Papayas are powerful natural medicine – here’s why

A study in The Natural Products Journal reported that Carica papaya (papaya) can be used to help treat conditions such as cancer. The researchers studied methanolic extracts from C. papaya leaves and other plant components to determine their potential health benefits.

  • C. papaya, a popular fruit with medicinal properties, is often used in traditional systems of medicine. Due to recent discoveries about the fruit’s possible health benefits, modern pharmaceutical industries have examined C. papaya’s potential medicinal applications.
  • For the study, researchers analyzed the phytochemical composition and anticancer, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties of the plant using methanolic extracts from its leaves, unripe peels, and seeds.
  • The scientists used gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis (GC-MS analysis) to identify C. papaya’s bioactive compounds while the antioxidant effects of plant extracts were measured using a radical scavenging assay.
  • The in vitro anti-inflammatory activity of C. papaya’s plant components was estimated by human red blood cell membrane stabilization method. The extract’s antidiabetic activity was analyzed using an alpha-amylase inhibition method.
  • Cell viability was determined via an MTT (a dye compound) assay using MCF-7 (a breast cancer cell line isolated from a 69-year-old Caucasian woman in 1970) and vero cell lines (a lineage of cells utilized in cell cultures).
  • Peel extracts from the plant have high anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity while seed extracts had a higher level of MCF-7 cell line inhibition.

The researchers concluded that C. papaya’s leaf extracts have potential antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory activities.

You can learn more about the health benefits of papayas and other fruits at

Journal Reference: 

Mohansrinivasan V, Janani S, Meghaswani P, Jemimah NS, Rajasekaran C, Sridevi M, Devi CS. EXPLORING THE BIOACTIVE POTENTIAL OF CARICA PAPAYA. The Natural Products Journal. 2017;7(4). DOI: 10.2174/2210315507666170616081514

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