Chaya Facts

Read the Research

Our team at Pure-Life has been doing our own personal real life research on the natural remedies associated with these amazing plants that we have been cultivating for over 20 years.  When we discovered the most recent laboratory research published in ScienceDirect in 2017, we contacted the research scientists directly and would like to thank them for their invaluable help and continued support of our common mission to educate others. 


We originally began sharing and offering cuttings from the original Mother Tree from Panama to our gardening friends and customers.  We are proud to offer our unique chaya leaf powder in the form of chaya supplements and can't wait to add to our product line!


More Research

How do you pronounce Chaya?

Traditionally, the word "Chaya" is pronounced with a soft CH as in CHurch, not a hard K as in Kayak.  The word Chaya rhymes with Mya (as in Myan).  Chaya is is not well known, somewhat rare, and often confused with Chia (Chee-uh) Seeds.  ​ 

BOIL LEAVES BEFORE EATING

Experts recommend cooking raw leaves for at least 20 minutes in a non aluminum pot before eating. Cooking in aluminum may cause diarrhea. You can drink the broth or use in in soup if it has cooked at least 15 minutes.  Best to cook uncovered.


​Cooking is essential prior to consumption to inactivate the toxic components; in this chaya is similar to cassava, which also contains toxic hydrocyanic glycosides and must be cooked before being eaten.  So, to play it safe, always cook your Chaya leaves in a non aluminum pot uncovered for at least 20 minutes.  They are delicious and tender when cooked and you can season them any way you like!​ 

WIKIPEDIA FACTS ABOUT CHAYA

  • Chaya or Tree Spinach, is a large, fast-growing leafy perennial shrub that is believed to have originated in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico.
  • Chaya is easy to grow, a tender perennial in the US, and suffers little insect damage. It is tolerant of heavy rain and has some drought tolerance. Propagation is normally by woody stem cuttings about 6-12 inches long, as seeds are produced only rarely. Early growth is slow as roots are slow to develop on the cuttings, so leaves are not harvested until the second year. Chaya leaves can be harvested continuously as long as no more than 50% of the leaves are removed from the plant, which guarantees healthy new plant growth.
  • Although demand for chaya, as a medicinal plant, has recently increased among the Hispanic population in the United States, the plant has the potential to make a significant nutritional contribution to the vegetable diet as well, because of its high nutrient content. 
  • The development of chaya as a new horticultural crop would transcend the ethnic popularity and create a worldwide market for the plant and its products, whether as a leafy green vegetable and/or as a therapeutic herbal tea.
  • A USDA study in Puerto Rico reported that higher yields of greens could be obtained with chaya than any other vegetable they had studied.
  • In another study chaya leaves were found to contain substantially greater amounts of nutrients than spinach leaves. Some varieties have stinging hairs and require gloves for harvesting. Cooking destroys the stinging hairs. Chaya is one of the most productive green vegetables. 
  • Chaya is a good source of protein, vitamins, calcium, and iron; and is also a rich source of antioxidants. However, raw chaya leaves are toxic as they contain a glucoside that can release toxic cyanide. Cooking is essential prior to consumption to inactivate the toxic components; in this chaya is similar to cassava, which also contains toxic hydrocyanic glycosides and must be cooked before being eaten.
  • Young chaya leaves and the thick, tender stem tips are cut and boiled as a spinach. It is a tasty vegetable, and is exceptionally high in protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin A.  In fact, levels of chaya leaf nutrients are two- to threefold greater than any other land-based leafy green vegetable.
  • Chaya leaves have a possible anti-diabetic effect.
  • Traditionally leaves are immersed and simmered for 20 minutes and then served with oil or butter. Cooking for 20 minutes or more will render the leaves safe to eat. The stock or liquid the leaves are cooked in can also safely be consumed as the cyanide is volatilized as hydrogen cyanide (HCN) during cooking. Cooking in aluminum cookware can result in a toxic broth, causing diarrhea.
  • The potential of C. chayamansa for human food and health has a significant implication for the plant as a horticultural crop. Although demand for chaya, as a medicinal plant, has recently increased among the Hispanic population in the United States, the plant has the potential to make a significant nutritional contribution to the vegetable diet as well, because of its high nutrient content. 
  • The development of chaya as a new horticultural crop would transcend the ethnic popularity and create a worldwide market for the plant and its products, whether as a leafy green vegetable and/or as a therapeutic herbal tea. 

Chaya Supplements