Know About Unripe Green Papaya
Did you know unripe, green or raw papaya has health benefits that equal those in the nutritious, papaya fruit most favored in tropical countries?
Unripe green papaya is the raw papaya obtained in the unripe stage, from a small perennial plant Carica papaya mainly native to the tropical countries. Rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins, proteins, phytonutrients, and enzymes like papain and chymopapain, green unripe papaya is believed to offer several health benefits.
Papaya fruit is available throughout the year and is popular due to its buttery texture and sweet taste when fully ripe. The unripe green papaya is usually consumed as a salad, pickle, or even as a dessert when chilled.
Experts have found that the constituents of unripe green papaya show anti-bacterial and wound healing properties. It also acts as an effective digestive aid and relieves constipation. This article lists the health benefits of unripe green papaya that makes it a truly therapeutic fruit.
1. Improves Digestive Health
Papain, a protein-digesting enzyme present in unripe green papaya is beneficial for people with digestive or pancreatic problems, or people who eat a lot of meat. Papain, the enzyme in papaya has the property of tenderizing meat and hence chunks of green papaya are used while cooking meat.
Green unripe papaya also acts as a natural laxative and helps to relieve constipation. It is a natural and effective medicine to treat digestive and abdominal diseases such as dyspepsia, hyperacidity, and even dysentery.
2. Helps Treat Infections
Research suggests that green papaya shows a very significant antibacterial activity against common infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Shigella flexneri.
Since almost 80 to 90% of all urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by E. coli, the green papaya presents as a natural remedy. The unripe green papaya also fights against bacteria by scavenging the free radicals and superoxides that help in cellular metabolism for bacterial growth.
The antimicrobial action of green unripe papaya is not limited to only bacteria. The unripe green papaya fruit as well as seeds show antihelminthic (removes parasitic worms helminths) and antiamoeboic (fights infection caused be amoebas of the Entamoeba group) activities. Green unripe papaya is believed to improve the immune system and prevent illnesses such as recurrent ear infections, colds and flu. Interestingly, consumption of papaya helps restore normal intestinal flora that is destroyed due to the long-term use of antibiotics.
3. Reduces Signs of Skin Aging
Increased level of free radical toxins in the body is linked to several illnesses including skin acne and premature skin aging. Unripe green papaya peel contains polyphenol compounds with potent antioxidant properties that offer protection against oxidative damage.
Antioxidants play a major role in skin care by reducing inflammation that causes acne. The antioxidants in green papaya are also known to help in firming the skin and reducing wrinkles. In addition, unripe green papaya is a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E all of which are powerful antioxidants that play an important role in skin care.
Papaya juice can be applied on the skin to remove blemishes. Green unripe papaya peel can be used to lighten the skin and improve skin complexion. A paste made from the peel of green unripe papaya can be mixed with honey and used in regular skin care routine to soothe and moisturize the skin. Vitamin A present in green unripe papaya helps to restore and repair skin damage caused by sun exposure.
4. Improves Lactation in New Mothers
The unripe green papaya is thought to contain compounds that influence estrogen, the female hormone. This is why it is recommended for new mothers to increase lactation. However, since green papaya is also believed to contain compounds that act as a uterine stimulant most cultures forbid pregnant women from having papaya fruit.
It is not known for sure if papaya fruit is completely safe to eat during pregnancy. However, research has shown a latex substance present in unripe papaya may cause contractions of the uterus. The latex in unripe papaya may act like prostaglandin and oxytocin which the body produces to start labor.
5. Offers Relief from Menstrual Pain
The uterine stimulant property in green unripe papaya is used to induce menstruation in women. As per some studies the leaf extracts of green papaya reduce menstrual pain and prostaglandin levels.
Papaya leaves contain flavonoids which show anti-inflammatory properties that can inhibit an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX). Inhibition of this enzyme reduces the level of pain mediating prostaglandins. Unripe green papaya thus presents an effective and safe herbal remedy to reduce menstrual pain and cramps.
6. Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
The folic acid present in green unripe papaya helps to convert homocysteine into amino acids such as cysteine or methionine. A high level of homocysteine is thought to pose a potential risk in damaging blood vessel walls that can result in heart attack or stroke. Unripe papaya helps control homocysteine levels in the blood by breaking them to amino acids thus reducing the risk of damage to the blood vessels.
Extracts of unripe green papaya contain blood pressure lowering agents. Green unripe papaya also contains fibrin, a useful compound not readily found in the plant kingdom. Fibrin improves blood flow and reduces the risk of blood clot formation thereby reducing the risk of blood vessel blockage and stroke.
