The papaya is an amazingly rich source of the proteolytic enzymes. These are the chemicals that enable the digestion of protein.
Papain, which is the most important of these enzymes in the papaya, is extracted and dried as a powder for use to aid the digestion, and it is often used as a meat tenderizer, the enzyme partially breaking down the meat fibers - digesting them in fact.
Many experts, such as Dr Lytton-Bernard, have claimed rejuvenating properties for papaya, especially for the control of premature ageing. It may be that it works simply because a poor digestion leaves the body without the correct nutrients.
Those who find it almost impossible to digest anything frequently find that papaya used regularly, either in tablet or juice form, marks the turning point in the climb back to vitality and good health.
As a cleanser you can take a quarter pint (150ml) of papaya juice alternated each hour for twelve hours by the same amount of cucumber or green bean juice. Papaya loses some of the enzymes as it ripens, so if you have the choice select them green.
They are easy to obtain in most parts of America but are not found in British greengrocers very often. Fortunately there has been a rapid expansion in the numbers of specialist shops providing for the needs of the Indian and West Indian communities where papayas can be bought.
Papaya contains arginine which is known to be essential for male fertility and also carpain, an enzyme thought to be good for the heart. Fibrin also occurs and this substance is not commonly found in the plant kingdom; in man it forms part of the blood clotting process. The papaya is an excellent source of vitamin C, with 82mg per 100g (4oz), and is rich in carotene.
After treatment with antibiotics the use of papaya juice will quickly assist the restoration of the normal bacteria in the gut which will have been destroyed by the treatment. Papaya is good for many digestive disorders and is excellent for improving poor digestion.
It has also been recommended as part of the treatment for cancer. Therapeutically it can often be combined with pineapple juice in which there is another important enzyme bromelain.
The skin of the papaya is a first class external treatment for skin wounds and places that do not heal quickly. The pulp from the juicer can be used for this and as a poultice.