Papaya Leaf 15 Amazing Health Benefits
The papaya, also known as papaw or pawpaw, is originally from Southern Mexico, Central America, and Northern South America. It’s vibrant color, sweet taste, and a long list of health benefits make papaya a popular fruit, and this is why papayas are now grown in nearly every tropical climate in the world.
The best part about the papaya fruit is that every part can be consumed to enjoy numerous health benefits. The flesh of papaya itself is rich in nutrients that are not readily available, including beta-carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin C. The seeds of papaya are rich in fatty acids required by the body. They can be used to make papaya oil.
However, one of the most remarkable parts of the papaya plant is the papaya leaf. In countries all over the world, papaya leaves have been used for generations to treat a host of maladies and to improve overall health. The leaves can be easily obtained from the papaya plant, and each leaf offers a host of nutrients that contribute to better health. Here are a few benefits of consuming papaya leaf juice.
1. Papaya Leaf is a Powerful Anti-Inflammatory
The extract of papaya leaves forms a potent anti-inflammatory that works wonders on reducing inflammation and healing the body. The leaves contain a compound called papain, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory that reduces inflammation by breaking down oxidized proteins in the body.
If these oxidized proteins are left unchecked, they wreak havoc on the body by causing inflammation and can result in violent fevers. Drinking a regular dose of papaya leaf juice helps to keep the body free from oxidized proteins and allows the body to relax by eliminating inflammation.
Along with papain, papaya leaves are rich in another potent anti-inflammatory called carica. The combination of these two compounds makes the papaya leaf highly effective in dealing with inflammation, which can be a big part of the recovery process of any disease.
The leaves themselves are also great for treating external injuries, and many doctors recommend wrapping a papaya leaf around a broken arm or a bruised knee to speed up the healing process.
2. Papaya Leaf Support Digestion
While the papaya itself is excellent for digestion, the leaves work wonders at processing nutrients in the body and cleaning out the colon.
Along with papain, papaya leaf also contains an enzyme called chymopapain. Both these compounds work in tandem to aid digestion, prevent constipation, and clean out the colon. Besides, as mentioned earlier, the papain found in the leaf is an anti-inflammatory and helps heal the colon and prevent the formation of stomach ulcers.
And it doesn’t stop there! Leaves of the papaya are also rich in two necessary digestive enzymes – protease and amylase. These enzymes found in the leaf effectively break down carbohydrates, proteins, and a few minerals making it a lot easier for your body to absorb nutrients from the food you eat.
The juice of the leaf can also help people suffering from common digestive issues. For example, those who have trouble processing gluten can consume papaya leaf juice regularly to digest their food more efficiently.
3. Papaya Leaf Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Papaya leaf extract is highly effective in regulating and maintaining blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. This potent leaf increases insulin sensitivity and thereby improves the absorption of sugar by the body.
Additionally, papaya leaf juice can improve the overall quality of life in diabetics. Diabetes can result in a host of other physiological complications, including kidney damage and fatty liver. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of papaya leaf juice can significantly diminish and even eradicate these symptoms over time, leading to a healthier, more vibrant life.
4. Reduce Menstruation Pains Utilizing Papaya Leaf
Papaya leaf juice works wonders to ease blood flow during menstruation, relieving most of the discomfort that a lot of women feel during their period. The anti-inflammatory properties of this leaf is a blessing during this painful cycle and can significantly reduce the pain experienced during menstruation.
The various hormones and enzymes contained in the leaf help to regulate hormonal imbalances during the menstrual cycle. In this way, papaya leaf juice can play an essential role in dealing with PMS that besets a lot of women before the beginning of their period.
To get the most out of the leaves, you may try this recipe.
- One pinch Salt
- 1 Tamarind
- 1 Papaya Leaf
Get rid of the tamarind seeds and extract the juice from the papaya leaf. Mix the leaf along with these ingredients in a vessel and heat the concoction until it starts to boil. You may want to cool the papaya leaf juice for a while before drinking it.
