|Botanical Name||Carica papaya|
|Other Names||:||Papaya, Papain, Kates, Paw Paw,|
Papaya (Hindi name - Papeeta) is a small, unbranched tree, with a single stem growing to 5-10 m tall, with the spirally arranged leaves. It is short-lived in nature. It lacks the enduring woody stem but interestingly, is very fast growing. The fruit of the plant is cultivated by tropical people, as a breakfast fruit. The plant is native to the tropics of the Americas. In India, papaya is cultivated throughout the country and is known for its medicinal properties. Total annual world production is estimated at 6 million tonnes of fruits. India leads the world in papaya production with an annual output of about 3 million tonnes. The nuetral Papaya tree is known to bear both male and female flowers and fruits well.
The fruit and leaves contains calories, protein, carbohydrate, fiber, ash, Vitamins and minerals. The seeds are reported to contain protein, fatty oil, carbohydrate, crude fiber, ash, volatile oil, a glycoside, caricin, and the enzyme, myrosin. Papaya has been used for digestive problems and intestinal worms. Papaya is used in the treatment of warts, corns, sinuses, and chronic forms of scaly eczema, cutaneous tubercles, and other hardness of the skin etc. Green fruits are used to treat high blood pressure and also used as an aphrodisiac. It is useful in round worm infestation, stomachalgia, dyspepsia, constipation, amenorrhoea, skin diseases and general debility.
The ripe fruit of the papaya is usually eaten raw, with or without skin or seeds. The black seeds of the papaya are edible and have a sharp, spicy taste. They are sometimes ground and used as a substitute for black pepper. In some parts of Asia, the young leaves of the papaya are steamed and eaten like spinach.