Friday, December 5, 2008

Carica papaya Linn.

Family : Caricaceae

English Name : Papaya

Origin : South America


A tree indigenous to South America and varies in height, according to its wild or cultivated state, from 5 to 30 feet, and is about 1 foot in diameter. The trunk or stem is simple, erect, without branches, and gradually tapers from the base to the summit, where it terminates in a cluster of leaves, after the manner of a palm. The leaves are large, alternate, close together, palmately divided into from 5 to 7 irregularly cut lobes, and are borne on leaf-stalks 1 or 2 feet in length, and which are peltately attached. The flowers are dioecious, rarely monoecious, and are grouped at the top of the trunk; the male flowers are borne on long peduncled racemes; the female flowers are solitary and axillary on short stalks, and consist of a small, 5-parted calyx, 5 twisted, pale-yellow petals and a large ovary, bearing 5 dilated, subsessile stigmas. The ovary is globular, 1-celled, and contains numerous ovules attached to 5 parietal placentae. As the ovary enlarges and develops, the leaves gradually fall off, and the fruit, when matured, appears suspended to the highest part of the smooth trunk.

Parts Used : Leaves, fruit, seed, latex

Herb Effects

Analgesic, amebicide, antibiotic, antibacterial, cardiotonic, cholagogue, digestive, emmenagogue, febrifuge, hypotensive, laxative, pectoral, stomachic, vermifuge.

Active Ingredients

4-terpineol, alpha-linolenic acid, alpha-phellandrene, alpha-terpinene, arginine, benzaldehyde, benzyl-isothiocyanate, butyl-alcohol, caryophellene, citric acid, gamma-terpinene, glutamic acid, glycine, hexanal, histidine, isoleucine, lycopene, lysine, malic acid, methionine, methyl-salicylate, myrcene, pantothenic acid, papain, phenylalanine, serine, tartaric acid, terpinolene, tryptophan, tyrosine, valine (fruit); ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, beta-phellandrene, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin (fruit, leaf); carpaine (bark, leaf, root, seed); lauric acid, linoleic acid, myristic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid (fruit, seed); myosmine, nicotine (plant).

Medicinal Use

For warts, cancers, tumors, corns, and indurations of the skin (juice); to help tumors of the uterus (sinapisms prepared from the root); to cure piles and yaws (roots); reduce urine acidity in humans (papaya); for jaundice (flowers); used in psoriasis, ringworm, and prescribed for the removal of cancerous growths (latex); to treat skin diseases, indigestion, enlargement of liver and spleen, worms, diseases of heart, cough and fever (fruit, leaves, latex and seeds).


Juice: one to three grains.


Externally the latex is irritant, dermatogenic, and vescicant. Internally it causes severe gastritis. Some people are allergic to the pollen, the fruit, and the latex. Papain can induce asthma and rhinitis. The acrid fresh latex can cause severe conjunctivitis and vesication.


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