Papaya is well-known throughout the world because of its multiple health benefits. The scientific name of papaya is ‘Carica Papaya’ and it is also known with the name of ‘Pawpaw’ in tropical countries. Papaya fruit is considered as one of the healthiest fruits but very few people know about the benefits of papaya leaves. Yes, not only the fruit, even the leaves of papaya plant shower a host of health benefits proven in many studies. Especially, its miraculous effects in the cure of dengu and malaria, as reported by the people, are something that has gathered attention of all.
Papaya leaves can be used in the form of tea, extract, juice, and tablets. They encourage platelets production, treat vitamins and minerals deficiencies as well as boost overall health in several ways. They have antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-cancerous, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Papaya leaves contain Vitamin A, B, C, E, K, dietary fiber, and minerals like magnesium, iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus.
Below are some important benefits of papaya leaves on health
Dengue fever - Papaya leaves’ extract is very commonly advised by all due to its effective result in dengue fever. The most common condition in dengue fever is ‘the low platelets count’ which is also known as ‘Thrombocytopenia’. Papaya leaves contain two highly active enzymes ‘papain’ and ‘chymopapain’ which enhance platelet levels and also help in curing other symptoms of this condition. Papaya leaves extract in the form of tablets with recommended dosage are also helpful in elevating platelet counts and treat this life-threatening disease.
Malaria - Papaya leaves are enriched with anti-malarial properties. They contain a naturally active compound ‘acetogenin’ which helps in preventing malaria and its complications. This juice is a part of traditional treatment modality and does not have any side effects on health, like other drugs used in the treatment of dengue and malaria.
Cancer - Papaya leaves produce useful agents that help in destroying cancer cells, especially due to its antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Papaya leaves also contain strong healing compound called ‘acetogenin’ which is very powerful in eliminating cancer cells while curing damages done by the cells.
Digestive system - Fiber content present in papaya leaves helps in supporting the digestive system and prevents bloating, constipation, diarrhea, etc. The compound papain present in papaya leaves are effective in breaking down large protein and digesting them easily. They also help in treating other oxidative stress in the stomach.
Skin - The anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of papaya leaves help in curing skin allergies, scars, pimples, dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Applying papaya leaves extract or juice on face is the best remedy. It also works as an anti-aging agent for skin.
Hair - Wash papaya leaves and blend them with little water then strain it. Now apply this liquid on the scalp and massage for a while. Leave it on the hairs for 30-40 minutes and wash with normal water. Applying this juice on hair scalp helps to reduce hair fall, dandruff, premature greying, thinning of hair, and makes the hair smooth and shiny.
Kidney and liver - Papaya leaves’ juice can be used as a detox drink as they contain powerful antioxidant and phytochemicals. These compounds work together to boost metabolisms, improve blood circulation, flush out toxins while improving liver and kidney functions.
Diabetes - The antioxidant properties in papaya leaves juice treat the complication of diabetes and promote healthy functions of the pancreas, liver, and kidney. This healthy juice also helps to normalize the production of insulin and manages blood glucose levels in a normal range.
Recommended amounts of papaya leaves’ juice
Papaya dosage varies from person to person according to their condition. 30 ml of papaya leaves juice thrice a day is considered effective and safe for adults, specially to treat dengue fever. For normal adults, 10 ml per day is recommended or as suggested by a dietician or therapist.
How to use papaya leaves- (Always wash papaya leaves before using in any method)
- Boil 1 glass of water and add 4-5 chopped papaya leaves. Boil till water remains half, then strain in a glass, dilute with some water and drink slowly.
- Heat sufficient water in a pan and add papaya leaves to boil for 3-5 minutes. Switch of the flame. Now sieve this water in a glass. You can drink this water as a tea or use it while cooking a vegetable or kneading dough. Now transfer all the boiled papaya leaves in a bowl, then add chopped carrot, cucumber, beetroot, onion, tomato and few drops of lemon juice. Sprinkle a little salt and black pepper to enjoy this healthy colorful salad.
- Crush some papaya leaves till the juice comes out from the leaves. Drink 1-2 tablespoon of papaya leaves extract juice and have some water immediately or dilute juice with a cup of water and drink.
- Papaya leaves tea- In a pan, boil 3-4 cups of water, add a very small piece of ginger, 3-4 tulsi (holy basil) leaves, and a small piece of cinnamon. Boil for 2-3 minutes, then add chopped papaya leaves. Again, boil for 2-3 minutes and keep it aside for 1-2 minutes. Sieve in a cup and drink.
- Must try this- Boil water in a pan, add salt and oil, boil for few seconds then add papaya leaves and cook for 2-3 minutes. Take out all the water with the help of a strainer. Finely chop all the leaves and keep aside. Put a pan on low flame, add little oil/ghee and then add cumin seeds, finely chopped onion, carrot, tomato, capsicum, and cover the pan for 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle salt, black pepper, and cinnamon powder and add chopped papaya leaves. Mix them properly (at this time, you can also add boiled eggs). Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes, eat directly or serve with rice/chapati.
Note - Consumption of papaya leaves extract has good results, but very few side effects have also been reported by some people. Papaya leaves juice, when taken in limited amount, is safe for all but if you are allergic to papaya, you should strictly avoid papaya fruit as well as its leaves’ juice totally. If you are pregnant or lactating mother, you should always consult with your dietician/doctor before consuming papaya leaves juice or extract or any supplement based on papaya extracts.