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Raw Papaya: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and more!

By Dr Anuja Bodhare +2 more

Introduction:  

Raw papaya may be completely loaded with health benefits. It may be considered a powerhouse of nutrients and is available throughout the seasons. It is known for its nutritional value.1,2 

raw papaya benefits

The raw papaya plant is a valuable nutraceutical fruit plant. The botanical name of the papaya tree is Carica papaya Linn and it belongs to the family Caricaceae. It originated in southern Mexico and Costa Rica and got introduced to the tropical and subtropical regions of India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Hawaii, Philippines and South Africa. Papaya is commonly called as papita, papaia, pawpaw, papayabaum and arabd-kharpuja.1,2 

Read ahead you will learn more about this multipurpose commercial fruit crop. 

Did you know?

Nutritional Value of Raw Papaya: 

Papaya is a commoner’s fruit due to its low cost and high nutritional value. Papaya contains a vast array of phytochemicals, including proteins, fats and oils, enzymes, polysaccharides, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals. Papaya is pretty low in calories and has a high amount of vitamin C.1 

The nutrient content of raw papaya is as follows: 

Nutritional Component Value 
Proteins 0.47 g 
Carbohydrates 10.8 g 
Fats 0.26 g 
Sugar 7.82 g 
Fibre 1.7 g 
Sodium 8 mg 
Calcium 20 mg 
Magnesium  21 mg 
Potassium 182 mg 
Iron  0.25 mg 
Phosphorus  10 mg 
Zinc  0.08 mg 
Manganese 0.04 mg 
Copper 0.045 mg 
Selenium  0.6  µg 
Riboflavin 0.027 mg 
Vitamin C 60.9 mg 
Thiamin  0.023 mg 
Niacin 0.357 mg 
Vitamin B6 0.038 mg 
Folate 37  µg 
Vitamin A 47  µg 
B-carotene 274  µg 
Vitamin E 0.3 mg 
Vitamin K 2.6  µg 
Lysine 0.025 g 
Leucine 0.016 g 
Aspartic acid 0.049 g 
Glycine 0.018 g 
Glutamic acid 0.033 g 
Energy  43 kcal 

Table 1: The nutritional value of raw papaya per 100 grams.3  

I would recommend giving fermented papaya a try and enjoying its tasty superpowers! Fermented papaya is a fantastic fruit. Studies have shown that it might help pre-diabetics by boosting their antioxidants and protecting their red blood cells from harmful stress.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Also Read: Wheatgrass Juice: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Properties of Raw Papaya:  

Papaya contains various biologically active plant chemicals that might be used for different purposes.1 Papaya might have the following properties: 

  • It may have antioxidant properties.  
  • It may have antifungal properties.  
  • It may have antibacterial properties.  
  • It may have antimalarial properties.  
  • It might have antitumor properties.  
  • It might have anti-sickling (might manag sickle cell diseases) properties.  
  • It might have anti-ulcer properties.  
  • It might have anthelmintic (might prevent parasite infection) properties.  
  • It may have anti-inflammatory properties.  
  • It may have valuable properties for wound healing.  
  • It may have diuretic (might increase urine production) properties.  
  • It may have carminative (might relieve flatulence) properties.  
  • It may have laxative (might remove waste from the gut) properties.  
  • It may have blood glucose-lowering property.  
  • It may have blood pressure-lowering activity.1,2  

I would suggest trying fermented papaya if you’re looking for a tasty and fun way to protect yourself against age-related and neurological diseases. One research shows that Alzheimer’s is linked to oxidative stress, but guess what? Fermented papaya may comes to the rescue! It might help counteract those free radicals that love to wreak havoc in our bodies.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: Galangal: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Potential Uses of Raw Papaya: 

The whole plant of papaya might have beneficial value. It has various phytochemicals like enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Some of its potential uses are given below.2 

1. Potential Uses of Raw Papaya for Digestive System:  

Eating raw papaya might benefit the food digestion process. Unripe papaya might contain a good amount of digestive enzyme, which might be an excellent aid to digestion. It may help in the smooth digestion of protein present in the food. People who cannot digest wheat gluten may tolerate it if it is mixed with the white latex of raw papaya. It has the crude papain enzyme, which might help solubilise gluten protein. Hence, it may be used by people who have trouble with the digestion of protein-containing food items.1 

2. Potential Uses of Raw Papaya for Wounds:  

Papaya fruits might be used in topical ulcer dressing, which might promote wound healing. It may be used in the burn dressings of children. It may also reduce the odour associated with long-term skin ulcers. The papaya fruit pulp may be mashed and applied to the infected burn wounds, which may help dea with infection development. The potential mechanism could be the enzymatic action of papain as well as the antimicrobial activity of papaya fruit.1 

3. Potential Uses of Raw Papaya for Skin:  

Raw papaya may be valuable for restoring and rebuilding the damaged skin. The peel of papaya contains vitamin A and might be used as a skin-lightening agent. If you apply a mixture of papaya peel with little honey to your skin, it may act as a moisturiser and make your skin look smoother. The rubbing action of the white papaya pulp might help improve pimples and wrinkles on the facial skin due to its good bleaching activity. It may also remove the dead skin cells allowing the lightening of skin colour.2,4 

4. Potential Uses of Raw Papaya for Cancer:  

Eating raw papaya might help to reduce the risk of the formation of colon cancer and prostate cancer in men. The fruits of papaya contain dietary fibre, which may bind to the toxins present in the colon that may cause cancer-related to the colon. Raw papaya might help sweep these toxins from the body, keeping a healthy environment inside the colon. These nutrients might also protect colon cells from the damages caused by the free radicals. 

