Papaya Leaf Health Benefits
What is the Papaya?
Also known as the papaw or the pawpaw, the papaya is a plant native to American tropics. It is believed to have originated from Central America and Mexico. It is a relatively small tree with sparse branches and typically has a single stem that extends between 5 and 10 meters above the ground. Its leaves are considerably large and measure from 50-70 cm in diameter. The leaf has seven lobes which are deeply palmately. Every part of the papaya contains latex held in articulated laticifers. Papaya has been naturalized in various areas of the world ranging from the Caribbean Islands, to Florida through to several areas of Africa. It is also grown in Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Australia among others.
The papaya is recently gaining popularity among many and not for its delicious fruits but for the health and medical benefits of its leaves.
Health Benefits of the Papaya
Research into the Papaya leaves have revealed that they have amazing health and medical properties. Some of the benefits of the leaves include:
Treatment of Dengue Fever: Papaya leaves have been studied to help remedy dengue fever. The juice from the leaves is used to treat the condition that is transmitted by infected Aedes mosquito. The condition is known to considerably reduce the platelet count in an individual. Papaya leaf extracts however help in boosting the platelet count. It does this by considerably increasing the production of platelets.
Anti-Malarial Characteristics: Another popular benefit of papaya leaves is the anti-malarial properties that it possesses. The leaves contain a compound known as acetogenin which is remarkable at protecting the body from conditions such as malaria and dengue.
Promotes Liver Health: Papaya leaves have also been used to promote the health of the liver. Its juice acts as an effective cleansing agent for the liver which in turn helps in healing the liver from diseases such as liver cirrhosis and jaundice.
Facilitates Proper Digestion: Papaya leaves contain enzymes chymonpapain and papain. Both enzymes have been studied to aid in proper digestion, cleansing of the colon and prevention of constipation. Using the papaya leaves will therefore help you enjoy the above benefits. It can also help prevent or treat stomach ulcers.
How to Use Papaya Leaves
The use of papaya leaves varies depending on a number of factors such as the condition it is being used to remedy, the amount of leaves available and how the leaves are available (fresh or dried).
For dengue fever, the papaya juice is a great remedy. You need to acquire fresh papaya leaves from a healthy papaya plant, preferably a flowering or fruiting one. It is recommendable to go for the younger leaves that re yet to reach their maturity. Wash them well and tear off the fibrous stem. If you have a juicer, you can juice the leaves but if you don’t, you can still crush them and collect the juice. On an empty stomach, take 1 tablespoon of the juice twice a day. It however is not recommendable for pregnant women.
Another way of using the papaya leaves is by preparing papaya tea using the dried leaves. The leaves can be dried naturally by airing in the sun or dried faster in an oven or microwave. The dried leaves is then ground into powder.
NOTE: We highly recommend that before using any herbal medications you should consult your health care provider or medical doctor for professional advice.
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