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Papaya

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  • Botanical: Carica papaya
  • Family: Caricaceae
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Papaya

Botanical

Carica papaya

Family

Caricaceae

Known as

Melonenbaum, Papaw, Pawpaw

Old Use

cooking aid and traditional medicine

Collection Times

All Year

Parts Used

fruit

Medicinal

acne, antiseptic, asthma, burns, cancer, constipation, coughs, digestion, indigestion, sunburn, ulcers, vomiting, wounds, open sores

Hormone & Sexual Organs

estrogen dominance, menstrual problems, menopausal symptom

Infection & Inflammation

eye inflammation, immunity

Mind & Nerves

pain relief

Respiratory System

cough

Stomach & Intestinal

bladder weakness, cancer prevention, digestion, gastrointestinal, vomiting

Skin & Hair

burns, open sores

Properties

antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive, fungicide

Description

The papaya is a large, tree-like plant, with a single stem growing from 5 to 10 m (16 to 33 ft) tall, with spirally arranged leaves confined to the top of the trunk. The lower trunk is conspicuously scarred where leaves and fruit were borne. The leaves are large, 50–70 cm (20–28 in) in diameter, deeply palmately lobed, with seven lobes. Unusually for such large plants, the trees are dioecious.

The tree is usually unbranched, unless lopped. The flowers are similar in shape to the flowers of the Plumeria, but are much smaller and wax-like. They appear on the axils of the leaves, maturing into large fruit - 15–45 cm (5.9–17.7 in) long and 10–30 cm (3.9–11.8 in) in diameter. The fruit is ripe when it feels soft (as soft as a ripe avocado or a bit softer) and its skin has attained an amber to orange hue.

Properties & Uses

Increases quality of proteins in whole organism.
Revitalize the human body and maintain energy and vitality.
Encourages the renewal of muscle tissue.
Supports cardiovascular system.
Boosts up the immune system.
Helps with the digestive system, by breaking down the proteins and supporting production of digestive enzymes.
Papaya can be use also externally as a treatment for skin wounds that don’t heal quickly, for this you can use papaya peel or ointments made out of papaya.
Prevents the cataract formation.
Due to high vitamin A, it lowers the risk of emphysema in smokers and passive smokers.
Alleviates inflammation.
Helps with the nausea and constipation.
Can benefit people suffering colon cancer and other forms of cancers and aliments of cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems.

Cautions

Internally, papaya latex can cause severe gastritis. Some individuals are also allergic to its pollen, fruits and the latex. The acrid fresh latex can become the cause of severe conjunctivitis and vesication.

Distribution

Carica papaya is native to the New World in Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela, and northern Argentina. C. papaya has become naturalized in the Bahamas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the U.S. state of Florida, and Malawi and Tanzania in Africa. Additional crops of C. papaya are grown in Australia, the Philippines, and the U.S. state of Hawaii.

Constituents

Papain, Campesterol, Cryptoxanthin, Phenylalanin, Stigmasterol, Vitamin C, Myrosin, Violaxanthin