This leaf juice will significantly reduce ‘period pains’ and make this aspect of your life a lot more enjoyable.
5. Papayas Give Your Immune System a Boost
Besides all the beneficial compounds found in the leaf of the papaya, the leaves are also rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, both of which are highly effective in keeping away common illnesses. These vitamins work to strengthen the immune system, which in turn strengthens the body against most diseases.
Papaya leaf extract also leads to an increase of TH1 type cytokines in the immune system. These cytokines found in papaya are responsible for producing a pro-inflammatory response to foreign bodies and help to kill intracellular parasites that enter the system. This compound also ensures the perpetuation of autoimmune responses to certain threats experienced by the body, ensuring the prevention and treatment of certain allergic diseases and disorders.
This, coupled with the other anti-inflammatory properties of papaya leaf juice, makes for a very potent immune-system boost.
6. Grants More Radiant, Healthier Skin
Thanks to the combination of a variety of nutrients, papaya leaves are perhaps one of the most wide-ranging and beneficial skincare products known to humanity.
Vitamin A: Papaya leaf juice is rich in vitamin A, which gives the body retinoids and carotenoids. These are potent antioxidants that neutralize free radicals, which, if left alone, break down collagen and contribute to fine lines and wrinkly skin.
Apart from this, the vitamin A in papaya leaf also lessens the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, providing natural protection against UV rays and sun-induced redness.
Vitamin C: Papaya leaf is abundant in vitamin C, which, besides being a powerful antioxidant, is also responsible for collagen synthesis and helps to build new skin cells and maintain skin elasticity. Vitamin C is a vital part of the two outer layers of the skin – the dermis and the epidermis. Consuming papaya leaf juice regularly provides your body with a steady supply of vitamin C to continually replenish the skin cells.
Thanks to vitamin C content, papaya leaf has also been shown to fight, prevent, and even treat ultraviolet-induced photodamage caused by overexposure to the sun.
Papain: As mentioned earlier, papain found in papaya leaves is a potent anti-inflammatory compound that helps reduce inflammation in pimples and red spots on the body. Aside from this, papain is also a natural exfoliant found in the papaya leaf and helps to clear out the pores, leaving the skin looking fresh and healthy.
Karpain: Karpain is a string of different compounds found in the papaya leaf extract. Karpain checks the growth of excess microorganisms and cleanses your skin of any toxins that may have settled there. This helps papaya leaf to protect your skin from pimples and acne.
7. The Leaves Promote Healthy Hair Growth
While consuming papaya leaf extract works wonders within the body, topical application on the scalp can transform your hair.
Karpain found in papaya leaf juice helps to cleanse the scalp of dirt and bacteria, opening up the hair follicles and promoting thicker hair growth. This compound found in the leaf extract also removes excess oil from the scalp that can sometimes disrupt hair growth and cause baldness.
As a result of these properties, papaya leaf juice is a popular ingredient in nearly every haircare product today.
Papaya leaf juice can also help return lost sheen and thickness to the hair, which can sometimes be the result of excess shampooing. This is not to say that you should stop using shampoo, but overusing it can have adverse effects on your hair. Instead, the regular application of papaya leaf juice can restore the hair.
8. The Leaf Fights Dengue
Perhaps one of the main reasons why papaya leaf has been subjected to so many studies recently is that this magical leaf can fight the deadly dengue fever and restore your body to pristine health. In most cases, dengue can be a fatal disease, and without the right treatment, death is guaranteed.
Papaya leaf offers a simple solution – drink this extract every day, along with your other treatment, and you’ll be back to pristine health in no time. How, though?
Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by a bite of the dreaded Aedes mosquito. This infection significantly hampers the body’s capability to do almost anything. It causes platelet count to reduce at an alarming rate. As the strength leaves the body, the patient experiences high fever, skin rashes, and severe joint pain.
While all other symptoms can be dealt with using regular pharmaceuticals and hospital medication, increasing the platelet count can be tricky and nearly impossible without papaya leaf juice. The dengue virus induces bone marrow suppression, and since the bone marrow is where blood cells and platelets are manufactured, suppression of the marrow leads to a significant drop in platelet count.
