The papaya (Carica Papaya) is a good example of a plant with beneficial properties that can be used as a natural medicine. Papaya trees have a long lifespan and produce one or more fruits in a leaf axil, each with around 1000 seeds. The seeds make up at least 7% of the fruit’s weight. Papaya seeds taste spicy and that is why they can be used instead of black pepper. Papaya seeds are full of healthy nutrients and are sometimes used in products like flour and tea to make them healthier.
There is not much scientific research about the benefits of papaya seeds. The evidence that does exist is often from personal stories or studies performed on animals. Here, you can find some subjects where studies indicate papaya (Pawpaw) seeds benefits.
Nutritional Composition Of Papaya Seeds
Papaya seeds’ nutrition is listed in Table 1. These seeds also have compounds called phytochemicals, including benzyl isothiocyanate, glucosinolates, fatty acids (including oleic, palmitic, linoleic, and stearic), tocopherols, beta-cryptoxanthin, beta-carotene, phenolics, and carotenoids. Studies have shown that carotenoids are important for humans as they have strong antioxidant properties and can remove harmful radicals from the body, which can result in preventing cancer [1, 2].
|Crude fiber||2.1 g|
|Crude fat||3.1 g|
|Vitamin C||11.7 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.26 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.05 mg|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.05 mg|
Health Benefits Of Papaya Seeds
Papaya seeds have an enzyme called papain that helps break down proteins and help with the digestion of food in body. Eating papaya seeds can help reduce problems with digestion, like constipation, bloating, and indigestion. The papaya seed can also help stop or treat food poisoning.
Papaya seeds are thought to have powerful benefits for digestive system because they can fight against bacteria and reduce inflammation. Research has proven that a papaya seed extract can effectively kill harmful bacteria. Papaya seeds also offer anti-diarrheal properties. The ripe seeds are consumed with rice to alleviate diarrhea.
Detoxification of Liver
The liver is very important for eliminating harmful substances in body. Papaya seeds have flavonoids and antioxidants, which help clean and support the liver. These compounds help remove harmful toxins, decrease liver inflammation, and improve liver function. Eating papaya seeds can make your liver healthier and work better .
Some studies have found that papaya seed extracts can reduce the blood sugar content in diabetic cases. A study on histological examinations of the treated rat’s myocardium with papaya extract displayed the repair of distorted myocardial muscle fibers.
Long-term inflammation is connected to health problems like arthritis, heart disease, and cancers. Papaya seeds have natural substances called flavonoids and phenolic acids that can reduce swelling and inflammation in the body. Evaluation of the anti-inflammatory activity of methanolic pulp and papaya seed extracts showed that the running of 2 ml of extract decreased levels of serum IL-1𝛽, serum IL-6, and IL-12 levels, indicating the anti-inflammatory activity of papaya seed extract. It can be proposed that eating papaya seeds regularly may help lower inflammation and give some relief for conditions that cause swelling in the body.
Investigation of the anti-fungal traits of essential oil extracted from papaya seeds demonstrated that benzyl isothiocyanate comprised 99.36% of the total extract. It was proved papaya seeds have anti-fungal characteristics against Candida species, including C. albicans, C. krusei, C. parapsilosis, C. tropical, and C. glabrata.
Studies confirmed the wound-healing activity of papaya seed extracts when run on mice. Results from this study presented that rats treated with extract had a more significant reduction in wound extent than non-treated groups and rats treated with a reference drug (mupirocin ointment). The extract also improved hydroxyproline content and induced the existence of well-organized collagen in the tissues of mice.
The reports have shown that papaya displays larvicidal activities. The study performed by hexane extract from papaya seeds demonstrated a larvicidal effect against the Strongyloides venezuelensis parasite using a series of in vitro assessments.
Pregnancy Prevention Effect
Researchers evaluated the effect of isolated compounds from methanol and ethyl acetate subfractions of papaya seeds on rat sperms. The findings of this study showed that sperm motility and viability were inhibited. Next, analysis revealed a significant increase in sperm abnormalities. Investigation of the testis showed disturbance of spermatogenesis, degenerated seminiferous epithelium. Epididymis assessment exhibited a decrease in the size of tubules. Another study also demonstrated the induced abnormalities in the morphology of sperm as affected by the papaya seed extract.
The researchers looked into the potential effectiveness of methanolic extracts of papaya seeds in treating ulcers. Papaya seeds can help protect against ulcers in the stomach caused by ethanol and indomethacin.
Rats in the experimental groups were given different amounts (125, 250, and 500 mg/kg) of methanolic extracts before the experiment. Their study found a dose-dependent inhibition of gastric lesions induced by ethanol extract. Researchers observed rats with ulcers caused by indomethacin; the lesions ameliorated when the rats were given the highest dose (500mg/kg). These findings indicate that extracts from papaya are potentially effective. Papaya might have substances that can treat stomach ulcers.
The anthelminthic activity of extracts obtained from papaya seeds against Pheretima posthuma worm was performed using 1, 2.5, and 5mg/ml of ethanolic and hydroethanolic extracts. All tried extracts showed decreased paralysis and death time of examined organisms compared to the standard anthelmintic drug, albendazole. The ethanolic seed extract showed the most significant efficacy attributed to fixed oils. The results of this research present evidence for the benefits of papaya seeds in treating helminth infections.
