The Papaya leaf herb has long been known in the annals of herbal medicine. Its primary use in olden days is to help remove intestinal worms. Nowadays, it is widely used in the tropics for its digestive support properties.
Papaya leaf comes from the tree known as carica papaya. The leaves are quite large, measuring about 60 to 70 centimeters in diameter. The papaya leaf has about 7 lobes. The papaya tree has one stem that typically grows up to a height of 15 to 30 feet. It has spirally-arranged leaves found at the top of the trunk.
The papaya fruit measures about 15 to 30 centimeters in diameter. When the fruit is soft to the touch and the skin turns to a shade of orange, it is already considered ripe. The papaya flesh is sweet to the taste and the inside core of the fruit contains lots of black seeds.
Papaya is considered a tropical fruit and is extensively produced in countries such as Indonesia, Brazil, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and South Africa.
Some of the active constituencies of papaya leaf are beta-carotene, calcium, carpaine, fats, flavonols, niacin, papain, tannin, and vitamin C.
In addition to the above constituents, papaya leaf tea is also said to contain papain, which is a chemical enzyme that is said to help in various stages of the digestive process.
Papaya leaf tea is made by placing one teaspoon of the cut or powdered dried papaya leaves in a pot of boiling water. Take the pot out of the boiling water and let the mix simmer for about 10 minutes. This tea tastes very bitter.
Another version of papaya leaf tea is made by blending the extract of the leaves with a rooibos tea base. This blend is said to be quite effective due to its anti-cancer properties.
Papaya leaf tea should be taken moderately as excessive amounts may lead to a strong laxative effect.
The following are some health benefits attributed to this herb:
- May help in expelling intestinal worms.
- Said to have properties that may help prevent the development of tumors and cancer.
- Said to help against prostate enlargement and inflammation.
- May help in the promotion of healthy digestion. It may help fight such digestive ailments as dyspepsia, heartburn, constipation and catarrh.
- May help boost the appetite.
- May help fight against dengue.
- May aid in strengthening the immune system.
- May assist in the treatment of skin problems such as acne.
- May help relieve menstrual cramps.