✵The article gives records of the herb Papaya, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Carica papaya L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Papaya, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.
English Name: Papaya.
Latin Name: Carica papaya L.
Common Names: Melon tree, pawpaw, mamaeire.
Property and flavor: warm in nature, tastes sour.
Brief introduction: The small papaya tree grows throughout tropical areas, and has large, hand-shaped leaves and yellowish-green, pear-shaped melons or fruit valued for their edible orange-yellow pulp. These fruits can weigh several pounds. Scoring the fully grown unripe melon produces a milky juice that contains a mixture of plant protein-degrading enzymes termed papain. The juice is collected and dried. Smaller concentrations of papain appear in the leaves as well. Papain is also used commercially. This latex and the papaya fruit, leaves, and seeds are all used medicinally.
Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Papaya as the fruit of the species (1).Carica papaya L. It is a plant species of the Chaenomeles genus, the Rosaceae family (rose family). The dried fruit is used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:
(1).Carica papaya L.
Botanical description: Carica papaya is a shrub or small tree, it grows up to 5~10 meters high, bark falls off in pieces; branchlets without thorns, cylindrical, pubescent when young, soon shedding, purple-red, biennial branches are glabrous, purple-brown; winter buds are semicircular, the apex is obtuse, glabrous, purple-brown. The leaf blade is elliptic-ovate or elliptic-oblong, sparsely obovate, 5~8 cm long, 3.5~5.5 cm wide, the apex is sharp, the base is broadly wedge-shaped or rounded, edge with 85 thorn-like sharp serrations, tooth tips with glands, the back surface is densely covered with yellowish-white tomentose when young, and soon falls off and glabrous; petiole is 5~10 mm long, slightly pubescent, with glandular teeth; stipules are membranous, ovate-lanceolate, acuminate at the apex, with glandular teeth at the margin, about 7 mm long.
Flowers are solitary in leaf axils, pedicels are short and thick, 5~10 mm long, glabrous; flowers are 2.5~3 cm in diameter; calyx tube is campanulate and the out surface is glabrous; sepals are triangular-lanceolate, 6~10 mm long, the apex is tapering, the margin has glandular teeth, out surface is glabrous, the inner surface is densely covered with light brown hairs, reflexed; petals are obovate, pale pink; stamens are numerous, less than half of petals long; style base is connate, pubescent, stigma is capitate, with inconspicuous split, about as long as or slightly longer than stamens.
The fruit is oblong, 10~15 cm long, dark yellow, woody, fragrant, and has a short stem. The flowering period is in April, and the fruiting period is from September to October.
Ecological environment: Papaya is native to tropical America, it is cultivated in all tropical regions today.
Growth characteristics: Carica papaya does not have strict requirements on soil quality, but it grows better in sandy soil with deep soil, loose and fertile, and good drainage, and it is not suitable for planting in low-lying water-logged fields. The plant prefers semi-dry and semi-wet. Slightly dry before and after flowering. If the soil is too wet, the flowering period will be short. After fruiting, the plant like wet. If the soil is dry and the fruit is shriveled, it is easy to drop the fruit. The fruit is near maturity, and the soil is slightly dry. During fruit ripening, if the soil is too wet, the fruit will drop. Shade is not tolerant, the planting site can choose a sheltered and sunny place. The plant likes a warm environment.
Economic value: The fresh fruit of papaya contains tannins and organic acids, and the sugar content is relatively low, making it sour and unsuitable for raw consumption. But its fruit is nutritious and rich in vitamins. The acids in papaya include malic acid, citric acid, tartaric acid, etc. These organic acids have a pure sour taste. After proper dilution and supplemented with certain sweeteners such as sucrose or honey, they can be made into products with unique flavors.
Edible value: Papaya is delicious and has therapeutic effects, especially for women. The proteolytic enzymes contained in papaya can compensate for the secretion of the pancreas and intestines, supplement the lack of gastric juice, and help break down protein and starch. Papaya is rich in carotene and vitamin C. They have a strong antioxidant capacity, help the body to repair tissues, eliminate toxic substances, enhance the body's immunity, and help the body resist virus attacks including influenza A. The active ingredients in papaya fruit can increase the efficacy of phagocytic cells.
Characters of herbs: The fruits are mostly oblong longitudinally cut in half, 4~9 cm long, 2~5 cm wide and 1~2.5 cm thick. The outer surface is purple-red or reddish-brown, with irregular deep wrinkles; the edge of the cross-section is curled inward, the pulp is reddish-brown, the center part is sunken, brownish yellow. Seeds are prolate triangular, mostly shedding, hard. The herb has a slightly fragrant odor, it tastes sour. The herb of better grade is firm in texture and tastes sour.
Papaya is used as a digestive aid and meat tenderizer, the property is identified attributed to its digestive enzymes, mainly papain.
Papain can destroy worms by dissolving their protective outer cuticle.
Fermented papaya can inhibit the production of potentially damaging free radicals in blood components, it is an antioxidant capable of helping to prevent or fight certain cancers and counter immune system deficiency.
Papaya and its extract benefit certain skin disorders, it has bacteria-fighting actions and eliminates skin blemishes.
Papaya preparation has a hypoglycemic effect and enables patients with diabetes to reduce the dosage of their antidiabetic oral therapy.
Papaya has wound-healing effects, attributes to its proteolytic enzyme, papain, chymopapain, and leukopapain.
Medicinal efficacy: Papaya fruit and its derivative papain have been used as digestive aids and remedies for stomach upset, after heavy and protein-rich meals. The seeds are traditionally used to fight intestinal worms. In North America, papain is used in commercial meat tenderizers, it is used to break down proteins in the meat and soften it. Papain is also used as a softening agent for facial and other skin creams and cleansers, to relieve digestive freckles and other sun blemishes. Papain and papaya leaves are used to treat poorly healing wounds, psoriasis, ringworm, wound infections, and other skin disorders. Papain is used in douche products to break down excess vaginal discharges, and to control surgical or trauma-related swelling and inflammation.
TCM works record the herb papaya functions relieving rigidity of muscles and activating collaterals, harmonize the stomach and resolving dampness. It is indicated for rheumatoid pain,heavy and pain of limbs and body, spasm of tendons and muscles, vomiting and diarrhea, beriber and edema.
Administration of Papaya (pawpaw):
Administration Guide of Papaya (pawpaw)
Herbal classic books:
Dosage: An infusion is prepared using 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried, or fermented, leaves per cup of water. Avoid boiling which deactivates papain. Fermented leaves may yield a richer mixture of proteolytic enzymes. It is drunk during or after meals to aid digestion. The papaya fruit juice is taken in doses of 1 to 3 teaspoons as needed. Tables of papain 10 to 50 mg are available as a digestive aid. TCM works recommend the herb internally as water decoction, 5~10 grams, or prepare to pill, powder. Externally fumigation wash with water decoction.
Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions:When taken in moderation, ripe papaya fruit is unlikely to cause any harm, but in sensitive individuals, severe allergic reactions to both the fruit and the latex have occurred. Papain has the potential to cause severe stomach inflammation or gastritis when taken internally, and to induce dermatitis and other skin irritation when applied externally. Pregnant women may want to play it safe and confine their consumption to moderate amounts of ripe fruit. Not to be used during pregnancy, because of the experimentally proven embryotoxic and teratogenic effects, as well as its known abortifacient effect in humans, unripe papain fruit should not be used during pregnancy.