PLANT FOOD FACTS ~ Chaya

In folk medicine, chaya is recommended for diabetes, obesity, kidney stones, hemorrhoids, acne, and eye problems.

WARNING: Chaya leaves must be cooked; raw leaves are toxic

The scientific name of chaya (español: chaya) is cnidoscolus aconitifolius. It is known as Chaya or Mayan Tree Spinach. It is a large fast-growing perennial shrub that is believed to have originated on the Yucatan peninsula. Chaya can be cooked just like spinach, and is an excellent addition to a stir-fry. in stir-fries! It is high in protein, vitamins, calcium, iron and antioxidants. In folk medicine, chaya is recommended for diabetes, obesity, kidney stones, hemorrhoids, acne, and eye problems. Chaya shoots and leaves serve as a laxative, diuretic, and circulation stimulant. They are used to improve digestion, to stimulate lactation, and to harden the fingernails. Like most food plants such as lima beans, cassava, and many leafy vegetables, the leaves contain hydrocyanic glycosides, a toxic compound easily destroyed by cooking. Even though some people eat raw chaya leaves, it is risky to do so.

Chaya is believed to have these and other health benefits:
Improve blood circulation
Aid digestion
Improve vision
Help lower cholesterol
Help reduce weight
Prevent coughs
Increase calcium
Deconges and disinfect lungs
Prevent anemia
Improve memory and brain function
Combat arthritis
Improve glucose metabolism and prevent diabetes.
SOURCES: HEALTH BENEFITS TIMES