• Name : Papita Patra
  • English Name :Papaya Leaf
  • Scientific Name :Carica papaya


Papaya is native to the tropics of the Americas, perhaps from southern Mexico and neighbouring Central America. It is cultivated in tropical regions of India.

Morphological Description:

The papaya is a large, tree-like plant, with a single stem growing from 5 to 10 m (16 to 33 ft) tall, with spirally arranged leaves confined to the top of the trunk. The lower trunk is conspicuously scarred where leaves and fruit were borne. The leaves are large, 50?70 cm (20?28 in) in diameter, deeply palmately lobed, with seven lobes. Unusually for such large plants, the trees are dioecious. The tree is usually unbranched, unless lopped. The flowers are similar in shape to the flowers of the Plumeria, but are much smaller and wax-like. They appear on the axils of the leaves, maturing into large fruit - 15?45 cm (5.9?18 in) long and 10?30 cm (3.9?12 in) in diameter. The fruit is ripe when it feels soft (as soft as a ripe avocado or a bit softer) and its skin has attained an amber to orange hue.

Parts Used:

Fruit, Leaf, Root, Latex, Seeds


Papaya leaves are rich in vitamins - thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2) and ascorbic acid (C). The predominant minerals include Calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, manganese and iron. Besides this, the extract also contains folic acid, alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, glycosides, tannins and anthraquinones. The seed and the latex are rich in proteolytic enzumes, especially Papain while the fruit is a rich source of nutrients such as provitamin A carotenoids, vitamin C, B vitamins, lycopene,dietary minerals and dietary fibre.

Pharmacological Actions:

The primary pharmacological actions of Papaya are summarized as under:

Central Nervous System:

  1. The fruit protects the neurones against oxidative stress.1
  2. The extract of the epicarp exerts protective action against aluminium-induced neurotoxicity.2

Digestive System:

  1. The seeds exert hepatoprotective action whereby they induce significant reduction in elevated levels of Serum Glutamate Oxalate Transferase (SGOT), Serum Glutamate Pyruvate Transferase (SGPT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP). Histopathologically, the seed extract causes marked reduction in fatty degeneration in animals.3
  2. The mature seeds possess anti-amoebic effect.4
  3. Carica papaya leaf may potentially serve as a good therapeutic agent for protection against gastric ulcer and oxidative stress.5
  4. The latex exerts antihelminthic activity independent of fasting before the therapy.6
  5. Papaya contributes to the maintenance of digestive tract physiology. It ameliorates various functional disturbances, like symptoms of IBS.7

Endocrinal System:

  1. The leaf exerts antidiabetic action.8

Reproductive System:

  1. The seeds exert uterotonic and anti-fertility action in females. These are usually used in menstruation regulating preparations.

Musculoskeletal System:

  1. The seeds exert anti-inflammatory activity.9
  2. Th1 (IFN-γ+CD4+)/Th2 (IL-4+CD4+) T cells play a vital role in mediating inflammatory responses and may be regulated by regulatory T cells (Tregs). Effects of Carica papaya on cells of healthy individuals were determined using flow cytometry methods. Significant down-regulation of IFN-γ+CD4+ (p=0.03, n=13), up-regulation of IL-4+CD4+ (p=0.04, n=13) T cells and up-regulation of CD3+CD4+CD25+CD127− (p=0.001, n=15) Tregs were observed after papaya consumption. In vitro cultures showed up-regulation of Tregs in male subjects and was significantly associated with levels of IL-1β in culture supernatants (R2=0.608,p=0.04, n=12). Other inflammatory cytokines were significantly suppressed. Papaya consumption may exert an anti-inflammatory response mediated through Tregs and have potential in alleviating inflammatory conditions.10

Skin and Hair:

  1. The latex promotes healing of burn injuries and wounds.11


  1. Papaya Leaf extract exerts significant antipyretic activity in hyperthermia.12
  2. The leaf extract possesses antisickling and RBC membrane stabilizing properties in sickle cell anaemia.13
  3. The leaf extract possesses significant larvicidal and pupicidal properties against Chikungunya vector, Aedes aegypti, suggestive of an ideal eco-friendly approach for the control of Chikungunya vector, Aedes aegypti.14
  4. It is extremely useful against Plasmodium falciparum as well.15
  5. Papaya extract possesses anticancer activities.16
  6. The leaves exerts significantly immunomodulator and anti-tumor activities.


