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Plant Information

Scientific Name: Corchorus olitorus
Alternative Names: delele (Tshivenda), thelele (Sepedi), gushe (Xitsonga)

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Corchorus olitorus
Corchorus olitorus


  • Annual
  • Bush Okra is a leading leaf vegetable in the rural areas of Asia, China, and Africa, including South Africa, where it falls under the category of leafy vegetables called morogo.
  • It has serrated leaves and small yellow flowers followed by cylindrical fruit capsules.
  • Bush Okra needs full sun.

Culinary Uses

  • The leaves are eaten raw or cooked like spinach.
  • The dried leaves can be used as a thickener in soups.
  • The leaves are high in protein and rich in potassium, vitamin B6, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C - this makes the crop particularly important, where people cover a high share of their energy requirement by micronutrient-poor staple crops.

Parts Used

  • The leaves.

Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • The leaves are used to treat gonorrhoea, tumours, and aches and pains in South Africa.
  • Consumption of the leaves is reported to be demulcent, deobstruent, diuretic, lactagogue, purgative, and tonic.
  • It is also a folk remedy for aches and pains, dysentery, enteritis, fever, pectoral pains, and tumors.
  • Ayurvedics use the leaves for ascites, pain, piles, and tumors.

Other Uses

  • The fibre of the stems is somewhat coarse and is used mainly for sackcloth.
  • It can also be made into paper that is a grey/buff color.
  • The very light and soft wood is used in making sulphur matches
The information contained within this website is for educational purposes only. This site merely recounts the traditional uses of specific plants as recorded through history. Always seek advice from a medical practitioner.

Mountain Herb Estate, and its representatives will not be held responsible for the improper use of any plants or documentation provided. By use of this site and the information contained herein you agree to hold harmless Mountain Herb Estate, its affiliates and staff
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