8 Benefits Of Papaya Leaf Juice, How To Make, & Side Effects

Reviewed by Ariana Fiorita, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Sports Nutrition
Written by Swathi Handoo, MSc (Biotechnology), Professional Certificate In Food, Nutrition & Health

The benefits of papaya leaf are gaining the attention of many health enthusiasts. In traditional medicine, leaves of all kinds were an integral part of treatment. They were widely used to treat both simple and lethal diseases of humans and animals. Holy basil, neem, aloe vera, mint, and dandelion leaves were mostly used, and papaya leaf is a valuable add-on to this list. In addition, the leaf extract of papaya is known to cure parasitic fevers like dengue and boost your immune system.

Learn more about papaya leaves, the array of benefits they offer, and their method of preparation for treatment. Scroll down to know more!

In This Article

What Is Papaya Leaf Juice Or Extract?

Papaya leaf extract is made by crushing the tender and young leaves of the Carica papaya plant. This concentrated extract is topically applied to treat skin allergies, wounds, scars, blemishes, hair fall, dandruff, and fungal or bacterial infections.

This thick and bitter extract is diluted with water to make a milder juice, which you can consume.

Papaya leaf juice is one of the best detox drinks you can ask for.

It has vitamins A, B, C, and E and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and iron.

The leaves have high levels of phytochemicals like saponins, tannins, alkaloids, and flavonoids, especially β-carotene, that work together to cleanse your blood improve its circulation treat GI tract disorders protect your liver and kidneys from inflammation manage hypertension, diabetes, and several cardiovascular diseases.

Did You Know?

  • According to traditional Southeast Asian medicine, smoking dried, powdered papaya seeds and leaves can reduce chronic respiratory disorders like asthma and bronchitis.
  • Since papaya has high levels of papain and chymopapain, the protein-digesting enzymes, crushed papaya leaves and the fruit pulp are used as natural meat tenderizers.
  • Papaya leaves have potent anthelmintic activity against earthworms and nematodes. They are used to treat various helminthiases in humans.

Isn’t it wonderful that the unpalatable bitter leaves can help your body manage different stresses? Let’s now take a look at the mind-blowing favors this leaf does to our body – in detail.

Happy reading!

8 Incredible Benefits Of Papaya Leaf Juice

1. Cures Dengue Fevers

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Dengue viruses cause life-threatening dengue fever, using mosquitoes as a medium. The symptoms take time to show up but are almost fixed – high fever, rash, and a severe headache (the dengue triad), along with joint and muscular pain, shivering, and eye pain. Ultimately, all of these lead to reduced platelet count in the body.

Having 25 mL of papaya leaf juice (in water) twice a day boosts your platelet count and reduces the severity of the infection.

The extract has essential bioactive compounds like papain, chymopapain, and caricain, which treat nausea and improve digestion (1).

2. Has Antimalarial And Plasmodiastatic Properties

A 2011 mouse study shows that papaya leaf extract can effectively treat malaria. It has plasmodiastatic properties, i.e., it decelerates the growth rate of Plasmodium in your body, indirectly controlling malarial fever.

Papaya leaf juice increases the antioxidant levels in the patients, thereby preventing malaria-induced anemia in them (2).

But there is a need for more in-depth research and systematic clinical trials to support this effect of papaya leaf extract against malaria and fevers like chikungunya.

3. Aids Digestion And Cures GI Tract Issues

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Eating tender and young leaves of papaya or drinking its juice can solve digestive issues like bloating, heartburn due to acid reflux, constipation, and painful bowel movement (3).

It has abundant antioxidants and active compounds like papain, chymopapain, and essential fiber, which aid protein digestion and release of digestive enzymes and increase appetite (4).

Papaya leaf juice can also soothe gastric wall damages that lead to ulcers caused due to alcohol abuse and other stresses because of its biochemical constituents (5).

4. Protects Your Liver From Inflammatory Diseases

Hypercholesterolemia or high-cholesterol levels in serum lead to complex cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and liver diseases.

Choosing alternate plant-based options like papaya leaf juice can cleanse your blood by lowering the cholesterol levels. This happens because a few phytosterols in papaya leaf juice have a similar structure to bad cholesterol (LDL). They displace LDL from the cells and compete for intestinal absorption, preventing LDL from accumulating.

Also, this way, there is minimal lipid peroxidation, and your liver is kept safe from free radical-induced inflammatory diseases, such as cirrhosis and jaundice (6).

5. Maintains The Glow Of Your Skin

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Since papaya leaf has high levels of antioxidants, like saponins, flavonoids, tannins, and alkaloids, you can use its extract to nourish your face and skin.

These antioxidants, along with vitamins C and A, scavenge the free radicals in your blood, improving its circulation through your skin.

When this happens, the skin retains its texture and glow. The signs of aging, such as wrinkles, breakouts, and pigmentation, get diminished.

Papaya leaf juice, when applied along with the fruit pulp, opens the clogged pores of your skin and clears out pimples, acne, and excessive oil generated on your face.

Now you know why are there so many papaya peel-off masks in the mart!

6. Boosts Your Immunity And Shows Anticancer Properties

Traditional medicine uses papaya fruits and leaves to cure disorders as complex as cancers.

Ingesting the leaf juice can boost the activation of primary components of your immune system like T-lymphocytes, which, in turn, trigger the production of various chemical messengers (IL-12, IFN-?, and TNF-α) that perform assigned roles in defense to specific stresses, especially from chemotherapies.