Substances in papaya seeds might have the ability to fight cancer. It is thought that they can help stop cancer cells from growing, cause cell death, and prevent tumors from forming.
According to research, eating papaya seeds may aid in preventing kidney stones and enhancing kidney health. Papaya seed extract was reported to be protective against kidney damage in rats given a drug to cause toxicity.
Antioxidants included in papaya seeds can prevent oxidative damage to your cells and safeguard the health of your kidneys. However, more human-based studies are required, as most of the current research in this field uses animal models.
Papaya Seed Oil Health Benefits
Papaya seed extracts have antibacterial, ovicidal, larvicidal, anti-helminthic, anti-amoebic, and anti-inflammatory effects. Due to the many benefits of papaya seed extracts, papaya seed oil can be used daily .
Papaya Seed Oil As A Dietary Ingredient
Papaya seed oil contains a lot of oleic acid, i.e., more than 70%. Plant oils that have a lot of oleic acid are stable enough to be used for cooking at home, like frying. It has been suggested that papaya seed oil could be used as an oil spray for dried fruits, snacks, cereals, crackers, and bakery products. This can improve the taste and quality of food. Before papaya seed oil can be sold for food purposes, it is important to conduct tests and evaluations to determine its safety .
Papaya Seeds Benefits For Male
- Natural Contraception: Papaya seeds have been used as a natural way to prevent pregnancy or temporarily decrease sperm production in traditional medicine. Research has also shown the use of papaya seed extracts can act as a contraceptive drug and decrease sperm motility in humans .
- Improving Prostate Health: The special compounds in papaya seeds can help promote a healthy prostate by preventing prostate cancer .
Papaya Seeds Benefits For Female
- Hormonal balance: Some think papaya seeds can help fix hormone problems and improve women’s reproductive health.
- Organic pregnancy prevention drug: Papaya seeds have been used in the past as a natural way to prevent pregnancy because they can affect how the female reproductive system works.
- Skin Care: Papaya seeds have antioxidants that can make your skin healthier by stopping harmful stress and fighting against damaging free radicals.
- Anti-fungal Effect: Papaya seed extract is a natural remedy for treating yeast infections in women. This is because it can help produce certain substances that can fight against the infection and help reduce the activity in the cells that produce energy .
- Relieving Menstrual Pain: Papaya includes carotene, which is crucial for assisting the body in controlling the production of estrogen hormone. Papaya seeds can both help initiate menstruation and increase menstruation frequency. They can also, to a lesser extent, help with menstrual cramp management.
Papaya Seeds Side Effects
Reports may propose papaya seed extracts’ safety and potential therapeutic efficiency in ethnomedicine. However, you should remember that too much consumption of papaya seeds may have some temporary side effects:
- Too much-consuming papaya seeds may lead to digestive problems like diarrhea, stomach cramps, and pain in the abdomen. This mostly happens because papaya seeds have a lot of papain, an enzyme that can help constipation.
- Some people may have allergies to papaya seeds. This can cause problems such as itchiness, swelling, rashes on the skin, or tough breathing. Before consuming papaya seeds for the first time, trying a small quantity is recommended to monitor for any adverse effects.
- Papaya seeds have substances that have been customarily used to prevent pregnancy or abortion. It is often advised for pregnant women to limit their consumption of papaya seeds as the safety of these seeds during pregnancy remains uncertain.
- Drug interactions arise when specific compounds found in papaya seeds interact with particular medications, for instance, blood thinners. If you take medicine, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor before eating papaya seeds. This ensures that the seeds will not cause any problems with your medication.
It is important to know that eating a small amount of papaya seeds occasionally, like using a few seeds in your food, is usually safe for most people. However, talking to a doctor before changing your diet is important, especially if you have other health problems or allergies.
How To Eat Papaya Seeds?
Papaya seeds can be consumed in various ways to reap their health benefits.
- Eight to ten dried papaya seeds can be chewed, or you can grind them into a powder and mix them into your diet, drinks, or smoothies.
- Papaya seeds can also be ground into a paste and used as a cooking ingredient. Add honey or sugar to the paste to make it edible.
- Papaya seeds can be crushed into a powder and used in desserts, teas, smoothies, and other sweet beverages. The sweetness of sugar or honey will mask the seeds’ bitter flavor.
How Much Papaya Seeds Should I Eat Per Day?
One teaspoon of papaya seeds can be consumed daily since consuming more than that can result in the side effects mentioned above, like food poisoning or diarrhea.
Papaya seeds are becoming popular as a natural health supplement because they have many potential benefits. These tiny seeds are very good for our digestion and liver health. They can also help fight against harmful bacteria and reduce inflammation in our bodies. Adding papaya seeds to your food can have many health benefits for your body. However, you need to talk to a doctor before making big changes to your diet.
There are not many clinical trials that have looked at the beneficial effects of papaya seeds. In addition, very little clinical trials have been done for any individual bioactive substances. As a result, more studies are needed to know the clinical benefits of papaya seeds and their safety.