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Background Informationon Papaya

Most of us are aware of the nourishing, restorative and protective benefits of papaya fruit, but have little knowledge about the healing powers of papaya leaves — which are far more powerful than its fruit. Unlike the fruit, the leaves are bitter to taste due to their high concentration of phytonutrients — which explains their therapeutic benefits.

Background information on Detoxification

Detoxification is an often misunderstood concept in human health. Our bodies have a perfectly good, inbuilt detoxification system which is working every second of every day to remove the waste products of everyday living from every cell in our body — this goes far beyond the common idea of just removing bulk solid waste from our bowels (though that is an important part of the process). If we were living in a pristine healthy natural world into which our bodies evolved, this inbuilt system would be perfectly adequate to cope with normal metabolic waste.

However, our modern lifestyle places a huge burden on this system and we may need some positive interaction to support and enhance the body’s natural detoxification ability. A useful analogy is your house — you keep it clean on a regular basis, but dirt still builds up in those hard to reach corners, behind the furniture or in the fabric of your soft furnishings. Your environment gradually overwhelms your regular maintenance cleaning and you need to do a special «spring clean» — you may even wear a dust mask, gloves or old clothes to protect yourself during this special cleanup!

The keys to the body’s detoxification system are:

  • correct functioning of your liver and kidneys;
  • healthy digestive system;
  • correct LDL:HDL balance;
  • adequate amounts of sulphur in your diet;
  • enough fibre in your diet;
  • adequate fluid intake;
  • antioxidants to prevent damage as toxins are taken out of storage and repackaged for transport out of the body;
  • bitter tasting foods on your tongue to trigger the whole process.

Core Findings of Papaya’s Effectiveness in Detoxification

A key factor in any medicine, natural or pharmaceutical, is whether the positive effects of the herb or medicine observed in test-tubes survive the human digestive system to deliver their benefits to our body.

While investigating the ability of papaya leaves to protect the liver, researchers found that the reason that papaya leaves prevented liver damage was because of their ability to modulate detoxification enzymes[1] and their antioxidant and free radical scavenger effects.

Another study found that, of all parts of the papaya plant, the leaves had the highest potency[2] in liver protection and antioxidant properties. Recent research is showing that we have taste receptors not only on our tongue, but throughout our digestive tract[3] which indicates that after being ingested, bitter tastants might play important regulatory roles in digestive and metabolic processes[4]. In research to keep watching, for the first time, coffee bitter compounds were found to stimulate gastric acid secretion in stomach cells, indicating that other bitter compounds in other plants (such as papaya) may use similar pathways[5].


Any natural product is only as good as its raw materials and the process with which they are preserved. Here at Amrita we have found a way to bring you all the benefits of the entire papaya leaf in a dynamically freeze-dried powder.

We make sure that our raw papaya leaf powder is sourced from sustainably harvested papaya trees natively grown in pristine Northern Thailand ensuring no chemicals or pesticides are used in the cultivation. Then our papaya leaf is dynamically freeze-dried within hours of harvesting which means we are quick to capture plant value before it starts degrading. Dynamic Freeze Dry is a unique drying process that preserves the very best of the plant, withoutheating or mechanical crushing.

We are the only medicinal plant supplier in Asia that has all three key components for best therapeutic effect of the plant: organic raw material, fresh harvest and drying process that keeps the plant value.

Warning: when buying medicinal herb and plant or its derivatives, always request information on raw material origin, time from harvest to the processing facilities and nature of the processing. This will help you to avoid risks of buying useless or even harmful product.

Author: Graham Rowe, Chief Naturopath, Amrita Retreat
Publication date: May 2014
Enquiries: health@amritaretreat.com

  1. Rajesh, Venugopalan; Perumal, Perumal; Rajesh, Gaddam; Rajavel, Rajagoundan Hepatoprotective and in vivo Antioxidant Activity of Methanol Extract of Carica papaya Linn. Leaves on Paracetamol Induced Liver Damage in Rats Journal of Pharmacy Research;2012, Vol. 5 Issue 6, p3085
  2. Sheri-Ann Tan, Sonia Ramos, María Angeles Martín, Raquel Mateos, Michael Harvey, Surash Ramanathan, Nazalan Najimudin, Maqsudul Alam, Laura Bravo, Luis Goya Protective effects of papaya extracts on tert-butyl hydroperoxide mediated oxidative injury to human liver cells (An in-vitro study) Free Radicals and Antioxidants Vol.2 / Issue 3 / Jul—Sep, 2012
  3. Kurumi Yamamoto, Yoshiro Ishimaru Oral and extra-oral taste perception Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology Volume 24, Issue 3, March 2013, Pages 240–246
  4. Behrens M, Meyerhof W. Gustatory and extragustatory functions of mammalian taste receptors. Physiol Behav. 2011 Nov 30;105(1):4-13. doi: 10.1016
  5. Thomas Hofmann Oral Astringency and Bitter Taste of Food — Discovery of Chemical Stimuli, Sensory Activity, and Beyond, List of Abstracts from the 15th International Symposium on Olfaction and Taste Chem. Senses 33: S1—S175, 2008

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