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Papaya leaf nutrition 0809

Page history last edited by ecop 13 years, 4 months ago
Papaya Leaf:
Properties, Possibilities and Prosperity




  By: Meggie Cheock



Description and Rationale

The Papaya plant or the Eksokita is a very plentiful and prosperous native plant in

the Philippine Islands (ISHS).  Papaya plant is also a year round in the topical hemisphere. It is also an easy plant to sow and to maintain because of the Philippines rich soil and resources. Most people think that the only benefit to the Papaya plant is its fruit, which is very nutritious, but the other parts of the plant are equally as useful, if not more.

Many of the people of the Philippines who are of lower class and of low income suffer a lot from malnutrition and starvation, though there are many resources and food available around them. Many are not educated in what resources are there and that can help them.

The Leaves of the papaya plant contains many of our needed intake of vitamins and minerals such as Calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, beta-carotene, B-vitamins and vitamins A, C and E and many more (Herbal Extracts Plus). Many medical uses have been found in the papaya leaf. Prepared right is helps with colds, fever, constipation, cramps, cleanser for skin and digestive track. Most recently discovered helps fight malaria and dengue fever, both of which are very common in the Philippines.

How can we educate the Philippines on the medicinal properties of the papaya leaves and on the help this simple resource can bring to them? How can you present it to them that will seem pleasing and appetizing so that they can be persuaded to try or to take it in practice? What would be the best way to grow a papaya plant with the limited amount of space available to the people in the Philippines?

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Common Names and Synonyms

Carcia Papaya L. (USDA) commonly known as papaya is also referred to as different names around the world: Betik petik, Chich Put, Fan Kua, Gandul, Katela gantung, Kates, Kavunagaci, Kepaya, Kuntaia, Mamao, Tree Melon, Lechoso, Lohong Si Phle, Mapaza, Mu Kua, Papailler, Papaye, Papayer, Pepol, Tinti, Wan Shou Kuo, Papaw and pawpaw tree (Cornell University).


Kingdom:                    Plantae(Plants)                                                                                                      

Subkingdom:               Tracheobionta (Vascular plants)                                                                     

Superdivision:             Spermatophyta  (Seed plants)                                                                         

 Division:                    Magnoliophyta(Floweringplants)                                                                                     

 Class:                        Magnoliopsida (Dicotyledons)                                                  

Subclass:                    Dilleniidae (Dicot)                                                                                                 

 Order:                       Violales (Tropical Climate)                                                                                                                                

 Family:                       Caricaceae  (Papaya family)                                                                                                   

Genus:                        Carica L. (papaya)                                                                                                   

 Species:                     Carica papaya L.  (papaya)

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Morphology and Physical Description

Papaya, herbaceous tree, has a stem of spongy, soft wood that is hollow in the center. The plant bears melon-like fruit.  The Caricia papaya L. has the male and female parts in different trees. It can grow twenty to thirty feet in height (HEP).

“The leaves emerge directly from the upper part of the stem in a spiral on nearly horizontal petioles 1 to 3-1/2 feet long. The blade, deeply divided into 5 to 9 main segments, varies from 1 to 2 feet in width, and has prominent yellowish ribs and veins. The life of a leaf is 4 to 6 months”. The papaya flowers have five petals that are fleshy, waxy and slightly fragrant (CRFG).  

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Papaya grows best in a frost-free climate, that has healthy soil, plenty of water and lots of sunlight. Papayas also need a lot of nitrogen in the soil so papaya’s need a lot of fertilizer or manure. Also planting peanuts and other nitrifying plants around the papaya will help its growth. Papaya’s rot very easily and its roots aren’t very strong so papaya’s are easily destroyed. The Plant is also very prone to a disease that’s why they need a warm environment, but because of the soft leaves water easily escapes from the leaves so it needs to be watered regularly. Too much water can kill and rot the plant (Tropical Permaculture).  

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Papaya trees come in three genders: male, female and bisexual. Male plants usually have several small blooms whereas females usually have one bigger flower close to the trunk. Getting the pollen from the male flowers and fertilizing the female plants to get fruits (Tropical Permaculture). Papaya plants are special in the way that they can reproduce both sexually and asexually, varies on the gender of the plant: male, female or both.

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Environmental Factors

Papaya seeds need a temperature of 80° F to propagate. Papaya’s needs a lot of sun light, water and nitrogen. The plant does not like salty water and soil.  Papayas are very picky when it comes to soil. The ground has to be wet when it’s hot and dry when it’s cold because if it isn’t the roots will rot. Papayas aren’t too strong so they have to be kept away from strong winds and storms (CRFG).

Papaya plant is very susceptible to pests and diseases. Plant can be destroyed by fruit flies and Aphids and whole crops can be ruined by sicknesses such as Ring spot Virus (ABW).

The worst time for planting is near or during rainy or typhoon seasons. The roots do not anchor the plant enough for it to be able to outlast strong storms. The tree is hollow inside, if water should get into its trunk and does not dry the plant will rot from the inside out.

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Origin and Distribution 

Papayas are said to have come from the lowland tropics of South America but today papayas are found everywhere in the tropics and subtropics. There are no records on how papaya first came to the Philippines. The plant may have been first introduced to the shores of the Philippines when the Philippines started trading with different countries. 

