Papaya Herb - Health Benefits, Uses And Side Effects
The papaya, also known as mamao , tree melon , or pawpaw (not to be confused with the true pawpaw), is the fruit of the tree Carica papaya. Papaya components used for herbal therapy usually come from the leaves, seeds, pulp, and latex of Carica papaya. Native to Mexico and Central America, this plant also grows in other tropical areas.
Used to flavor candies and ice cream, papaya also is found in some facial creams to soften the skin. Some people use it as a meat tenderizer.
Papayas have exacting climate requirements for vigorous growth and fruit production. They must have warmth throughout the year and will be damaged by light frosts. Brief exposure to 32° F is damaging and prolonged cold without overhead sprinkling will kill the plants. Cold, wet soil is almost always lethal. Cool temperatures will also alter fruit flavor. Papayas make excellent container and greenhouse specimens where soil moisture and temperature can be moderated.
The papaya is a short-lived, fast-growing, woody, large herb to 10 or 12 feet in height. It generally branches only when injured. All parts contain latex. The hollow green or deep purple trunk is straight and cylindrical with prominent leaf scars. Its diameter may be from 2 or 3 inches to over a foot at the base
Common doses of Papaya
Papaya comes as:
Some experts recommend the following dose:
Uses of Papaya herb
Papaya ( Carica papaya ) contains a substance called "papain", which is chemically similar to "pepsin", an enzyme that helps digest protein in the body. It is a safe and natural digestive aid. It's easy enough to buy an over-the-counter alternative, but it is certainly not any better. In fact, in a lot of ways, it is much worse. If you take too many antacids, you run the risk of the "rebound effect," that is, your body will respond by producing even more acid, which will cause even more gastrointestinal problems. Papaya juice or tablets, however, can be taken freely without any fear of rebounding. The fruit is also delicious and very popular in Hawaii.
Papaya are high in ascorbic acid content (vitamin C) and the flesh is very high in Vitamin A. There are also small amounts of calcium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin present in papaya. It is low in calories and sodium and high in potassium. Specifically, Papaya may help to :-
Recently, a Taiwanese research team found that animals pretreated with Papaya were significantly more resistant to stress-induced ulcers than untreated animals. The herb's tendencies to coagulate blood and to reduce acid secretion could account for these effects.
Side effects of Papaya
Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of papaya:
Injections of chymopapain (an enzyme in papaya) may cause a severe allergic reaction leading to death.
Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you're taking.
Important points to remember
What the research shows
Studies on people suggest that papaya may help ease inflammation caused by injuries or surgery. Lab tests on mice suggest that the herb also may act against digestive tract bacteria, although no human studies have been done in this area.
Other names for Papaya
Other names for papaya include melon tree, papain, and pawpaw.
Products containing papaya are sold under such names as Papaya Enzyme, Papaya Enzyme with Chlorophyll, and Papaya Leaf.
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