Papaya has a rich history and has been used for centuries in folk medicine for its therapeutic and medicinal properties.
Papaya is native to the tropics of the Americas, Central America and northern South America and was cultivated in Mexico. In the ancient Mayan civilisation, the people honoured the papaya tree and called it the “Tree of Life”. Mayan Indians would use papaya fruit in the form of a paste to heal skin rash or other skin problems.
In historical literature, papayas were first mentioned in 1526 by the Spanish explorer Oviedo, who observed it growing along the Caribbean coasts of Panama and Colombia. Shortly thereafter, papayas were taken to other warm-weather countries by the Spaniards and Portuguese.
It is said to be one of the favourite fruits of Christopher Columbus. The story goes that when his crew landed in America after a long sea voyage on meagre rations, the native people welcomed them with an extravagant feast, which caused digestive problems. The natives took the sick voyagers to the forest and offered them papaya and they were cured.
The fruit and rest of the plant was used in various folk medicines. It was known as a common man’s fruit and Papaya skin was used as face wash. Many of the field workers on papaya and pineapple plantations were believed to have smoother hands from working with these fruits, including a myth that their fingerprints “magically disappeared”..!
Papayas have several medicinal properties and native inhabitants of South America have used them for centuries to treat numerous diseases and symptoms. Mature, ripe fruits have been used traditionally as an effective remedy against ringworm and other fungal and parasitic infections, due to its anthelmintic properties. Papaya was also applied topically for the treatment of cuts, rashes, stings and burns. The unripe green fruit, on the other hand, have been used to lower blood pressure and even as an aphrodisiac..!
In folk medicine, papaya seeds were used to reduce inflammation and pain due to their analgesic properties. Raw papaya fruit was used for all ailments of the digestive system. The green leaves of papaya were used in several regions of Asia to make tea and believed to have protective properties against malaria.
Leaves were also steamed and eaten like a vegetable and used as a heart tonic, analgesic and to treat stomach-ache. Even the roots appear to have analgesic effects, and were sometimes eaten raw or in teas to reduce inflammatory pain.
Paw Paw has been grown and cultivated in Australia since the 1800’s. Australians have been using extract of the Paw Paw fruit to treat numerous skin conditions for over 100 years….and now its available in the UK!
PAPAYAGOLD PAW PAW Balm available now in 25g tubes.