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Importance to People

Papaya is also a good Money crop. It is easy to grow and gives a plentiful harvest. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and in many places the papaya plant is known as the healing tree for its many medicinal properties: from its fruits down to it’s stem. People are still figuring out some of the possibilities of the papaya and there are still more to be discovered; possibly future cures too many of the illnesses of today. Papaya leaves contain an enzyme called Papain that raises our platelet level, which is needed to help fight Malaria and Dengue. Papaya leaves are also a great antioxidant as well as whitener for skin.

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Survivability and Endangered Status

Papaya is a very fragile plant but it also is very resilient and easy to plant.  It is fast growing and easy to propagate in the Philippines’ tropical climate.  Papaya is a very popular crop grown in the Philippines. It is sold by big organizations, Philippines Industry of Papayas and small private stores.

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Potential Solutions

The Papaya plant is found everywhere in the tropics. Papaya plants have many uses and it’s not just coming from its fruits but also its leaves. Papaya leaves contain an enzyme called Papain. The enzyme Papain increases platelet levels in our blood. Platelets are designed to thicken our blood and help it clot, which is useful when you suffer from excessive bleeding like hemophilia.

God did not leave us to suffer without any help. God provided us with resources to be able to take care of ourselves like in Psalms 68:10 “Your people settled in it, and from your bounty, O God, you provided for the poor.”

Possibility 1 -





Teach Them How to Prepare Papaya Leaves as Medicine

             Dengue and malaria are both sicknesses that dangerously lower platelet level. Both also are prominent in the Philippine islands. Philippine people, like most third world countries are under great pressure because of poverty.  Therefore, they cannot afford expensive medicine and medical treatment needed to be able to recover from their serious illnesses. Most of them are unaware that a simple resource found everywhere in the Philippines may just save their lives and the lives of their loved ones. 

Also many Philippinos suffer from cancer. Some think it is from their unhealthy diet and lifestyle. In order to be able to recover some take Chemo therapy. Aside effect of chemo is lower platelet levels. If platelet levels get too low they can no longer continue chemo which will lessen the chances of their survival. Papaya leave’s Papain will be able to lengthen their stay on earth.


1.      The materials needed for the medicine is cheap and easy to acquire.

2.      The medicine is easy to prepare.

3.      The medicine is very effective.


1.      The Medicine is very bitter.

2.      They may not want to take medicine for religious reasons.

3.      They may not want to take medicine because it isn’t FDA approved.

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Possibility 2 -





Teach them How to Cook Papaya Leaves

            Papaya leaves are very bitter, so people won’t necessarily chose to eat them. If you can teach them how to prepare the leaves in a way that it doesn’t kill their taste buds there is a better chance of them taking it.


1.      Food is very healthy and nutritious.

2.      It looks and smells very attractive.

3.      Food raises platelet level.


1.      Food is very bitter even if cooked.

2.      It is an acquired taste.

3.      There are not many recipes with papaya leaves.



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Possibility 3 -






Teach them How to Cook Papaya Leaves with Accessible and Cheap







Most of the People in the Philippines can’t afford to buy expensive ingredients because of their little income.  If you can find cheap ingredients that are just as healthy and taste good there is more of a chance they’d try it.


1.      It is very healthy and nutritious.

2.      Ingredients are cheap for the people with lower income.

3.      It is easy to cook.

4.      Looks and smells delicious.


1.      It still tastes bitter.

2.      The taste rivals bitter melon and overpowers Garlic and onions together.

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“All You Ever Want to Know About Papaya, Fruits and Nutrition.”  Life Plus. 1995. 10 April 2009 <http://www.lifeplusvitamins.com/papaya-fruit-nutrition.html>.



Bradtke, Birgit. “Growing Papaya from Seed.” Tropical Permaculture. 10 April 2009 <http://www.tropicalpermaculture.com/growing-papaya.html>.



 “Carcia Papaya L.: Papaya.” USDA. 10 April 2009 <http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CAPA23>.



Chong S.T., Prabhakaran R. and Lee H.K. “An Improved Technique of Propagating ‘Eksotika’ Papaya.” ISHS. 10 April 2009 <http://www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=787_30>.



David1. “10 Unexpected Uses of Papaya Leaves.” Healthmad. 2006. 10 April 2009 <http://www.healthmad.com/Health/10-Unexpected-Uses-of-Papaya-Leaves.64960>.



Khassandra. “Nutritional Benefits of Papaya.” HubPages. 2009. 10 April 2009 <http://hubpages.com/hub/Papaya>.



 “Medicinal Plants for Livestock: Carcia Papaya.” Cornell University: department of Animal Science. 26 February 2009. 10 April 2009   <http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/medicinal/papaya.html>.


“Recipe Spicy Pork with Papaya Leaves.”  Tastyweb.10 April 2009 <http://www.tastyweb.nl/default.asp?lang=en>.



 “Papaya.” CRFG Fruit Facts. 1996- 1989, 10 April 2009 <http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/papaya.html>.



  “Papaya.” New Standard Encyclopedia. 1994 ed.



“Papaya as Money Crop.” Agricultural Business Week. 2009. 26 April 2009          <http://www.agribusinessweek.com/papaya-as-a-money-crop/>.



“Papaya-A Powerhouse of Nutrients!” Live Better Longer. 31 January 2009. 10 April 2009 <http://health.at.shoutz.com/archives/35>.



 “Papaya Leaf.” Herbal Extracts Plus. 2005. 10 April 2009 <http://www.herbalextractsplus.com/papaya-leaf.cfm>.



 “Papaya Leaf Rooibos.” Articlesbase. 2005. 10 April 2009 <http://www.articlesbase.com/alternative-medicine-articles/papaya-leaf-rooibos-646423.html>.


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