in disease treatment and prevention
Phenolic antioxidants from the leaves of Corchorus olitorius L.
Corchorus olitorius leaves contains six phenolic antioxidative compounds The contents of these phenolic compounds, were determined, and their antioxidative activities were measured using the radical generator-initiated peroxidation of linoleic acid. The results obtained showed that 5-caffeoylquinic acid was a predominant phenolic antioxidant in Corchorus olitorius leaves. Source: Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry. (1999 Oct)
Gastroprotective effects of Corchorus olitorius (Saluyot leaf extract)
A study aimed to evaluate the gastroprotective effect of an ethanolic extract of Corchorus olitorius against ethanol-induced gastric ulcers in adult Sprague Dawley rats showed that sambong extract posses gastroprotection in the experimental groups and medical benefits were comparable to that of the reference control medicine omeprazole. Source: Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. (2013 Aug)
Corchorus olitorius (jute) extract induced cytotoxicity and genotoxicity on human multiple myeloma cells (ARH-77).
A study investigated cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of leaf extracts (LE) and seed extracts (SE) of the Corchorus olitorius on the multiple myeloma-derived ARH-77 cells. Results have showed that both Saluyt leaf and seed extracts exerted cytotoxic effects on cells and the results of the comet assay revealed that the extracts induced genotoxic damage on ARH-77 cells. The leaf and seed extract treatments indicated that genotoxic damage significantly increased with increasing concentrations at relevant cytotoxic concentrations. Source: Pharmaceutical Biology. (2013 Jun)
Polyphenolic compounds with anti-tumour potential from Corchorus olitorius (L.)
Chromatographic fractionation of the methanolic extract of Corchorus olitorius (L.) yielded two polyphenolic compounds. The compounds when tested possess mild cytotoxic activity which was significant against HeLa cells at ⩾800μM. The plant Corchorus olitorius therefore represents a potential source of natural ‘lead’ compounds with anti-tumour potential. Source: Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters. (2016 Aug)
Health Benefits of Saluyot for Diabetes
A study conducted in Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, India reported that by administering powdered Saluyot supplements to pregnant rats, both the mother and the fetus exhibited an increased resistance in diabetes induced oxidative stress versus a control group. The results suggest that Saluyot supplementation during pregnancy may provide beneficial effects against diabetes induced oxidative stress both for the mother and the fetus. (Journal of Diabetes. March 2013: Dietary supplementation with Ipomoea aquatica attenuates maternal and fetal oxidative stress in streptozotocin-diabetic rats)
Anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties of Corchorus olitorius aqueous extract
A study was conducted to determine the antipyretic and anti-inflammatory effects of Corchorus olitorius root in Wistar rats. The results showed that Corchorus olitorius root extract (p<0.05) decreased the elevated temperature and inflammation compared with the control group.This study suggests that Corchorus olitorius root is another good source of phytomedicine that can be used effectively to treat inflammation and pyrexia that accompany some diseases. Source: Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology. (2015 Jul)
Helath Benefits of Saluyot Against Liver Disease
The Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Malaya in Malaysia conducted a study on the protective action of Saluyot against thioacetamide-induced hepatotoxicity in rats to determine if Saluyot can indeed help treat jaundice. An ethanol extract of Saluyot has been administered to rats subjected to liver damage by thioacetamide. Results had shown that the rats when compared to a control group showed resistance against liver lesions, cell necrosis and inflammation. The study further suggests that the protective effect of Saluyot extract in chemical-induced liver damage might be contributed to its modulation on detoxification enzymes and its antioxidant and free radical scavenger effects. Moreover, it confirms a scientific basis for the traditional use of Saluyot for the treatment of liver disorders. (Molecules. 2012: Ipomoea aquatica extract shows protective action against thioacetamide-induced hepatotoxicity).
