Knowledge: Papaya Leaf (Carica papaya)

Papaya Leaf (Carica papaya)

Despite the lack of concrete scientific evidence, papaya leaf is a folk remedy that is practiced by local community for curing symptoms associated with dengue fever. While one of the major symptoms of dengue fever is resulting in reduced platelet counts in the blood, papaya leaf was found to contain compounds that contribute to the increase of platelet numbers, thereby leading to effective treatment of several platelet-related symptom including dengue fever.

Papaya leaf contains unique plant compounds including papain, chymopapain, cystatin, tocopherol, ascorbic acid, flavonoids, glucoside and glucosinolates.

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Papain enzyme

Other than its medicinal values, papaya leaves are also used in many cuisines, in particular indonesian:

  1. Stir fried spicy papaya leaves
  2. Wak Phura (cooking pork with papaya leaves)

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Treat symptoms related to dengue fever

Human clinical studies
Subject Patients with thrombocytopenia (n = 50)
  1. Placebo
  2. Papaya leaf extract
Duration 5 days
Dosage Carica papaya leaf extract (CPLE) tablets = 3 times daily (1100mg per tablets)
Parameters analyzed Platelet counts
Outcomes Visible benefits

  • By day 3, CPLE treated patients reported significantly (p = 0.007) increased platelet counts (482%± 284) compared to placebo (331%±370) group.
  • In the treatment group, fewer patients received platelet transfusions (1/26 v/s 2/24) and their median time for platelets to recover to ≥ 50,000/μL was 2 days (IQR 2–3) compared to 3 days (IQR 2–4) in placebo.

Figure 1: Increase in the mean (+ SEM) platelet counts during course of treatment in the treatment group (black) and placebo group (grey) subjects.

Figure 2: Mean (SEM) percent increase in platelet count post treatment (day 3) in treatment group (black) and placebo group (grey) subjects.

Functions This study demonstrates safety and efficacy of CPLE in increasing platelet counts in severe thrombocytopenia in dengue infections.

Promote balanced blood sugar

In vivo lab experiments
Subject streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats, 10 to 11 weeks of age (n=42)
  1. Non-diabetic rats with control
  2. Non-diabetic rats with papaya leaf extract
  3. Diabetic rats with control
  4. Diabetic rats with papaya leaf extract
Duration 4 weeks
Dosage Aqueous extract of C. papaya leaf in three different doses (0.75, 1.5 and 3 g/100 mL) as drinking water
Parameters analyzed Biochemical analysis
Outcomes Visible benefits

  • The aqueous extract of Carica papaya (0.75 g and 1.5 g/100 mL) significantly decreased blood glucose levels (p<0.05) in diabetic rats.
  • It also decreased cholesterol, triacylglycerol and amino-transferases blood levels.
  • An antioxidant effect of C. papaya extract was also detected in diabetic rats.

Table 1: Effect of the aqueous papaya leaf extracts on blood glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels

Papaya leaf extract (g/100 mL) Glucose (mg/dL) Cholesterol (mg/dL) Triglyceride (mg/dL) HDL-cholesterol (mg/dL)
Control 434 75.62 232.1 34.25
0.75 305.4 70.32 146.5 37.12
1.5 306.5 88.11 144.5 43.32
3 250 57.37 93.71 27.2
Control 99.5 63.61 86.14 31.18
0.75 102.8 81.5 208.2 30.69
1.5 89.19 73.23 135.8 30.14
Functions Aqueous extract of C. papaya leaf exerted a hypoglycemic and antioxidant effect; it also improved the lipid profile in diabetic rats

Anti-inflammatory effects

In vivo animal lab experiment
Subject Male wistar rats
  1. Control (Saline)
  2. Reference control (5 mg/kg iodomethacin)
  3. 25 to 200 mg/kg papaya leaf extract
Duration Carrageenan induced paw test = 1-5 hours

Formaldehyfr induced arthritic = 10 days

Dosage 25–200mg/kg (orally) of papaya leaf extracts or saline (control group)
Parameters analyzed Carrageenan oedema test and formaldehyde-induced arthritis models
Outcomes Visible benefits

  • Results show that the extracts significantly reduced paw oedema in the carrageenan test.
  • Extract significantly reduces the amount of granuloma formed from 0.58 t0 0.22 g.
  • The results obtained from the formaldehyde induced arthritis show that the extract at the dose range of 25–200mg/ Kg significantly

Table 1: effects of ethanolic papaya leaves on carrageenan induced paw oedema in rats.

Figure 1: Effect of ethnanolic extract of papaya leaves on formaldehyde induced arthritis in rats.

  • result of the carrageenan test shows that the ethanol extract of C. papaya can inhibit prostaglandins mediated inflammation
  • also show that the extract can inhibit arthritis. The trend of the anti arthritic activity of the extract closely resembles that of the standard reference drug (indomethacin)

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