Traditional medicine has used several plant parts for treating simple as well as extremely lethal human and animal diseases. Most commonly, we think of neem, holy basil, dandelion, aloe vera, and mint leaves.
But recently, another leaf has been added to this list of medicinal leaves – papaya leaf. Its extract, also called papaya leaf juice, can treat parasitic fevers like dengue and works wonders for your immunity.
Read on to know the ways in which papaya leaf juice is beneficial for you, how to prepare it, and other exciting details.
Table Of Contents
- What Is Papaya Leaf Juice Or Extract?
- 8 Incredible Benefits Of Papaya Leaf Juice
- How To Make Papaya Leaf Juice
- What Are The Side Effects Of Drinking Papaya Leaf Juice?
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.
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.
8 Incredible Benefits Of Papaya Leaf Juice
1. Cures Dengue Fevers
Dengue viruses cause the 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
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
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
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.
- Put them in the juicer jar and blend thoroughly to a smooth consistency.
- If you don’t have a juicer, use a blender to crush the leaves thoroughly.
- Strain the contents through a thin cloth or a sieve.
- 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.
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?
They say, ‘Truth is always bitter.” And so is papaya leaf juice! However unpalatable it is, the benefits it has are unparalleled.
Since it finds more uses than drawbacks, papaya leaf juice should certainly be added to your breakfast list. It’s easy and quick to prepare – the only hurdle you’ve got to cross is to drink it.
I wish you all the luck in trying out this fabulous health drink and would like to hear about your experiences with the mirror after your first sip.
You can also let us know your comments, suggestions and creative recipes in the box below.
- “Dengue fever treatment with Carica…” Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, US National Library of Medicine
- “Antagonistic antimalarial properties of…” Journal of VEctor borne diseases, US National Library of Medicine
- “Papaya preparation (Caricol….” Neuroendocrinology Letters, US National Library of Medicine
- “Phytochemical Analysis of Paw-Paw…” International Journal of Life Sciences Biotechnology and Pharma Research
- “Protective effects of Carica papaya L…” The West Indian Medical Journal, US National Library of Medicine
- “Effect of Carica papaya Leaf Extract…” Health, Scientific Research Publishing
- “Phytochemical and Pharmacological Investigation…” Department of Pharmacy, East West University
- “Aqueous extract of Carica papaya leaves…” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, ScienceDirect
- “Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of…” African
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