If you are conscious about your health and fall under the category of “health fanatics”, you are definitely aware of the various health benefits of the papaya fruit. Papaya, also known as Carica papaya, is a type of tropical fruit that is yellowish-orange in color. Papaya is cultivated widely in India, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, Indonesia and China. Papaya not only is highly nutritious in nature but also tastes exceptionally delicious. As a result, even Christopher Columbus regarded papaya as “the fruit of angels”.
We are all aware of the several health benefits of papaya fruit but very few know about the health benefits of papaya leaves and seeds. So today in this article we will be looking at the various health benefits of papaya leaves. Let’s begin.
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Papaya leaf – How nutritive it is?
Papaya leaves are actually very nutritive in nature. In recent days, papaya leaves are used in tea preparations, various juices and Ayurvedic medications to treat several types of diseases and infections. In fact, Ayurveda claims that papaya leaves have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Moreover, papaya leaf is rich in papain and chymopapain which has several health benefits. Apart from these, papaya leaves are also rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, alkaloids, phenolic compounds and various antioxidants. Papaya leaves also contain protein, carbohydrates, iron, potassium, sodium, phosphorous and water in the correct amounts.
Here are the various health benefits of papaya leaves
#1. May help in the treatment of dengue and its symptoms
Papaya leaves possess certain medicinal properties which help in the treatment of dengue. Dengue is a type of viral disease that is caused by the bite of a certain species of mosquito. Platelet count drastically goes down if someone is affected by dengue. As of now, there are very less treatments for dengue fever and its symptoms. The consumption of papaya leaves in the form of juice during dengue fever helps in maintaining the platelet count and provides relief against the symptoms of dengue fever. This is because papaya leaves have antiviral properties.
#2. May prevent malaria
Papaya leaves have anti-malarial properties that help in the prevention of developing malaria (another mosquito-borne disease). The compound acetogenin present in papaya leaves makes papaya leaves anti-malarial in nature. Drinking papaya leaf juice twice a day can prevent the risk of developing malaria.
#3. Considered good for your digestive system
Papaya leaves aid your digestive system. It contains papain, a proteolytic enzyme that helps in preventing bloating and other digestive problems. Papaya leaves are rich in fiber which in maintaining proper bowel movements and prevents constipation. Papaya leaves are also believed to play a major role in the treatment of stomach ulcers. Papaya leaves also contain amylase and protease that helps in the proper breakdown of protein and carbs in the body, ultimately preventing acid reflux. Papaya leaves also possess anti-inflammatory properties that help in healing gastric ulcers, colon-related inflammation and heartburn.
#4. May prevent cancer
The journal of Ethnopharmacology mentions the fact that the enzymes present in papaya seeds, fruit and leaves possess anti-cancer properties. Moreover, papaya leaves contain the compound acetogenin which is a versatile anticancer molecule that helps in killing tumor cells. Various studies confirm that papaya leaves improve overall immunity and boost TH1 cytokinins which again helps in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Moreover, papaya leaves also contain antioxidants that help in neutralizing free radicals.
#5. Considered good for your hair and skin
Papaya leaves are considered great for your hair and scalp. Oxidative stress is a reason for developing baldness and hair loss. Papaya leaves contain Vitamin E and flavonoids that provide relief against this oxidative stress. Papaya leaves are also considered great for the treatment of dandruff as well. They also contain a strong alkaloid compound known as karparin that fights against baldness and dandruff. Besides this papaya leaves have mild anti-fungal properties that again inhibit dandruff. Papaya leaves should be applied topically in the form of masks to get these values from them. You can also drink papaya leaf juice to get an overall healthy scalp.
Although the efficiency of papaya leaves in making your skin healthier is not proven yet, the presence of Vitamin C and Vitamin A in papaya leaves would definitely help you to achieve brighter and smoother skin. Papaya leaves also contain antioxidants that help in protecting your skin from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
#6. Considered good for diabetic patients
Certain types of studies prove that papaya leaves help in regulating and maintain blood sugar levels. Papaya leaves contain a certain type of antioxidant that regulates the production of insulin and prevents the development of fatty liver and kidney problems. Also, the presence of dietary fibers in papaya leaves also helps in lowering cholesterol levels and regulating blood sugar levels. So, people with type 2 diabetes should consider papaya leaf juice in their diet with the concern of their respective doctors.
#7. Maybe a cure for menstrual pain
Although there are no scientifically proven facts behind this statement, it can be assumed that papaya leaves can ease of the pain during your menstrual phase. Papaya leaf juice works wonders to lessen discomfort and ease menstruation flow. This juice also helps to alleviate PMS symptoms. Its powerful therapeutic powers help to balance hormones and control menstrual cycles. To relieve period discomfort, make this concoction: combine one papaya leaf, a bit of salt, and tamarind in a glass of water and bring it to a boil. This drink should significantly alleviate your discomfort.
Also read – Guide to menstrual cups
#8. May help in weight loss
Papaya leaves are low in calories and high in fiber, which makes them a perfect choice for people who wants to lose weight. Including papaya leaf juice in your weight loss diet can actually aid you in your weight loss journey. Being high in fiber, it also keeps you full for a longer time preventing your sudden hunger pangs.
So overall, as you can see, just like the fruit itself the leaves of papaya are equally nutritive and possesses several health benefits. Papaya leaf is high in nutrients that can benefit your body in a variety of ways. Consuming papaya along with papaya leaf juice on a daily basis will help you recover from the inside out. So don’t wait any longer to get these benefits; get some immediately.