Papaya medicinal properties


A papaya is a tropical fruit rich in sugars, fiber and beta carotene.

In addition to being a nutritious, it contains papain, a substance that can be used for medicinal purposes.

Papain in papaya can improve slow digestion

drawingDrawing of the fruit

Besides being a very suitable plant for food, papaya can be exploited for medicinal purposes.

In China the fruit was used to solve the digestive problems of those who have difficulty in digesting food, or those with stomach acidity.

Recently, based on the use natives made of this fruit, it has been discovered that an enzyme from papaya, called papain, can have many applications as a folk remedy.

Among all of them it is worth highlighting the following:

  • For heavy digestions
  • Eliminate intestinal worms
  • For skin care

Papaya to digest better

The regular intake of this fruit helps improve digestion, especially in those cases where there is a deficiency of stomach acid, which leads to slow digestion, with plenty of burping and flatulence (what is known in medical terms as dyspepsia).

Papain stimulates the production of pancreatic juices allowing a better digestion. This plant can increase the gastric juices in hepatobiliary insufficiency but, at the same time, it is able to protect your stomach when irritated.

In case of cirrhosis, it is appropriate to take a teaspoon of juice of seeds per day, sweetened with honey or lemon juice to prevent its spiciness.

Eating papayas will be very adequate for gastritis or in case of you are likely to suffer from gastritis as a result of the excess of acids or the habitual intake of medicines.

Papaya for intestinal problems

Yogurt with papaya

Yogurt with papaya

Papain also regulates digestive functions. This is determined by the properties of papain, not only to act on the stomach, but also in the intestines. The regular intake of fruit will be able to exert as an astringent when there are problems of diarrhea.

It is very common in the Caribbean to treat childhood diarrhea with green papaya (Cut a slice, remove the seeds and boil in a liter of water for 15 minutes. Add a little of the liquid to the milk until stopping diarrhea)

In case of constipation, this treatment can help ease bowel movements. (These functions are enhanced when the fruit is eaten with your stomach empty) For intestinal transit problems, it will be beneficial to combine this fruit with yogurt, to provide beneficial probiotics for the intestinal flora

This fruit is also suitable for intestinal problems of the inflammatory type, since its content in carotenes is capable of regenerating the digestive membranes (diverticulitis, irritable bowel).

However the best way to solve problems is to use gastric and intestinal papain supplements obtained from the latex of the unripe fruit. This supplement is available in many pharmacies or herbalists, where it is sold as capsules or tablets. The usual dose is between 0.3 and 1.5 grams per day in 3 divided doses. (Read the terms of use and dosage in the patient’s leaflet)

Papain to get rid of intestinal worms

The ability of papain to break down the meat has been utilized in folk medicine to eliminate intestinal worms. Chinese medicine marinates these fruits in apple cider vinegar, which is drunk to remove worms or tapeworms. In addition of papain, there are other alkaloids involved in this property, such as carpaine or caricin.

Without using the Chinese procedure, we can eliminate intestinal worms simply by means of eating a teaspoon of crushed seeds. Remember these seeds are extremely spicy. We may also use the juice of the unripe fruit (Take a teaspoon of green papaya juice, mixed with an equal amount of honey and water twice – honey removes some spicy flavor of these seeds)

Treatments with this plant should last for approximately one month to be effective. It’s very good to take supplements of papain powder as shown above. These treatments can be combined with other drugs at the same time without any incompatibilities between them.

Papaya for menstrual problems

In difficult menstruations, the oxytocic properties of green papaya help produce uterine contractions that will be suitable to facilitate menstruation. These same properties can profit nursing mothers to increase milk production, placing a few drops of green papaya in the milk bottle.


Papayas to take care of your skin

Papaya properties for dissolving the proteins are used externally for:

  • Remove calluses: Apply a piece of papaya on the corn and secure with a piece of tape. Next morning rub thoroughly with hot water and a nail file. Repeat if necessary. Protect the healthy part for the action of papain does not cause some injury to the skin surrounding the corn.
  • Remove pimples and other acne impurities: Proteolytic and bactericidal properties of papaya are very useful in removing pimples, blackheads or other acne problems, preventing these skin anomalies to become infected. (Apply papaya juice on the affected skin and keep it for 15 minutes. Then clean thoroughly with cold water.)These same properties are useful to improve skin condition such as psoriasis or eczema. (Rub the affected area with papaya juice) (The latex of the plant has healing properties and can be used for the same purpose especially when small wounds are involved)
  • Scabs of wounds: papain properties are particularly interesting to remove the scabs of wounds leaving the skin clean.
  • Papain is a constituent of many beauty creams to improve skin appearance. Many exfoliating masks sold in the market contain this component. (See treatment of crow’s feet with papaya pulp)
  • Earplugs: You can make a preparation to remove the earplugs, as the components of the plant helps to dissolve the wax.
Drops to dissolve the earplugs
Mix in a tablespoon of distilled water 0.7 g of papain and half gram of sodium bicarbonate. Dip a cotton ball and insert it in the ear for a while.
  • Tonsils remedy: Gargles made with papaya juice should be adequate to combat tonsillitis and reduce the pus and inflammation.

Other uses of papaya

  • Clean contact lenses: Papain is a constituent of some products intended to serve as a liquid to clean contact lenses.
  • Heal the hernia without operation: From this plant is obtained chymopapain, another enzyme that is used medically to dissolve or make smaller the damaged lumbar discs of the spine. It is an alternative to surgery for a herniated disc as it allows to dissolve the excess tissue without surgery.

Toxicity of papaya

The latex of the plant can cause allergic reactions in certain sensitive individuals.

There are cases in which it has produced allergic dermatitis or respiratory problems.

punto rojoMore information on papaya.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

25 October, 2023

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