Papaya Extract

Benefits Of Papaya Extract

With all the recent advances in drug formulations and medical care, the benefits of natural supplements such as papaya extract are often overlooked. Practitioners of traditional medicine in Mexico and Central America, where the papaya fruit originated, have long used papaya as a treatment for a wide variety of maladies. It has been used as a treatment for health concerns ranging from insect bites to parasites, as a form of contraception, and for relief from indigestion. Now grown in most tropical areas, papaya is regularly used medicinally in countries around the world. Papaya is more than a folk remedy, however, and many in the medical field have recognized the antioxidant and immune-boosting properties of papain, an enzyme contained in the papaya fruit.

Papaya extract contains the enzyme papain in a powdered, distilled form. You will see papain on the ingredient list of many meat tenderizers in your local supermarket, as one of its most widely recognized and useful properties is its ability to break down tough meat fibers. This ability to break down proteins makes the extract a commonly used digestive aid and an effective way to naturally treat indigestion. In addition to aiding digestion, its anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce swelling and inflammation of the colon, which may help ease symptoms of afflictions such as Crohn's disease, ulcers, and celiac disease. These same anti-inflammatory properties can also help sufferers of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and asthma find relief. For people who have become dependent on anti-inflammatory drugs in order to control their pain, such a natural remedy may be a welcome way to decrease their usage of those drugs.

The immune-boosting and antioxidant properties of papaya extract are also impressive. Many people find that a supplement containing papaya extract can help them fend off symptoms of a cold or flu and quicken recovery time if taken as soon as symptoms begin to present. Papaya contains vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, all powerful antioxidants that support immune system function and help protect cells against damage from free radicals. There is evidence that free radicals play a role in the development of ailments such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease, so it is natural to think that papaya extract may play a role in preventing those diseases.

You have likely seen many beauty products which list papaya as an ingredient, from facial scrubs to hair conditioners, but you may not know that it has a variety of uses for skin care in addition to cosmetic purposes. It has been used for centuries to treat insect bites and stings and to aid wound healing. Medical professionals even use papain in burn and wound care to remove dead and damaged skin.

There is some controversy over the safety of papaya extract. Women in some countries use unripe papaya, which has a high concentration of papain, as a method of contraception or to induce miscarriage, so supplements containing papaya extract should be avoided by pregnant women. Additionally, the papaya tree produces latex, and those with a latex allergy may find that they are also allergic to papaya. In 2008, the FDA made an announcement in response to reports of serious allergic reactions to topical drugs containing papain, requiring manufacturers of such drugs to obtain new drug approval from the FDA. This announcement did not address oral products containing papain.

In today's world, where the first instinct of many is to treat physical problems with chemically formulated medications, it is helpful to be reminded that humans have been treating these same ailments for centuries using only natural methods. Papaya extract has many widely recognized benefits and is an excellent natural way to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries.