Papaya is a tropical fruit originated in southern Mexico, Northern Southern America, and Central America, and it’s now growing in many parts of the world including Africa, and Nigeria in particular.
Papaya is a family of Caricaceae, genus Carica. Both papaya fruit, seeds, and leaves have benefits in our body. It is good to eat raw ripe papaya or make juice with it, but unripe one should be cook before you eat it.
Papaya leaves have more powerful benefits than their fruits, but unlike the fruits, the leaves are bitter because of the presence of plant nutrients in it.
Papaya leaf contains papain and chymopapain which aid in digesting protein and use in treating indigestion problems and other digestive disorders. Papaya leaf has bacterial, analgesic, and antispasmodic properties. It also contains minerals like calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, and manganese.
Health Benefits of papaya leaves.
1. Enhancement of insulin sensitivity:
Poor insulin sensitivity causes type 2 diabetes, which causes an insufficient intake of glucose by the cells. Several studies have shown that papaya leaf extract improves insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients(⁴).
2. Decreased diabetes complications:
The presence of antioxidants in papaya leaf extract help reduce fatty liver, kidney damage, and oxidative stress.
3. Speeds up wound healing:
The presence of antioxidants and antibacterial in papaya leaves help heal wounds in diabetic patients.
4. Inhibit Cancer cells grow and improve the immune system.
5. Papaya leaf act as antimalarial and kills pain in the body.
6. According to Hausa traditional doctors, papaya leaf extract adds additional nutrients in the breast milk and wash away any disease in it.
How to use papaya leaves.
Many traditions are using papaya leaves as a medication. There are two best ways to use papaya leaf as a medication, first, wash 1 papaya leaf and boil it in 1L of water, allow it to cool and drink it 4 times in a day, this is the best medicine for fever, headache or pain. I used to drink this papaya tea 3-4 times within a week. Another method relevant to this one is by boiling 7 mango leaves with 1 papaya leaf in 2L of water.
Second, wash papaya leaf and put it in a blender, add a quarter cup of water and blend, strain the extract in a cup, and drink.
Health Benefits of papaya fruit.
As papaya leaves are benefiting us, its fruits are also benefiting, but papaya fruits are sweet, not bitter. These are some of its benefits:
1. Reduce the level of cholesterol:
Papaya contains vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants that help lower the level of cholesterol that can lead to heart disease like a heart attack.
2. Boost the immune system:
A single papaya contains over 100% of vitamin C of your daily requirements and helps improves your immune system.
3. Papaya is good for our eyes:
It contains vitamin A which helps protect our vision from degenerating.
4. Papaya improves digestion:
It contains digestive enzymes and fiber in it, which helps digest carbohydrate, protein, and lipids.
5. Ease menstruation pain:
Papain in papaya regulates and eases the flow of your period.
6. Papaya helps you look 5 years younger:
The presence of vitamin C and E in papaya prevents your skin from wrinkles.
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