Papaya (Carica papaya L.) is regarded as an excellent source of ascorbic acid, a good source of carotene, riboflavin and a fair source of iron, calcium, thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 and vitamin K. Each and every part of papaya plant from root to shoot is used for medicament purposes. Ripe papaya fruit is used in jam, jelly, marmalade, puree, wine, nectar, juice, frozen slices, mixed beverages, ice-cream, powder, baby food, cooked in pie, pickled, sweet meat, concentrated and candied items. Young leaves are cooked and eaten like spinach, animal feed, tenderize meat, stomach trouble, purgative effects and abortion may result from consumption of the dried papaya leaves. The flowers are sometimes candied and used for making sprays. Papaya seeds are rich source of amino acids; scented oil was extracted, used in treatment of sickle cell disease and poisoning related disorders. Papain is used in food processing to tenderize meat, clarify beer and juice, produce chewing gum, coagulate milk, prepare cereals, and produce pet food, also to treat wool and silk before dying, de-hair hides before tanning, adjunct in rubber manufacturing and proteolytic enzymes (papain and chymopapain). In folk medicine, latex is used on boils, warts, freckles, abortion, expel roundworms, salt making, relieve asthma stomach troubles, purgative for horses, treatment for genito-urinary ailments, tumer destroying, making herbal tea, digestive and aid in chronic indigestion, weight loss, obesity, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, blood purifier and weakening of heart etc. It has also several antibiotic, allergic, anti-nutritional and toxic properties.
Key words: Pawpaw, drug bioavailability, traditional medicaments, industrial uses, papain, nutritive value.
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