Nikosar From these findings, it can be inferred that CA positively modulates the antioxidant status and regenerates the liver to near normal in ethanol-treated rats. Citing articles via Web of Science 4. Effects of aqueous leaf extract of Chaya Cnidoscolus aconitifolius on pituitary-gonadal axis hormones of male Wistar rats. Chronic crude garlic-feeding modified adult male rat testicular markers: Cnidoscolus aconitifolius is divided into 2 subspecies.

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Jatropha napaeifolia Desr. Pohl Vernacular names Chaya, tree spinach, cabbage star En. Origin and geographic distribution Cnidoscolus aconitifolius possibly originated in the Yucatan region of Mexico, but is now widespread in eastern Mexico and Central America. It is also cultivated from northern Mexico to Guatemala and occasionally elsewhere, e.

Uses Young chaya leaves and shoots are cooked and eaten, alone or in combination with other vegetables and meat in stews and soups. The leaves are only rarely eaten raw as fresh greens. A popular drink in Yucatan Mexico is made by blending raw chaya leaves in sugar water with lemons, pineapple and other fruits and is said to heighten virility.

Chaya is also used as forage for domestic animals. Medicinally, chaya has numerous characteristics, ranging from the ability to strengthen fingernails and darken graying hair. It is also used to cure alcoholism, diabetics, insomnia, skin disorders, venereal diseases, gout, scorpion stings and to improve brain function and memory. Properties Fresh chaya leaves contain per g edible portion: water 72—83 g, protein 4—8 g, fat 0—2. It also contains HCN 27—42 mg.

Uncooked chaya leaves contain cyanogenic glycosides that produce hydrogen cyanide upon tissue damage. The cooking time required to lower HCN to safe levels is about 15 minutes. Numerous flavonoid compounds have been isolated from chaya and most are kaempferol and quercetin glycosides e. Most medicinal properties have never been experimentally tested. Diabetic rabbits, fed increasingly higher quantities of chaya leaves, showed a significant drop in blood sugar levels. Chicks fed diets high in chaya leaf meal had a lower overall mass but a significant increase in absolute heart mass, liver mass, red blood cell count and a significant reduction in mortality.

Chaya is known to contain proteolytic enzymes which could explain the use of chaya sap for skin disorders. Description Monoecious shrub or small tree up to 6 m tall, containing a white latex, with a thick pale trunk, plants usually armed with stinging hairs, but cultivated forms unarmed. Inflorescence a dichotomous cyme. Flowers unisexual, regular, without petals; sepals 5, up to 1 cm long, petaloid, white; male flowers with 10 united stamens in 2 whorls; female flowers with superior, 3-celled ovary, styles 3, connate at base.

Fruit an ovoid-globose, hispid capsule. Seeds 6—8 mm long, carunculate. Other botanical information Cnidoscolus comprises about 50 species, all American. Most species bear long stiff needle hairs, stinging the flesh much worse than most nettles, the pain often being excruciating and persistent for hours, sometimes accompanied by swelling and blistering.

The genus is closely related to Jatropha and was combined with it in the past. At present it is considered nearer to Manihot. Cnidoscolus aconitifolius is divided into 2 subspecies.

Breckon is restricted to a small area in western Mexico. Forms without stinging hairs used as a vegetable are classified as a cultivar-group: Chayamansa Group synonym: Cnidoscolus chayamansa McVaugh. Ecology Under natural conditions in Central America Cnidoscolus aconitifolius grows in moist and dry thickets in open forest, often in open rocky localities, from sea-level up to m altitude. Management Chaya is propagated by stem cuttings about 40 cm long, that are dried 1—14 days before being planted.

It can survive harsh conditions of high temperatures, deep shade, inundations or droughts. It is mostly planted as a hedge in home gardens. Although the plant can reach 6 m in height, the stems are easily broken by wind and it is recommended that a height of less than 2 m be maintained.

Harvesting is best done with protected hands, because even in unarmed plants, long-term contact with the white sap can cause skin irritation. The optimum harvest period is only 2—3 months per year, but in home gardens leaves are harvested when needed. Serious diseases and pests are not known. Genetic resources Cnidoscolus aconitifolius is widespread in Central America and not in danger of genetic erosion.

Prospects Chaya has potential as a home garden crop. With its easy propagation, its tolerance of harsh conditions and absence of serious diseases or pests, it is a promising species worthwhile trying in many locations in tropical Africa. Major references Kolterman, D. Chemotaxonomic studies in Cnidoscolus Euphorbiaceae.

Flavonoids of C. Systematic Botany 9 1 : 22— Ross-Ibarra, J. The ethnobotany of chaya Cnidoscolus aconitifolius ssp. Economic Botany 56 4 : — Standley, P. Flora of Guatemala. Fieldiana: Botany 24, part 6: 1— Other references Burkill, H. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. Volume 2, Families E—I. National Academy of Sciences, Underexploited tropical plants with promising economic value. National Academy of Sciences, Washington D.

Author s P. Cnidoscolus aconitifolius Mill. Grubben, G. Accessed 2 March


Chaya – Mayan Tree Spinach

What Is Chaya? Chaya requires little maintenance and is widely cultivated in Mexico and Central America. It can be cut and kept at a height of around meters for easy harvesting. There are 2 common varieties of chaya with different looking leaves, however both have similar stalks, growth and nutritional characteristics. Green Dean at Eattheweeds. Fortunately, ours are spineless, tasty and simple to collect! Why Grow Chaya?



Taxonomy[ edit ] Cnidoscolus aconitifolius subsp. Breckon is restricted a small area in western Mexico. Plants in the Chayamansa Group syn. Cnidoscolus chayamansa are the most widely cultivated, because they lack stinging hairs on the leaves.

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