Papaya (Carica papaya L.) is tropical evergreen plant native of Mexico and Central America. It is found throughout India. Papaya fruits contain protein, fat, fibre, carbohydrates, minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, iron, vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and carotene, amino acids and citric acid.
Papaya fruits are nutritionally very rich with low calories. Ripe papaya fruits have stomachic, digestive, carminative and diuretic activities. Its unripe fruits have laxative, diuretic, antibacterial, abortifacient, anti-implantation activity.
This fruit must not be eaten in pregnancy as it can cause miscarriage.
- Papaya fruits contain beta carotene, vitamin A, E and C which helps to improve body immunity to fight infections. These vitamins make this fruit a good anti-oxidant. Vitamin A helps in improving eyesight.
- Papaya contains vegetable pepsin Papain which helps in improving digestive power. This enzyme helps in better digestion of proteins.
- Papaya fruit is good in treating all type of digestive and abdominal problems. It cures indigestion, constipation, abdominal gas and hyperacidity. It is also helpful in improving appetite.
- Papaya fruit helps to digest protein rich heavy meal as it contains protein-digesting proteolytic enzymes such as papain and chymopapain..
- Papaya fruit lowers high cholesterol levels in body.
- Papaya fruits can be applied externally on skin in case of ulcers burns etc. It has proteolytic enzymes and antimicrobial activities which help in better healing of burn injuries.
- Papaya fruit acts as mild laxative and helps to cure constipation.
Papaya fruit is rejuvenator and tonic that prevents free radical damage and premature aging.
- Papaya pulp can be applied on face for cleaning and removing blemishes.
Medicinal usage of Papaya seeds
Papaya seeds are obtained from ripe fruit. These are numerous, black and small in size. Generally seeds are discarded as waste product. But these small seeds are full of medicinal properties and are non toxic.
Papaya seeds are edible but have pungent, peppery, and bitter taste. These seeds are small in size but are full of medicinal properties. In fact they are more potent as medicine compared to the fruit pulp. Papaya seeds are useful in expelling intestinal parasites naturally.
Papaya seeds have antibacterial, antifungal activities and are effective against E.coli, Salmonella and Staphylococcus infections. These are cost effective remedy to cure intestinal worms. Papaya seeds are also good for kidney and liver. These help to protect kidney and detoxify liver.
Papaya seeds can be eaten fresh, as sprout or air dried. Air dried papaya seeds can be used to prepare tea or grinded to add on dishes to make them easily digestible.
Papaya seeds contain glucosinolates, Benzyl isothiocynate, papain, caricin and papaya oil. Benzyl isothiocynate, which is the chief anthelmintic agent of papaya seeds is scientifically proven against action on parasitic worm. The phytoprinciple benzyl isothiocyanate acts by inhibiting energy metabolism and affecting motor activity of the parasites. The seeds are rich in powerful protein-digesting enzymes that can dissolve the outer layers of tapeworms, pinworms, roundworms, amoebas etc. Also presence of caricin in seeds give it effectiveness in expelling roundworms. For deworming either raw-fresh or air-dried/shade dried seeds powder can be used.
Some of the important medicinal properties of papaya seeds due to which it is effective against parasitic infections are given below
Antibacterial: Destroys bacteria or suppresses their growth or their ability to reproduce.
Papaya seeds are effective against E.coli, Salmonella and Staphylococcus infections. E. coli or Escherichia coli is the name of a germ/bacterium that lives in the digestive tracts of humans and many other animals. They are of many type and some of them are harmless but some other cause serious infections including urinary tract infections, bloody diarrhea, severe anemia and even kidney failure. Salmonella is also a germ/bacterium that affects the intestinal tract and may cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Staphylococcus is again a type of germ or bacteria that causes Staph infections.
Anthelmintic: Means medicines that destroy parasitic worms.
Anti-amebic: Destroy or suppress the growth of ameba/ medicine that treats amebic infections. Ameba/protozoan are single-celled living organisms that causes parasitic infection. For example, amebiasis (symptoms are loose motion, cramping, dysentery) is caused by the amoeba Entamoeba histolytica.
Nematicidal activity: means medicine that kill nematodes. Nematodes are long, round, and generally smooth body roundworms/threadworms.
How to use Papaya seeds for deworming
Papaya seeds are edible but are not palatable. They taste peppery and pungent. Adding honey improves the taste.
For treating intestinal parasites, you can chew (or use a mortar and pestle and just crush the seeds to make a paste) one teaspoon to one tablespoon of fresh papaya seeds daily for a week empty stomach in morning. You can mix honey to make it more palatable. After one week, stop for two days and then repeat for another week.
Another method is use powder of papaya seeds. Remove the seeds from the fresh papaya and air-dry/shade dry them. Once all moisture is removed ground the seeds to make powder. Take about 1-3 teaspoonful of this powder, mix with honey and add in cup of warm water and drink empty stomach before breakfast. Do this for one week.
For kids you can add one teaspoon/4g of air-dried papaya seeds powder in 20 ml of honey. Addition of honey masks the taste of seeds and thus helps in easy administration. This can even be given to a child as young as three years.