Okra Nutrition Benefits
A powerhouse of valuable nutrients, okra provides numerous health benefits. Known as a high-antioxidant food, okra may support improvement in cardiovascular and coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, digestive diseases, and even some cancers. Okra is also abundant in several vitamins and minerals, including thiamin, vitamin B6, folic acid,riboflavin/vitamin B2, zinc and dietary fiber.
Here are seven okra nutrition benefits:
1. Source of Calcium
Okra provides ample calcium and magnesium, helping prevent both calcium deficiencyand magnesium deficiency. In addition to healthy bones, calcium is needed to regulate heart rhythms, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. (4) It also helps with muscle function and nerve-signaling functions.
For those who suffer from the symptoms of lactose intolerance or are vegans or vegetarians, okra can help provide enough calcium to make up the lack of dairy. It provides nearly 51 milligrams of calcium per serving, and while that is not enough for the day with the recommendation daily value at around 1,000 milligrams for most adults, it can be integrated as part of the diet on regular basis.
2. Improves Heart Health
The soluble fiber within okra helps naturally reduce cholesterol and, therefore, decreases the chance of cardiovascular disease, according to the Journal of Food Processing & Technology, making the consumption of okra is an efficient method to manage the body’s cholesterol levels. (5) Okra additionally is loaded with pectin that can help reduce high blood cholesterol simply by modifying the creation of bile within the intestines.
3. Improves Eyesight
Okra is also used to improve eyesight! Okra pods are fantastic source of vitamin A and beta-carotene, which are both important nourishment for sustaining excellent eyesight (along with healthy skin). (6) Additionally, this nourishment may help inhibit eye-associated illnesses.
4. Good Source of Protein
Okra nutrition benefits are so plentiful that it’s been called the “perfect villager’s vegetable,” with its robust nature, dietary fiber and distinct seed protein balance of both lysine and tryptophan amino acids. The amino acid composition of okra seed protein is actually comparable to that of soybean — the protein efficiency ratio is higher than that of soybean, and the amino acid pattern of the protein renders it an adequate supplement to legume- or cereal-based diets. (7)
Indeed, the okra seed is known to be rich in high-quality protein, especially with regard to its content of essential amino acids relative to other plant protein sources, making okra one of the top vegetable protein foods out there.
5. Helps Lower Cholesterol
Research from the Pakistan Journal of Food Science found that nearly half of the contents of the okra pod is soluble fiber in the form of gums and pectins, which help lower serum cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart diseases. That means you can add okra to the list of cholesterol-lowering foods. Okra binds excess cholesterol and toxins in the bile acids, making it easy to eliminate and thus preventing many health problems.
Okra also assures easy passage of the waste from the body. The mucilage in okra has medicinal applications when used as a plasma replacement or blood volume expander. The mucilage of okra binds cholesterol and bile acid, carrying toxins dumped into it by the liver with it.
6. Helps Stabilize Blood Sugar
Okra helps stabilize blood sugar by regulating the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract. The okra seed contains blood glucose normalization qualities and lipid profiles that may help naturally treat diabetes. In a 2011 study published in the Journal of Pharmacy & BioAllied Sciences, researchers in India found that when subjects were fed dried and ground okra peels and seeds, they experienced a reduction in their blood glucose levels, while others showed a gradual decrease in blood glucose following regular feeding of okra extract for about 10 days. (8)
Outside of scientific research, many people with diabetes have reported decreasing blood sugar levels after soaking cut-up okra pieces in water overnight and then drinking the juice in the morning, while in Turkey roasted okra seeds have been used as a traditional diabetes medicine for generations. (9)
7. Good for Digestion
Okra contains insoluble fiber, which helps keep the intestinal tract healthy by decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colorectal cancer. The book “Health Benefits: From Foods and Spices” by John P. Hunter III explains that okra helps lubricate the large intestines due to its bulk laxative qualities; therefore, it helps prevent constipation and works as a natural laxative. Unlike harsh wheat bran, which can irritate the intestinal tract, okra’s mucilage soothes, facilitating elimination more comfortably.