Medicinal Uses of Papaya

Medicinal Uses of Papaya

When papaya is mentioned, most people will envision its yellow-orange flesh, green skin, or perhaps, the black, shiny, caviar-like papaya seeds. Some will probably associate papaya with skin products or see it as a good remedy for constipation. But most of us fail to think about its medicinal value as we focus too much on the sweetness we feel when eating papaya.  Without even warning us, pawpaw nourishes our bodies by slaying microorganisms that cause diseases, correcting broken processes and curing sick organs. 

Studied for nearly ninety years in preclinical research, tackling areas of inflammation, diabetes, cancer, viral, bacterial, parasitic, and cardiovascular diseases, papaya’s medicinal value is genuine. Diverse literature totaling more than nine hundred reports to date is available for perusal. I’m sure you are already convinced that papaya is indeed a power and energy-giving fruit. Some of the top medical benefits provided by papayas include the following.

  • Significantly lowers the risk of lung cancer - Papaya is a major source of beta-cryptoxanthin, a carotenoid that is proven to reduce your risk of colon and lung cancer.  Reliable studies have shown how beta-cryptoxanthin can reduce lung cancer by more than thirty percent. In one laboratory experiment exposing animals to cigarette smoke, group of animals with vitamin A-rich diet had less incidence of emphysema than those animals given a diet without extra amount of vitamin A. Thus, eating papaya, which has high carotenoid, may also protect your lung from the harmful effects of cigarette smoke and promoting lung health through its carotenoids’ ability to fight free-radicals.  

  •  Arthritis and inflammation - Papain and chymopapain, found in papaya, are protein-digesting enzyme not only good for healthy digestion but also have been proven to decrease inflammation, pain, and swelling, and improve healing from burns. Also, an article published in "Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology" in July 2001 noted that papain shows strong anti-inflammatory activities in the treatment of infectious arthritis. These two enzymes also may decrease pain and inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis and may speed healing of injuries, protect tissues from ongoing damage during the healing process and reduce swelling following surgery. Lastly, papaya may also help counteract the irritating effects of aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs.

  • Remove free radicals - As we all know, diseases like the heart disease, arthritis, cancer, and diabetes are triggered by free radicals that cause oxidative stress and damage to vital organs. Papaya has a lot of vitamin C that is known to contain antioxidants. The work of antioxidants is to dilute oxidative stress and getting rid of free radicals that cause it.

  • Vision – Papaya’s beta-carotene and vitamin C and E have been found to reduce the danger of cataracts, loss of vision due to age and glaucoma.
  • Blood pressure and Cholesterol – When you eat papaya, you automatically increase your fiber intake that is known to control blood pressure and to regulate your levels of blood LDL or bad cholesterol. When your cholesterol level is controlled, you can steer clear of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Indigestion relief – Papaya contains fiber that adds bulk to the digested food so that it can exit the system rather than lounge in the intestines where it can cause constipation. Papaya has an enzyme called papain that facilitates digestion of food and prevents the development of stomach ulcers.  Additionally, papaya seeds are effective against the Salmonella. E. Colli and other and parasites that cause stomach infections.

Safety Considerations

Remember that approximately 50 percent of Hawaiian papayas are GMO. Try choosing Mexican papayas as they are more locally and naturally grown. Moreover, eating papaya can cause dermatitis in some people, and the protein-digesting enzyme found in papaya may also degrade fats and carbohydrates. It is also possible to have allergic reactions when eating papaya if you have identified allergies against the latex.