The phytochemical composition of papaya leaf juice includes active compounds like α-tocopherol, lycopene, and benzyl isothiocyanate, which show potent antitumor activity and prevent cancers from metastasizing (8).

However, more research is required to corroborate this property.

7. Fights Dandruff And Controls Hair Problems

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Applying papaya leaf extract to your scalp can remove the excess oil, dirt, and grime at the roots. It is an excellent remedy to cure dandruff and itchy scalp problems.

The leaf extract balances out the moisture and oil on your scalp, making it less prone to dryness and fungal infections that can lead to premature balding.

8. Has Potent Anti-inflammatory And Antinociceptive Effects

Extracts of papaya leaf and seeds exhibit powerful anti-inflammatory effects due to the presence of polyphenols, saponins, and alkaloids that are natural analgesics and antinociceptive agents.

These compounds act directly on your CNS (central nervous system) and block the transmission of pain-inducing and pro-inflammatory chemicals, such as histamines, serotonin, and prostaglandins, reducing the pain and the severity of inflammation (9).

Drinking papaya leaf juice helps in the treatment of a host of conditions – arthritis, diabetes type 2, asthma, irritable bowel disease, periodontitis, UTIs, gastric ulcers, acute and swollen wounds, burns, bronchitis, pneumonia, heartburn, cardiovascular diseases, cirrhosis, tendonitis, menstrual cramps, migraine, and headaches.

When I read about these benefits, I made up my mind to consume this unimaginably bitter-tasting leaf juice.

The first time I took a sip of it, I understood what poison meant. It would be difficult to get used to it, but where there is a will, there’s a way, isn’t it?

So, I put together some fun and quick recipes for making papaya leaf juice tastier and less bitter.

And I decided to share them with you. Here you go!

How To Make Papaya Leaf Juice

Let’s do the basic recipe first and then move on to make it taste better.

What You Need
  • Clean, fresh, and, tender papaya leaves: 5-10
  • Regular masticating juicer or a blender
  • Small glass bottles (to store in refrigerator): optional
Let’s Make It!

Wash the papaya leaves thoroughly with purified drinking water.

  1. Put them in the juicer jar and blend thoroughly to a smooth consistency.
  2. If you don’t have a juicer, use a blender to crush the leaves thoroughly.
  3. Strain the contents through a thin cloth or a sieve.
  4. Collect the clarified juice into small glasses (shot glasses) or bottles to refrigerate and use later.

That’s it! You’ve made some lovely papaya leaf juice. Now, let’s see how you can manage to drink it.

Just look in the mirror when you first experience the taste and then decide whether you want to have it this way or try a few tricks. The trick I used for a while until I got used to the bitterness of the juice is this.

Tip Time!

  • Blend some pulpy and sweet fruits like apples, bananas, pineapples, grapes, mangoes, or papayas along with the papaya leaves and water.
  • This will reduce the bitterness of the crude leaf juice.
  • You can also try adding some milk to this mixed fruit juice to make a smoothie.
  • Adding sugar, honey, or a sweetener is your choice. I recommend you to have it unsweetened.

After trying the tip, look in the mirror again, and see how happy and satisfied you feel for accomplishing this challenge.

But the best way to make the most of the leaves is by drinking the raw juice. So, try reducing the fruits in your drink gradually and see the magic unfold!

Jokes apart, bioactive extracts like papaya leaf juice should be taken in small and regulated doses and under medical supervision to avoid undesirable side effects.

I say this because the crude leaf extract is extremely potent and can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Keep in mind and look for the following side effects when you start drinking it.

What Are The Side Effects Of Drinking Papaya Leaf Juice?

  • Unsafe For Pregnant Women Or Those Who Want To Conceive

There is a lot written about how papaya fruit has caused abortions or stillbirths in pregnant women, and how it adversely affects the fertility in women who are planning to conceive (contraception).

There are not many studies that show how safe drinking papaya leaf juice is for such women, and hence, it is deemed unsafe.

So, it is better to stay away from this juice.

  • Is A Potent Allergen

If you are allergic to papaya fruit, refrain from consuming this leaf extract as it may cause skin rashes, stomach irritation, and nausea that might need immediate medical attention.

So, What’s The Verdict?

The benefits of papaya leaf juice can be attributed to its nutrients and phytochemicals. The juice may boost platelet count and reduce the severity of dengue fever, act against malaria and chikungunya, and aid in digestion. It also helps protect your liver from inflammation, improve skin texture, and fight dandruff. However, it is regarded as unsafe for pregnant women or those planning to conceive. Those allergic to papaya may also experience skin irritation and nausea. Hence, practice caution.

References

  1. “Dengue fever treatment with Carica…” Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, US National Library of Medicine
  2. “Antagonistic antimalarial properties of…” Journal of VEctor borne diseases, US National Library of Medicine
  3. “Papaya preparation (Caricol….” Neuroendocrinology Letters, US National Library of Medicine
  4. “Phytochemical Analysis of Paw-Paw…” International Journal of Life Sciences Biotechnology and Pharma Research
  5. “Protective effects of Carica papaya L…” The West Indian Medical Journal, US National Library of Medicine
  6. “Effect of Carica papaya Leaf Extract…” Health, Scientific Research Publishing
  7. “Phytochemical and Pharmacological Investigation…” Department of Pharmacy, East West University
  8. “Aqueous extract of Carica papaya leaves…” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, ScienceDirect
  9. “Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of…” African
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Ariana Fiorita

(Registered Dietitian Nutritionist)
Ariana is a Registered Dietitian specializing in functional medicine and sports nutrition in the Cleveland, Ohio area. She holds a... more

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