Many people know of and eat pawpaw (papaya) fruit for its health benefits, especially for digestive health. Few know about the health uses of the seeds or the sap of the stem or unripe fruit. In Nigeria, the leaves, especially of the male plant, is used for malaria fever treatment.
At the global level, the juice of pawpaw leaves has become well-prized since it was known to combat Dengue fever and Ebola fever. Dengue fever is transmitted by the infected Aides mosquito. The parasite it transmits destroy the body’s platelet cells, thereby causing bleeding through the eyes, nose, ears, mouth and other openings in the body. A high platelet count prevents hemorrhaging. This type of bleeding is exhibited in Ebola fever attack. Many studies show that pawpaw leaf juice significantly increases the platelet count and may be an antidote against these dangerous and other bleeding conditions.
Acetogenin, a compound in pawpaw leaf juice, fights malaria and Dengue. Its other compounds cleanse the liver and may help in the cure of Jaundice and Cirrhosis (hardening) of the liver, which may presage cancer of the liver. It is well known to support digestion as it contains papain and chemo papain which digest endo proteins including ulcers, and parasites. Its other Enzymes, Protease and Anylase, digest fats and carbohydrates.
An anti-oxidant, pawpaw leaf juice lowers blood sugar, helps out in painful menstruation, promotes hair growth, reduces cancer risk, clears skin freckles, acne and pimples.
Lately, there has been talk about pawpaw leaf juice inhibiting tumour growth, preventing or reversing metastasis or inducing cancer cells to kill themselves through apoptosis. Dr. Paul Haiter, one of the advocates of pawpaw leaf juice therapy for cancer, says many cancer victims have cured their cancers by drinking pawpaw leaf juice over an extended period of time. Researchers at the University of Illinois and those at the University of Tokyo report their studies which show pawpaw leaf juice potential as an anti-cancer medicine. What is said to make pawpaw leaf juice so promising is its chemical compound called Acetogenin.
It is reported by Thomas Limmasus quoting a 2008 review in THE JOURNAL OF NATURAL PRODUCTS, to be a cancer fighter. The journal reported a study in which tumour cells were exposed to pawpaw extracts. The extracts inhibited communication among the cells, causing them to die.