How Long Should Chaya Leaves be Boiled?
Chaya (Cnidoscolus aconitifolius) or tree spinach is a nutritious, fast growing perennial shrub (TN 53). It is one of many food plants that contain cyanogens, chemical compounds that can produce toxic hydrogen cyanide (HCN) when the food is consumed (Table 1). Hydrogen cyanide is produced when the plant cells are damaged, because an enzyme located in one part of the cell is then able to act on the cyanogen, which is kept in a different part of the cell. Microorganisms living in the intestines of animals also contain small amounts of enzymes which release HCN from cyanogens (Teles 2002).
Hepler, Danielle; Hing, Abigail; Kauffman, Sharon; and Schaeffer, Richard W., "How Long Should Chaya Leaves be Boiled?" (2018). Educator Scholarship. 36.