Papaya / Papaya Seed Benefits
Paw Paw, Papaye, Curry Mathi, Fruta Bomba
Mexico, Central America
Yet another ancient superfood to grace us from South America, the Papaya fruit and seeds were especially revered by the Ancient Mayans who worshipped the tree, calling it “The Tree of Life”.
Papayas have several medicinal properties and native inhabitants of South America have used them for centuries to treat numerous diseases and symptoms. Mayan Indians would use Papaya fruit in the form of a paste to heal skin rash or other skin problems such as cuts, rashes, stings and burns. The seeds were used to expel parasites and as a digestive aid.
Papaya Seed Benefits
Papaya seeds are rich in the enzymes papain and chymopapain, which are proven to enhance digestion, making it easier to digest proteins. Specifically, they help to break down tough protein fibres into smaller strings of protein. This improves nutrient absorption of high protein foods overall and is particularly useful for sufferers of digestive enzyme deficiency. Papain also helps the good bacteria in the gastrointestinal system, enhancing the functionality of digestive organs.
Papaya seeds can also promote a healthy digestive system by fighting intestinal parasites. Research was undertaken in May 2007 to test the hypothesis that Papaya Seeds have powerful anti-microbial activity. Researchers gave a Papaya Seed preparation to children who tested positive for intestinal parasites, and the study which was published in the "Journal of Medicinal Food"; found that Papaya Seeds were effective at treating parasites without harmful side effects.
The liver and the digestive system are closely tied in that by promoting healthy digestion, the digestive load on the liver is greatly reduced.
Papaya Seeds are rich in antioxidants that specifically prevent free radical production in liver cells, and as such they make an excellent addition to liver detoxification recipes.
The potent anti-bacterial properties found in Papaya Seeds help to protect the kidneys from damaging toxins that can cause disease and failure in this important organ.
Papaya Seeds contain flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory properties which have been shown to inhibit the production of messaging molecules that cause inflammation. They can be especially effective in easing the swelling and joint pain that comes with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Papaya Seed Oil
Papaya Seed Oil is rich in papain, a naturally exfoliating enzyme that sloughs away dead skin cells leaving the complexion clean and bright. It is also very high in vitamin C which helps to regenerate skin, combat fine lines and wrinkles and protect the skin from oxidative stress.
The anti-inflammatory properties of Papaya Seed Oil can help with acne, this light, non-greasy oil does not block the pores and add additional sebum or block pores.
The first time you eat Papaya Seeds try just 2 seeds taken with a protein based meal.
If these are well-tolerated, then add another 2 seeds each time until you reach about a quarter of a teaspoon.
After at least 3 days of taking a quarter of teaspoon without side effects you can move up to half a teaspoon of Papaya Seeds.
After another 3 days you can choose to move up to a full teaspoon of fresh seeds, though this may be too much for some sensitive people, or just stay on half a teaspoon which is likely to provide similar health benefits.
If at any point you experience side effects from eating Papaya Seeds then take a day off from them and start again at half the dose.
Papaya Seed Oil
Papaya Seed Oil can be used as a light, non-greasy carrier oil for an aromatherapy massage or bath. Just choose your favourite essential oils, dilute and use for a regenerating and replenishing massage or soothing and relaxing bath.
Papaya Seed Oil can also be used in homemade, natural skin and hair preparations.
Although the benefits of the Papaya fruit and seeds were well known to indigenous South American tribes, they were only discovered by the western world when Christopher Columbus arrived. He called it the "Fruit of the Angels", with some history books relating the tale that upon arrival, the Columbus party were enthusiastically greeted by the natives. They were fed so much food that some of the party suffered digestive pains, so the natives took them into the forest and fed them Papaya, thus curing their indigestion.
The Spanish and Portuguese explorers then took Papaya to many of the other sub-tropical lands they explored, including India, the Phillipines and parts of Africa.
Papaya Seeds are rich in the minerals; Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Copper and Manganese.
Phytonutrients include; Papain, Chymopapain, Flavonoids, Carotenoids, Polyphenols and Prunasin
Do not consume Papaya Seeds if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have a latex allergy, have a stomach ulcer or are on blood thinning medications. Can affect male fertility.