The papaya tree (Carica papaya) is native to South America and Mexico. It loves the warm climate and so it is primarily found in the tropical countries. It is very popularly grown in the Caribbean and the fruit is exported to other countries from the Caribbean. It is from the Caricaceae family and the common names are Pawpaw, Papaw, Carica and Carica papaya.
Papaya always remind me of one of my beloved aunts who was once a papaya farmer. Her papayas were so big, buyers would make sure to put in their orders long before they were ready to be harvested. Her nieces and nephews were always provided with papaya despite the fact that they were in high demand at the time. So, traditionally I am familiar with papaya and its health benefits which can also be found in the leaves.
One of the primary constituents of the papaya leaf is Carpaine which is an alkaloid components. It is believed that the leaves have antimalarial and antiplasmodial properties.
It is always amazing to me how people will immediately rush to buy or search for any tree or herb that can treat an epidemic disease. This is what is going on in the Caribbean because of the spread of chikungunya. It is widely claimed that combining the leaves of papaya with ginger will prevent or treat chikungunya.
A tea made from papaya leaf can treat heart conditions, malaria, stroke, dengue fever, whooping cough and other respiratory ailments. Other uses include the treatment of cancer and the promoting of the platelet count. An extract from the leaves are just as beneficial.
The fruit is well known for its effectiveness in treating digestive conditions. If I am suffering from gas, papaya is my way of treating and alleviating it.
Pawpaw leaves can also be blended and combined with any fruit juice such as orange juice or cucumber juice. This combination is not very palatable but it is very good to build the immune system.
The leaves have become parts of many dishes and salads extending its health benefits in various ways. One such dish is the Khaaw Nieu Som Tam Kai Yang which comprises of papaya salad, roast chicken, and steamed glutinous rice. This dish possesses a delectable taste and it can arouse the appetite. It can also promote digestion, aids in urinary conditions as well as alleviate conditions associated with the stomach.
To make two cups of tea, some persons recommend placing three papaya leaves in boiling water and allowed to boil for approximately five minutes or more.