Carica Papaya is commonly known as papaya, pawpaw and in Hindi it is called Papita. The Sanskrit name is Chirbhita. Papaya plant is native to Mexico and Central America. It is now cultivated throughout the world and grown in gardens as an ornamental tree.
Papaya shoots, latex and juice were used by Mayans in their herbal medicine and now it is used as a medicine and food globally. In India it was introduced in the 17th century.
Raw papaya is used as a vegetable and is also used to soften meat.
CHARACTERISTICS OF CARICA PAPAYA
It is a short-lived, fast growing and single stemmed tree which reaches a height of up to 10 m. The trunk is straight, soft, hollow and cylindrical in shape. The leaves are alternate have long petioles, glabrous and are seen on the top of the tree forming a crown. Flowers are uisexual, dioecious and trimorphous.
Male flowers are seen in densely pubescent cymes at the apex of the fistular rachis. Female flowers are big, solitary or in sparse racemes with thick rachis. The fruit is a big berry, with different sizes, elongated or globose. The fruit has a big central cavity. The seeds are small, black and a transparent aril encloses the seeds.
PARTS OF THE PLANT USED AS MEDICINE
Roots, seeds, fruit pulp and milky juice of the plant are used as food and medicine.
THERAPEUTIC POWERS OF CARICA PAPAYA
This plant has several therapeutic properties to boast of. Some of these are:-
- The juice of the papaya tree is considered as a medicine. The milky juice of unripe fruit is known to possess strond anthelmintic properties which are useful in relieving roundworms.
- In some parts of India the fruit is used as an emmenagogue (which induces menstruation).
- The latex of the fruit is applied to the neck of the womb to induce abortion. The seeds are powdered and used as an anthelmintic (eliminates parasitic worms from the intestine). The seed extract has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
- In Nigeria, the extract of the leaves is used for relieving worm infestations.
- Ripe fruits have diuretic properties and are effective in relieving flatulence. The latex is used for indigestion, colic and spleen or liver enlargement.
- Leaves or flower extracts are used as a heart tonic and febrifuge. The decoction of the inner stem bark is used for relieving dental problems.
Papaya contains two primary compounds, papain and chymopapain. Phenolic compounds are seen in more quantities in male trees. Other elements like alkaloids, butonic acid, flavonols, linalool, tannins and terpinolene are seen in leaves, fruit, seeds, roots and bark of the tree. The fruit contains potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese. Other elements like riboflavin, thiamine, niacin and ascorbic acid are present in the shoots.
CARE FOR AILMENTS
Papaya acts as a relieve for several ailments. Some of these are:-
- Urinary troubles: Juice of papaya roots is effective in relieving urinary complaints.
- Intestinal worms: An infusion made by fresh papaya leaves is used for eliminating worms from the intestine.
- Constipation: Ripe papaya fruit works like a laxative. It helps to digest the food properly and helps in regular bowel movements.
- Fever: Powdered dried seeds when mixed with vinegar are used for application on the skin to reduce fever.
- Indigestion: The milky juice which comes out from the unripe fruit on the tree is used for reducing indigestion.
- Dyspepsia: For relieving dyspepsia, a decoction with the external parts of roots of papaya is made.
- Wounds: Papaya peel can be applied on wounds to fasten relieving. Skin ointments are made from papaya.
- Infections: Papaya helps to strengthen the immune system of the body and helps to fight infections.
- Toothache: The bark and leaf extracts are effective in relieving gums and teeth problems.
- Parasitic worms: Papain which is found in papaya helps in eliminating intestinal parasites from the stomach efficiently.
- Arthritis: As papaya possesses anti-inflammatory properties, it can relieve the severity of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Other Uses: After antibiotic management, eating papaya helps to replenish good bacteria in the stomach which was destroyed by the antibiotics.
- Consuming papaya after a meal encourages proper digestion, prevents indigestion and bloating.
- It reduces the inflammation in the body, reduces the pain and edema caused by injuries.
- Because of the antioxidant properties, papaya controls cholesterol.
SAFETY AND PRECAUTIONARY TIPS WHILE USING CARICA PAPAYA
Papaya should not be consumed during pregnancy as it may lead to abortion. Indulging in excessive amounts also may lead to complications.
PLANET AYURVEDA PRODUCTS USING CARICA PAPAYA
Currently there are no Planet Ayurveda Products that have Carica Papaya as an ingredient in them; however the below mentioned Planet Ayurveda products are useful in some conditions for which Carica Papaya is used:
It is always better to consult a registered medical practitioner before using any herbal supplements or Ayurvedic medicines. We at Planet Ayurveda follow safety regulations and high quality standards in manufacturing all over herbal products. We use only natural and vegetarian ingredients. We never test our products on animals. For a safe and healthy lifestyle, choose Planet Ayurveda herbal products.