Papaya

Consumer Information and Education
Provided by your
Health Care Professional
Based on
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
PAPAYA
What is it?
Papaya is a plant. The leaves are used to make medicine.

Papaya is used for preventing and treating gastrointestinal tract disorders, intestinal parasite infections, and as a sedative and diuretic. It is also used for nerve pains (neuralgia) and elephantoid growths. Elephantoid growths are large swollen areas of the body that are symptoms of a rare disorder of the lymphatic system caused by parasitic worms.

Papaya contains a chemical called papain, which is commonly used as a meat tenderizer.

Is it Effective?
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

The effectiveness ratings for PAPAYA are as follows:

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for…

  • Stomach and intestine problems.
  • Parasite infections.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of papaya for these uses.

How does it work?
Papaya contains a chemical called papain. Papain breaks down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. That’s why it works as a meat tenderizer. However, papain is changed by digestive juices, so there is some question about whether it could be effective as a medicine when taken by mouth.

Papaya also contains a chemical called carpain. Carpain seems to be able to kill certain parasites, and it might affect the central nervous system.

Are there safety concerns?
Papaya seems safe for most people when taken in small amounts. Don’t take papaya by mouth in large amounts. It could damage the esophagus, the food tube in the throat.

Applying papaya to the skin can cause severe irritation and allergic reactions in some people.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Don’t take papaya by mouth in medicinal amounts if you are pregnant. There is some evidence that unprocessed papain, one of the chemicals found in papaya, might poison the fetus or cause birth defects. Not enough is known about the safety of papaya during breast-feeding. It’s best to avoid taking it in amounts higher than normal food amounts.

Papain allergy: Papaya contains papain. If you are allergic to papain, avoid eating papaya or taking products that contain papaya.

Latex allergy: If you are allergic to latex, there is a good chance you are also be allergic to papaya. If you have a latex allergy, avoid eating papaya or taking products that contain papaya.

Are there any interactions with medications?

Warfarin (Coumadin)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Papaya might increase the effects of warfarin (Coumadin) and increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.

Are there any interactions with Herbs and Supplements?

Papain

Papaya contains papain. Using papain (in meat tenderizer, for example) along with papaya might increase your chance of experiencing unwanted side effects of papain.

Are there interactions with Foods?
There are no known interactions with foods.
What dose is used?
The appropriate dose of papaya for use as treatment depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for papaya. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
What other names is the product known by?
Banane de Prairie, Caricae Papayae Folium, Carica papaya, Carica peltata, Carica posoposa, Chirbhita, Erandachirbhita, Erand Karkati, Green Papaya, Mamaerie, Melonenbaumblaetter, Melon Tree, Papaw, Papayas, Papaye, Papaye Verte, Papayer, Papita.
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