This small tree is cultivated in all parts of India. It is a useful, small, soft wooded tree, originally native of Papua new Guinea. Its green fruit is an edible vegetable and largely used in making Indian curries. Ripe fruit is sweet and delicious. Both are used in liver diseases and disorders of digestion. The fruit contains a soft, yellow resin, fat, pectin, sugar, albuminoids, citric, malic and tartaric acids, dextrin, etc.
Papaya oil is found in its seeds. The leaves contain an alkaloid called carperine. The unripe fruit, milk and seeds possess emmenagogue and anthelmintic properties. The fruit is a laxative, tonic and diuretic.
The papaya milk the milky fluid that comes out of scratching the surface of the raw papaya fruit contains an enzyme, which can digest starch, mucous membranes and animal proteins. Papaya milk is dried at a low temperature. Paperin, a digestive powder, is obtained. Dose 2 to 10 grains. It is very useful in dyspepsia and liver complaints. It may be rubbed in ringworm patches. It is highly beneficial in all cases when digestion is weak or when the liver is not functioning properly.
The fruit should be well crushed and the seeds should be removed. Then the cold milk may be added. Sweeten this with honey or syrup dates or syrup of jaggery. This is a delicious, digestive drink. Cut the fruit into small bits and then boil in a small quantity of water. Filter the essence through a clean muslin or porus cloth. Add milk and syrup of jaggery. This is also a palatable, digestive drink.
The ripe fruit is alterative. It is useful in habitual constipation, dyspepsia or indigestion, bleeding piles and chronic diarrhea.
The green fruit is laxative and diuretic. It can be cooked as a curry. In women, this stimulates secretion of milk.
Slices of unripe fruit can be rubbed on ringworm patches. The juice is useful in ulcers of the tongue and throat.
The fresh milky juice removes round worms in children. Take one teaspoonful of fresh juice and one teaspoonful of honey. Add 2 ounces of boiling water to this. This must be followed by a dose of castor oil one ounce. Dose of the juice for adults one teaspoonful, for children half teaspoonful, and for children under three years 10 to 15 drops.
The juice of the unripe fruit is useful in dysmenorrhoea. It helps the free flow of the menses. If this is applied locally in the shape of pessary to the osuteri, it causes abortion. In large doses it acts as an embolic, exciting, uterine contraction. The fresh milk juice is useful in scorpion stings as a local application.
Take one teaspoonful of the milky juice of unripe fruit and add a teaspoonful of sugar. This is useful in reducing enlarged spleen.
The dried ripe fruit or salted ripe fruit is useful in enlargement of spleen and liver.
The leaves dipped in hot water or warmed over a fire are applied to the painful parts for nervous pains or neuralgias. Bruised leaves warmed over a fire can be applied as a poultice in boils, swellings, elephantoid growths, etc.