Compare Chaya to Spinach


ComponentChayaSpinach
Water (%)85.390.7
Protein (%)5.73.2
Fat (%)0.40.3
Crude Fiber  (%)1.90.9
Total CHO  (%)4.23.8
Ash  (%)2.21.8
Calcium (mg/100g)199.4101.3
Phosphorus  (mg/100g)39.030.0
Potassium  (mg/100g)217.2146.5
Iron  (mg/100g)11.45.7
Ascorbic Acid  (mg/100g)164.748.1
Carotenoids  (mg/100g)0.0850.014
Average nutritive value 14.946.38


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. 


HOW MUCH SUN:  

Keep plant moist but not too wet. Within a few weeks you should see fresh leaves sprouting. Chaya loves the sun. The sunnier the better! Don’t let the roots get too soggy.  Chaya plants thrive in semi sandy soil and sunny tropical climates.  Chaya is cold sensitive and may not do well outdoors in cold climates. Bring your plants indoors during threat of freezing or frost.  Unless you live in a subtropical zone, you may want to plant in pots and leave in sunny window or use a grow lamp.  

WE VALUE YOUR FEEDBACK:  We appreciate hearing from our customers about their growing experiences because we are mainly familiar with growing in subtropical climates.  ​If your plants don't produce leaves after about three weeks, let us know and we will replace them for you if you will pay for shipping.  We want you to love them as much as we do and help spread the word!

About 20 years ago, we started planting cuttings from a small plant given to us by our adopted Grandmother from Panama. The rapidly growing plants created a natural living fence between our organic banana trees and provided shade and year round greenery. The sticks we planted thrived in our sandy organic South Florida soil and over the years, we created a thick green privacy wall that has withstood hurricanes and frost and extreme heat. ​​


Imagine how excited we were when we found out how unique and somewhat rare our Chaya trees were! Some of them are over 25 feet now! We are truly excited about sharing this Mayan Miracle with others that are interested in finding solutions for world hunger and holistic health and healing.

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 20 minutes.  Best to cook uncovered.

Choose One

The Pure Life / Chaya Story

now offering 3 choices!

  • 10 fresh, green chaya cuttings:  $16

  • CHAYA LEAVES ONLY:  $18
  • ​10 CHAYA CUTTINGS AND LEAVES:  $25​

How to grow and care for your Chaya Cuttings

WHEN IT ARRIVES:  Your cuttings will be shipped in a small box. They will look like a bunch of sticks and some may have small green leaves.  Don't be alarmed if there are no green leaves for a few weeks.  Even woody cuttings can surprise you over time.

HOW TO PLANT:  Plant fairly deep in dirt making sure to bury two or three knuckles.  For best results, plant your cuttings with the “smile” on the knuckles pointing upward like a u (not frowning).  This should position the sprouting leaves to point upward.  Please note:  If you have allergies to latex, do not handle Chaya plants! 

What is Chaya?

AKA Tree Spinach, Mayan Miracle Plant or Chaya Chayamansa.  Our plants are the Chayamansa, maple leaf shape, non stinging variety. Chaya is being studied for its natural plant based medicinal value for preventing diabetes, cardiovascular problems and many more diseases.  It is highly recommended by experts as a leafy green Superfood Solution for World Hunger. 

At Pure Life, we are extremely excited about the latest addition to our online shop.  ​After 20 years of planting and cultivating this amazing plant, we are finally able to share it with the world!  Please join us in helping to further research and spread the word about this healthy and sustainable superfood. 

NEW!  Groundbreaking Recent Research from 2017 ! 

Conclusion:  Cnidoscolus chayamansa is not only a plant with high nutritional value; it also has important medicinal properties.  It is clear that Cnidoscolus chayamansa possesses significant anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective activities.  

Click here for extensive research study details. 

Do Not Eat Raw Chaya Leaves

​​​​ Chaya or Tree Spinach, is a large, fast-growing leafy perennial shrub that is believed to have originated in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico.  The plants were highly prized by ancient Mayans.  (Hence the nickname, the Mayan Miracle Plant).

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!

 Chaya chayamansa


aka mayan miracle / tree spinach / God's gift

FREE shipping included anywhere in the continental US