5. Other Potential Uses of Raw Papaya:  

  • Papaya is an abundant source of vitamin A and C. If consumed on a regular basis, it might help to improve eyesight and also prevent early age blindness in children.1 
  • Papaya fruit contains nutrients such as provitamin, dietary fibre and minerals, which might help to deal with toothache, mouth ulcers and gum disease.4 
  • Papaya is a rich source of folic acid. It might help to form certain proteins, which are beneficial to overcome the risk of developing a heart attack or stroke.5 
  • The vitamin C-rich papaya might have an anti-inflammatory activity that may help reduce the pain and swelling in the joints, such as in rheumatoid arthritis, which involves pain in two or more joints.5 
  • Papaya contains vitamin A, which might help promote healthy lungs in heavy and passive smokers.5 

Though there are studies that show the benefits of raw papaya in various conditions, but these are insufficient and there is a need of further studies to establish the true extent of benefits of raw papaya on human health.   

In my opinion, papaya is a skin miracle-worker! Its β-carotene and lycopene content can’t replace sunscreen, but they might help protect against sunburn and boost the skin’s defence mechanism against UV damage. Enjoy papaya for a healthy and happy skin glow!

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Also Read: Coconut: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

How to Use Raw Papaya? 

Papaya is a healthy and delicious fruit.2 It may be used in various ways. 

  • Raw papaya is unripe and may be used as a vegetable. 
  • It might be used in the preparations of pies, sherbets, and sweets. 
  • It may be used in cooking for tenderising the meat.1 
  • Raw papaya fruit may be fermented and used.2 
  • It may be used in a regular diet as fresh fruit juice and salad.5 

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an Ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.   

Also Read: Is Papaya Good for Diabetes? Evaluating the Research-Based Evidence

Side Effects of Raw Papaya: 

The side effects of raw papaya may be related to women’s health.  

  • Papaya’s white milky juice (latex) contains certain enzymes (papain), which might cause pregnancy problems.2  
  • It might affect certain hormone levels. Hence, it might be harmful to the mother’s and baby’s health.2  
  • It may cause oedema, which is recognised by swelling of cells due to excess fluid retention.2  

Ayurvedic herbs may have specific side effects and may react differently in every people. Ensure that you consult an Ayurvedic physician before using it for proper guidance.  

Precautions to Take With Raw Papaya: 

Eating raw papaya may be considered safe. However, general precautions need to be followed. 

  • Raw papaya might produce side effects in pregnant women. 2 Hence, pregnant women should avoid having papaya during pregnancy to prevent unnatural complications.  
  • Breastfeeding mothers should consult an Ayurvedic physician to be on the safe side. 
  • Extra precautions must be taken while giving them to children and older adults to avoid any health-related problems. 

We recommend you consult your Ayurvedic physician before having papaya for medicinal purposes. They will be the correct person to guide you about the safe dosage form. 

Interactions With Other Drugs: 

There is not enough information available on the interaction of raw papaya with other drugs. However, this does not mean that there are no interactions at all.  

Therefore, it is always better to follow the advice of an Ayurvedic doctor. They will prescribe you the best way to have it.  

Also Read: Lemongrass: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What are the benefits of raw papaya for weight loss? 

Raw papaya has low-calorie content, which may make it a suitable fruit for obese people who can include it in their regular diet. Thus, it may help to manage weight.1 You must consult your nutritionist for best advice on weight loss. 

Which are main vitamins of papaya?  

The three main powerful antioxidant vitamins present in papaya are vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E.2

Is papaya good for controlling cholesterol?

Papaya might be a good source of dietary fibre, which may help to lower the high cholesterol levels in the body.2 However, people should seek the advice of an Ayurvedic doctor before using it to manage the cholesterol in the body.2

What are different synonyms of papaya? 

Papaya has different names, such as Erandakarkati in Sanskrit, Omakai in Malayalam, Pharangi in Kannada, and Pappali in Tamil. The international names include Tree Mellon, Mamao and pawpaw.5 

Other than raw papaya fruit, what different parts of the plant can be used? 

Other components, including seeds, leaves, roots, flowers, and stem bark, may also be utilised since they have potential applications for managing a variety of human ailments.2  
However, before utilising any of the plant’s sections as a herb, we advise that you first consult your doctor.

References: 

1. Krishna K, Paridhavi M, Patel Jagruti. Review on nutritional, medicinal and pharmacological properties of Papaya (Carica papaya Linn.). Nat Prod Radi. 2008 Apr;7(4):364–73. Available from: http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/5695/1/NPR%207%284%29%20364-373.pdf 

2. Vij T, Prashar Y. A review on medicinal properties of Carica papaya Linn. Asian Paci J of Tropil Disea. 2015 Jan;5(1):1–6. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2222-1808(14)60617-4 

3. United States Department of Agriculture [Internet]. Papayas, raw; 2019 Apr 1. [cited 2022 Jun 14]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169926/nutrients 

4. Priyanka M, Sawarkar S. A Review on: Carica Papaya Used as Herbal Medicine in Primary Dysmenorrhoea. Inter J of Sci and Res Publi. 2020 Sep;10(9):880. Available from: https://www.ijsrp.org/research-paper-0920/ijsrp-p105106.pdf 

5. Yogiraj V, Goyal PK, Chauhan CS, Goyal A, Vyas B, Goyal K, et al. Carica papaya Linn: An Overview. Inter J of Herbal Med. 2014 Nov;2(5):1–8. Available from: https://www.florajournal.com/archives/2014/vol2issue5/PartA/2-4-12.1.pdf 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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