What are the Health Benefits of Papita (Carica papaya)?
What is Papita (Carica papaya)?
Nowadays herbs are gaining importance as synthetic drugs are unsafe and not good for the environment. Herbs are safe and have medicinal, flavoring and aromatic properties. The medicinal values lie in some chemical substances that alter the physiological changes in the body. One of the plants is Carica papaya which has become well recognized for its exceptional nutritional properties.
According to Ayurveda, this plant is indicated in various health conditions such as cough, cold, respiratory disorders, asthma, liver enlargement, enlarged spleen, oedema, inflammatory conditions, toxic conditions, low digestion strength etc.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Hindi Name: Papita
- English Name: Papaya tree, Papain
- Urdu Name: Arand kharbuza
- Botanical Name: Carica papaya
- Family: Caricaceae
What are the Medicinal Properties of Carica papaya?
- Taste (Rasa): Pungent (katu) and Bitter (Tikta)
- Guna (Qualities): Light to digest (laghu), dry (rooksha)
- Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
- Potency: Hot (Ushna)
- Effect on Tridosha: pacifies Kapha and Vata dosha.
- Parts used: fruit, leaf, latex and seeds.
What are the Therapeutic Properties of Different Parts of Carica papaya?
- Ripe fruits: digestive, diuretic, carminative, tonic, sedative, useful in constipation, skin diseases like ringworm etc.
- Unripe fruit: diuretic, laxative, abortifacient, has anti-bacterial activity, useful in snake bite.
- Root: diuretic, anti-fungal, abortifacient and useful in irregular bleeding from the uterus.
- Leaves: Leaves are used as a vegetable, useful in dressing wounds, its smoke is used for asthma, and infusion is used for gonorrhea and urinary complaints.
- Flowers: Flowers act as emmenagogue, febrifuge and have pectoral properties.
- Stem Bark: Stem bark has anti-hemolytic and anti-fungal activity, useful in dengue fever, jaundice, sexually transmitted diseases etc.
- Latex: Relieves dyspepsia, diarrhea, stomachic, whooping cough, bleeding hemorrhoids etc.
What are the Health Benefits of Carica papaya?
Helps in Dengue Fever
Papaya leaves are well known in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of dengue fever since centuries.
- Today, papaya leaf extract is widely used as a treatment for dengue fever than conventional medicine.
- The other benefits of Papaya leaves are that they can fight viral infections such as common cold.
- It strengthens the immune system of the body as it contains over 50 ingredients that support the immune system along with the presence of Vitamins such as Vitamin A, C and E.
- Due to these natural ingredients, the leaves help to regenerate white blood cells and platelets.
Improves Skin Complexion
Papaya is also good for beauty benefits due to the presence of Vitamin E and beta-carotene that help to prevent cell damage as they have anti-oxidant properties.
- Vitamin E supports the collagen production. Papaya fruit is also a good source of beta-carotene that smoothes away the wrinkles.
- Eating papaya fruit can give young looking skin.
- Applying papaya facial mask gives the skin restorative look.
- The oil of papaya seeds is also useful for healthy skin as well as for dealing with certain skin problems.
Dissolves Blood Clots
Papaya fruit contains 'fibrin' which helps to prevent clotting of blood and enables the blood flow.
- So, include papaya in the daily diet.
Improves Heart Health
Papaya fruit as well as seeds are good for heart health as it is a rich source of powerful anti-oxidants as well as Vitamins such as A, C and E.
- The presence of anti-oxidants and vitamins in papayas are helpful in preventing problems such as atherosclerosis heart disease.
- In addition, papaya is rich in fiber that can help to reduce cholesterol levels in the body.
Digestive Health and Elimination of Celiac Disease
It is a well-known fact that enzyme supplementation plays a vital role in the management of various digestive disorders primarily with regard to protein intolerance.
- There are plant based enzymes such as papain which is obtained from papaya serves as an effective digestive aid in the breakdown of proteins. It has the action similar to that of pepsin in the gastric juice.
- Papaya is beneficial for the patients of celiac disease who cannot digest wheat protein.
- Apart from its nutritional properties, papaya also possesses therapeutic and chemo preventive properties owing to anti-oxidants or cytotoxic phytochemicals that may prove effective against some forms of cancer.
- The presence of saponins present in papaya leaves support the fact that papaya leaf has cytotoxic effects.
- Moreover, its juice has been shown to have anti-proliferative effects on the liver cancer cells.
Other Health Benefits of Papaya
- For inflammation, fever and difficulty during micturition, the milk of raw papaya is applied over the insect and scorpion bitten area to relieve pain.
- The cold infusion prepared from the leaves of papaya in a dose of 20-30 ml is administered to treat local swelling and fever.
- The vegetable of raw papaya can be consumed to treat piles, intestinal worms and hepatomegaly.
- In case of pain and swelling, papaya leaves are slightly heated and applied over the affected area.
- The milk of raw papaya to relieve skin diseases like ringworm and eczema.
- The ripe fruit should be consumed to relieve constipation.
- The papaya fruit strengthens the muscles of the heart.
- For people, who consume non-vegetarian food such as meat which is rich in proteins and other protein supplements, taking papaya slices can help them in easy digestion of proteins as it contains an enzyme known as papain which acts as a proteolytic.
Pregnant women should not consume raw papaya as the milk present in raw papaya may cause abortion.
Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan
MD (ALT. MEDICINE) View Profile