Chaya  Chidoscolus chayaman, a tender perennial that requires part sun is a Mexican herb used  for medicinal and culinary purposes.

Chaya Leaf

 

It has been used by local South Texans for years to control blood sugar. A recent study by Texas A&M University pointed out that an induced rabbit could be brought back from high levels of blood sugar within four hours. Some patients who drink Chaya tea have stopped taking their medications for diabetes. Some say that the Chaya plant could be the second wonder plant of the century.
Brought down from the Mayans to moedern Mexicans, South Texans are the only region that knows that Chaya exists. Researchers say that this plant contains powerful doses of vitamins, proteins and minerals. Other research shows that the Chaya plant provides mega amounts of vitamins! Other people that have used the plant have had good results in weight loss, depression, dry skin and circulation. While some even claim to have better sex when eating the leaves and making of tea of it’s leaves.
The National Institute of Nutrition in Mexico City says that ingesting Chaya will:
Improve blood circulation
Help Digestion
Improve Vision
Improve memory and brain function
Calm stressed veins
Help lower cholesterol
Help reduce weight
Prevent coughs
Combats diabetes and arthritis

Chaya Plant

I always enjoy growing unusual plants that you don’t see everywhere! The best part about growing it, is just how easy it is to grow. Mine has trippled in size in two months.It is also know as “Tree Spinach,”and  is best to grow it in a pot, to protect it during the Winter months. It will grow to about 6 feet tall and cutting it, encourages new growth.
The are bland, so you will want to add them to soups, casseroles, spaghetti sauces, salads and salsas. It is richer in iron than spinach!

TO MAKE A SIMPLE CHAYA Tea,  boil a gallon of water, and steep 4 or 5 Chaya leaves with a couple of bags of black tea in a glass pitcher or jar. Do not use aluminum containers, as it can cause a toxic reaction, causing diarrhea.

The leaves should be boiled for five minutes before consuming, because they contain cyanogenic glycosides, which can cause cyanide poisoning.