Papaya, or melon tree (lat. Cárica papáya) – a woody plant; a species of the genus Karika (Carica) of the family Karikova (Caricaceae).
A low, slender palm-shaped tree with a thin, devoid of branches trunk height of 3-10 m.
The leaves are large, 50-70 cm in diameter, palmately dissected, on long petioles.
Flowers develop in the axils of the leaves, turning into large fruits, with a diameter of 10-30 cm and a length of 15 – 45 cm. The ripened fruits are soft and have a color from amber to yellow.
All parts of the plant contain milky juice.
Homeland – South and Central America, since ancient times is widely cultivated in the tropics as a fruit plant.
Papaya contains a lot of an enzyme called papain (protease), benzylthiocarbamine, pseudocarpaine, 19 carotenoids and other proteins.
Papain is obtained from milky juice enclosed in microscopic milk tubes penetrating the plant. The highest content of such juice is in the peel of unripe fruits. Green fruits are cut, juice flows to the surface of the fruit and thickens in the air. It turns out latex. It is dissolved in water and precipitated to obtain papain. From one fruit, you can get 10-15 gr. milk juice containing 10-11% papain.
Papain is a broad-spectrum enzyme. It breaks down proteins, as well as carbohydrates and fats, to the point where they can be easily absorbed. It is active in acidic, alkaline, and neutral environments.
Papaya has analgesic, decongestant, antiseptic, wound healing, anthelmintic, emollient, anti-inflammatory, whitening, exfoliating, antioxidant properties.
The healing properties of papaya are used in the following cases:
- as a treatment for stomach diseases; (Papain is used for gastritis, gastric and duodenal ulcers, to improve digestion. It has a soothing, calming effect on the stomach. It neutralizes the effects of excess acid in the stomach, helps with heartburn and gastritis. In tropical countries, papaya leaves or unripe fruits are regularly chewed to avoid problems with the stomach or intestines).
- as one of the best anthelmintic, without side effects, suitable even for small children;
- an excellent fat burner, it is part of dietary supplements for weight loss; (In the human stomach, it breaks down proteins, while the subcutaneous adipose tissue has a positive effect. This is a consequence of the influence of enzymes on the structures of connective tissues and fat cells (lipocytes). Thus, papain prevents the deposition of reserve fat and even eliminates these deposits).
- as a valuable dietary product that promotes digestion;
- to remove toxins and toxins from the body; (Papain breaks down substances in tissues or the intestines and thus removes toxins from the body, i.e. products of unhealthy diets and a sedentary lifestyle that interfere with the normal metabolism. With regular use, it easily breaks down and removes toxins, so that the tissues remain young and provided with energy).
- for the treatment of skin diseases – ulcers, eczema, burns, heals wounds; (The antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of papain are known. It is able to relieve inflammation and pain caused by insect bites. In South Africa, leaves and fruits are used to heal poorly healing wounds and festering ulcers. This method was used in the Delewicz Hospital in London when postoperative inflammation antibiotics and other medicines didn’t have any effect on surgical sutures, then they used sliced strips of fruit placed on open wounds, they showed stunning results. In Peru, a bandage of papaya leaves is applied to the wounds and the wounds are tightened right on the eyes. Papain is applied externally for burns, eczema )
- with edema, pain and inflammation, with sports injuries or arthritis;
- in the treatment of trombones; (As a protein-breaking enzyme, it helps break down so-called immune complexes, that is, clusters of cells or cell constituents. It naturally dilutes blood, helps break down fibrin, a blood protein that can interfere with the natural circulation of blood. Papain can inhibit platelet buildup and breaks down deposits on the walls of blood vessels).
- to strengthen the immune system, rapid recovery of strength after illness and overwork; (It is especially recommended for elderly people. Papaya leaf tea is widely used. Papain is absorbed by a healthy mucous membrane of the intestines of an adult up to 6 – 10%, i.e. in minimal quantities, but does not give harmful side effects, in particular, on the liver. To achieve the intended result, you need a long and regular use of enzymes.Only in this case, you can expect to feel better after about 3 months).