Best part of using papaya seeds for deworming is that it is inexpensive, effective and does not have any side-effects.
You can also use fresh seeds. For this purpose chew one spoon of papaya seeds daily for a weak empty stomach in morning. You can also mix honey to make it more palatable.
Papaya seeds should be avoided in pregnancy as these may cause abortion.
Health Benefits of Papaya seeds
- Anti-oxidantPapaya seeds can be sprouted and eaten as salad. It is anti-oxidant that helps to prevent free radical damage.
- For colitisEat seeds of papaya. These are antibacterial and helpful in colitis.
- Amoebic dysenteryTake seeds from ripe fruit, grind (1 teaspoon) and mix in lukewarm water. Drink after every three hours. Or you can simply chew the seeds.
- Improving appetitePrepare tea from seeds and drink to improve appetite.
- Improving digestion, abdominal gas, constipationChew one teaspoon of papaya seeds.
Papaya leaves medicinal usage and health benefits
Papaya leaves are used for treating various diseases such as digestive system problems, malaria, dengue etc. Nowadays these leaves are very well known for increasing platelet counts in dengue fever. In some places these leaves are steamed and eaten in form of vegetable. These leaves are edible and good for digestive system. Its leaves are also used to prepare papaya tea. Papaya leaves contain calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin E and vitamin C.
- Papaya leaves are useful in treating dengue fever. These help to increases platelet levels. Generally 5 ml of its leaves juice is given to patients twice a day. This is proven in many studies that this effectively increases platelet count in few hours after oral administration.
- Papaya leaves are very good for digestive system. Its leaves juice can be taken to improve digestive function. This juice contains karpain which helps to kill parasitic micro organisms.
- Papaya leaves poultice are prepared and applied to get relief from nervous pain.
- Papaya leaves can be applied externally on wounds, cuts, ulcers for faster healing.
- Papaya leaves tea is used for treating malaria.
- Papaya leaves has anti-oxidant activity which help to prevent free radical damage.
- Papaya leaves decoction prepared in water and taken orally is useful in reducing blood pressure.
How to use Papaya leaves for dengue treatment
Papaya leaves juice is very helpful for increasing platelets count in human body, this is based on our experience with dengue fever.
you can use it in curing dengue as it increases platelets in blood and gives immunity to body, which help in recovery from dengue fever.
- Take 2-3 fresh leaves of papaya.
- Wash leaves with cold / normal temperature water very carefully.
- Remove all stems(possible) from leaves.
- Pound them and squeeze juice using clean cotton cloth filter.
- Give 1-2 table spoon, one or two time daily. (Keep dosage small as this can cause problems in high dose.)
This is really very effective in dengue recovery, you can ignore it bitter taste.
Note: Please use this only as supplement to increase your platelets count with your doctors prescribed medicines.
Papaya Leaves Tea Preparation and Health Benefits
Papaya leaves tea is prepared from leaves of plant Carica papaya belonging to the genus Carica. This tea offers several health benefits. It is good for heart, skin and digestive system. It helps to detoxify body. In some places this tea is drank for preventing malaria. This tea has anti-oxidant, anti-malarial, anti-tumour and anti-cancer activities.
How to dry papaya leaves for tea
Papaya leaves can be powdered which can be used later to prepare tea. For this purpose five to six months old leaves are plucked, washed and then cut to separate stalks and leaves. Stalks and leaves are dried separately in shade. Generally low humidity and hot weather is good for this purpose. Then these dried leaves are grinded to get leaves powder and stored in air tight container.
How to prepare Papaya leaves tea
- Papaya dried leaves or its powder, boiling water
Recipe of Papaya leaves tea
- Boil a glass of water.
- Add 4 teaspoon of dried papaya leaves or its powder.
- Steep for 10 minutes.
- You can add peppermint for better taste.
- Strain and drink lukewarm during or after meals.
Benefits of drinking papaya leaves tea
- Improves digestion as it contains papain that helps in breaking down protein
- Drink after heavy meals for better digestion
- Helpful in indigestion and stomach disorders
- Detoxifies body, anti-oxidant and acts as tonic
- Gargle with papaya tea for getting relief from tonsillitis
- Improves immunity, appetite
- Protects from malaria, gastric ulcers
Papaya Fruit for Facial and skin care
Papaya skin and leaves contains white latex which is very rich in a chemical called papain. When we use papaya on skin papain gently dissolves dead skin and improve our complexion. Papaya latex is also very useful in removing dark patches, cut/burn marks.
Here i am writing very simple recipes for making papaya facial scrub and mask.
Papaya facial scrub:
- Take 1 table spoon papaya pulp
- One tea spoon granulated sugar
- 2-3 tea spoon gram flour(besan) or any ground flour
- Mess papaya pulp and Mix all this with spoon or fork and when it become good paste apply gently on your face and neck and rub gently in circular direction for 2-3 minutes. Avoid gentle area of eye. Wash with water and apply some moisturiser.
You can also get many ready made papaya face pack in market or also you can Purchas it online.
Note: Please do skin test with small amount because papain can cause irritation to sensitive skin.