Carica papaya Caricaceae Also called Pawpaw.
Characterised by a taU, slender trunk crowned with a clump of leaves, the papaya tree grows in many tropical regions and can reach a height of 3-10m. The greenish male flowers are small and cluster under the leaves. The female flowers are bigger and grow singly or in groups of two or three towards the top if the trunk. The fiuit, also called papaya, is a large berry, packed with orange flesh when ripe. It can have a diameter of 20-30cm and weigh as much as 5kg..
The sap contains a mixture of enzymes that are proteolytic (able to breakdown proteins). These include papain, chymopapain and papayaproteinases
Papain kills stomach parasites as well as having a calming, soothing effect on the digestive system. Its proteolytic enzymes help stomach acids to break down proteins.
The plant is used to treat stomach and pancreatic disorders, abdominal bloating and nausea caused by migraine attacks. It is also used to treat various intestinal parasites, such as threadworms, ascaris (roundworms) and ancylostoma, as well as various blood vessel problems, such as varicose veins, ulcers and haemorrhoids. Italian studies performed in 1996 demonstrated that the sap exerted antifungal activity against Candida albicans, the microbe that is responsible for thrush.
Used externally, papaya acts against water retained in the tissues and is beneficial in the treatment of oedema, abscesses and wounds. Clinical studies performed in 1969 found that papaya may possess anti-inflammatory properties that would benefit patients recovering from operations or injuries.
The flowers can also be used in an infusion, which will ease coughs and soothe the throat and vocal cords.
Papaya can be grown from seed, planted in moist, rich soil in spring. It needs plenty of warmth and sunshine and will not tolerate frost, so must be grown under glass in a temperate climate.
PREPARATION AND DOSAGE
For internal use
TO TREAT digestive ailments TABLETS Take as directed on the label, as constituents vary according to brand.
For external use
TO TREAT wounds
IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST CONSULT A DOCTOR
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