What Makes You Should Eat Papaya?

June 22, 2012

Papain in Papaya

Oseng daun kates, or translate in English as papaya leaf stir, is considered to be the best dish made by my mother. That's what I heard from everyone who had told her, by repeatedly asking to cook it again and again, though it's not my favorite. The bitter taste is the main reason why I'm not so fond of it. But Javanese people had used papaya leaf to cure malaria disease, by crushing and squeezing it, to make an aqueous solution extract. Add water to the extract and then is drunk to the patient.

Papaya leaf contains the enzyme papain, similiar to pepsin, that is used as meat tenderizer, and also to clarify beer. Papain is most found in the young fruit (green papaya) and leaf, but may vary in the whole tree such as seeds, roots and latex. That's made the young leaf may also used for tenderizing meat. Take a fresh meat in a bowl, then cover it with some papaya leaves for about an hour, if you want to make it tender. In other case, you may also put a chunk of green papaya and cook together with the meat.

Green Papaya

Papaya, a tropical tree, originally named as Carica Papaya, from the pawpaw family, Caricaceae. The name Carica was derived from Caria, an ancient division of Asia Minor, as it was thought to be the native of that region. It has since been found to be a native of tropical America, when it first introduced in 1690.

Papain and Infertility

The study of papain in trial with rats, it did not effect on body or reproductive organ weights, liver and kidney function. But, it effected on female rats to have infertility and irregular oestrous cycles. Male rats also had decreased testis mass and sperm count. The fertility of the male and female rats returned to normal within 60 days after the treatments were discontinued.

In some countries, green papaya is used for contraception and abortion, by consuming papaya to prevent pregnancies, due to papain might cause abortions shortly after conception. So, that's why pregnant women who are still having young pregnancy age, are suggested to avoid eating green papaya, or unripe papaya.

It will be OK to eat papaya as long as it ripe. Because ripe papaya rich in Vitamin A, C and folic acid (folate). Folate is needed for fertility in both men and women, where as now it has been found in many pregnancy supplements, such as formula milk for pregnancy mother.

Papain for Treatment

Papain is also applied for the treatment of cuts, rashes, stings and burns. Papain ointment is commonly made from fermented papaya flesh. For facial treatment, a soap made in Thailand which based on papaya is famous in Indonesia for skin whitening, but there's also the fake papaya soap that sold in the market, though it's really difficult to see the different between both of them.

Studies at the University of Nigeria have found that extracts of papaya fruits and seeds, whether ripe or unripe, are active against bacteria or antimicrobial. Powdered air-dried seeds which are given orally to dogs for 30 days decreased heartworm, a disease in which one of the major health problems of dogs.

An aqueous solution extracts which is given to rats, become purgative by increasing the number of wet feces and the movement of intestinal contents. That's why, by eating papaya may prevent us from having a bowel obstruction.

In St. Vincent, papaya is used to treat epithelioma, an abnormal growth of the epithelium, which is the layer of tissue that covers the surfaces of organs and other structures of the body. The usual treatment involves surgically removing the tumor and affected tissue.

In 1977, at public hospital in London, a post-operative infection in a kidney-transplant patient was cured by strips of papaya which were laid on the wound and left for 48 hours, after all modern medications had failed. In Turkey, papaya is used as cardiotonic (cardiac stimulant), a substance which acts as a stimulant of the heart. Examples of cardiac stimulant drugs are cocaine and methamphetamine.

In different parts of the world, papaya had been used also for below treatments:

  • Arthritis in Haiti and Java, Indonesia.
  • Asthma in Mauritius, Mexico, and Philippines.
  • Cancer in Australia and Mexico.
  • Colic (form of pain which starts and stops abruptly) in Malaya.
  • Diarrhea and dysentery in Honduras, Japan, Panama, and West Africa.
  • Dysuria (painful or difficult urination) in Java, Indonesia.
  • Fever in Mexico and Java, Indonesia.
  • Flu in Trinidad.
  • Hypertension in Honduras and Trinidad.
  • Infection in Panama.
  • Liver disease in Honduras and Turkey.
  • Madness or insanity in Ivory Coast.
  • Rheumatism in Haiti and Java, Indonesia.
  • Scorpion bites in Trinidad.
  • Tuberculosis in Mexico.


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