8 Health Benefits Of Pawpaw/Papaya/papaw Leaves And Fruits That Will Shock You.
History of pawpaw:
Pawpaw is a juicy fruit from a plant of the family caricaceae. It is also referred to as papaw or Carica papaya. It is known to be a native fruit of Mexico and Central America. Currently, pawpaw is grown throughout the tropics and subtropical regions.
The fruit is generally round to cylindrical, is 3 to 20 inches or even more in length, and sometimes weighs as much as 9 to 11.5 kg. The very juicy flesh is deep yellow or orange and contains many small black seeds.
Pawpaw is usually grown from seeds. The pawpaw plant produce fruits before the end of the first year of cultivation. Pawpaw (Carica papaya) plant may live five years or even more under favourable conditions.
In the 1940s a ringspot virus nearly wiped away pawpaw crops around the world. The virus started in Hawaiian plantations and soon spread. Due to the virus, a Genetically Modified (GMO) variety was developed named Rainbow papaya in the early 2000s.
This variety is resistant to the pawpaw virus and now grown worldwide. Rainbow papaya is one of the first GMO fruits produced commercially for exports.
Click here to read more on the history of pawpaw.
Ways Of Consuming Pawpaw (Carica papaya):
Pawpaw fruit is one of the fruits used for breakfasts around the globe. It can be used for salads, juices, pies, sherbets, and confection. The unripe pawpaw is used for stew or soup.
Uses of Pawpaw Fruits and Leaves:
The unripe papaya contains milky juice which is a protein-digestive enzyme known as papain. Papain greatly resembles the animal enzyme pepsin in its digestive activity.
The leaves of pawpaw serve as a local medicine for the treatment of many forms of illness. It has been used throughout the tropics. Pawpaw leaves medicine are usually used in African communities like Ghana, Nigeria, Togo among others.
Nutrients Composition/ Nutritional Value of Pawpaw:
Pawpaw contains vitamins A, C, E, K, B Along with minerals calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium. Papaya has enzymes such as papain, chymopapain; alkaloid compounds Like Carpaine.
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How To Prepare Juice With Pawpaw Leaves:
There are many ways of making juice from pawpaw leaves. The following is a step by step method in making a healthy pawpaw juice.
[Based on daily dose]
¶. Get two to three branches from a pawpaw tree. Remove the fresh leaves from the branches.
¶. Wash leaves thoroughly with a salt solution. And rinse with clean water.
¶. Grind leaves in mortar or earthenware. You can also blend leaves with adequate water.
¶. Squeeze the green liquid from the mashed leaves or sieve it to separate the chaff. The chaff is disposed and the liquid is used as medicine.
[Note: Pawpaw leaves can also be boiled and taken for the treatment of diseases]
Dosage: Take 50ml of pawpaw leaves juice twice daily for 7 to 10 days when treating ailments.
Click here to read more on the daily dose.
Health Benefits Of Pawpaw (Papaya) Leaves and Fruits:
1. Prevents Cancer:
Pawpaw leaves have properties that hinder the formation of cancer cells in humans. The nutrients in pawpaw leaves prevent the transformation of normal cells to cancer cells. This ability has classified pawpaw leaves as an anticancer agent.
2. Support Digestive Functions:
Pawpaw fruits contain fibre which helps in the food digestion process. Dried pawpaw seeds are used to treat stomach disorders. In some local communities, pawpaw seed is a great source of dewormer. This is used to substitute over the counter deworming drugs.
Also, papaya fruits and seeds prevent constipation, bloating and heartburn.
3. Anti-inflammatory Effects:
Pawpaw leaves have been used as an anti-inflammatory for many years. The juice from papaya and its fruit has anti-inflammatory properties that heal muscle aches and joint pain. It is recommended for people with arthritis.
4. Treatment Of Symptoms Of Dengue Feaver:
Dengue fever has symptoms such as fever, fatigue, nausea, headache, skin rashes and vomiting. Pawpaw leaves are boiled and drunk to cure all these symptoms.
5. Improves Skin Health:
Pawpaw leaves serve as a natural moisturiser for the skin. The application of mashed papaya leaves on the face reduces pimples and acne by preventing excess oil secretion. Consumption of pawpaw fruit also enhances the state of the skin and prevents it from dryness and sunburns. This gives the skin a glowing feature that improves beauty.
6. Controls Diabetes:
Pawpaw is one of the fruits that is usually recommended for diabetic patients. Consumption of pawpaw and its juice helps control diabetes. Pawpaw juice and fruit have properties that regulate blood sugar levels.
7. Hair Growth:
Carica papaya is a wide known medicine for hair growth and hair-related ailments. Application of papaya juice to scalp promotes hair growth. Also, it has antifungal properties that control dandruff.
8. Cures Malaria Fever:
Though it has not been medically documented, the experiment suggests that pawpaw leaves have antiplasmodial properties. Therefore, pawpaw leaves are usually combined with bitter leaf, neem plant and other antimalarial plants to treat malaria. It is normally boiled or used for steam inhalation.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. Seek the help of a professional health practitioner if sick or visit the hospital.