We all know that pawpaw fruit contains several nutrients and is beneficial to the human body. But did you know about the health benefits of pawpaw leaves as well?
This fruit used to be native to the tropics and South American countries. Today, pawpaw is grown in different parts of the world for its immense benefits. In this post, we will take a look at the benefits that you stand to enjoy from pawpaw leaves.
Interesting health benefits of pawpaw leaves
Pawpaw leaves have been used for several purposes for so many centuries. From cooking food to natural remedies, these leaves can do it all. But what makes the pawpaw leaves tick?
These leaves contain several unique plant compounds. These compounds have shown immense pharmacological potential in different studies. Though not much has been done to study the potency of these leaves in medicine their efficacy is evident.
Pawpaw leaves can be used to treat several diseases while promoting health in many ways. Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of pawpaw leaves.
Manages dengue fever
This is one of the top medicinal benefits of pawpaw leaves. Dengue fever is the result of the infection of a virus carried by mosquitos. When a person is infected with dengue fever, they begin to display flu-like symptoms. Examples of these symptoms include fatigue, nausea, headaches, fever, skin rashes, and vomiting.
In severe cases, dengue fever may result in a reduction of blood platelet levels. The effect of this is a higher risk of bleeding in the patient which may be fatal in the end. For now, there is no specific cure for this condition.
However, several treatments help to manage the symptoms. One such treatment is pawpaw leaves. According to several studies, people with dengue fever had higher blood platelet levels when administered pawpaw leaf extract. These are one of the most cost-effective methods of managing this disease plus there are hardly any side effects.
Promotes balanced blood sugar
Pawpaw trees are very common in Mexico and have been used in Mexican folk medicine for years. The leaves are one of the chief remedies for improving the control of blood sugar and treating diabetes.
When tested on diabetic mice, the extract from pawpaw leaves showed strong effects in lowering blood sugar. It also showed amazing antioxidant properties as well. This is probably because of the ability of the leaves to protect the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. It protects them from premature death and damage.
So far, there are no shreds of evidence of side effects in humans. However, more research is being carried out to harness the full potential of pawpaw leaves in this regard.
Supports digestive function
If you are prone to digestive issues like bloating, heartburn, and flatulence, then you can turn to pawpaw leaves. Consuming these leaves in different ways such as extracts and teas gives you access to a natural remedy for digestive issues.
These leaves contain fiber that helps to free up the digestive tract and improve healthy digestive function. The fiber present in pawpaw leaves is known as papain.
This compound helps in the breakdown of large proteins so that they become easier to digest. It also helps to release the amino acids present in proteins for easier absorption by the body. Papain is also used in culinary practices to tenderize meat.
In one study, it was discovered that using papain powder from pawpaw helped to reduce heartburn and constipation. Although, no scientific proof backs the claims of pawpaw leaves being a natural remedy for digestive issues. However, the pieces of evidence are too strong to ignore.
Different preparations of pawpaw leaves help to deal with external and internal inflammation. Examples include joint pain, muscle aches, and skin rashes.
Pawpaw leaves contain several plant compounds and nutrients that possess anti-inflammatory benefits. Examples of these compounds include vitamin E, flavonoids, and papain. Several studies reveal that pawpaw leaf extract helps to reduce swelling and inflammation significantly.
Even though these studies were carried out on rats, the leaves have shown great results in human beings. No scientific proof exists to back up the anti-inflammatory effects of pawpaw leaves. However, testimonies abound in different parts of the world to prove this fact.
Supports hair growth
The topical application of pawpaw leaf extract, juices, and masks helps to improve hair growth. It also promotes the health of the scalp. Just like the other health benefits of pawpaw leaves, this benefit has no significant scientific backing.
Research shows that one of the major causes of hair loss is oxidative stress. To combat this, you can eat foods that are rich in anti-oxidants. One such food is pawpaw leaves. With this, you can alleviate oxidative stress which will then improve hair growth.
Pawpaw leaves contain several compounds that possess antioxidant properties such as vitamin E and flavonoids. As a result, many people that support the use of the leaves to improve hair growth cite the antioxidant content.
Some classes of dandruff are a result of the overgrowth of Malassezia, a type of fungus. This fungus impedes hair growth. Pawpaw leaves also possess strong antifungal properties thatsee them combat this fungus efficiently. You can apply pawpaw leaves in different forms to the hair and scalp to improve healthy scalp and hair growth.
Promotes healthy skin
You must have heard about pawpaw leaves benefits for the skin. These leaves can be applied in different ways, topically or orally to enhance the skin. The result of this is youthful, clear, and soft skin.
Papain, one of the compounds in the leaves possesses strong exfoliating properties. Applying the leaf extract will help to exfoliate the skin and get rid of dead skin cells. It also helps to reduce ingrown hairs, clogged pores, and acne. Pawpaw leaves have been used to facilitate the healing of wounds and minimize scar tissue.
We have shown you the different health benefits of pawpaw leaves in this post. What other health benefits do you know? Drop them in the comments section.