Synonym: Hibiscus esculentus
Common name: Lady's Finger, Okra
The young seedbox has been eaten in Thailand, cooked or raw, as vegetable or used for herbal tea.
The products of the plant are mucilaginous, resulting in the characteristic "goo" or slime when the seed pods are cooked; the mucilage contains soluble fiber. Pods are cooked, pickled, eaten raw, or included in salads. Okra may be used in developing countries to mitigate malnutritionand alleviate food insecurity.
Raw okra is 90% water, 2% protein, 7% carbohydrates and negligible in fat (table). In a 100 gram amount, raw okra is rich (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) in dietary fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K, with moderate contents of thiamin, folate and magnesium (table).Leaves and seeds
Stir fried okra with diced chili peppers
Okra leaves may be cooked in a similar way to the greens of beets or dandelions. The leaves are also eaten raw in salads. Okra seeds may be roasted and ground to form a caffeine-free substitute for coffee. When importation of coffee was disrupted by the American Civil War in 1861, the Austin State Gazette said, "An acre of okra will produce seed enough to furnish a plantation with coffee in every way equal to that imported from Rio."
Greenish-yellow edible okra oil is pressed from okra seeds; it has a pleasant taste and odor, and is high in unsaturated fats such as oleic acidand linoleic acid. The oil content of some varieties of the seed is about 40%. At 794 kg/ha, the yield was exceeded only by that of sunflower oil in one trial. A 1920 study found that a sample contained 15% oil.
A 2009 study found okra oil suitable for use as a biofuel.
Bast fibre from the stem of the plant has industrial uses.