Native to India, saluyot -- or Corchorus olitorius -- is a leafy vegetable. Its green teardrop-shape leaves resemble basil, except that saluyot’s are serrated. Jute fiber -- used for paper, string and burlap -- is derived from the saluyot’s stalks, adding to its economic value. The dried leaves of this annual plant are also used medicinally and provide vitamins and minerals. Before you use it to treat a health condition, consult your doctor.
The Philippines Department of Agriculture promotes saluyot leaves as food that offers benefits fresh or dried. They are rich in vitamin E and also contain vitamin A and C. All three nutrients are antioxidants that protect your cells from disease-causing molecules known as free radicals. The antioxidants in saluyot may sharpen vision, fight arthritis and improve fertility.
Minerals and Other Vitamins
Besides antioxidants, saluyot leaves provide the minerals iron, calcium, sodium, phosphorous and potassium. Each has a number of roles it plays to keep you healthy. Iron, for example, makes it possible for your body to make myoglobin and hemoglobin, two proteins essential to the circulation of oxygen through your body. The leaves also have the B-complex vitamins thiamine, riboflavin and niacin. As a group, the B-vitamins facilitate the extraction of nutrients from foods during digestion. The three that saluyot provides contribute to energy production.
Extended Shelf Life
After harvest, saluyot leaves become limp quickly. They last a few days longer if you take the greens out of the ground with the roots and place them in a vase of water. The dehydrated leaves, however, offer the benefit of a longer shelf life. According to the University of Illinois Extension, dried herbs last one to two years in storage. Keep the leaves whole and crush them as needed. Store them in an airtight container in a dry and dark place.
Using Dried Saluyot
You can make tea with dried saluyot leaves. According to the Philippines Department of Agriculture, the beverage is a remedy for blood pressure, headaches, gastrointestinal problems and cholesterol. The government agency, tasked with promoting crops of economic value, also states saluyot tea can prevent asthma, diabetes, heart problems and cancer. Ask your doctor to weigh in on those health claims if you are considering the plant as a preventive or curative remedy. That said, it seems the drink is a harmless source of nutrients.