Chaya (Cnidoscolus aconitifolius )

Chaya is a large, fast growing leafy  perennial shrub, native  of south Texas, is popular in Mexico and Central America and has been introduced into the United States (mainly South Texas and Florida) for potential uses as a leafy vegetable and/or as a medicinal plant. It has succulent stems which milky sap when cut, and can grow up to 6 meters tall. It is a very common tree in mexico with raw leaves being toxic, however once cooked its leaves are wildly eaten.

Botanical Name : Cnidoscolus aconitifolius 

Family Name : Euphorbiaceae

Common Name Chaya, chaya col or chaya mansa

Part Used : leaves and roots

Habitat : South America Mexico and Texas.


Properties of Chaya

Chaya is a good source of calcium proteins iron and vitamins. It  is a rich source of antioxidants. Precautions should be taken in consuming raw chaya leaves since they are  toxic as they contain a glucoside which releases  toxic cyanide. Cooking is essential prior to consumption to inactivate the toxic component.

Warning: In cooking or serving, Do not use aluminum containers, as a toxic reaction can result, causing diarrhea

Uses of Chaya

Chaya is very helpful in a number of remedies and helps in

·         Improve blood circulation,

·         Help digestion,

·         Improve vision,

·         Disinflame veins and hemorrhoids,

·         Help lower cholesterol,

·         Help reduce weight,

·         Prevent coughs,

·         Augment calcium in the bones,

·         Decongest and disinfect the lungs,

·         Prevent anemia by replacing iron in the blood,

·         Improve memory and brain function and

·         Combat arthritis and diabetes.

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