While most people throw them away, papaya seeds and not only edible, small amounts of them in your diet can be surprisingly good for you.
Keep in mind though that chewing half a teaspoon of the seeds is not like eating papaya fruit. They have a strong flavor, more like a cross between mustard and black peppercorns. If you can handle that, ahead are some of the main health benefits of papaya seeds, followed by some interesting ways to add them to your diet.
Papaya Seeds, Worms and Other Parasitic Infections
Like green papaya, the seeds contain high levels of proteolytic enzymes like papain which can help rid your body of parasites. In the same way that papain breaks down protein waste, it may also break down parasites and their eggs.
Good levels of digestive enzymes in your diet are also believed to help normalize the environment in your intestinal tract, making it less hospitable to worms and other parasites. Green papaya capsules and high-strength powder are a simple alternative if you don’t have the fresh fruit and its seeds available.
The seeds from papaya also contain a unique anthelmintic alkaloid called carpaine that has been shown to be very effective at killing parasitic worms and amoebas. There is much more detail on the parasite problem and a specific treatment to get rid of them in How to Use Papaya Seeds for Parasites.
Papaya Seeds as a Treatment for Liver Cirrhosis
Liver cirrhosis is a disease, often caused by excessive alcohol consumption over many years, wherein the liver shrinks and becomes hardened. In this state it is ineffective at removing toxins from the body, leading to a variety of serious health problems.
Papaya seeds are often reported as an effective treatment for liver cirrhosis. One method is to grind up around five dried seeds in a pepper grinder, or crush up fresh ones in a mortar and pestle, and mix them with a tablespoon of fresh lime juice. Drink this down twice a day for a month. Many cirrhosis sufferers have had dramatic improvements with this powerful natural treatment.
Obviously consult your doctor first if you are being treated for cirrhosis of the liver, especially with regards to the papain enzyme that may interfere with medications.
Even for people without such obvious liver damage, a small amount of papaya seeds taken regularly is said to help with liver detoxification. And anything that can improve the vital functions of the liver will be likely to improve our health in general.
The seeds of papaya are believed to have an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect on our digestive systems. Studies have shown an extract made from them is effective at killing E coli, Salmonella, Staph and other dangerous bacterial infections.
Once again, their potent digestive enzymes like papain can help change the intestinal environment to one that is more favorable to the ‘good’ bacteria and less so to the bad ones that can cause so many health problems.
Precautions and Warnings
As a precaution, pregnant women should not use papaya seeds or the enzyme rich green papaya. There is also some animal research suggesting they may temporarily reduce a man’s fertility. I’ll leave it up to male readers whether they currently consider that a good or bad thing. Regardless, as with any substance with a strong physiological effect, it is best to take regular breaks rather than using it continuously for several months.
The side effects and warnings for papaya enzymes on the previous page would especially apply to papaya seeds as well so keep that in mind if you are currently dealing with any of the health conditions mentioned there.
Papaya seeds with their high levels of carpaine and papain and other digestive enzymes are powerful. You don’t need many at a time, certainly not a whole fruit’s worth. After you scrape them out of a fresh fruit, it’s best to keep them in a sealed container in the fridge if you’re using them regularly, or in the freezer if only occasionally.
The next page will look at using papaya seeds for digestive health, including some unusual ways to add them into your diet.