7. Promotes Wound Healing
Unripe green papaya is reported to be one of the earliest substances used in wound care. The phytochemical constituents of green papaya possess anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. Therefore, the extracts of green papaya help to reduce skin inflammation and also promote wound healing. The wound healing property of green papaya is mainly attributed to papain and chymopapain, the enzymes that exert an ulcer protective effect. Papain also digests necrotic tissue and prevents wound infections.
Nutrition Facts for Papaya
|Calcium, Ca||20 mg||2 %|
|Copper, Cu||0.04 mg||2.25 %|
|Iron, Fe||0.25 mg||1.39 %|
|Magnesium, Mg||21 mg||5.25 %|
|Manganese, Mn||0.04 mg||2 %|
|Phosphorus, P||10 mg||1 %|
|Potassium, K||182 mg||5.2 %|
|Selenium, Se||0.6 mcg||0.86 %|
|Sodium, Na||8 mg||0.33 %|
|Zinc, Zn||0.08 mg||0.53 %|
|Vitamin A||950 IU||19 %|
|Vitamin C||60.9 mg||101.5 %|
|Vitamin B6||0.04 mg||1.9 %|
|Vitamin E||0.3 mg||1 %|
|Vitamin K||2.6 mcg||3.25 %|
|Riboflavin||0.03 mg||1.59 %|
|Thiamin||0.02 mg||1.53 %|
|Folate, DFE||37 mcg||9.25 %|
|Niacin||0.36 mg||1.78 %|
|Fiber||1.7 g||6.8 %|
|Cholesterol||0 mg||0 %|
|Carotene, alpha||2 mcg|
|Carotene, beta||274 mcg|
|View all +|
- Papaya- (http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_170_2005-01-11.html)
- Dev N, Iqbal A. Processing and Quality Evaluation of Green Papaya (Carica papaya L.) Leaf Tea. Journal of Agriculture and Crop Science. Year-2015; 2:1-6.
- Anuar NS, Zahari SS, et al. Effect of green and ripe Carica papaya epicarp extracts on wound healing and during pregnancy. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008; 46(7):2384-2389.
- Yogiraj V, Goyal PK, et al. Carica papaya Linn: An Overview. International Journal of Herbal Medicine 2014; 2 (5): 01-08.
- Nwinyi, Chukwuemeka O. Antifungal effects of pawpaw seed extracts and papain on post harvest Carica papaya L. fruit rot. African Journal of Agricultural Research 2010; 5(12):1531-1535.
- Emeruwa AC. Antibacterial substance from Carica papaya fruit extract. J Nat Prod. 1982; 45(2):123-127.
- Reygaert W, Jusufi I. Green tea as an effective antimicrobial for urinary tract infections caused by Escherichia coli Front Microbiol. 2013; 4: 162.
- Salla S. Antioxidant and Apoptotic Activity of Papaya Peel Extracts in HepG2 Cells. Food and Nutrition Sciences. 2016; 7:485-494.
- Kawarkhe P. Natural Antioxidant for Face Cream: A Review. International Journal of Research in Cosmetic Science 2016; 6(1): 1-5.
- Sumanth, Meera & K, Ugendra. (2013). Effect of unripe carica papaya on uterus. International journal of Research in Ayurveda & Pharmacy. 4. 345-348. 10.7897/2277-4343.04308.
- Abidah SN, Hadisaputro S, et al. Effect of Carica papaya l leaf on menstrual pain and prostaglandin level in adolescent with primary dysmenorrhea: a true experiment. Belitung Nursing Journal. 2017; 3(3):198-204.
- Aravind. G. Traditional and Medicinal Uses of Carica papaya.) Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies. 2013; 1(1):7-15.
- Pandey S, Cabot PJ. Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties of Carica papaya. J Immunotoxicol. 2016; 13(4):590-602.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Melita Fernandes. (2018, February 19). Health Benefits of Unripe Green Papaya | Why Unripe Green Papaya is Good for Health. Medindia. Retrieved on Dec 09, 2023 from https://www.medindia.net/dietandnutrition/health-benefits-of-unripe-green-papaya.htm.
Melita Fernandes. "Health Benefits of Unripe Green Papaya | Why Unripe Green Papaya is Good for Health". Medindia. Dec 09, 2023. <https://www.medindia.net/dietandnutrition/health-benefits-of-unripe-green-papaya.htm>.
Melita Fernandes. "Health Benefits of Unripe Green Papaya | Why Unripe Green Papaya is Good for Health". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/dietandnutrition/health-benefits-of-unripe-green-papaya.htm. (accessed Dec 09, 2023).
Melita Fernandes. 2018. Health Benefits of Unripe Green Papaya | Why Unripe Green Papaya is Good for Health. Medindia, viewed Dec 09, 2023, https://www.medindia.net/dietandnutrition/health-benefits-of-unripe-green-papaya.htm.
Request an Appointment with a Doctor (Nutrition Expert)
13 years experience
2 years experience
5 years experience
2 years experience