5 Benefits of Papaya and Its Leaves
(BeWellBuzz) Fruits are nature’s gift to us. They are tasty, loaded with nutrients, and often have important medicinal properties. Out of all fruits, papaya offers the maximum health benefits.
1. Papaya leaf extract has anti-cancer capabilities
New studies show that papaya leaf extract is a potent anti-cancer agent. It slows the growth and spread of cancer cells without causing any harmful side effects.
Scientists also believe that papaya leaf extract can be helpful in the treatment of immune-related conditions.
Researchers at the University of Florida conducted a study to understand the anti-cancer capabilities of papaya. In the study, different types of cancers were exposed to papaya leaf extract. The cancers studied included, among others, the following: breast cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer. In total, the scientists studied the effect of papaya leaf extract on 10 different cancers.
The findings of the study
The researchers noted the following findings:
- The growth rate of tumors was slower after they were exposed to papaya leaf extract. This was true for all different cancers that were studied.
- Papaya leaf extract increased the secretion of Th1-type cytokins. These molecules play a key role in the regulation of our immune system.
- Papaya leaf extract can be beneficial in the treatment of autoimmune diseases and other immune-related conditions.
2. Papaya reduces the risk of coronary artery disease and other heart diseases
High level of cholesterol in the blood is the biggest risk factor for heart diseases such as coronary artery disease. The safest way to reduce the risk of heart disease, according to health experts, is to eat foods like papaya that have the ability to reduce blood cholesterol levels.
A medium-size raw papaya (300 gm) contains 188 mg of Vitamin C, which is highly effective in preventing deposition of cholesterol in plaque that blocks the arteries. Increasing the intake of Vitamin C can prevent the formation of plaque in arteries, which, in turn, significantly reduces the risk of heart disease.
3. Papaya may be helpful in the treatment of high blood pressure
Individuals with hypertension or who are at a greater risk to it should increase their intake of potassium, which is extremely helpful in controlling blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), it is necessary that we consume 4,700 mg of potassium daily to control blood pressure.
Papaya is extremely rich in potassium and helps us meet our daily potassium requirements. A medium-size papaya contains 781 mg of potassium, 16% of our daily requirement of potassium. Eating a papaya daily can help keep blood pressure within the normal range and reduce the risk of hypertension and heart disease.
Researchers gave a form of papaya extract to animal subjects to understand if papaya has anti-hypersensitive capabilities.
The findings of the study
Researchers made the following observation:
- Papaya juice contains a compound that has anti-hypersensitive properties
4. Papaya aids digestion
Papaya contains papain, an enzyme which experts believe aids digestion. Unripe papayas have higher amount of papain – up to 3 times more – than ripe papayas, and are more suited for treating digestive problems. The papaya fruit aslo believed to be beneficial in the treatment of stomach ulcers.
In addition to papain, papaya is loaded with essential nutrients including fiber, folate, potassium, and Vitamins such as C, K, A, and E. If you want to follow a balanced diet, you must add papaya to your diet.
Papaya leaves are also good for the digestive system. They contain certain chemical compounds that can terminate microorganisms that have an adverse effect on the digestive system.
Researchers at the University of Nigeria conducted a study to understand the effect of papain on stomach ulcers.
The findings of the study
Researchers made the following observations:
- Papain demonstrated ulcer-healing and ulcer-preventive properties
- Papain aided the digestion process
5. The papaya fruit and leaves are beneficial in the treatment of acne
A lot has been said by different people on why acne occurs. The truth, however, is that the root cause of acne is poor digestion. As papaya aids digestion, it can help you in your fight against acne. Eat half a papaya daily to get rid of acne scars.
Papaya leaves can be used topically for the treatment of acne. To treat acne, apply a mask made of papaya leaves. The following instructions show you how to make a papaya leaf mask and how to use it.
- Take 2 to 4 papaya leaves
- Dry the leaves in the sun and then mash them
- Sprinkle a tablespoon of honey over the mashed leaves
- Apply the mashed leaves all over your face
- Wash your face with water after 20 min
Note: Those who don’t want to use honey can use a tablespoon of water instead. Mashed papaya leaves work equally well with both honey and water.
In addition to these five benefits, other notable health benefits include:
- Papaya leaves are beneficial in the treatment of dengue fever
- Papaya and its leaf extract alleviate inflammation and strengthen the immune system
- Papaya leaves can treat menstrual pain
- Papaya prevents cataract formation
- Papaya is helpful in the treatment of constipation and nausea
- Papaya revitalizes the body
As you can see, papaya fruit and its leaves offer amazing benefits. Add the fruit to your diet, drink organic papaya leaf tea, or simply use it in a supplement form.