In normal life, the average platelet count lies anywhere between 150,000 to 250,000. However, during a dengue attack, the platelet count can drop below 50,000, which can be extremely dangerous. Platelets cause the formation of blood clots, and the absence of them can lead to the onset of a life-threatening dengue condition called hemorrhagic dengue fever. This condition causes spontaneous bleeding in patients and regular shocks all over the body.
To combat this deadly virus, papaya leaf juice offers an abundance of blood platelets, and consuming the leaf while battling the virus is vital to a full recovery.
9. Potential to Fight Cancer
While we haven’t found a pharmaceutical product that completely stops cancer, papaya leaf juice is an excellent way to stave off cancer and even fight it in the initial stages. This leaf contains a powerful compound called acetogenin, a family of natural compounds that possess anti-tumor properties that help prevent the formation and mitigate the growth of tumors.
Research into papaya leaf juice has shown that the leaves can stop the growth of cancer cells and even help normalize the cell cycle again. A few studies have also demonstrated that the enzymes in papaya leaf extract can kill cancer cells, especially in cases of cancer of the liver, cervix, and prostate.
In addition to its cancer-fighting properties, papaya leaf juice is also rich in antioxidants, which helps to keep the cells healthy by fighting free radicals. The anti-inflammatory properties of papaya also help to ease the side effects of conventional treatments like chemotherapy.
10. Papaya Promotes More Restful Sleep
This may come as a surprise, but drinking even half a glass of papaya leaf juice at least an hour before going to bed can go a long way in improving the quality of your sleep.
Papaya leaf extract is rich in magnesium, a mineral that is vital for the proper functioning of the nerves — drinking papaya leaf juice before sleeping allows the magnesium to activate neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible for soothing the mind and body and putting it into a relaxed state.
Consumption of papaya leaf helps to directly improve the quality and duration of sleep, allowing you to feel more energetic during the day.
Additionally, magnesium in the leaf also helps to regulate the body’s metabolism, which in turn helps to fight sleep disorders and prevent insomnia.
11. Papaya Leaf Maintains Healthy Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is controlled by the rise and fall of salt in your body, and most foods today are high in sodium content, which leads to frequent fluctuations in blood pressure. Potassium balances out the negative effects of salt and help to maintain steady blood pressure throughout the body.
The advantage of papaya leaf is that it has a high potassium to sodium content. Just a single cup of papaya leaf juice contains 360 mg of potassium and only 4 gm of sodium. So consuming this leaf regularly can help the blood vessels relax and maintain proper blood pressure, especially in the case of individuals with hypertension.
Another factor that determines blood pressure is the health of your kidneys. The kidneys regulate blood pressure by controlling the fluids in your body. When the kidneys are unable to function correctly, people experience fluctuations in their blood pressure levels.
Including potassium, papaya leaf juice contains other minerals that help to flush out toxic depositions in the kidneys. In addition to this, papaya leaf juice also helps to reduce uric acid concentration in the blood, therefore drastically reducing the chances of kidney damage.
12. Leads to Better Cardiovascular Health
The magnesium in papaya leaf extract has an extremely relaxing and calming effect on the blood vessels in the body, allowing them to regulate blood flow. This helps to clear out any blocks in the arteries and promotes better heart health.
Another way in which this leaf contributes to better cardiovascular health is due to its presence of folate, which helps to lower the levels of homocysteine in the blood.
Homocysteine is a type of amino acid found primarily in meat. Most people don’t regulate their consumption of meat and, as a result, have high quantities of homocysteine in their system. The presence of this compound has been linked to the early development of heart disease. Homocysteine is a contributing factor to heart attacks and must be taken very seriously.
Another ill effect of homocysteine is that, by default, it tends to lower quantities of vitamin B6, B12, and folate in the body. This makes it even harder for the body to combat the ill effects of homocysteine.
However, papaya leaf juice, being rich in folates, is an excellent way to combat this issue and restore the heart to optimal health.
