Medicinal plants

Chaya (Cnidoscolus aconitifolius)

The chaya plant is a semi-evergreen shrub that grows naturally in both Mexico and Central America. Its size is rather small, something that makes it possible to grow it both in pots and in the garden as long as the weather is good.

Its maintenance is not complicated, but it also has edible and medicinal uses that cannot be ignored.

Origin and characteristics

Our protagonist is a semi-evergreen and semi-woody shrub that reaches up to six meters in height, whose scientific name is  Cnidoscolus aconitifolius. It is popularly known as chaya, spinach tree, or chicasquil. Its leaves are palmate, lobed and alternate, green in color, with a size of up to 32cm. These usually fall during the dry season. The flowers are white and small, and appear in clusters.

Health benefits

Its leaves are rich in vitamins, mineral salts, trace elements and enzymes, and it is known to be a very good ally for humans as it regulates blood pressure, improves blood circulation, reduces inflammation of veins and hemorrhoids, reduces cholesterol and acid. uric, helps to lose weight and also increases calcium retention. The dose is 2 to 6 leaves per day, whether they are cooked in soups or salads.

What are their cares?

If you want to have a specimen of chaya, we recommend providing the following care:

  • Location:
    • Exterior: it must be placed in full sun, although it also tolerates semi-shade.
    • Indoor: it can be in an interior patio for example, or in a room where a lot of natural light enters.
  • Land:
    • Garden: it must be fertile, with good drainage.
    • Pot: universal growing substrate mixed with 30% perlite.
  • Watering: 3-4 times a week in summer, somewhat less the rest of the year.
  • Subscriber: from the beginning of spring to the end of summer with ecological fertilizers, once a month.
  • Multiplication: by seeds in spring.
  • Rusticity: it does not resist cold or frost. The minimum temperature that it can hold is 10ºC.

What did you think of the chaya plant?

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