  • Hyperacidity, gastritis, peptic ulcers and associated dyspepsia
  • Anaemia
  • Burning micturition and dysuria
  • Lowered immunity with frequent bouts of bacterial and viral infections, especially affecting the respiratory tract
  • Dull skin, appearance of premature signs of skin aging, such as fine lines, superficial wrinkles and age spots


  • Guizani N, Waly MI, Ali A, et al. Papaya epicarp extract protects against hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress in human SH-SY5Y neuronal cells. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2011 Oct 1;236(10):1205-10.
  • Waly MI, Guizani N, Ali A, Rahman MS. Papaya epicarp extract protects against aluminum-induced neurotoxicity. Experimetal Biology and Medicine (Maywood). 2012 Sep 1;237(9):1018-22.
  • Vaghela JS, Rana AC, Sisidiya SS. Hepatoprotective activity of Carica papaya linn. Seed extracts against carbon tetrachloride induced hepatic damage in rats. Journal of Global Pharma Technology. 2010; 2(8): 35-41.
  • Sarker SK, Begum N, Mondal D, et al. In vitro study of anti-amoebic effect of methanol extract of mature seeds of Carica papaya on trophozoites of Entamoeba histolytica. Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology. 2010; 5(1): 45-47.
  • Indran M, Mahmood AA, Kuppusamy UR. Protective effect of Carica papaya L leaf extract against alcohol induced acute gastric damage and blood oxidative stress in rats. The West Indian Medical Journal. 2008 Sep;57(4):323-6.
  • Luoga W, Mansur F, Buttle DJ, Duce IR, Garnett MC, Behnke JM. The anthelmintic efficacy of papaya latex in a rodent-nematode model is not dependent on fasting before treatment. Journal of Helminthology. 2012 Sep;86(3):311-6.
  • Muss C, Mosgoeller W, Endler T. Papaya preparation (Caricol?) in digestive disorders. Neuro Endocrinology Letters. 2013 Feb 25;34(4):38-46.
  • Sasidharan S, Sumathi V, Jegathambigai NR, Latha LY. Antihyperglycaemic effects of ethanol extracts of Carica papaya and Pandanus amaryfollius leaf in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. Natural Product Research. 2011 Dec;25(20):1982-7.
  • Amazu LU, Azikiwe CCA, Njoku CJ, et al. Antiinflammatory activity of the methanolic extract of the seeds ofCarica papaya in experimental animals. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine. 2010; 3(11): 884-886.
  • Abdullah M, Chai P-S, Loh C-W, et al. Carica papaya increases regulatory T cells and reduces IFN-γ+CD4+ T cells in healthy human subjects. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. 2011; 55: 803-806.
  • Gurung S, Skalko-Basnet N. Wound healing properties of Carica papaya latex: in vivo evaluation in mice burn model. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2009 Jan 21;121(2):338-41.
  • Srivastava S, Chitra G, John PP, et al. ANTIPYRETIC ACTIVITY OF LEAF EXTRACT OF CARICA PAPAYA LINN. Inventi Rapid: Ethnopharmacology. 2011; Article ID- " Inventi:pep/474/11 " , 2011 [ cited 2013 Mar 28 ] Available From http://www.inventi.in/Article/pep/474/11.aspx
  • Imaga NOA, Gbenle GO, Okochi VI, et al. Antisickling property of Carica papaya Leaf extract. African Journal of Biochemistry Research. 2009; 3(4): 102-106.
  • Kovendan K, Kadarkarai M, Kumar AN, et al. Bioefficacy of larvicidal and pupicidal properties of Carica papaya (caricaceae) leaf extract and bacterial insecticide, Spinosad, against Chikungunya vector, Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae). Parasitology Research. 2011. Available online: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00436-011-2540-z#page-2
  • Kovendan K, Murugan K, Panneerselvam C, et al. Antimalarial activity of Carica papaya (Family: Caricaceae) leaf extract against Plasmodium falciparum. Asian Pacific Jouranl of Tropical Disease. 2012; 2(1): S306-S311.
  • Nguyen TT, Shaw PN, Parat MO, Hewavitharana AK. Anticancer activity of Carica papaya: a review. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. 2013 Jan;57(1):153-64.
  • Otsuki N, Dang NH, Kumagai E, et al. Aqueous extract of Carica papaya leaves exhibits anti-tumor activity and immunomodulatory effects. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2010 Feb 17;127(3):760-7.

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