Papaya Leaf extract can help increase blood count
Anything about plants excite me because I believe we have still to learn a lot from the plant world. Let me share my experience with papaya leaf extract.
Few months back I was recipient of a mail which extolled the virtues of papaya leaf extract and how it helped increase blood platelet count among victims of dengue. I was sceptical of the mail and had forgotten about it until a friend called me to say that it had really worked in the case of his cousin.
Forty plus Bengalaru resident Rajlakshmi Nair was diagnosed with dengue and admitted to Manipal Hospital on August 28. When admitted her platelet count had dipped to 16000. She was given blood transfusion which led to the platelet jumping to 30,000. The doctors prescribed pain killer, namely Dolo 650 and Paracetamol for fever.
Rajlakshmi’s brother-in-law, a NRI from the US, who was among the many recipient of the ‘papaya leaf mail’ advised the patient’s family to give the papaya extract a try. Since there was nothing to lose, her sister decided to give it a try.
As suggested, the family members took six leaves of papaya plant and crushed to make it into balls, the size of marbles. Rajlakshmi was given the first ball next day morning along with jaggery to counter the bitterness of the extract. By evening her platelets had shot up to 50,000. She continued taking the papaya leaf balls along jaggery during her four-day long stay in the hospital. During this period she was not given any more blood transfusion. Discharged and recuperating at home Rajlakshmi continued taking one ball of papaya leaf extract for the next four days. At the end of eight days her platelet count had reached 6.40 lakh giving credence to the fact that papaya leaf extract really worked on dengue victims.
In parts of the world papaya leaves are made into tea as a preventative for malaria, though there is no real scientific evidence for the effectiveness of this treatment
Researchers have found that papaya leaf extract can be effective against various tumors and can be used as a traditional medicine.
Nam Dang, a researcher from the University of Florida and his colleague from Japan documented the anti-cancer effects of papaya against cervical tumors, breast, liver and pancreas. This research’s report has also been published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.
The researchers used extracts made from dried papaya leaves and found the resulting effects can be more powerful. Dang and other scientists showed that the papaya leaf extract could increase the production of a key signal molecule called TH1 type cytokines, these molecules help regulate the body’s immune system.
“This could be a maintenance therapy to fight cancer cells by increasing the body’s immune system,” researchers said in the journal, which was released last February, as quoted from AFP, (10/3/2010).
Scientists said that papaya leaf extract has no toxic effect on normal cells, this of course can avoid the side effects which generally always occur in some cancer treatments.
Researchers used 10 types of cancer cells with a variety of different 4 papaya leaf extract and measure the effects after being given papaya leaf extract for 24 hours. The results show that papaya leaf extract can slow the growth of cancer cells. Clinical trials need to be carried now. If the research is successful, it will create a new treatment to fight cancer cells by using traditional materials. Some of Papaya leaf’s constituents include the fermenting agent myrosin, alkaloids, rutin, resin, tannins, carpaine, dehydrocarpaines, pseudocarpaine, flavonols, benzylglucosinolate, linalool, malic acid, methyl salicylate, another enzyme, chymopapain (latex and exudate), calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, beta-carotene, B-vitamins and vitamins A, C and E
Recipe for making extract:
- Wash and partly dry several medium-size papaya leaves. Cut them up like cabbage and place them in a saucepan with 2 quarts/ litres of water. Bring the water and leaves to the boil and simmer without a lid until the water is reduced by half.
- Strain the liquid and bottle in glass containers. You can keep the concentrate in the refrigerator for three to four days. If it becomes cloudy, it should be discarded.
- The recommended dosage in the original recipe is 3 Tablespoons/ 50ml three times a day.