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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Papaya and its benefit (Updated)

Papaya fruit comes in the form of all sort of shapes. But, most of the times, they look like elongated melons, or pears. The common variety comes with huge amount of seeds, while the newer variety nowadays even comes with seedless. Most importantly, they must have an abundant volume of flesh. Papayas are abundantly found in most of our marketplace and are easy to grow. Besides, it is also a relatively cheap fruit. The flesh is deliciously sweet and its texture has a soft and smooth quality. 
The papaya fruit itself, seeds, latex, and leaves are known to contain a toxic substance called Carpaine. This is an anthelmintic alkaloid which could be harmful if taken in high doses (Carpaine, when consumed in large quantities, may lower the pulse rate and depress the nervous system). However, in other cases, an excessive consumption of papaya (such as red carrots too) can cause carotenemia (the yellowing of the soles and palms), which is otherwise harmless.

Other nutritional value of the papaya fruit, is its proteolytic enzyme called Papain. This is an excellent aid to digestion (particularly, the elders in our families).  They said it is so powerful that it can digest an amazing 200 times its own weight in protein.  Nevertheless. it also assists our body's own enzymes in assimilating the maximum nutritional value from the food we eat.

Since the olden days, Papain has also been used as an immediate home remedy treatment, such as jellyfish sting and any other type of wounds (even surgical wounds).  They said the highest concentration of this substance is on the skin of unripe papayas.  Usually, the skin is sliced and then, apply directly onto the affected area.

Papaya is indeed a wholesome fruit. It has a rich source of anti-oxidant nutrients namely beta-carotene (its orange color. The greener papaya would not contain this carotene). It also contains vitamin A & C, flavonoids, B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid, including a smaller amounts of other minerals, such as calcium, chlorine, iron, phosphorus, potassium, silicon and sodium.

Incidentally, a ripe papaya will also provide an abundance of energy-boosting natural sugars.

Health Benefits

The papaya fruit itself is such a common fruit and carries numerous benefits. Most commonly known are :
Anti-Inflammatory : 
It is known to greatly reduce inflammation in diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout and asthma.
Prevention Of Colon Cancer : 
Its rich fiber will bind to cancer-causing toxins in the colon and is eliminated from the body during bowel movements.
Digestive Aid :  
Its fine and natural laxative virtue will aid digestion.  Taken regularly, it can help habitual constipation, bleeding piles and chronic diarrhea.
Protection Against : 
Regular consumption of papaya juice will benefit from its high vitamin A content (especially beneficial for
smoker, or if you are frequently exposed to second-hand smokers). It reduces lung inflammation.

The powerful content of anti-oxidants in papayas will help to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol too.  Oxidized cholesterol will form dangerous plagues which will lead to heart attacks, or even strokes.
Intestinal Disorders : 
The papain in unripe papaya is extremely helpful for those who are deficient in gastric juice and those who have excess of unhealthy mucus in the stomach, dyspepsia and intestinal irritation.
Menstrual Irregularities : 
It helps to contract the muscle fibers of the womb, assisting in proper and regular menstrual flow.  It is especially helpful in cases of menstruation cessation in young ladies, as a result of coldness, or trauma.
Skin Diseases :  The juices from unripe papayas is useful to treat skin disorders like acne and psoriasis.  When applied to wounds, it will prevent pus formation and swelling. Ladies have also tried using the paste (made from unripe papaya) and applying to the face. They said this will remove pigmentation, or brown spots and eventually, making the skin smooth and delicate.
Spleen Enlargement : 
Patients with such problem can cut unripe papaya and immerse them in vinegar for a week. Once ready, consume it twice a day with meals, until the spleen is normalized.
Throat Disorders :
Mixed the fresh juice extracted from unripe papaya with raw honey and consume regularly when ones have inflamed tonsils, or other throat disorders.  It will coat the membrane, surrounding the throat and prevents further infection.

Believe it or not

Of late, many users have also found the leaves from Papaya trees extremely useful in the treatment of dengue fever which is caused by a type of mosquitoes carrying virus. Patients with such problem could face a life threatening experience, if left untreated within a matter of days.

To apply .... leaves are plucked, cleaned and grounded to extract its juices. It is best to add a small amount of water and a tablespoon of raw honey before drinking it straight. This is to neutralize the bitter taste of the juice. Continue drinking for a few days. There are already good testimonials supporting this simple treatment method.

Extracted from a local mass media (The Star) in Malaysia (see below)

Papaya leaves can cure dengue

KUALA LUMPUR : Papaya leaves and pegaga (centella asiatica) juice are a possible cure for dengue fever, a recent study revealed.
It has been reported that many people consume papaya leaves, or pegaga juice to increase their platelet count after they contract dengue fever.
A recent study, conducted by a group of researchers from local and foreign universities, indicated that the powder from papaya leaves has substances responsible for the release and/or production of thrombocytes (platelets).
The study was initiated and led by Dr S. Kathiresan of AIMST University.

Green remedy : Researchers find the powder from papaya leaves contains substances that promote the production of platelets.
Dr Kathiresan said the leaves of papaya fruit were high in complex vitamins that might help bone marrow to rapidly increase blood platelet production.
“Dengue fever continues to be a major health threat to Malaysia after its first reported outbreak in 1902.
“The dengue virus’ main effect is on platelet production. Nor­mally, a platelet in our body lasts for about five to 10 days and the body replenishes them when required,” he told Bernama.
“This virus destroys the body’s capacity to produce new platelets (during the period the virus is effective). The platelet count for a normal person varies from 150,000 to 250,000 per micro litre of blood. On becoming infected, a patient’s platelet count starts falling.
“A platelet count below 100,000 per microlitre is alarming – immediate medical attention is required. A platelet count below 50,000 can be fatal,” he added.
A fall in the platelet count prevents formation of clots and this leads to haemorrhaging, which results in both internal and external bleeding.
Once such bleeding starts, the situation is almost irreversible, he said.
Dr Kathiresan noted that interest in the papaya began with a simple experiment with papaya leaves which were ground and administered to mice.

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