The original name in Maya was CHAY but changed to Chaya by the spanish conquerors . The binomen is Cindoscolus aconitifolius . THe genus name coming from the Greek knido meaning nettle and scolus, meaning thorn. So this means when harvesting the leaves, care is needed as they sting when touched but cooking destroys the stinging hairs..It has a succulent stem that exude a milky sap when cut but its easy to propagate.
From times immemorial the Mayas have used this plant as food as well as for curing aliments .Long before our modern scientists had the knowledge of its nutritional values the Mayas already knew it had nutrients equal to meat or even superior.
It has been proven that 100grams of Chaya leaves contain
9% protein 2% fat 7%carbohydrates 421 milgms calcium,63 milgms phospherous,11 milgms iron,8 milgms Vit A,1.7niocins,274 milgms Vit C with small amounts of Vit B1 and B2. Thats what I call healthy food!
It’s very easy to grow and within 2-3months after planting will yield an abundance of leaves ready to use in the kitchen.These plants can grow up to 6 meters but to keep tame its best to keep them at 2 meters
The raw chay leaves are toxic and therefore cooking is essential before eating .
Both these plants you will find on the property growing best as they do in a climate of humidity and heat . Well I guess here in the Yucatan we have the ideal climate to say the least.It is said that Chaya also grows in Guatamala,Belice and Honduras.