The thought of papaya juice won’t exactly make your mouth water. Yet, it can save your life in more ways than one. The only time the juice is mentioned is in the context of dengue fever, where patients are made to drink papaya leaf juice in a bid to raise their platelet count. It’s not an old wives’ tale but a science-backed remedy that can save dengue patients from haemorrhaging. The leaf of the papaya tree has antioxidant properties that can prevent the breakdown of blood cells in dengue fever, and there are multiple studies that can vouch for its efficiency. But is that the only health benefit of papaya leaf? Not quite. Drinking papaya leaf tea or juice can improve your health in more ways than one. Here are some of the benefits of this medicinal leaf.
Improves Digestion and Heals Stomach
Drinking papaya leaf tea can be beneficial to digestion. Loaded with enzymes like papain, chymopapain, protease and amylase, sipping on the juice or tea made from papaya leaf after meals can improve your digestion. It can also heal gastric issues like ulcers. In monsoons, drinking papaya leaf juice can reduce chances of stomach infection due to its strong antimicrobial functions.
Relieves PMS and Menstrual Pain
Drinking papaya leaf juice during menses may seem counterintuitive because menstruating women are generally forbidden from eating papaya in traditional Indian households. But drinking the juice is said to relieve some nasty PMS symptoms like cramps. The enzymes in the leaf is said to regulate periods, improve blood flow and also balance the hormones.
People with diabetes can drink papaya leaf juice as part of their regular diet to lower blood sugar. Papaya leaf extracts have been proven to reduce sugar and lipid levels in diabetic rats. But people who are already on diabetic medications shouldn’t have papaya leaf juice without consulting the doctor first.
Good for Liver and Pancreas
The enzymes in papaya leaf have an ameliorative effect on the liver and pancreatic health. The juice of papaya leaves can also be consumed as part of a detoxifying cleanse to reset your digestive system.
That’s right. Papaya leaf extracts have been known to inhibit the formation of tumours. It has been shown to exhibit anti-cancer properties against chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia. There have been many instances where cancer patients have gone into remission after regularly consuming papaya tea extract. It has been proven to be effective in cases of breast, cervical, lung and pancreatic cancer.
Antioxidants in papaya leaves have been proven to reduce oxidative stress, which causes cellular damage. Oxidative stress is responsible for inflammation, cancer, cardiovascular diseases in the body.
Since it’s dengue season again, it’s wise to keep papaya leaves handy. You can also brew a tea from the leaves or buy ready-made tea bags of papaya leaves. But if you have other underlying health problems like hypertension or diabetes, always consult your doctor or any healthcare professional before you try out papaya leaf juice.