Did you know that papayas are believed to prevent pregnancies and cause abortions in some parts of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan? Well, true or not, papaya is undeniably one of the healthiest fruits with multiple benefits. Though the papaya is said to have originally come with explorers from Spain and Portugal who visited India, our climate is extremely conducive to its growth. That is why it is available in abundance throughout the year.
The fruit has high concentrations of vitamin C and A, and can effortlessly keep away or oust cold, cough or flu. So, all you have to do to boost your immune system is include papaya in your breakfast. Unlike its alternative, the apple, this is definitely light on your pocket too. Moreover, it is also supposed to help reduce risk of diabetic heart disease and Atherosclerosis — thickening of the artery walls due to the accumulation of cholesterol.
With substantial water and fibre content, it helps prevent or ease constipation. Papaya juice can also help cure colon infections.
The enzyme papain, found abundantly in the fruit as well as in other parts of the plant, including the leaves, aids in the complex digestion of proteins. Carotene in the fruit helps prevent lung cancer. As it acts as an anti-oxidant, it also helps slow down aging. Raw papaya is also beneficial for women with irregular menstrual cycles and in easing flow during the period.
Used extensively in face-packs, it helps clear skin pores and prevents acne. In addition, it removes dead skin cells and exfoliates the skin. If you think your skin is discoloured, papaya is the easiest treatment to remove the blemishes. It can also be used as a fairness agent, when applied on face, neck arms and legs.
As the fruit is low on sodium content, it also keeps the skin hydrated, smooth and wrinkle-free. Further, this property also makes it suitable for those with hypertension or water-retention problems.
Applying the pulp on wounds too speeds up healing, so papaya fruit and tree extracts are often used in ointments. Papaya is also effective in treating dandruff. Hence, its extensive use in shampoos.
In addition to the benefits of the fruit, ground juice of the leaves can help increase platelet count in those recovering from dengue.
Papaya leaf tea can also help alleviate bloating, menstrual cramps, intestinal cramps, fungal infection and constipation. However, as this acts on the hormonal system, the beverage is known to cause early contractions in pregnant women, which could lead to a miscarriage.