Papain Powder 1 lb. Bulk
Not Certified Kosher
Active Principle of Cairca papaya
Not Certified Kosher
Carica papaya (Family Caricaceae) originated in Central America. It is an interesting tree in that the male and female parts exist in different trees. The fruits, leaves, and latex are used medicinally. Papain, a major compound in the fruit and latex has been used in brewing and wine making and the textile and tanning industries. Common names for papaya trees include:
Betik petik, Chich Put, Fan Kua, Gandul, Katela gantung, Kates, Kavunagaci, Kepaya, Kuntaia, Lechoso, Lohong Si Phle, Mapaza, Mu Kua, Papailler, Papaw and pawpaw tree, Papaya, Papaye, Papayer, Pepol, Tinti, Wan Shou Kuo,
Chemical Compounds: Carica papaya contains many biologically active compounds. Two important compounds are chymopapain and papain, which are supposed to aid in digestion. Papain also is used to treat arthritis. The level of the compounds vary in the fruit, latex, leaves, and roots. In addition, plant parts from male and female trees differ in the quantity of the compounds. For example, phenolic compounds tend to be higher male trees than female trees. The quantity of fresh papaya latex and dry latex (crude papain) also vary with the sex of the tree and the age of the tree. Female and hermaphrodite trees yield more crude papain then male trees and older fruit yields more then younger fruit. However, the activity of the papain is higher in the extracts from the younger fruit then the older fruit. Cultivars also vary in the quantity of the compounds. For example, the primary and secondary volatile compounds in the fruit of one cultivar studied were linalool and trans-linalool oxide, respectively. In another cultivar, the primary and secondary volatile compounds were cis-linalool oxide and linalool, respectively.
The following list of compounds found in parts of Carica papaya is not comprehensive. The quantity of the compounds are estimates based on several sources (listed in the references). For more information please refer to the references and the USDA Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases.
alkaloids -- 1,300-4,000 ppm in leaves
butanoic acid -- as much as 1.2mg/kg in fruit pulp
methyl butanoate -- as much as 18% of the volatile components in the fruit
carpaine -- leaves (1,000-1,500 ppm), bark, roots, and seeds
dehydrocarpaines -- 1,000 ppm in leaves
pseudocarpaine -- 100 ppm in leaves
chymopapain-a and b -- latex and exudate
flavonols -- 0-2,000 ppm in leaves
benzylglucosinolate -- found in all parts of the plant, but highest in young leaves
linalool -- as much as 94% of the volatile components in the fruit
cis- and trans-linalool oxide -- fruit
alpha-linolenic acid -- 250-2,238 ppm in fruit
papain -- fruit and 53,000 ppm in latex and exudate
alpha-phellandrene -- fruit
tannins -- 5,000-6,000 ppm in leaves
alpha-terpinene -- fruit
gamma-terpinene -- fruit
4-terpineol -- fruit
terpinolene -- fruit
methyl-thiocyanate and benzyl-isothiocyanate
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With the exception of infertility, the literature reviewed did not indicate any adverse reactions from the consumption of Carica papaya fruit, latex, or extracts. However, the leaves and roots of Carica papaya contain cyangenic glucosides which form cyanide. The leaves also contain tannins. Both of these compounds, at high concentrations, can cause adverse reactions. Also, inhaling papaya powder (high in the enzymes papain and chymopapain, can induce allergies.
In trials with rats, daily oral doses of benzene and alcohol extracts (20mg/kg body weight (BW) for 30 days) did not effect body or reproductive organ weights or adversely effect liver or kidney function. However, aqueous extracts (1mg/kg BW for 7 or 15 days) and benzene extracts given orally to female rats caused infertility and irregular oestrous cycles. Male rats given ethanol seed extracts orally (10 or 50 mg/day for 30, 60, or 90 days) or intramuscularly (0.1 or 1.0 mg/day for 15 or 30 days) had decreased sperm motility. The oral doses also decreased testis mass and sperm count. Studies with aqueous seed extracts also decreased fertility in male rats. The fertility of the male and female rats returned to normal within 60 days after the treatments were discontinued.
In addition to decreasing infertility, papain might cause abortions shortly after conception. The papain apparently dissolves a protein(s) responsible for adhering the newly fertilized egg to the wall of the uterus.
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Uses and Efficacy: The efficacy of treatments with Carica papaya is dependent on the quantity of the different compounds in the preparation. The quantity of the compounds, as previously indicated, differ in the fruit, latex, leaves, and roots and vary with the extraction method, age of the plant part, and the cultivar and sex of the tree.
