Herb: Kaya

Latin name: Torreya nucifera

Synonyms: Taxus nucifera

Family: Cephalotaxaceae (Plum Yew Family)

Medicinal use of Kaya:

The seeds are anthelmintic. They are used in the treatment of several parasitic conditions including hookworm, tapeworms, pinworms and roundworms. The plant is anodyne, carminative, digestive, laxative and pectoral.

Description of the plant:


20 m
(66 feet)

Habitat of the herb:

Moist valley bottoms.

Edible parts of Kaya:

Seed - raw, cooked or used in confectionery. An agreeable sweet slightly resinous flavour. An aromatic flavour, it is much relished and is eaten in quantity though it is said to be laxative if eaten in excess. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. Used in cooking.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Some of the seed should germinate in the following spring though much of it might take another 12 months. Stored seed requires a period of cold stratification and can take 18 months or more to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as growth is observed and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least the next couple of winters, making sure to pot them on into larger pots as and when required. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer when the plants are at least 20cm tall. Cuttings of half-ripe shoots in late summer. Cuttings do not grow well. Layering.

Cultivation of Kaya:

Moist valley bottoms.

Known hazards of Torreya nucifera:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.