Alternative medicine: Papaya

Sat, 26 Jan 2008 20:35:48 GMT
By Patricia Khashayar, MD., Press TV, Tehran Papaya is not only rich in antioxidants levels but also good for treating inflammation, nausea, colon cancer and cardiac disorders. Botanical: Carica papaya (LINN.) Family: N.O. Cucurbitaceae Synonym: Papaya, Papaw or Paw Paw (Australia), Mamao (Brazil), Tree Melon. Melon Tree. Mamaeire. Papaya Vulgaris (D.C.). Habitat: The papaya is native to southern Mexico, Central America and many tropical countries. Description: Papaya is a large tree-like plant, about 5 to 10 meters tall with a hollow-centered stem. All parts contain latex. The pear-shaped unripe fruits are greenish yellow in color and turn amber to orange when ripe. The center part is filled with black seeds. Part Used Medicinally: Fruit juice, seeds, leaves. Constituents: Papaya is an excellent source of folate, dietary fiber, potassium and vitamin C, E and A. It contains small amounts of iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and calcium. It is also rich in antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes and flavonoids. Papaya is high in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and Vitamin A. It is low in calories and sodium and high in potassium. Papaya seeds contain glucoside and Caricin. Medicinal Uses: Papaya promotes cardiovascular health and protects against colon cancer. It contains the digestive enzyme, papain and chymopapain and is commonly used to aid digestion, and to lower inflammation and improve healing from burns, sports injuries, trauma and allergies. Papaya has anti-inflammatory properties and helps alleviate the severity of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Carpaine obtained from papaya leaves has the same effect on the heart as digitalis. Because of its high antioxidant content, papaya helps prevent cholesterol oxidation and is therefore helpful for the prevention of atherosclerosis, diabetic heart disease, heart attacks or strokes. Papaya improves the immune system and is a good choice for preventing illnesses such as recurrent ear infections, colds and flu. Having three servings of papaya helps reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and improves eye-sight. Due to its high vitamin A content it can play an important role in saving the lives of smokers or passive smokers and lowering the risk of emphysema. Regular consumption of both green tea and lycopene-rich fruits such as papaya can protect against prostate cancer. Papain is also employed to treat ulcers, dissolve membranes in diphtheria, and reduce swelling, fever and adhesions after surgery. Chemopapain is sometimes injected in cases of slipped spinal discs or pinched nerves. The fresh latex is commonly used to improve the healing process in boils, warts and freckles; it also works as a vermifuge. The unripe fruit or seeds are sometimes used as a uterus irritant to cause abortion. Smoking the dried leaves help relieve asthma. An infusion of dried papaya leaves aids in gastrointestinal and genitourinary ailments. Papaya extract has anti-gram-positive bacteria properties and in high doses is effective against gram-negative bacteria. Papaya is believed to have rejuvenating properties and controls premature aging. Papaya contains arginine which is essential for male fertility and also carpain, an enzyme thought to be good for the heart. After treatment with antibiotics the use of papaya juice will quickly help restore normal intestinal bacteria destroyed by treatment. Papaya peel is a good external treatment for skin wounds that do not heal quickly. The pulp can be used as a poultice. Papaya helps prevent constipation.

It lowers cholesterol levels, prevents urinary stones formation and parasite related intestinal infections. Papaya also helps stimulate milk production. Papaya prevents nausea, morning sickness and motion sickness. Papaya also helps prevent cataract formation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diverticulosis, and possibly hypertension. Preparation: Here are three simple papaya recipes to prevent constipation: 1. Papaya Milk Energy Drink. To prepare this drink chopped papaya and milk should be blended in a 50/50 mix. Honey can be added to the mix. 2. Papaya Salad (Thai Style). The salad is made of shredded green papaya and tomatoes. For dressing, chopped garlic, two tablespoon fish oil, one tablespoon lime juice, cilantro, Thai basil, one teaspoon chopped mint, chili padi (optional) and sugar should be mixed. 3. Unripe papaya juice. This juice is especially good for the lymphatic system and after heavy in gluten meals. Caution: Papaya contains substances called chitinases that are associated with latex-fruit allergy syndrome. The syndrome commonly occurs in the form of skin irritation in papaya harvesters and following the consumption of medium-cooked meat tenderized with papain. Papaya flower pollen can induce severe respiratory reactions in hypersensitive individuals. PKH/HGH

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