Papaya (Carica papaya) originated in Central America, but it is now cultivated in the subtropics worldwide. Papaya trees have large, yellow, melon-flavored fruits. The leaf is most commonly used medicinally. Papaya leaf contains papain and carpain. Papain enzymes degrade protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Papain also has the unique ability to dissolve dead tissue without damaging living cells. Papaya is often used for preventing and treating gastrointestinal tract disorders. It also has sedative and diuretic effects. The leaves of papaya are often fermented to make a richer and more potent tea.
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