PAW PAW, PAPAYA,
The delicious, melon-like,
tropical fruit of paw paw provides a useful protein-digesting enzyme, which
is used by herbalists for indigestion and intestinal worms.
One of the most fragrant of
tropical fruits, it is eaten green as a vegetable or ripe as a fruit. Native
to south America but now cultivated throughout the tropics, this tall
herbaceous plant has large, deeply divided leaves. The fruit is oblong,
ripens to yellow with deep yellow-orange flesh, and has a central cavity
filled with small black seeds.
White latex from fruit, fresh
Alkaloid carpaine in leaves;
enzyme papain from latex.
Kills and helps expel worms;
dissolves protein in dead skin; stimulates the stomach; promotes wound
Given for indigestion and
gastritis (stomach inflammation), and effective against threadworms and
roundworms. Also applied externally to deep, slow-healing wounds; fresh
leaves can be wrapped directly around wounds.
Powdered enzyme, tablets.