Chocho (Sechium edule) or cho cho medicinal herb, so called in Jamaica, is a must for all Islanders. It is an edible plant belonging to the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae. It is not really a favorite amongst the children in Jamaica because of its bland taste, but with the adults who know the value of this herb, Jamaican cho cho is highly used for medicinal purposes. The most popular name for it, is chayote. Chayote is native to Mesoamerica. However, it is now being cultivated worldwide for various purposes.
Cho cho boasts two unique colors and the main part used is the fruit which is sometimes green and another time it is whitish green. It is pear-shaped and carries small thorns that can be a nuisance if not handled carefully. However, in other parts of the world the leaves, the seeds as well as the shoots are eaten and they are also rich in amino acids and Vitamin C. Are you having gum problem? Have you lost all your teeth? No problem, it can be cooked soft enough for you to eat it.
Some of the common names are Christophene, Vegetable pear, Mirliton, Christophine chouchoute, Choko, starprecianté, Citrayota, Citrayote, Chuchu, Chow chow, Sayote, Pear squash, Seemebadanekai as well as Iskus. It is known by different names in various countries but in Jamaica we call it chocho or cho cho as well as Jamaican cho cho.
It grows on a broad leaf vine and the benefits of chocho are many. The preparation of any kind of soup in Jamaica is not complete without cho cho. Cho Cho is used as a vegetable, as a salad as well as in preserves. It is also a good filling for gravies. Some people feel it is more nutritious when it is boiled in the skin. There are those who will eat it raw. However, whether it is consumed raw or cooked, chayote still possess the excellent sources of amino acids and vitamin C.
To prevent scars from appearing on the skin, just slice the raw cho cho medicinal herb and rub it on wounds.
Cho cho juice is an excellent herbal remedy for high blood pressure. It is
effective in reducing hypertension and the result is that many people
partake of it just for this reason. It is also a good medicinal herb for natural
weight loss because it possesses 90% water, which makes it a priority
both for the obese people and for those who suffer diabetes. Just juice
it like any other vegetable. If you are using a blender, just cut one
chayote in small pieces, put it in your blender and add water, then
blend. The juicer however, is much better. It is also a good remedy for atherosclerosis.
The medicinal properties of the leaves and fruit are diuretic, cardiovascular as well as anti-inflammatory and the benefits of the tea is really derived from the leaves. Therefore, the cho cho tea made from the leaves are very beneficial in the treatment of arteriosclerosis as well as hypertension.
Updated June 23, 2015
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