Lalo leaves or Jute Leaves

Jute Leaves or Lalo and its benefits

Do you know Jute leaves or Lalo? I have been eating lalo since I was very young back in Haiti. I never realized that it was not available in supermarkets. For one reason or anohter, I have never been very enthusiastic to look or cook this leafy vegetable.

I decided to research Lalo’s benefits, usage, and cultivation. I wanted to find out how other people were incorporating it into their cuisine. I also wanted to learn how the leafy vegetable was called in different cultures. And why hold this information all to myself?

Lalo also called Jute is a leafy vegetable cultivated in many countries and in the Caribbean Islands. Lalo or Jute is called in many ways. You will find it mostly by its name Jute and not be confused with the material jute.

My findings

The information found was very informative and worth sharing. Jute Leaves are also called Lalo, Saluyot, Egyptian Spinach (Molokheya), Bush Okra, or ewedu West African Sorrel depending on the region of the world. Jute plants are widely found in tropical and subtropical areas from Asia to Africa where they are mostly used in cooking. The leaves are used in stews, soups, tisanes or teas.

Some jute plants produce very bitter leaves and are not considered edible. Common to Asian and African cooking, jute leaves are used to flavor soups, stews, teas, and vegetable dishes. They are consumed for their flavor, their nutritional value as a source of beta-carotene, and in some regions for their use as an herbal remedy for various health concerns. The leaves are harvested from specific varieties of this plant for food while the stalks are used for industrial products such as rope, pulp, paper, fiber, and composites. (

Lalo leaves or Jute Leaves
Dried Lalo/Jute Leaves

Also called differently in other parts of the world

In the US and in many parts of the Caribbean, Jute is also called Okra, not the same as okra leaves. In Haiti, Jute leaves are called Lalo. Haitians cook Lalo with and without meat. In many households, Lalo is mostly cooked with beef or blue carbs (cirique). In Egypt, Egyptian Molokheya is a soup made with Jute leaves. Other parts of world such as the Middle East, it is stir-fried with other ingredients or by itself with savory spices. In Nigeria, a favorite dish, Amala, and Ewedu is a stew made with jute leaves. Whether it is served as a soup, stew or teas it is said to have various health benefits.

Its benefits

Jute leaves are very nutritious, rich in calcium, iron, protein, vitamin A, C and E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and dietary fibers. Jute leaves are sold in specialty stores, fresh, frozen or dried. It can also be found in local farmers’ markets depending on your location. It is also called okra leaves but not the same leaves from the okra plant.

Various forms of Jute Leaves
Various forms of Jute Leaves images taken from the Internet

Usage and other benefits

When jute leaves are cooked they can get rather gluey and mucilaginous like okra, another common vegetable thickener. The consistency is almost similar to that of okra. Jute Stew is mostly served with rice or other starchy foods to kind of change the texture and make it more appetizing.

Cooking jute leaves can be a bit tricky because it forms a thick slimy syrup similar to the consistency of okra. When preparing jute leaves, it is essential to cook it at the right temperature and the right amount of time because the leaves become very dense, gluey and slimy.

Other usages of Jute leaves are various in health benefits. Jute has been determined to contain an ample amount of Vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, and is also rich in fiber. It is used as an anti-inflammatory treatment and a wrinkle reducer because it contains anti-oxidant substances.

Jute is also believed to have a curing agent to reduce chronic inflammation of the urinary bladder. The stem and stalk of the Jute plant are used to manufacture ropes and jute sacks. The leaves are also used as facemask as a beauty tip to rejuvenate the skin.

If you wish to use or consume Jute leaves, it is worth knowing its benefits. Remember to check for the Haitian Lalo recipe or Jute recipe.

Disclaimer: The information presented herein is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before consuming Jute Leaves fresh, dried or frozen or taking it in the form of supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own healthcare provider.


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