Ingredients and Uses

14 Side Effects Of Papaya

Reviewed By Registered Dietitian Merlin Annie Raj, Registered Dietitian
by Read Time : 4 Minutes
14 Side Effects Of Papaya Hyderabd040-395603080 September 26, 2019

The fleshy and juicy golden yellow papaya is a super food loaded with nutrients. Low in calories and fat, it is an amazing store of dietary fiber. A medium sized papaya will give you 300% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C. This is a good snack while you are on weight loss and is safe for everyone, including toddlers.

Top 14 Side Effects Of Papaya:

However, too much of anything is not good. And, papaya is no exception. Let us have a look at the various side effects of papaya:

1. Can Cause Abortion:

Raw papaya has been used as a natural way to terminate unwanted pregnancies. While the ripe papaya is considered a safer option, there are chances of raw ones triggering uterine contractions due to the presence of latex. This, in turn, could cause an abortion, miscarriage, premature labor, abnormalities in the infant, and even stillbirth. Papain, the enzyme present in the leaves of papaya, functions akin to oxytocin and prostaglandin.

These two hormones are known to induce labor and enhance the contractions. Pregnant women may also experience hemorrhagic placentas. Hence, avoid papaya, especially the raw ones to safeguard yourself and your baby.

[ Read: Amazing Benefits Of Papaya Juice ]

2. Can Cause Carotenemia:

If consumed in high quantities, the presence of beta carotene in papaya might cause discoloration of the skin, medically known as carotenemia. It is a condition where your eye white, soles, and palms turn yellow, as if you are under the attack of jaundice.

3. Can Develop Respiratory Disorders:

Papain, the enzyme present in papaya, is a powerful allergen. Excessive consumption of papaya could, therefore, trigger various respiratory disorders, such as:

  • Obstructed breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Continuous congestion of the nasal passages
  • Hay fever
  • Asthma

4. Can Develop Renal Stones:

A 5 inch long papaya is known to have 60 mg Vitamin C in it, which makes up to more than 300% of the recommended daily value of this vitamin. A powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C is known to pep up your immunity power, safeguard you from cancer, hypertension, blood vessel disorders, and even prevent premature ageing. However, studies suggest that an escalated dose of this vitamin could be toxic, paving way for renal stone formation.

5. Can Upset The Stomach:

Eating too much of papaya might upset your gastrointestinal system. This, in turn will cause an upset stomach characterized by:

  • Stomach ache
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Nausea

The abundant presence of fiber along with the latex from the papaya’s skin are the culprits behind this upset tummy. It could even irritate your stomach, leaving you with an undesirable queasiness.

6. Not Safe During Breastfeeding:

Women in Asia are advised to include salads packed with green papaya to improve the flow of breast milk. However, what is interesting here is that there is a contradictory version also. In certain other parts of the world, women who are lactating are advised against including papaya, ripe as well as unripe, in their diet. While there are no substantial proofs that showcase the negative impact, it is suggested that the enzymes present in this fruit might have an adverse effect on the infant. However, it is advisable to check with your doctor before using papaya.

7. Papain Interacts With Blood Thinning Medications In A Negative Way:

Studies have proven that papain, an enzyme present in papaya, has the potential to escalate blood thinning effects. Hence, if you are on any blood thinning medications or anticoagulants, such as aspirin, check with your doctor to shield yourself from unwanted harsh effects.

If you have a surgery posted in a few weeks, then it is advisable to avoid this fruit due to its anticoagulant nature.

According to various researches conducted on papaya, people affected by blood clotting conditions, such as hemophilia and thrombosis should also refrain from including this fiber delight. Check with your physician, in case of any of the aforementioned conditions, just as a precautionary measure.

[ Read: Benefits Of Papaya Leaf Juice for Health ]

8. Your Skin May Develop Rashes:

The rich presence of papain enzyme as well as antioxidants make papaya a sought after ingredient in anti-ageing creams. However, not every skin type reacts to the topical application in a positive way. Certain people may experience an itchy, dry skin, while there are cases reported where women developed rashes after using papaya-infused moisturizing and/or massage creams.

9. You Could Be Allergic To Papaya:

If you have respiratory disorders, such as asthma or any allergic conditions, then please exercise caution while using papaya. At times, the pollen from the flowers might stick onto the skin of the papaya. So, if you are allergic, make sure you wear gloves while cleaning papaya. Discard the peel and thereafter, you can remove your gloves. You should also cover your nose and mouth with a towel to avoid allergic reactions.

Allergic reactions to papaya, which are quite rare, include:

  • Swelling of the mouth
  • Facial swelling
  • Itching in and around the mouth and throat
  • Rashes on the floor of the mouth and tongue
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Obstructed breathing
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Abdominal pain

10. Toxic When Consumed In High Amounts:

The leaves, seeds, and flesh of the papaya are abundant with carpaine, the anthelmintic alkaloid. While this chemical is effective to flush the parasitic worms from your tummy, the effect reverses into negative with excessive consumption. High amounts of carpaine is known to lower your pulse rate in a dangerous way, affecting the functioning of nervous system. This, in turn, could pave way for grave unforeseen conditions.

11. You Might Experience A Slower Heartbeat:

People who are suffering from cardiac disorders should avoid using papaya. The papain present in this golden orange flesh fruit is known to slow down the rate of heartbeat in a precarious way, triggering serious cardiovascular conditions.

12. Not Safe For Consumption If You Suffer From Diarrhea:

Like all other fibrous fruits, papaya is also not safe, if consumed in excessive amounts during diarrhea. The fiber binds with the stools and worsens the condition, leaving you at the risk of dehydration.

13. Not Safe For Infants Below 1 Year:

While studies are yet to establish the actual reason behind this, people advise mothers not to feed papaya to infants below the age of 1. This could possibly be due to the presence of fiber in abundance. Excessive fiber intake has two major negative impacts:

  1. It could trigger loose stools.
  2. Without adequate water intake, it could harden the stools, leaving the baby constipated.
  3. So, check with your pediatrician before you give your baby this fruit, in any form raw or ripe.

[ Read: Benefits Of Papaya For Health ]

14. Can Cause Constipation:

While papaya is known to be an effective natural remedy for constipation, excessive intake might affect negatively. You should at least drink 10 to 12 glasses of water a day to keep constipation at bay. And, when your fiber intake is high, the quantity of water should also increase, failing which your stools will harden. This, in turn will leave you constipated.

Papaya, in fact, is a wonderful gift from Mother Nature to the humans. However, failing to use it in a judicious way could be the root cause of all the aforementioned papaya side effects. Do not panic; just exert caution while eating papaya to stay safe.

What is your view on papaya benefits and side effects? Have you ever experienced any negative effects? Let us know your experiences and views through comments.

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Ravi Teja Tadimalla

Ravi Teja Tadimalla is a Senior Content Writer who specializes in writing on Health and Wellness. He graduated from SRM University, Chennai, and has been in the field for well over 4 years now. His work involves extensive research on how one can maintain better health through natural foods and organic supplements. Ravi has written over 250 articles and is also a published author. Reading and theater are his other interests.