The mountain papaya (Vasconcellea pubescens) also known as mountain pawpaw, papayuelo, chamburo, or simply "papaya" is a species of the genus Vasconcellea, native to the Andes of northwestern South America from Colombia south to central Chile, typically growing at altitudes of 1,500–3,000 metres (4,900–9,800 ft) m. It has also been known as Carica pubescens.
The nutrition inside the papaya leaf is incredible!
Based on the research studies, it was found that the phytonutrient compounds in papaya leaves act in synergy to display a strong antioxidant and immune enhancing impact in the bloodstream. Papain, alkaloids and phenolic compounds are responsible for their positive biological effects.
The enzymes papain and chymopapain are the two biologically active components of papaya. They aid in digesting proteins and are widely used for treating indigestion, bloating, and other digestive disorders. In addition, the alkaloid compounds, carpaine, pseudocarpaine and dehydrocarpaine demonstrate chemo-preventive effects.
Pure isolated alkaloids and their synthetic derivatives are used as basic medicinal agents because of their antispasmodic, analgesic, and bacterial properties. The phenolic compounds, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, quercetin and kaempferol exhibit potent antioxidant effect. Papaya leaves are also high in minerals like calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron and manganese.
Diabetics have 3 good reasons to try papaya leaf extracts
Enhances insulin sensitivity: Poor insulin sensitivity is the cause for type-2 diabetes, which causes inefficient glucose uptake by the cells. Several animal studies and some human studies have shown that papaya leaf extracts were able to demonstrate glucose lowering effect.
A study on Mauritian population showed that papaya leaf extract supplementation decreased the enzyme levels of ALT and AST (bio-markers of type 2 diabetes) among diabetic patients and improved insulin sensitivity.
Decreases diabetes complications: The mix of antioxidants in papaya leaf extracts are helpful in decreasing the secondary complications of diabetes such as fatty liver, kidney damage and oxidative stress. A growing number of well-researched studies have demonstrated the same.
Accelerates wound healing: The process of wound healing is delayed or hindered in a diabetic patient and can cause other complications. Many studies have confirmed that consuming papaya leaves enhanced the process of wound healing – due to its anti-bacterial and remarkable antioxidant action.
The health benefits extend beyond blood sugar stabilization…
Some clinical studies have confirmed that the papaya leaf extracts effectively inhibit cancer cell growth and improve immune activity. A 2010 study, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacolgy confirmed that the papaya leaf extracts can mediate and boost Th1 type cytokines in the immune system and may potentially treat and prevent certain types of allergic disorders and cancer .
How can I use papaya leaves?
The Japanese, the aboriginals of Australia and many traditional herbal treatments have used papaya leaves for their health-enhancing powers. The tender papaya leaves are cooked and consumed similar to spinach in the islands of East Indies. Fresh, green papaya leaf is used as an antiseptic, while the brown, dried leaves are used as a tonic and blood purifier.
The best way to consume the papaya leaves is in the form of tea. Prepare a tea infusion, by adding 10 leaves to half a gallon of water – allow it to boil till the quantity of water is decreased to a quart. Cool and consume in small doses as needed to treat indigestion, for detoxifying, for immune-building purposes or as a general tonic.
The adverse effects of the papaya leaves have not been tested in humans however animal studies suggest low toxicity, hence they are considered safe for long term consumption.
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