PAPAYA



Papaya is one of the most valuable tropical fruits.It has established medicinal values from the ancient times. It helps in treating cirrhosis of liver, dyspepsia, round worms, and menstrual irregularities.

Botanical Name: Carica papaya

Family Name: Caricaceae

Description:

This is large and fleshy tropical fruit. Its weight varies from half to 2 kg and is pear shaped. Its central cavity may contain seeds or may be seedless. On ripening, it becomes yellow and sweet in taste.

Distribution:

This fruit has its origin in Mexico and Costa Rica. It is now widely cultivated in all countries of the world. It has a typical aroma and delicious taste.

Parts Used:

Fruit

Properties:

Cardio-tonic, carminative, digesting, anti-constipation, anthelminthic, anti-haemorrhoid.




Nutritional value:



This is a wholesome fruit containing proteins, minerals, vitamins, carotene etc. Its carbohydrate content is mainly of invert sugar which is a form of predigested food.

Analysis of 100 gm of edible part of the fruit gives the following composition:

Moisture: 91%

Protein: 0.6%

Fat: 0.1%

Minerals: 0.5%

Fiber: 0.8%

Carbohydrates: 7.2%

Calcium: 17 mg

Phosphorus: 13 mg

Vitamin C: 57 mg

Iron: 0.5 mg

Caloric value: 32

Small amount of vitamin B-complex is also present.




MEDICINAL USES:



1. It has established medicinal values from the ancient times. It is not only one of the most easily digested fruits but also aids in digestion of other foods.

2. Ripe fruit is an excellent tonic for growing children, pregnant women and nursing mothers. It is an energy giving food.

3. This fruit contains protein-digesting enzyme in the milky juice or latex, which flows in a network of nerves in the whole plant. This enzyme is like that of pepsin and its digestive action is so powerful that it can digest 200 times its own weight in protein. Its effect is to assist the body’s own enzymes in assimilating the maximum nutritional value from food to provide energy and body building material.

4. INTESTINAL DISORDERS-

Papain in the raw papaya is highly beneficial in the deficiency of gastric juice, excess of unhealthy mucus in the stomach, in dyspepsia and intestinal irritation. The ripe fruit, if eaten regularly, corrects habitual constipation, bleeding piles and chronic diarrhea. The juice of the papaya seeds is also useful in dyspepsia and bleeding piles.

5. ROUND WORMS-

The digestive enzyme papain in the milky juice of the unripe fruit is a powerful anthelminthic (it destroys roundworms). A tablespoon of the fresh juice and equal quantity of honey should be mixed with 3-4th teaspoon of hot water and taken as a dose by an adult followed by 30 ml caster oil in 250 ml milk. Repeat it twice.

6. MENSTRUAL REGULATION-

The unripe fruit helps the contraction of the muscle fibers of the womb (uterus) and is thus useful in regulating irregular improper menstrual flow.

7. LIVER and SPLEEN-

It is a liver corrective and useful in cirrhosis of the liver caused by alcohol and malnutrition. Ripe papaya is highly valuable in the enlargement of the spleen. The fruit should be peeled off, cut into pieces and dipped in vinegar for a week and after that, 2-3 pieces should be taken with meals. Spleen size increases in malaria also.




Fruits and Vegetables

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