13. Helps to Fight Alcoholism
While papaya leaves cannot directly fight an addiction, they can help to recover alcoholics by keeping their liver in good condition while they fight the addiction.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of papaya leaf help to provide relief to the liver and keep the cells of the liver healthy and intact. By doing this, the leaf allows the liver to make a full recovery while the alcoholic gets over his/her addiction.
Another way in which papaya preserves the health of your liver is thanks to the presence of phytosterols in the leaf extract. These compounds are made up of a similar structure to LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and displace the LDL in the bloodstream, competing for intestinal absorption. This prevents LDL from accumulating in the body, making it easier for your liver to process the cholesterol in the body.
With the help of this leaf, the liver is kept safe from lipid peroxidation, which is when the lipids in the cholesterol react with oxygen to form harmful peroxides. In this way, the leaf keeps the liver safe from free-radical induced inflammatory diseases like liver cirrhosis and jaundice.
14. Papaya Leaf is a Workout Partner
From all the other benefits mentioned on this list, it’s clear how papaya leaf juice keeps the body healthy and hence improves physical performance. However, papaya leaf juice also directly impacts physical performance and is a great supplement to add to your workout plan.
For starters, the amylase and protease present in papaya leaf extract help the body to digest protein more efficiently, which is a vital part of muscle recovery. The leaf also allows the body to process carbs more effectively, giving you a surge of energy before any physical activity.
Magnesium is responsible for proper nerve function, which is extremely important for athletes and performers for them to execute movements with precision. And papaya leaf juice has an abundance of it.
The potassium in papaya leaf juice aids in muscle relaxation during recovery periods and can help relieve a lot of the post-workout or post-performance soreness experienced by athletes. The leaf extract also helps to balance out blood pressure and hence prevents athletes from experiencing fatigue or fluctuations in their energy levels.
And finally, the anti-inflammatory properties of papaya leaf can speed up the recovery process during periods of rest and help the muscles return to their optimal state. This is also highly effective for athletes who train using high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This involves a period of intense activity followed by complete rest, multiple times. The intense activity can cause the muscles to burn, and papaya leaf juice helps to mitigate this effect allowing athletes to perform their workouts with greater efficiency.
15. Heals Bruises and Cuts Quickly
The availability of platelets in papaya leaves helps the body to heal cuts and wounds much faster than it would be able to on a regular diet. Papaya leaf juice is also highly anti-inflammatory and helps to mitigate the burning, painful effects of cuts and bruises.
There’s Too Much!
If all the benefits listed here aren’t enough, papaya leaf juice is also extremely economical and easy to prepare. All you have to do is blend the leaf into a cup or a glass and consume it raw. You can add a bit of salt or tamarind, but it’s not required.
The leaf has an additional advantage over the fruit itself because most papayas grown today are the GMO variety, and it can be challenging to find organic papaya in the market. Eating these GMO-produced papayas can prove detrimental to your health in the long run.
However, the leaves of the papaya tree remain unaffected by GMO-chemicals and retain all the original nutrition offered by the papaya plant. This makes it safe to consume the leaf without having to worry too much about the adverse effects it might have.
Including this simple leaf juice in your diet and consuming it even once or twice a week can lead to a lifetime of health benefits. You’ll stay protected from diseases, feel energetic, and be able to live a much more fulfilling, healthy, and happy life. Sure, the leaves might be a little bitter. But what’s a little bitterness compared to a lifetime of pristine health?
Ingredients: Wild-harvested Papaya leaf
Parts Used: Dried leaves
Forms: Two ounces of powder or 60 vegetable capsules (550-600 mg).
How to use:
Powder: Take 1/2 tsp of dried powder in 8 oz. glass of favorite juice or smoothie once a day.
Capsules: Take 1 capsule 2 times a day with water or favorite beverage.
The gel caps we use are Vegicaps (vegetable) and are all-natural. No Animal By-Products, Starch Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Preservative Free, Ethylene Oxide, and Sulfite FREE!
Legal Information: The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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