The application of papaya latex that is probably of most interest to livestock producers is as an anthelmintic (dewormer). Satrija et al. (1994) tested the efficacy of papaya latex (at doses of 2, 4, and 8 g/kg BW) against Ascaris suum in 16 pigs. The eggs per gram (epg) on days 0, 1, 5, and 7 were determined using a modified McMaster technique and the adult worms were collected and sexed at necropsy on day 7. The 4- and 8-g/kg BW treatments significantly decreased the epg produced (by 99%) and the number of adult worms by 80 and 100%, respectively. The study conducted by Satrija et al. supports the results of other studies which indicate that papaya latex is effective against Ascaridia galli in chickens. One adverse effect of the treatment was transient diarrhea in the 8-g/kg BW group on day 1 of the study. In another study, water extracts of papaya seeds decreased Ascaridia galli infections in chicks by 41.7% (compared to piperazine hexahydrate which decreased infections by 99%).
In traditional veterinary medicine, papaya seeds also are used as dewormers. In Indonesia and the Philippines, air-dried seeds are ground and mixed with water - 3 g of seeds/kg bodyweight. The animals are given the seed/water mixture once a day for 6 days. In Indonesia, papaya leaves are used as affed for animals after parturition - 2 leaves boiled in water fed every 2 days for 1 week. It also has been reported that papaya leaf extract is used as a profilaxis against malaria, though no studies on this use could be found in the literature.
Results from studies on biological activities of Carica papaya parts, extracts, and isolated compounds are briefly summarized below:
Latex (with a minimum protein concentration of 138 microliters/ml) and root extracts inhibited Candida albicans. However, aqueous extracts were not active.
Extracts of pulp and seeds showed bacteriostatic properties when tested against Staphylococcus aureua, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, Bacillus subtilis, and other bacteria in vitro. However, in another study, aqueous extracts (type of extract and plant part not indicated) were not active against Staphylococcus aureua and Escherichia colis in vitro.
Alpha-D-mannosidase and N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase (isolated from latex) acted synergistically to inhibit yeast growth.
Powdered air-dried seeds given orally to 4 dogs (60mg/kg BW for 30 days) decreased Dirofilaria immitis infections.
Papaya latex fed (at a rate of 2, 4, 6, or 8g/kg BW) to mice with experimental infections of Heligmosomoides polygyrus decreased infections rates by 55.5-84.5% compared to non-treated control mice.
Seeds at concentrations of less than 100 micrograms/ml exhibited activity against Entamoeba histolytica in vitro.
Benzylisothiocyanate (isolated from papaya) at concentrations of 100-300 micromoles inhibits the energy metabolism and affected the motor activity of Ascaridia galli in vitro
Sedative and muscle relaxer -- studies with rats indicate that alcohol extracts (at a dose of 5 mg/kg BW intraperitoneally or greater) relaxed central muscles. The extracts (at a dose of 10 mg/kg BW intraperitoneally or greater) also had sedative properties.
Purgative -- in one study with rats, aqueous extracts increased the number of wet feces and the movement of intestinal contents.
Papaya has been used to treat the following ailments in humans:
Abortifacient -- Java, Panama, Sri Lanka, and Turkey
Amebicide -- Japan
Arthritis and rheumatism -- Haiti and Java
Asthma and respiration -- Mauritius, Mexico, and Philippines
Bactericide -- India
Cancer -- Australia and Mexico
Cardiotonic -- Turkey
Colic -- Malaya
Constipation and laxative -- Honduras, Panama, and Trinidad
Corns and boils -- India, Malagasy, Malaya, and Philippines
Decoagulant -- Trinidad
Diarrhea and dysentery -- Honduras, Japan, Panama, and West Africa
Digestive -- China, Dominican Republic, Panama, and Turkey
Diuretic -- Trinidad
Dyspepsia -- Mexico
Dysuria -- Java
Emmenagogueue -- Mexico and Turkey
Epithelioma -- St. Vincent
Fever -- Java and Mexico
Flu -- Trinidad
Fumitory -- New Caledonia
Hypertension -- Honduras and Trinidad
Infection -- Panama
Intestinal disorders -- Philippines
Kidney -- Cameroon and Honduras
Liver -- Honduras and Turkey
Madness -- Ivory Coast
Milk production (increase/stimulate) -- Indonesia and Malaysia
Opthalmology treatments -- Soviet Union
Pectoral -- Mexico
Scorpion bites -- Trinidad
Smoothe upper respiratory tract -- Nigeria
Toothhache -- Cote d'Ivoire and Samoa
Tuberculosis -- Mexico
Tumor (Uterus) -- Ghana Indochina Nigeria
Ulcer -- Panama
Urology treatments -- Soviet Union
Venereal -- Trinidad
Vermifuge -- Haiti, Malaya, Panama, Samoa, and Turkey
Warts -- Indonesia, Jamaica, Peru, South Africa, and Sri Lanka
This information was created by a graduate student at Cornell University.
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