Papaya and its benefits

Papaya and its benefits

this week, Moana Voyages brings to your attention a delicious fruit, full of benefits and well-appreciated in French Polynesia : Papaya!

Scientific Name : Carica Papaya

Common Name : Papaya, Tropical Melon, Island’s Fig

Botanic Classification : Caricacae

Its origins

Native from Central America, more precisely from Mexico, the papaya tree needs a tropical climate which provides enough heat and water to help it ripen. After Spanish arrived in Mexico, papaya was exported all around the world, to the point where you can now find varieties in Antilles, Brasil, in Central and South-American countries and even in Tropical Africa.

This plant was introduced in Polynesia lway before the Europeans settled in and it still enjoys a strong notoriety due to its numerous nutritional properties and medicinal virtues but first and foremost thanks to its succulent taste and its tropical color.

papaya tree


Papaya can weight between 400 grams and 2,5 kilograms (or even up to 5 kgs), depending on the variety. It is of an orange-cherry color and it contains lots of nutriments, fats, carbohydrates, proteins, water, zinc, copper…

With its avocado shape, papaya provides a  delicious refreshing juice. It happens to be a great natural source of vitamins and essential minerals which helps you to stay healthy.

The flesh in itself is sweet and full of vitamins and minerals. Several varieties exist but only a few are commercialised.

In France, market stalls are mainly garnished by :

  • The Solo 8 : With its yellow-oranged flesh, very sweet and tasty, the most cultivated and consumed in France.
  • The Sunrise : With its red flesh, its taste resemble the Solo 8, it is so tiny that you can hold it in your hand.
  • The Amazon Red : With its beautiful pulp of a scarlet color, it is both juicy and sugary.

Its virtues

  • Cosmetics

Papaya contains an enzyme, a natural stabilizer, the “papain”, which removes dead cells and contributes to make your skin visibly more soft and smooth. It also has moisturising virtues used to heal sunburns. Papaya is used under several forms in most well-known spas and beauty institutes (facial masks, massage oils, body wraps, scrubs…).

Source of E and C vitamins, of beta-carotene, papaya considerably restrains dermal alterations and diminishes skin damage. It also helps to slow down cutaneous ageing and reduces early wrinkles.

Papaya is also an essential source of nutrients, which help hair grow faster, nourish dry skin and prevent hair loss. Papaya brings a radiant shine to your hair when applied as a mask on your scalp.

In addition to that, mixing papaya with milkhappes to be a potential cure for acne, it reduces black spots, imperfections or even pimples. It is often used in the cosmetics industry due to its properties, its tropical fragrance and eye-catching color.

  • Medicin

Beside the foresaid virtues, papaya also happen to have a great number of medicinal properties. In phytotherapy, each part has a major role, may it be the fruit in itself, the leaves, its seeds, the latex or even the roots. Some parts of the papaya tree turn out to be a purgative, it has an anti-inflammatory effect and is also said to improve digestion.

One can knead papaya roots in order to obtain a king od pulp which can then be applied directly to the gingiva. Overall, it will combat ora-dental bacteries and accelerate recovery. This magical fruit can also  help to recover from ca,cer as it considerably slows down the tumors’ development.

The entire fruit is good for our health, papaya seeds also have lots of positive effects on our body. We offer you the opportunity to get to discover 5 do-it-yourself mixtures in our weekly article :

  • Chew 7 papaya seeds, 7 times per day contributes to treat renal failure issues.
  • Drink a mix of 5 ground papaya seeds with 1 coffee spoon of lemon juice 2 times aday during 1 month, it improves liver purification.
  • Drink ground seeds diluted with water 2 to 3 times per day enables to increase your intestinal health due to both carpaine and papaine present in papaya, which eliminate intestinal parasites and reduce troubles such as indigestion, gas or stomachache.
  • Papaya seeds also have strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which give it its ability to combat salmonella or even staphylococcus.
  • Papaya seeds are also correlated to weight loss. Those seeds absorbs fats and sugar excess and accelerate the process of digestion.  Follow these advices :

– Take 12 papaya seeds with a grapefruit juice everyday.

– Add 15 seeds to your grapefruit juice and mix them as it was medicine.

– Or even, crush numerous seeds and mix them with your salads, flavour is comparable to mustard.

Its high amount of fibers makes papaya able to reduce our intestinal pains and prevents constipation as fibers ease the expulsion of accumulated waste in the colon. Papaya’s high rate of vitamin C is also of great help regarding our immunity system since it helps combatting influenza, cold and others. Thanks to a high quantity of proteolytic enzymes and also to carpain that papaya contains, It is very efficient against intestinal parasites, namely against amoebae.

Eating papaya improves your sight, its high amount of carotenoid allows the absorption of UV radiations, which implies that your retina is less likely to be damaged. As for the zeaxanthin, it protects the fats located inside your eye. Also effective against cholesterol because of the numerous antioxydants papaya contains, it considerably reduces cholesterol.



Cooking time

In addition to its therapeutic and cosmetic virtues, papaya  is also a fully edible fruit used in several polynesian dishes. Cooked in compote, in “po’e”, in jam, simply garnished with rhum and vanilla or even dipped in coconut milk, one will prefer to grate papayas in salads when they are still green.

Omnipresent in Polynesian stall, papaya is a very tasty fruit, which can be appreciated  as a mere fruit, as a juice, a milk-shake or a smoothie. In India, we eat it raw.

We invite you to discover Tahiti, Polynesia abounds with fruit trees, which are skillfully used in dishes, in naturalcares and treatments, shall it be in our spas or  traditional medicine.

Polynesian fruits
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