Named the “Fruit of the Angels” by Christopher Columbus, papaya is enjoyed around the world as a sweet tropical delight. Every part of the papaya tree and its fruit lend great therapeutic value in maintaining health and correcting bodily imbalances. Indigenous people have known of the health promoting benefits of papaya for centuries, and now the knowledge has entered into the spotlight of modern medicine.
Carpaine has a calming effect on the heart, bronchus, and muscles, making it ideal for lung ailments such as bronchitis and asthma. Natives of the south sea islands have long used papaya seeds for birth control and as an effective anti-parasitic. Papaya tree bark helps with toothache while the root can be cooked as a tea for jaundice, intestinal parasites, and bleeding disorders.
The leaves are considered the most powerful element of the plant, yet the skin of both unripe and ripe fruit is also remarkably bioactive. The leaves contain 15 times the digestible protein of fully ripened fruit and include high levels of papain. The skin of mature green papaya is also an abundant source of this potent enzyme.
Papaya has been shown to prevent and heal many health issues. Conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration, and arthritis are alleviated by papaya consumption. Digestive health is enhanced by the enzymes and fiber present in papaya. The fiber binds to cancer causing toxins which are then removed from the system, safeguarding healthy colon cells in the process.
The enzymes found in papaya also remove the thick fibrin coating on tumors which allows the killer T-cells to recognize and attack cancer cells.
Of the many health virtues of papaya, the ability to dissolve cancerous tumors has caught the attention of modern science. Believed to have been discovered by the Aboriginal tribes of Australia, papaya leaf tea is an effective remedy for cancer. A study at the University of Florida found that papaya slowed the growth of a wide variety of tumors, including those of the breast, lung, pancreas, cervix, and liver. Researchers used a concentrated tea made from dried papaya leaf. It was found that the larger the dose of papaya leaf tea used the more it reduced the tumor.
The dramatic healing properties of the tea were attributed to increased production of Th1-type cytokines, which are regulators of the immune system. With an increase of cytokines, the immune system is able to dissolve cancer cells. As an added benefit, consumption of papaya leaf tea is void of the harmful side effects of traditional therapies. However, those with a known latex allergy should not consume any part of the papaya tree including the fruit.
As a delicious food or potent medicine, the extraordinary papaya tree provides a wealth of healthy benefit.