Apart from the fruit, the most consumed part of the papaya plant is papaya leaf. Papaya leaf juice is the most desi remedy used for increasing the platelet count. It has gained immense popularity in the last few years due to its various health benefits.
It is rich in enzymes like papain and chymopapain, which aids digestion, prevents bloating and other digestive disorders. The alkaloid compound in it works effectively against fighting dandruff and balding. The leaves contain a high amount of vitamin A, C. E, K and B.
Papaya leaf preparations, such as teas, extracts, juices and tablets are often used to treat illness and promote health.
Here are seven health benefits of papaya leaf juice and the right way to prepare it.
Can treat dengue symptoms
Papaya leaf juice is most commonly used to treat symptoms associated with dengue fever. Common symptoms of dengue include fever, fatigue, headaches, nausea, skin rashes and vomiting. In some severe cases, it can also result in reduced platelet levels, which can increase the risk of bleeding and can turn potentially fatal if left untreated.
Currently, there is no treatment for dengue and papaya leaf juice is one of the most commonly used treatment methods.
Three studies that included hundreds of people suffering from dengue found that papaya leaf extract helped in increasing the blood platelet levels drastically.
Can help in balancing blood sugar level
Papaya leaf juice is often used as a natural medicine for treating diabetes and thus improving the blood sugar levels.
Studies conducted on mice have found that papaya leaf extract is full of antioxidants and blood sugar-lowering effects. It helps by protecting the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas from damage and premature death.
But no research on the same has been conducted on humans.
Supports digestive health
Papaya leaf teas are used to alleviate digestive symptoms like gas, bloating and heartburn. Papaya leaf contains fibre, which supports digestive health. It can break down the large protein into smaller and easier to digest proteins and amino acids. It also helps in treating problems like constipation, heartburn and alleviating symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome.
These findings are limited to anecdotal reports and there is no guarantee that it will improve your digestion. But then there is no harm in trying.
Has anti-inflammatory effects
Papaya leaf preparation is used to treat a range of internal and external inflammatory conditions, including muscle aches and joint pain.
A study found that papaya leaf extract significantly reduced inflammation and swelling in the paws of rats with arthritis.
Can support hair growth
Application of papaya leaf juice on the scalp can promote hair growth and hair health. But the evidence proving the same is very limited. Studies suggest that high levels of oxidative stress in the body can contribute to hair loss. Thus, eating an antioxidant-rich diet can help alleviate oxidative stress and improve hair growth.
Papaya juice has antifungal properties, which can control the dandruff-causing fungus called Malassezia.
Can promote healthy skin
Papaya leaf is consumed orally and applied on the skin for soft and clean skin. It has a protein dissolving enzyme called papain that works as an exfoliant and thus helps remove dust and dead skin cells. It also helps in reducing the occurrence of clogged pores, ingrown hair and acne.
Has anti-cancer properties
Papaya leaf has been used in traditional medicine practices to prevent and treat certain types of cancer. But there is more research needed to confirm the same. The juice has shown a powerful ability to inhibit the growth of prostate and breast cancer cells in the test-tube studies. But no human or animal studies have replicated these findings.
How to make papaya leaf juice
To make the juice, you need some fresh papaya leaves and water. Start by cutting off the stem. Now chop the leaf, just like you would chop cabbage and add it to the blender with some water. Just churn it and the juice is ready. One can have up to 100 ml of papaya leaf juice in three parts during the day to treat symptoms of dengue. You can add a bit of salt or sugar to make the juice taste better.